All About Blind POP Rivets - The Basics | Rivets 101

So let's review the different materials available and types of rivets.

So this is a structural rivet. This particular rivet is steel and steel; the mandrel is steel and

the hat is steel. This is what they call a blind rivet. These three are

aluminum rivets. These are just typical pop or blind rivets. We also have what we

call a white rivet with aluminum mandrel. So here's the mandrel and that's the

white hat so when you put the rivet in and complete it, all you're

gonna see is a white finish like for a white soffit or a brown soffit.

So they come in different colors depending upon the finish that you're installing

them in. These are zinc rivets. These are large flange. You can see here

the large dome flange on this hat. So it covers more surface when

you're installing the rivet. Sometimes you need more surface when you're holding a

larger piece of material.

*These are copper brass rivets. The mandrel is brass and the hat is copper. However, the

mandrel is actually steel with a plating a brass on top of it.

These are 100% copper rivets. A lot of roofers use these rivets for flashing among many other

applications: soffits, downspouts, so many different applications for the brass.

These are stainless blind pop rivets. I have several different types.

This is what we call a closed end pop rivet. You can see here the back is square and solid.

These are waterproof. So if you install these in a water application

they will not leak or build up water inside the the tubular part of the rivet.

These are stainless countersunk pop rivets. You'll see that there's a-

I believe it's a 33 degree-hat on here so when you install this rivet

it'll be flush with the material. These are installed in a lot of things like

tracks that you're putting a rail in or something along that you just don't

want any type of head sticking up. Then we have what we call multi grip rivets.

With multi grip, they're based upon increments of 2.

So a multi grip will go from a 4-2 to a 4-4 to a 4-6, so it'll cover three different lengths.

That's why they call them multi grip rivets.

A rivet is measured by the installation thickness of the material you're going

to be installing it in. So if you're installing two pieces of metal together,

to select the correct rivet, you need to measure the thickness of those two

materials together. At that point you would have the total amount of product

that you're going to be gripping to fasten together. When you receive your rivets,

don't take your tape measure and measure from this point to this point.

That's not gonna be correct. You're gonna find it's gonna be about an eighth of an inch

to 3/16 of an inch longer than what you purchased. So the correct way would be to

get one of these babies. This is called a rivet measuring tool.

To find the correct measurement that you want, measure a rivet so it has all

the sizes on the side here, which are the gauges, so they go from size three all

the way up to size eight. So I'm gonna try to stick it in the hole.

It won't go into a three but it goes right into a four. So we know it's diameter is a

number four and now we're going to be looking for length. It won't fit into this.

This is where you find out the length. So it's the second one.

It comes in right at 4-4. So this is a 4-4. The first 4 being

the diameter and the next four being the length. It can come in 4-2, 4-4, 4-6, 4-8, and so on.

All depending upon the amount of material you're going to be gripping.

That's basically how you measure a rivet. You do not measure a rivet with a ruler.

So I'm going to install several rivets. The first one I'm going to install is

this copper rivet with the standard rivet hand tool. Mandrel goes in to

the tool first, like this, all the way in. I'm going to place it...

I'm using a piece of structural steel this is just for demonstration. I pre-drilled the holes already.

Then you just put it in and you squeeze it until you get the snap.

That baby is installed.

This is a closed-end rivet.

I'm going to install one of these right now with the standard rivet gun.

Pushed it in...


One thing I would caution you on is to drill the correct sized hole for the rivet.

The rivet should have no slack when you drill a hole. It should be tight right

against the rivet. Actually you should force the rivet in place a little bit.

Should be like friction fit. I'm going to install now a white rivet.

I'll turn this around when I'm done later and you can see the finish and

the back. That's what you get after you pop the rivet. You get the broken mandrel.

It cuts the mandrel right off.

I'm going to install a black rivet-I'm sorry, a brown rivet.

You can see it's pretty easy. This is no force, you don't have to struggle with it.

This is stainless steel. A lot of people call me and they say:

"Hey Bob, is it harder to install stainless steel?" I'm gonna show you right now.

It's not harder it's the same thing. Snapped off; it's installed fine.

There's a little bit more resistance but you know it's not any different from other rivets.

This is the multi grip. I've never used one of these myself but here's the first time.

So it's double pull. It keeps pulling it in. You can see in the back here...there it goes.

So it's a double action. You have to push the lever twice.

I'm gonna twist this around for you so you can see the finished product.

That's the front. They're all finished. They're all in there very well. Then I'm going to show you the back.

That's the side that you wouldn't see. That's why they call them blind rivets.

Because you put them into a hole that you're trying to fasten two

pieces but you can't get to the back of it with a nut to try and hold a screw in,

so you use blind rivets instead. This is the perfect application.

There you go.


If it's spinning when you go to drill it out-there you go. Another way is take a piece of tape...

...push it on the surface...

...and then start your drilling. Go to the center and start your drilling.

I'm gonna check if it's gonna spin on me here-yep, there you go, spinning.

I'm gonna take a piece of duct tape. It'll even be better than blue tape if it's stubborn

and it wants to spin out on you; you can't get enough pressure on it. Take a piece of duct tape,

put that baby on there. Find the center...

...and out it goes. Take your duct tape off, and the rivet is gone.