Using Blind Rivets

Rivet Size

Blind rivets list a minimum and maximum grip. The maximum grip is the thickest combination of materials the rivet can properly hold together. The minimum grip is the point at which a shorter length rivet exists which can be used. For example, a rivet with a .250" minimum grip length can be used below that thickness but will leave more material than necessary on the blind side (1) than a properly sized rivet (2). In some cases this could interfere with other parts.

Long Rivet Longer Rivet
1 2

Multi-grip rivets compact down better and thus have wider grip ranges. Therefore, while more expensive, a few sizes can cover a wide variety of jobs.

Multi-grip Multi-grip Rivet Installed

For flat head rivets it is vital that the head of the rivet be completely within the top material being fastened.

Flat Head Installed Flat Head Rivet

Hole Size

Correct hole size is absolutely vital to obtaining maximum holding power from blind rivets. Even a small increase in hole size can result in drastically reduced holding power in both tension and shear.

  • Use the exact specified drill bit (click on a product number to find the bit size)
  • Be careful not to 'wobble' while drilling
  • Change bits often to avoid 'wobble' caused by dull bits
Strait Drill Drill wabble

YES

Correct

NO

Incorrect

Do Not Pull Material Together

Like many other fasteners blind rivets are not meant to pull materials together. Rather they should be used to fasten materials that are already temporarily clamped or otherwise held together. If you attempt to pull materials together using a blind rivet, the rivet can begin to expand between the materials as shown below. This is extremely difficult to correct as the rivet must be drilled out, any material remaining between the pieces removed, and a new larger rivet hole created as drilling out the rivet will result in a widening of the original hole.

YES

Correct

Correct Instalation Correct Instalation Step 2

NO

Incorrect

Incorrect Instalation Incorrect Instalation Step 2

 

Rivet Material

It is important to choose the correct rivet material for a given job. See the Materials Section on our About Blind Rivets page for details.