RivNut Tool Suggestions

Started by tmsmini, November 29, 2022, 06:30:51 PM

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Depending on how big of rivets you are using, those squeeze style ones can be a real bear to get tight unless you have forearms like Popeye. They are better for constricted spaces though. The kind like harbor freight sells are easier to get tightened down so long as you have the room to maneuver it. https://www.harborfreight.com/10-in-professional-rivet-nut-setter-kit-58078.html

I don't own either, but have used both styles before and that is what I remember about them. I have access to a pretty expensive air powered one so that is the only kind I have used lately. Even those can have issues getting them good and tight some times, usually only on the larger fastener sizes though.


Whichever kit you go with get a kit with the most mandrels as you can. You never know what size you will want to use and you will not be able to but a just a single mandrel to fit the tool you buy. As stated above getting them good and tight can be a challenge. I have the side grip tool and had to drill out a few to replace when after I could not get them tight. The next tool will be the straight one with longer handles.


As has been stated the bigger the rivnut the more leverage you need. I have both of these tools from McMaster. The plier type works fine up to 5mm/#10 it will work with 6mm/1/4" but plan on reseting the tool so you can actually squeeze it. The lever type easily does 6mm/1/4" and larger. I did around (30) 1/4x20 stainless rivnuts on a boat project with my lever tool, once I had it set correctly it was easy. As Willie B stated get extra size mandrels.
On my mini I've used mainly 4mm and 5mm and maybe a couple 6mm. I did my grill attachments with 5mm and my visors with 4mm.




I have successfully used the plier type from Harbor Freight.  All I needed was a basic one - primarily for doing rivnuts instead of the dzus fasteners for the side covers on the white Moke I restored.

The trick I found was to use the rivnuts with the serrated collar like these:


On the larger rivnuts I've seen guys successfully just use a bolt of the correct thread and some nuts and washers to pull it in. I have the pliers style and it's barely functional for the smaller sizes - I was mostly doing 10-32 and it was difficult to get them fully set. I think it you're going to do it, get the long handles.....
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