How to Use Blind Rivets

how to use blind rivets

This how to use blind rivets guide will compare four different types of rivets:
1) Conventional blind rivets,
2) Exploding tri-fold, bulb type rivets,
3) Exploding peel rivets, and
4) our Ultimate multigrip rivets.
With color coded pros and cons for each type of rivet. Plus ratings of poor, fair, good, better and best to describe each of these rivet types.

How to use blind rivets comparison guide

Compare Rivet types application materials application thickness application Hole size Durable strength Safety concerns Easy to use Cost Back side clearance One size fits all Soft, rubber or plastic materials Technology
Conventional rivets Fair choice Fair choice Fair choice Fair choice Fair choice Good choice $ Lowest Good choice Poor choice Fair choice Circa 1940
Exploding,/bulb type /tri-fold aluminum rivets Fair choice Fair choice Fair  choice Fair choice Fair choice Good choice $$$$ Highest Good choice Fair choice Good choice Circa 1980
aDP’s Exploding   Peel rivets Good choice Better choice Best choice Better choice Fair choice Better choice $ moderate Better choice Better choice Good choice Circa 1990
aDP’s Ultimate Strength rivets Best choice Best choice Best choice Best choice Best choice Best choice $$ moderate Best choice Best choice Best choice Latest Innovations

Application materials?  (what is being riveted together): This how to use blind rivets guide offers both the rivet and the materials to be fastened will affect the ultimate joint strength. As a general rule, the rivet materials should have similar physical and mechanical properties as the materials to be fastened.

Conventional rivets Fair choice: Limited fit and function range. These rivets require consistent application conditions and should be used in like application materials. i.e. aluminum rivets in aluminum sheet, steel rivets in steel sheet. Aluminum/steel rivets in assorted application materials.
Exploding rivets, bulb-type, tri=fold aluminum rivets Fair choice: Limited ability to clamp and hold due to lower strength nail and/or only three point contact with blind side material. May not provide durability when used in applications where movement is present, such as vehicles, ATV’s, trailers, snowmobiles, etc.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Better choice: Outstanding ability to work in many materials and application conditions. Very user friendly, tight clamping and holding power. Works in rubber, plastic, fiberglass, steel and aluminum sheet.
aDP’s Ultimate strength rivets Best choice: Outstanding ability to work in many materials and application conditions. Very user friendly, durable clamp and holding in steel and aluminum sheet and won’t crack soft or brittle materials.

Total Application thickness?, How thick are materials being riveted?  What is the rivets Ability to pull and clamp multiple application layers together: Measure the total thickness of the materials to be joined. This determines the required “grip”of the rivet you select. Refer to the conventional blind rivet “Grip Range” chart, and select a rivet with a grip range that includes the work thickness required. Our Ultimate Rivets save you time and money because one rivet can replace up to SIX conventional rivet sizes. Review the how to use blind rivet information and you’ll fine our Ultimate multigrip rivets are typically the best rivet to use. This how to use blind rivets guide will usually exhibit the enhanced performance and advantages of the Ultimate rivets.

Conventional rivets Fair choice: Rivets have limited working range ability, often as little as 1/8″ variation or malfunction may occur.
Exploding, tri-fold, splitting type rivets Poor choice, somewhat limited working range variation (about 1/4″) as this type of rivet has limited material clamping range (only clamps half it’s length) as it folds in the middle of it’s length. Often will NOT pull multiple layers of application materials together. It’s tri-fold design only contacts application materials with three folds, leaving about 35% void of any fastening contact.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Very Good choice: Better ability to work in wider material thickness ranges from 1/8″ thin up to 5/8″ thick materials offers ONE size fastens all with it’s 1/2″ range variation, which is twice that of “exploding” rivets. This rivet begins clamping from it’s extreme back side length and pulls multiple layers, sheets of application materials tightly together.
aDP’s Ultimate strength rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to work from paper thin up to 5/8″ with XXL length. Great option for parts consolidation as our XXL length can replace up to SIX conventional sizes. This rivet clamps multiple sheets or layers of the application materials tightly together.

Hole size? (what drill & corresponding rivet diameter being used): Note how this how to use blind rivets guide itemizes the hole size. It can be very important when using conventional blind rivets. Too small a hole will, of course, make rivet insertion difficult. Too large a hole may reduce joint strength and/or will require using a “back-up” washer on the blind side. Over-sized holes also may cause the nail head to pull into the hole, which can cause “high nail breaks”. It is a critical practice to follow the hole size recommendations provided. Also, avoid burrs in and around the holes. Our Ultimate Rivets eliminate these concerns as their performance fills over-sized holes and never expose “high nail breaks”. Notice the how to use blind rivets guide will not rank any exploding rivets well for safety concerns are present. The how to use blind rivet guide will also rank conventional rivets low in this regard due to their sensitivity to over-sized holes.

Conventional rivets Critical and often requires use of “back-up” washers adding costs and annoying task of inserting the washer over the rivet’s blind side.
Exploding rivets, bulb-type, tri-fold Fair choice: Rivet will partially fill somewhat over-sized holes, however, only contacts three points leaving about 35% of the hole unfilled, open and not sealed, which often leads to loose, vibrating joints.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Better choice: Better ability to fill over-sized, worn, re-worked holes. This 3/16″ diameter rivet will expand to completely fill 1/4″ holes.
aDP’s Ultimate strength rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to completely fill over-sized holes by forming expanded layers on the blind side and avoiding high nail breaks

Durability & Strength: This how to use blind rivets guide will exhibit how strong and durable each rivet may be in your application. First determine the single-joint tensile and shear values required for the application. These are functions of total joint strength, fastener spacing, rivet material and diameter. Then refer to the “Shear” and “Tensile” columns on the product, (catalog) and select a blind rivet that provides the values required. The shear and tensile values listed in our catalog, and/or web site represent typical results. Actual application results may vary due to each applications conditions. aDP rivets are not certified for aerospace applications and such use is not recommended unless verification process is achieved.The how to use blind rivet guide will once again rank the Ultimate multigrip rivets as the best choice of this group for long lasting durability and strong joint strength. When reviewing this how to use blind rivets information keep in mind a great deal comes from real life applications.

Conventional rivets Fair choice consideration due to limited fit and function rage ability. These rivets can be reliable when rivet selection and applications are optimum and consistent for the rivet size and material selected. Less forgiving when exposed inconsistent conditions.
Exploding, tri-fold, bulb or spllitting type rivets Poor choice consideration due to limited hole fill, only three points leaving about 35% unfilled, and void of contact with rivet. Exploding rivets are NOT known for durability and often loosen up causing vibration, which leads to premature joint failure.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Better choice: Better ability to expand and fill oversized, worn, re-worked holes. This high alloy aluminum 3/16″ diameter rivet will expand to completely fill 1/4″ holes providing solid, durable joint strength.
aDP’s Ultimate strength rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to work in almost any material and 360 degree fill of application holes, providing optimum joint strength, and highly durable, mile after mile performance even on rough roads.

SAFETY: This how to use blind rivets guide will rate the finish side and exposed, or non- exposed blindside: Safety is a major concern, especially when both the front and back side of the rivet are exposed. The finish side (front) should be smooth with only the smooth rivet head exposed. The back side, when exposed, is preferred to have a rounded, sealed upset rivet footprint. Notice once again certain types of rivet may not rank high in the how to use blind rivets guide when it comes to safety.

Conventional rivets Fair choice: Due to potential of exposed nail above the finish side if oversized hole and/or if used in thin materials.
Exploding, tri-fold, splitting type rivets Poor choice: Consider potential of both the front and back side This rivet’s back side functions by leaving three split wings, exposing six sharp aluminum edges, which may cause finger cuts, rag snags, and collect mud on dirt tracks. In thin materials, the nail may stick out the finish side of the rivet
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Poor choice: Consider potential of back side. The back side Peeling action results in pedals of aluminum edges, which may cause finger cuts and rag snags.
Ultimate rivets BEST choice: Smooth front side rivet head with no concern for nail sticking out. Smooth back side shape leaves a rounded, sealed, joint.

Ease of use? User friendly rivet?: How easy it is to use and/or replace rivets. Many customers rate this as one of their top criteria and this how to use blind rivets guide provides the information. Frankly speaking, the Ultimate multigrip rivets are the easiest rivet to install and the user can do it with one hand and certainly doesn’t need help.

Conventional rivets Fair choice when application conditions are within rivet’s limited range. Often requires back-up washer, which ads costs, time and labor. Can be difficult to drill out as nail presents drilling difficulty.
Exploding, tri-fold,  type rivets Good choice when application conditions are within rivet’s range. Can be difficult to drill out as nail presents drilling difficulty.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Very Good choice with it’s wider application conditions working range, which is at least twice that of the Exploding type tri-fold rivet. Nail can be popped out with punch leaving only aluminum for easy drill-out.
aDP’s Ultimate rivets Best choice: Very easy to use, “you can’t make this rivet fail!” Easy to drill out as drill never touches nail, only aluminum rivet head. Fail proof performance and true “One Rivet fastens all” technology.

Cost?: How much money will each type of rivet cost? Also consider your total cost which includes installation, rework and labor. Review the how to use blind rivets information for help determining the best, easy to use and long lasting rivet type so you only have to install it once. Notice the costs ($) rankings within this how to use blind rivets guide.

Conventional rivets $ Least expensive rivet. However, added cost for back-up washers
Exploding, tri-fold, splitting type rivets $$$$ Highest cost rivet
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets $ moderate cost, about 40% LESS than “exploding” rivets, plus save back up washer cost. Lowest total cost via ease of use and long lasting durability. A “do it right once” riveting option.
aDP’s Ultimate rivets $$ moderate cost, about 30% LESS than “exploding” rivets, plus save back up washer cost. Lower total cost via ease of use and long lasting durability. A “do it right once” riveting option.

Blind Side Clearance; Room to allow full insertion and back-side formation: This is the distance from the underside of the rivet head to the end of the mandrel before setting minus the total thickness of the materials being fastened. Design must permit enough blind side clearance to allow complete insertion before set, (depth) and enough width for the after set swelling. It is always important to have the rivet fully inserted into both the tool and the application before the setting action, swelling occurs. This how to use blind rivets guide also provides good application practices as noted above.

Conventional rivets Good choice: When used within it’s limited grip range, however when used at or below it’s minimum grip range it’s blindside sticks up.
Exploding, tri-fold, bulbex type rivets Fair choice: When used within it’s limited grip range, however after set form sticks up higher than other rivets and requires considerably more blind side clearance than others. This type of rivet requires more back side space and leaves a higher footprint or protrusion.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Very Good choice: provides outstanding ability to clamp materials together while it’s expanding peel action pulls application materials tightly together leaving a lower shape.
Ultimate rivets BEST choice: provides outstanding ability to clamp materials together while compressing itself against the blind side leaving a lower shape

Tool Compatibility, and Clearance: With few exceptions, most Tools and rivets are designed to industrial fastener standards and universally compatible. However, depending on the country of origin, standards may not be worldwide. Both our rivets and tools are designed to U.S. standard specifications. Clearance: Avoid obstructions that will prevent the tool from setting flush on the work, and/or the rivet be fully inserted into the tool. If this problem can’t be avoided, try reversing the rivet and setting it from the opposite side. One size fits all option: Why buy and/or inventory more than one rivet if it can do it all? This how to use blind rivets guide may lead you in that direction as well because the Ultimate multi-grip rivets have the best ratings.

Conventional rivets Poor choice: These rivets have a limited working range, only 1/8″
Exploding rivets Fair choice: These rivets have a limited working range, only 1/4:
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Very Good Choice: 3/16″ rivet works from 1/8″ thin up to 5/8″
Ultimate rivets Best Choice: 3/16″ XXL length works from paper thin up to 5/8″

Edge Clearance, (where to drill holes): For better joint strength, position the rivet centerline to the edge of a sheet should not be less than twice the rivet diameter. I.E. for a 3/16″ diameter rivet, x 2 =3/8″ minimum distance from edge of sheet to center of drilled hole. Where joint strength is not critical, this dimension can be reduced, however it is preferred the head of the rivet be no less than 1/32″ from the edge of the sheet being riveted. Adverse application conditions (Thick and/or Thin, or soft and/or firm): Hint, wherever possible, the blindside material should be the thicker, and or firmer material. If this isn’t possible, you may need a blindside back-up washer for desirable results.The how to use blind rivets guide will rank Ultimate multi-grip rivets better as they often do not require back up washers.

Conventional rivets Fair choice: Limited ability to perform in adverse application conditions
Exploding, tri-fold, bulbex type rivets Fair choice: fair ability to clamp soft or thin materials, however may not pull together multiple layers and leaves about 30% unfilled, and void of contact with rivet. In thin materials, the nail may stick out the finish side of the rivet causing safety snag, hand injury concerns.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Very Good choice, with it’s ability to perform in many materials and 360 degree fill of application holes, and oversized, worn holes, which provides tightly clamped, durable joint strength
Ultimate rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to work in almost any material and 360 degree fill of application holes, which provides optimum joint strength without any nails sticking out the finish side or the rivet.

Tubing: This common application is found in many applications where ever flat or contoured sheets are fastened to tube frame construction. This is a classic blind application as in most cases, the rivet is inserted thru the sheet and into a hole in the tube, which is a sealed. For best results, use rivets which provide the maximum blind side footprint to achieve optimum joint strength and rigidity. Again, the how to use blind rivets guide ranks the Ultimate multi-grip rivets well for this scenario.

Conventional rivets Critical design consideration due to limited Blindside footprint size
Exploding, tri-fold, bulbing type rivets Less critical, good ability to spreading blindside footprint, HOWEVER if the tube I.D. doesn’t allow for the blindside spreading the result may be a weak joint with limited holding.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Less critical, good ability to spreading blindside footprint,  If the tube I.D. doesn’t allow for the full blindside peeling the result may still be good as the peeling action will continue and curl upon itself.
aDP’s Ultimate rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to work in almost any material and 360 degree fill of application holes, which provides optimum joint strength without any nails sticking out the finish side or the rivet.

Plastic, Rubber and Brittle, acrylic Materials: Will rivets crack or deform them? The how to use blind rivet guide will rank each type of rivet and what you can expect from each.

Conventional rivets Fair choice: limited ability to perform in these materials. Hole size is critical and back-up washer may be needed
Tri-fold, Exploding bulbing type rivets Better choice with ability to clamp soft materials by its spreading back side shape, however only three points contact leaving about 30% unfilled, and void of contact, which often loosen yielding poor joint strength. These rivets may not provide long lasting durability.
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Good choice, Will work in many materials without marring the surface or causing cracks in lexan, acrylic or plastic. These rivets will provide long lasting joint strength and durable results.
Ultimate rivets BEST choice, outstanding ability to work in almost any material without marring the surface of causing cracks in lexan, acrylic or plastic. These rivets will provide long lasting joint strength and durable results.

Technology: This how to use blind rivets offers a time line for each rivet type. It may not be advantages to stick with “old faithful” when the latest technology provides superior performance and better durability. The how to use blind rivets guide helps you make the choice.

Conventional rivets Circa 1940: Reliable, low cost fastener for many decades continues on
Exploding rivets Circa 1980: popularity fading due to poor durability Expensive $$$$
aDP’s Exploding Peel rivets Circa 1990: Reliable, moderate cost fastener for many decades continues on due to it’s wide range of use and ability to clamp tight.
Ultimate rivets Newest technology provides “fail-proof” performance. No other rivet comes close. Offers costs savings prices with “one size fits all” design feature.

How rivets work: The material to be fastened together has a hole drilled (see recommended holes sizes in our downloadable catalog) through all the materials. With conventional rivets is strongly suggested the back-side or blind side material has the recommended hole size. The rivet is either fully inserted into the hole, OR fully inserted into the nose piece of the rivet tool, and then fully inserted into the application hole. In either case, it is important the rivet is fully inserted into the application hole and the rivet tool is fully against the head of the rivet BEFORE activation the rivet tool’s setting trigger. The rivet is “set” by the tools “jaws” gripping into the “nail” and pulling it into the tool, thus causing the “nail” head to bulge the rivet body blindside and clasp the materials together. The “nail” then breaks at a predetermined location once the strength required to “set” the rivet are reached. The tool with the broken or spent nail is now free from the “set” rivet and the nail is discarded. Our how to use blind rivets guide with our Cordless Rivet Tools. A blind rivet is a two piece assembly containing a “rivet body” and the setting “nail” (also referred to as “mandrel”). High speed wire forming machines, (headers), form solid wire into both the “rivet body” and/or “nail”.

The success of any fastener also depends on how well it’s applied. All brands of blind rivets, which are made to the IFI-114 guidelines are included. Blind Rivets are multi-piece rivet assemblies, capable of being installed from one side of the work piece. They are referred to as, “blind rivets” because you don’t have to see or have access to the back side of the application. Blind rivet application opportunities are countless as they offer lower cost per unit, and lower labor and installation costs. Blind rivets are easy to use and eliminate many ergonomic and technical concerns other fasteners present. Once a blind rivet is “set”, it won’t torque loose as many threaded fasteners do.This how to use blind rivets guide and comparison may enhance you riveting knowledge and help you select the best rivet for your specific application. This how to use blind rivets guide provides application descriptions and considerations depending on the type of rivet selected. A comparison of each rivet type is ranked within the how to use blind rivets guide. Specifically, this how to use blind rivets guide will itemize application materials, and condition, soft or hard? It makes a difference, and each type of rivet may perform different in soft or hard materials. What is the total thickness of what you will be riveting? This how to use blind rivets guide will rank each type of rivet and how sensitive they are to application thickness. Another important application condition is the hole size the rivet will be inserted into? The how to use blind rivets guide will offer the pros and cons of each type of rivet and how they may perform depending on the hole size. User friendly rivets is an important feature and this how to use blind rivets guide will point out which type of rivet is better than the others. This how to use blind rivets guide ranks each type of rivet for each of the application conditions. Safety is also an important characteristic and this how to use blind rivets guide rates each rivet type. Looking for durability, this how to use blind rivets guide will note which type of rivet will offer the best durability. The best rivet installation should be simple and this how to use blind rivets guide will rate each rivets function and rank aDP Rivet’s exclusive “one size rivets all” as the best for it’s simplicity. The back or blind side of the application is also a worth mentioning topic and this how to use blind rivets guide offers the details. How new or old is the each type of rivets Technology?   Take advantage of the latest technology improvements as they will provide superior performance. Please note how to use blind rivets guide provides the technology ratings for each rivet type. If you’re wondering how rivets work, this how to use blind rivets guide provides lots of useful and helpful information. The action videos brings real life situations to your screen and makes the how to use blind rivets guide more appealing. This may be the most informative how to use blind rivets guide on the net. We believe it’s important to provide customers with helpful information and this how to use blind rivets guide provides all the information you need to choose what type or types of rivets work best for you. Please utilize the following how to use blind rivets guide and comparison when choosing what type of rivet works best for you. This how to use blind rivets guide is our epicenter for informing customers what to expect for the rivet type you currently use or what may work better for you. For applications where tamper resistance is needed, Watch our “how to” video for Rivet Mates, two-piece compression rivets for material thickness up to 2″.