How to use pop rivet gun

Updated February 21, 2017

Rivets are fasteners, like nails and screws. Rivets themselves are smooth, metal cylindrical shafts with a head on one end and a buck-tail on the other.

To use, a rivet is placed through a hole (same size as rivet) drilled through two flat objects (usually metal). A tool is used to smash one end of the rivet, which expands to about one and a half times the width of the rivet, to hold the rivet in place and objects together.

There are many different types of rivets of different sizes, composition, and for various needs, from plastic to wood, as well as metal. The pop or blind rivet is the type used in this "how to".

Pop or blind rivets have a tubular shape with a mandrel through the centre. One end looks like a long nail. A special tool or gun is used to smash the rivet and cut off the long end.

Pop or blind rivets were invented by as Carl Cherry and Lou Huck. Before that time, it took two people to install rivets. Pop rivets can be used by individuals. They are called blind because they are installed from one side of the objects being connected.

These rivets are not as strong as other types of rivets. They are usually used for lighter tasks, which requires less strength and perpendicular weight loads.

Attach an 1/8" drill bit to drill.

Place one of the objects to be joined on top of the other object where you want them joined.

Clamp the objects firmly together.

Drill a hole through both objects.

Insert the long end of a pop rivet into the pop rivet gun.

Push the short, wide end of the rivet through the holes in both objects.

Squeeze the trigger of the pop rivet gun a few times until you hear and feel a pop. The gun has popped the mandrel end off of the pop rivet and the two objects are locked together.

Remove clamp from the objects.


The drilled holes need to be the same exact size as the pop rivet.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Drill bit 1/8" (or other size)
  • Pop rivet 1/8" (or other size)
  • Pop rivet gun
  • Two objects
  • Clamps
  • Work surface
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About the Author

John Gugie has been a freelance writer for a decade. His work is diverse, from editorials and research papers to entertainment, humor and more. He holds a degree in finance from Moravian College of Pennsylvania. He writes for several sites including Associated Content, Helium and Examiner.