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How to open rivets

Updated February 21, 2017

Pop rivets are essential components in sheet metal work. They are found in computer components, on cars and boats, in many gutter systems and in carports. Pop rivets are most commonly used to fasten two pieces of metal together, but they can also be used to fasten other materials. When a repair is necessary, a pop rivet may need to be removed. Removing a pop rivet is an easy process that can be accomplished with a simple grinder or hand drill.

Grind off the back of the rivet using a metal hand grinder.

Pull the rivet from the hole if it does not fall out on its own. This method removes the rivet cleanly. The hole will remain the original size, so the repairs can be made and a new rivet installed.

Drill out the head of the rivet with a drill if the back of the rivet cannot be easily reached. The rivet will fall out, but this removal method may enlarge the original hole that was drilled to install the rivet.

Things You'll Need

  • Grinder or hand drill
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About the Author

Chasity Goddard has been writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction since 1996. Her work has appeared in "Backspace" magazine, "Sepia Literary Magazine" and the "Plowman Press." Goddard holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a specialization in women's studies from the University of Tennessee.