The Best rivet gun is the one that handles any specific task that’s indented for depending on rivet compatibility, rivet materials, handles, weight, and the user’s experience with ease of use and safety features. Additionally, it should be well within your budget.
So, you’ve decided to buy a rivet, but you find it difficult to choose – a reasonable dilemma. A buyer has the right to know which brands are reliable, which types of rivet guns are available, and what to know before purchasing one.
#Best Overall: Astro Pneumatic Tool 1442 Hand Rivet Gun (weight-3 lbs, rubber-coated handles, highly user-friendly and Interchangeable )
Here in this guide, we sifted through all of the rivet guns available in the market and made our decisions on the ones that best suit the needs of a contractor, carpenter, or just a regular Joe. Besides, we will share how to select the most suitable one for your needs and safety and jobsite-focused features.
What is the Rivet Gun?
Before you go into our breakdown of the top rivet guns, first let’s be clear on our wanted tool. What is it? And, what does it do? There has to be many beginners, DIY enthusiasts reading this.
Informally known as a riveter, or pneumatic hammer, a rivet helps fasten two materials together without adhesives or welding. It is a must-have tool for any industry, such as automotive, aerospace, furniture, construction, etc. It doesn’t require any special skill or tool, hence a DIY enthusiast can fix their bike, boat, and many other things at home!
The Top 10 Rivet Guns
After more than 250 hours of research and tests of more than 40 tools, we’ve compiled the finest rivet guns for any industry. To put together these 10 recommendations, we’ve consulted five carpenters with a combined experience of 35 years. Plus, three leading essential tool experts oversaw the whole reviewing.
With everyone’s effort combined, we’ve settled on the very best!
Here they are:
- 1. Milwaukee Electric Tools 2550-20 M2 Rivet Tool
- 2. Astro Pneumatic Tool PR14 Air Riveter
- 3. Shiningeyes S50 Professional Hydraulic Gun
- 4. Astro Pneumatic Tool 1442 Hand Rivet Gun
- 5. TEKTON 6555 Rivet Gun
- 6. Dorman 743-100 Rivet Gun
- 7. Stanley MR100CG Contractor Grade Riveter
- 8. Tacklife HHR1A POP Rivet Gun
- 9. Marson 39000 HP-2 Professional Hand Riveter
- 10.Astro 1423 Rivet Gun
Now, let’s check out what our experts have to say about the products.
Best Rivet Guns Reviews
Designed for a variety of professional and domestic tasks alike, the Milwaukee M12 (2550-22) is one of the easiest rivet guns you’ll ever work with! Easy to grip, remarkably powerful and extremely versatile, the Milwaukee rivet gun is one of a kind!
Comfort: Using the Milwaukee M12 (2550-22) is a pure joy, not only for its convenient features, but also for its high user comfort standards. In testing, our carpenters found the gun comfortable to hold and easy to work with.
Weighing approximately 4.8 pounds, it’s highly unlikely to experience trouble even when tackling the longest projects. This product belongs to Milwaukee’s M12 lineup, and the grip is made with the rubber common with other M12 tools. The grip fits any hand cozily, so you will enjoy optimum advantage.
Performance: Making tough joints with this riveter will be a piece of cake. We’ve used the Milwaukee M12 (2550-22) on a variety of projects, such as fastening metal roofing, number plates, and joints through sheeting. And, the tool proved impressively powerful on pulling and riveting.
In terms of pull, it can deliver a solid 2,000 lbs. force. Versatile in handling rivets, you can pull rivets of 4 sizes, with the largest one making 1/8”. Since it’s a battery-powered tool, we had to recharge it first. On a full charge, we were able to pull almost 430+ 1/8” steel rivets.
Design: The ergonomic design of the Milwaukee M12 (2550-22) will let you work for an extended period of time. As a result, you’re highly unlikely to find yourself aching with lengthy renovation projects.
The assembly of the Milwaukee looks and feels solid, so it will stand the test of time, no doubt about that. There’s an LED light on the base for added convenience. The tool is only 6.5” long, the most compact cordless tool we’ve tested. Length matters when you need access to tight spaces.
Besides, We absolutely love the fact it comes with a belt clip. This allows you to carry the rivet gun on your side.
- Small footprint
- Pulls rivets of all standard lengths
- Great with stainless steel rivets
- Compartment to catch rod
- Saves muscle effort by over 50%
- Charger and batteries are sold separately
Stepping up the game in terms of both performance and power is the Astro PR14. Whether you’re a carpenter, or a contractor, you’ll benefit from Astro PR14. For an extensive variety of nosepieces, the Astro PR14 is one of the best industrial-grade pneumatic rivet gun we’ve worked with.
Power: For handling large-scale projects, there’s no alternative to a powerful tool. In this case, the Astro PR14 is a heavyweight. Deriving its power from air compressor, the PR14 is able to screw steel rivets into the metal sheets with extraordinary precision.
Design: Thanks to the long nosepiece of the PR14, riveting at different angles is made easy and possible. Delivering air pressure between 90 and 120 psi, it allowed us to install tough steel joints between metal sheeting effortlessly. For handling aluminum-made rivets, we had to reduce pressure as the optimal pressure required shouldn’t exceed 100 psi.
Industrial-Grade: Industrial tasks are unlike others’. For collision repairing, restoration, custom fabrication etc. you will need both the skill and perfect tool to handle this diverse range of jobs. An air riveter is considered as one of the most efficient options in the industry. Having used the Astro PR14 on automotive wielding and fabrication, we realized how decisive it was to get the job done quickly.
Versatility: Handling tough rivets, from 3/32 to 1/4-inch, was a piece of cake with this amazing tool. The PR14 perfectly handles the rivets of 5 sizes, hence it could easily be an essential tool for any industry, such as automotive, aerospace, construction, furniture, etc.
Maneuver: Maneuvering with this pneumatic rivet gun is super easy. Compared with other air riveter guns, the Astro PR14 is fairly lightweight. It weighs merely 3.5 lbs. If you need to clamp something over your head, you can do it without aching with hand fatigue.
- Solid build
- Great on all size rivets
- Clamps dense metal sheets
- Perfect for automotive, construction industry
- Working in tight spaces can be tricky with the long nosepiece
Shiningeyes S50 is one of the best air riveters you can buy right now. We’ve come to this conclusion after using this heavy duty rivet gun for over 1,000 rivets. Of all the features, I duly want to note its great performance and comfort. However, its accessories and instructions left us with a bad experience.
Air Riveter: Arguably air riveter is one of the most important automotive tools found in a shop. Practical in the extreme, the Shiningeyes S50 is perfect for a large project. Since the tool relies on an air compressor to function, it will deliver efficient riveting and long-term performance.
Performance: The Shiningeyes S50 operates at a pressure optimal for this kind of riveters. It delivers air pressure between 80 and 120 psi. As usual, we keep a minimum of air pressure (80 to 100 psi) when working with rivets made of aluminum. But, we can quickly switch to the highest pressure when needed, especially when working with steel rivets.
Ease of Use: When you have to repeat action of popping rivets, you may find it quite boring and exhausting as well. The S50 has an innovative design for those repetitive popping actions. Its trigger is designed ergonomically for ease in popping rivets. Weighing at 2.9 lbs, it’s lightweight in the extreme.
Design: The design may look pretty basic, but the tool is effective in equal measures. It includes four interchangeable nosepiece sets – 3/16”, 5/32”, 1/8”, 3/32”. We love how easy it is to change its nosepieces. With the variety of nosepieces comes efficiency in handling variety of nails.
- Gets into tight spaces
- Interchangeable nosepieces
- Great with different rivet sizes
- Doesn’t have tip for 1/4-inch
Next in line comes another quality product from Astro, the Astro Pneumatic Tool 1442. This is a pneumatic tool, thus it offers enough pressure and force when riveting. Astro is one of the renowned names in the rivet gun industry.
Rivet Nuts: The feature that makes the Astro Pneumatic 1442 different from most others is rivet nuts. With rivets nuts, it can be even more powerful. Just its applications in attaching and detaching different parts in household items show its worth.
Performance: I used this tool to fix many parts of a road bike, including its front derailleur mount. It was possible because this Hand rivet gun was compatible with rivet nuts.
The Pneumatic 1442 can handle M4, M5, and M8 metric rivet nuts. Besides, you can work with ¼-20, 5/16-18, ad 0-24 SAE nuts. Overall, you got a complete package, representing a great choice for all people dabble in off-road driving and car turning.
Design: Weighing at just 3 lbs, the Astro Pneumatic 1442 is highly user-friendly. Its innovative design allows you to easily change mandrels and nosepieces without any tool. Designed and manufactured with ergonomics in mind, you will find this tool comfortable in the extreme.
Handles: The rubber-coated handles won’t tire your hands. We’ve heard issues of riveters jamming due to mandrel rotating when tightening. With the spring-loaded hex integrated with this tool, you can say goodbye to this issue – for good!
- Interchangeable rivets
- Ease of use
- Great with different nosepieces
- Flimsy construction
It’s sometimes the saying “You get what you pay for” doesn’t ring true. Choose this highly affordable and reliable rivet gun if you don’t want to break the bank. Powerful enough to handle even the biggest challenges, the all-steel TEKTON 6555 means business.
Performance: Depending on the situation, you can use the TEKTON 6555 for pretty much every purpose. In our testing, we didn’t have any problem installing joints between metal sheeting. This proved very invaluable in constructions or modifications without any issue.
Versatility: Whether you’re a contractor, carpenter, or just a DIYer, the TEKTON 6555 is the perfect option for you. It’s highly versatile and reliable for reparation or installing new joints. Ranging from 3/32” to 3/16”, the rust-proof aluminum rivets come with the package. So, no matter what the situation is, you can depend on the TEKTON 6555.
Build: When a tool feels good, you’ll feel good working. The TEKTON 6555 is all-steel build. Besides, it shines black-wrinkle finish that is to protect the tool in the long run. Durable enough, surprisingly lightweight (1.55 lbs), the whole unit comes together quite nice!
Convenience: When you a large number of rivets to pop, you need a handle that you will feel comfortable working with. The TEKTON 6555 features a non-slip handle that you’d never like letting go of. For this reason, our carpenters loved working in different situations with this tool without feeling fatigue.
- Solid build
- Storage compartment
- Issue with the jaws
Solid, easy to use, and comfortable in the extreme – the Dorman 743 -100 is the rivet gun for DIYers who want to install high-quality joints. This product offers multiple advantages, including efficient results and a seamless operation.
Beginner-Friendly: In the right place and at the right time, a rivet gun can save the day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to handle a few tasks around the home, no toolbox is complete without a rivet gun. The Dorman 743-100 is one such tool without which your toolbox won’t be complete. Even for my personal use, this is my go-to tool.
Versatile: The Dorman 743-100 is an awesome little gun that is light and straightforward to use for domestic applications. It covers a variety of standard-size rivets (10 each). The versatile rivet sizes will prove useful when you’re clamping different materials.
Performance: I used the Dorman 743-100 to replace a window regulator on a Ford F150. The task required a powerful tool to install Stainless Steel rivets. And, it was piece of cake to drive all four rivets – took only two pumps.
Design: It even comes with five interchangeable nosepiece sets with the largest one making 1/4”. Changing nosepieces was effortless. Different nosepieces are necessary for working with different nails.
Note that you have to pay close attention to the sizes. Choose nosepieces according to the rivet sizes. Choose the wrong nosepiece and you’ll not only damage the gun, but also destroy the project.
- Extremely versatile
- Functions smoothly
- Moving joints can get jammed. Use lubrication if they do.
The Stanley MR100CG is well-suited to professional riveting. Designed particularly for marine applications, Stanley rivet gun will make installing stainless steel rivets a piece of cake. This tool is built to tackle even the heaviest construction jobs.
Quality: Contractors need to handle bigger and larger projects. For this reason, they need a tool they can trust. This quality tool from the reliable brand, Stanley, is an awesome riveter that is light and simple to use for professional applications.
Design: The Stanley MR100CG comes with a comfortable long handle that is easy to squeeze when riveting. You’ll certainly be able to pop a few hundred rivets without fatigue.
Build: Instead of including any kinds of unnecessary design elements, this product keeps things simple. It’s purpose-built in the extreme. The durability of this tool comes from rugged and die-cast metal construction. You can expect it to last.
Performance: Although the Stanley MR100CG is built for professional tasks, you can use it to handle small tasks as well. This tool should handle everything from fixing your kids’ broken toys to constructing large crafts. In our testing, we replaced the ribbon on a ’85 Corvette and attached a slip-on rocker panel. The MR100CG was up to the task. It covers a variety of Steel, Aluminum, Stainless rivets, including 1/8”, 3/32”, 5/32”, 3/16”.
- Handles different rivets
- Great with stainless steel rivets
- Flimsy handle
- Jamming issue
What is the best pop rivet gun? Designed for a wide range of construction and repair jobs, the Tacklife HHR1A is a favorite pop rivet gun to many professionals and DIYers. Large and durable enough to handle even the toughest joints, you can easily trust this product for your riveting needs.
Build: Even at first glance, you can be sure that the Tacklife HHR1A means business. In terms of appearance and build quality, the Tacklife HHR1A is quite the champion. Designed with middle-grade 1.8mm thick steel from the ground up, you can drive this thing into anything in the world, and it won’t quit. Complemented by black wrinkle finish, it will sure stand the test of time.
Performance: The Tacklife HHR1A is a professional-grade pop rivet gun. But, DIYers can use this to fix their bike, motorbike, or car. In our testing, we attached a license plate bracket to my Ford F150 with this tool. And, we were satisfied. Since the gun comes with 4 different sizes of rivets, popping a few rivets on door hinges was successful too.
Beginner-Friendly: Even if you don’t have much experience using a rivet, you can get the hang of it pretty quickly! Just apply a bit of pressure and job’s all done!
- Solid build
- 4 different sizes of rivets
- Stems sometimes get stuck
The Marson 39000 HP-2 is probably the best hand riveter out there. Marson’s website lists the product as the #1 selling hand riveter in the industry. Having used the tool for 5 months, I understand they weren’t exaggerating.
Build: One of our carpenters humorously quipped that this riveter is built like a tank. The Marson 39000 HP-2 is manufactured using aluminum alloy for guaranteed durability and quality. It’s particularly built for steel and stainless rivets, is expected to last a lifetime. Weighing only 1 pounds, the Marson is incredibly lightweight.
Performance: Having used this tool on restoring a vintage Mercedes, we can safely say that the Marson 39000 HP-2 is sure to exceed your expectations – big time! The hand riveter will work great, unless you use the wrong size chuck. This rings true for all guns reviewed here. So, make sure you put the correct size in.
Versatility: This tool has you covered for popping aluminum and steel rivets from 3/32 inch to 3/16 inch. Besides, handling tough steel joints, you can install stainless steel joints up to 5/32 inch.
Our carpenters popped almost 500 rivets with this tool. And, it never disappointed us. We also tested a couple of other hand riveters. Unfortunately, popping a 3/16 with them was a long shot. But, the Marson 39000 HP-2 proved why it’s the best-selling hand riveter.
Design: The Marson 39000 HP-2 has a hand-feel of quality. A particularly comfortable grip certainly won’t be anything like you’ve touched before. Handles have vinyl cushion-molded to offer extremely comfortable grip. To maximum strength, the Marson has the upper handle drip-forged.
- Highly reliable
- Comfortable grips
- Substandard chain
- Doesn’t come with complimentary rivets
For the third time, Astro is making headlines on this page! Astro is definitely one of the most respected brads in the US. And, it keeps getting better! This versatile, powerful gun comes with jobsite-proven, exceptional leverage. The Astro 1423 is definitely one of the finest rivet guns you can get right now!
Build & Technology: Being 40% shorter than other rivets in the market, you will have outside leverage in covering hard-to-reach areas. Think of specialized body repair work, just count how many tough areas you have to cover.
The Astro 1423 Heavy-Duty, in this regard, is a lifesaver! It has a small design. This design will make you forget the bad experience you had with riveting in congested areas, while keeping you safer with double compound hinges.
Performance: The small design is not compromising on power in any way though – installs a ¼ inch rivet effortlessly. You’ll appreciate the geared mechanism, which delivers outstanding results and limits mistakes. In our testing, we’ve put its five different-sized rivets to use.
We appreciated the ¼-inch ones in particular, since not many guns in the market have this option. The other four rivet sizes were 1/8”,5/32”, 3/16”, and 6mm. These interchangeable rivets were useful in renovating a sailboat. The sailboat had aluminum rivets, which didn’t hold the ladder steps of the mast much longer.
So, I had to replace them with stainless steel rivets. Popping those rivets was effortless. Thanks to its unique compound hinge design for advantage. Here’s a hack you can do with this tool: hold the rivet vertically after riveting and reload, then keep it vertically to open and close to drop shank.
Design: For a strong performance, you can definitely rely on this design. This design is actually Astro-patented. It features comfortable handles. However, the tool doesn’t grip the shank consistently. You have to take a couple of tries to pull one out. Additionally, the patented design reduces shock or recoil.
- Patented design
- Covers hard-to-reach areas
- Five kinds of rivet sizes
- Not accurate with catching shank, creates a mess
- Inconsistent gripping
Things to Consider When Buying a Rivet Gun
One of the main reasons we have written this buying guides is to help consumers sort through all of the rivets available in a given market. Markets just abound with these products that all promise to give the buyer the best bang for their buck. The rivet gun industry doesn’t have a different market.
While it’s fairly easy to operate this gun, there are still a number of things to consider before you buy a rivet. Check out these important features when shopping for a rivet:
Know Your Rivet
Do you want a blind rivet gun or a pneumatic one? If you don’t know the difference between them, somebody might catch you off guard.
There are multiple types of rivet guns. All serve different purposes. Below is a brief discussion on the most known types of rivets.
- Hand Riveter: A hand riveter requires only one hand with one strike to install rivets. This one comes in a small design and feels comfortable. You can use a hand riveter to handle small projects.
- Pneumatic Riveter: Requiring only one blow, a pneumatic riveter relies on compressed air to function. This one delivers accurate attachments and provides a comfortable experience.
- Pop/Blind Gun: This is the most popular riveter type. A pop rivet gun relies on gears and a little bit of hand-powered mechanism to function. You can use a pop riveter when your access is one-sided.
The construction material of a rivet determines how durable and reliable the product will be. Our experts prefer iron to any other material. An iron-made gun tends to be light and doesn’t compromise on strength.
Alternatively, you can choose guns made with iron and steel. But, they aren’t as durable.
A versatile rivet gun will be compatible with most rivet sizes. Usually, you can find sizes from 3/14” to 6/18” available. If you aren’t sure what size you will work with, pick a compatible and versatile gun.
Ease of Use
Ease and comfort are interrelated. A rivet gun that is comfortable to hold will be an absolute joy to use. For firm grip, the handles of the riveter are an important factor to consider. The rivet with rubber handles ensures a comfortable user experience. With rubber handles, you will enjoy optimum grip and maximum leverage.
Your rivet will be put to test when you are to install rivets in hard-to-reach areas. Size is interrelated to strength. If you need to handle a large project, go for a professional-size gun. Otherwise, a small design should be perfect for small projects where much strength isn’t required.
See, how to install and use
Safety Rules to Remember
Before starting to work with a rivet, it’s important to follow rules. Following these rules could prevent damaging your hand from the riveter, or breaking the riveter you’re working with. The most useful safety rules when riveting are as follows:
- An instruction material will be the most useful in understanding your newly purchased piece. Before using a riveter, read its respective manual.
- Never use a rivet near combustible or explosive materials. A heavy-duty rivet gun may spark that could fire up flammable materials.
- Wear necessary protective equipment, including hand, eye, and face protection. Safety work gloves and protection glasses are a must.
- Never point a rivet at animals, people, or yourself. A living being could sustain really dangerous or life-threatening injuries if the gun fires up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do you use a rivet gun for?
A: A rivet gun is used to drive rivets into metallic objects to attach them.
Q: How do I choose the right size rivet?
A: Generally, the diameter of the rivet should be at least three times the thickness of the objects being fastened.
For example, if you were to affix two 0.050-inch thick plates, the proper diameter would be 3*0.050 = 01.150 inch. In this case, a 5/32” (0.156 inch) rivet would be perfect
Q: How do blind rivets work?
A: Blind rivets are driven into a tight hole that crosses the two materials being riveted.
Q: Where are blind riveters used?
A: Blind riveters are mainly used in joints where access to the joint is one-sided.
Q: How thick can you rivet?
A: The length of the rivet should be equal to the thickness of two sheets you’re attaching.
Often at times, we give into the sensationalized ads of wrong tools. You can’t expect to get high-quality results from choosing the wrong tools. For you to derive superior results in your riveting projects, a quality rivet gun is what you need.
Remember, when choosing the best rivet gun, always prioritize your needs. Consider our experts’ recommendations, then go through useful tips discussed in the buyers guide section. Hopefully, you’ll be able to pick the perfect product for your needs.