With 100s of rivets, eyelets, and related tools to pick from, the #2 riveting question I get is:
What are the best tools to easily
set both rivets and eyelets?
The answer depends on whether you want to rivet mostly leather, or mostly metal.
For leather, see my Riveting with TierraCast Leather Findings tutorial.
For metal and mixed media, the best set of riveting tools is…
This combination for 1/16″ diameter rivets and eyelets:
Plus this combination for 3/32″ diameter rivets and eyelets:
This list of riveting tools allows you to pierce 1/16″ and 3/32″ holes without having to trade piercing bases all the time, and easily set 1/16″ and 3/32″ rivets and eyelets on flat and sharply curved items.
If you plan on riveting only flat items, then skip the domed piercing bases and reverse riveting tools.
The Long Reach tools listed above allow you to rivet items from approximately 0.5mm to 11mm (1/32″ – 7/16″) thick. If you’re only going to work on thin items (up to about 6mm or 1/4″), you can save a few dollars by getting these tools in standard (original) length instead of long reach. (See the full list of Crafted Findings riveting tools. If something is out of stock, here’s a tip: You can use Long Reach accessories in the standard/original base, but you can NOT use standard accessories in the Long Reach base.)
Old-school wire riveting uses a different set of tools, which you can find here. But the question I’m answering in today’s blog is “What are the best tools to easily set both rivets and eyelets?”
Optional Nifty Gadgets:
A swivel vise is handy for holding the riveting tool at the angle of your choice, freeing your hands for slippery stacks of items to be riveted.
And I love these colorful little tins for storing assorted rivets and eyelets – I cut up the label that comes with my items, and I stick just the relevant info on the lid of the tin, so I know what length and diameter they are, and what stock number to re-order when I run low:
Which brings me to question #3:
What sizes of rivets and eyelets are best to start with?
Definitely the assortments — one of each size — because then no matter what new project you start, you’ll have the right length. The color choices are copper, brass, and aluminum. If it’s a toss-up for you, I recommend copper. It’s the easiest to polish or antique, and is a nice accent for any color of metal. Or brass, because all the eyelets are brass.
1/16″ diameter rivet assortments
1/16″ diameter eyelets
3/32″ diameter rivet assortments
3/32″ diameter eyelets
Oh, and the #1 riveting question is: What’s the difference between all these types of rivets and eyelets?
I hope this helps you pick the ideal riveting tools for the projects you have in mind!
Feel free to post questions below!