Best Riveting Tool Set

July 22, 2013

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:

1/16" Long Reach Rivet Tool

#69-907 1/16″ Long Reach Piercing/Riveting Tool
— one end pierces; the other end sets 1/16″ rivets

1/16" Long Reach Reverse Rivet Flaring Set

#69-990 1/16″ Long Reach Reverse Rivet Flaring Set – for riveting tightly curved items, like rings and bangles

1/16" domed piercing base

#69-902 1/16″ domed piercing base — for piercing curved items

Fidget (hinged book pin) made with 1/16" eyelets and rivets

Fidget (hinged book pin) made with 1/16″ eyelets and rivets

Live with Intention - Cuff Bracelet (made with domed piercing base and reverse riveting accessory)

Live with Intention – Cuff Bracelet (made with domed piercing base and reverse riveting accessory)

Plus this combination for 3/32″ diameter rivets and eyelets:

Long Reach 3/32 Riveting Tool

#69-993 3/32″ Long Reach Piercing/Riveting Tool — one end pierces 3/32″ holes; other end sets 3/32″ rivets

3/32" Long Reach Reverse Rivet Flaring Set

#69-996 3/32″ Long Reach Reverse Rivet Flaring Set — for riveting tightly curved items, like rings and bangles

3/32" Domed Piercing Base

#69-905 3/32″ Domed Piercing Base — for piercing curved items

Cities in Bloom Bracelet

Cities in Bloom – etched bracelet with 3/32″ 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 also handy.

A swivel vise is nice; it holds the riveting tool (at any angle you want), keeping your hands free

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:

Color metal storage tins

Colorful metal storage tins for holding tiny rivets and eyelets — My favorite is the set of 20.

 

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

Short (1/16, 3/32, 1/8 and 5/32" long)

Short (1/16, 3/32, 1/8 and 5/32″ long)

Medium (3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 9/32 and 5/16")

Medium (3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 9/32 and 5/16″)

Long (11/32, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16 and 15/32" long)

Long (11/32, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16 and 15/32″ long)

1/16″ diameter eyelets

3/32″ diameter rivet assortments

Assorted 3/32" Rivets

Short (1/16, 3/32, 1/8 and 5/32″ long)

Medium 3/32" Rivet Assortment

Medium (3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 9/32 and 5/16″ long)

Long (11/32, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16 and 15/32" long)

Long (11/32, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16 and 15/32″ long)

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!

~Polly

Feel free to post questions below!

 

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