Homemade Rivet Nut Tool | Homemade Rivnut Tool

June 5, 2020

After reading the article, you’ll be able to weigh your options of going the homemade, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) rivet nut tool route vs using the battle tested tools that Rivet Nut USA has provided for 35+ years.

By now, you have seen videos of a Homemade Rivet Nut, Rivnut® or Nutsert® Tool. While these DIY tools may work once, twice or even more times, in the long run, you are creating unnecessary risk of running into quality and performance problems. For certain, DIY tools do not offer the repeatability needed to create confidence in load bearing applications or the quality that production manufacturers demand to reduce the risk of field failure. This article will discuss some considerations regarding DIY tools.

In low, medium and high volume production settings – time is of the essence because time equals money. Are you really coming out ahead after spending time watching YouTube videos, then going to the hardware store to try and make a DIY tool?

Companies that make consumer products, especially products that come with a warranty, don’t want to worry about the ramifications of trying to save a couple bucks by using a DIY tool! Make the choice to either invest in proper tooling, or otherwise, consider increasing your warranty department budget.

Many DIY tools rely on some sort of serrated tooling surface that will “grab” the head of the rivet nut in place and keep the rivet nut from spinning during install. That serration is undesirable for several reasons:

  • The serrated edge will remove the plating from the rivet nut, causing rust to set in prematurely. Rust = Bad. Enough said.
  • The serration will damage the head of the rivet nut. A damaged head reduces the performance of the rivet nut and increasing risk of field failure do to pull out, or push in, performance issues down the road.

Other Issues that could be Created by Using a DIY Homemade Nutsert® Tool are:

  • Unable to Install High Quality, Heavy Duty, Steel or Stainless Steel Rivet Nuts.  The most common feedback of DIY tools (or, similarly, plastic tools made overseas) are they “work okay for aluminum, small threaded rivet nuts”.  However, when that same DIY tool is asked to install a heavy duty rivet nut, then the feedback is more like, “the threads stripped out as it didn’t have enough torque to upset a steel or larger threaded rivet nut, and my arms hurt from torquing so much”.  These homemade tools require some serious forearm strength, and beads of sweat down the forehead, when upsetting larger thread sizes that are steel or stainless.  The homemade tools generally do better with low quality rivet nuts, that are generally thinner bodied and made overseas, which is a shame because the user is forced to use a low quality fastener in their application for the purpose of saving money on the tooling.
  • Not Fully Engaging All of the Rivet Nut Threads during installation. Thread damage can occur due to uneven, or “unfair”, install load is being applied to only the top threads and not engaging the bottom threads. Ultimate Thread Strength will be reduced if threads are damaged during the install process. Did that Youtube video of a DIY’er confirm that the tool engaged all the internal threads of the rivet nut?
  • Creating an Improper Forming of the Rivet Nut Bulge on the blindside, or back side, of the application. An uneven or half-baked bulge will facilitate premature failure via the rivet nut spinning, pulling out, pushing out, being cockeyed and affecting the attachment from achieving a flush profile, or some other failure. We’ve seen so many types of failures due to not having a proper bulge on the backside. An improperly set bulge will create poor performance issues right away, or worse, sometime in the future – which can cause catastrophic field failures. In that YouTube video, do they show that a proper bulge was created?  Even worse, if you do not have access to visually review that the backside bulge is fully formed, which is the case in many applications, will you be comfortable enough to place your trust in a DIY tool?   Here’s a comment in a chatroom we found about this issue, “If you need to unbolt whatever you fastened using the rivnut, [a homemade tool] will end up spinning the rivnut much sooner than if you use the [proven] regular tool.”
  • Difficult to Use DIY tools aren’t necessarily easy to use, or intuitive to use. You are forced to place your trust in someone’s YouTube video or an abbreviated chatroom post?  Proven tools come with proven work instructions, that have been tested and updated for years/decades.
  • Less Wearability Many DIY tools are made from non-hardened, non-plated steel hardware that can be found from components at a Home Depot, at the bottom of your toolbox or similar. These metals are generally soft and will wear and rust quickly.  A broken tool will likely lead to an incomplete or improper install, and a bad install will likely lead to premature quality or performance issues.

Unless you are a tooling engineer, avoid DIY tooling and rather place your trust in the proven tools that Rivet Nut USA has been providing for 35+ years. Proven tools are easy to use, come with proven instructions on how to use the tool, and come with proven backend customer support should you have a question. You’d be surprised about how affordable Rivet Nut USA’s tooling is! Don’t chance future field failure in the name of saving a few bucks today!

Rivet Nut USA is the premier distributor of handheld, pneumatic and hydraulic rivet nut tools. Options for low, medium and high volume are available. Rivet Nut USA offers AFFORDABLE rivet nut tooling that is battle tested, reliable, dependable, lasts for years with proper care, is made of the highest quality materials (i.e., hardened steel, plated, etc…) and, are made for repeat rivet nut installations whether you are at home or at work. Rivet Nut USA’s pneumatic tools can also be easily repaired by our technicians, so you won’t have to throw away your tool if it needs a repair!

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Save yourself the hassle of going the DIY rivet nut tool route. Trust us when we say, we’ve seen it all. It’s best to contact Rivet Nut USA (a division of Cardinal Components, Inc.) today for a quote on high quality rivet nut, or nutsert, installation tools!