If you’ve taken your truck apart to any degree you’ll notice that there are inserts in the sheetmetal that make it easy to bolt on certain accessories or panels. There are called rivnuts and if you plan on doing more work to your vehicle you should add the tool that can apply these to your build. If you’ve read this blog before you’ve seen me use these from time to time in different applications… like here, here or here.
It’s called a RivNut Tool… they worked really hard on the naming. I own this one, which isn’t the best but it has gotten the job done. There are lots of versions and the cost ranges from $35-$250 depending on brand-name accessories and features. The inserts (usually standard and Metric) for different sizes of rivnuts come with most of the options below. The only real issue I’ve run into is the smaller the rivnut, and thread, the more likely you are to strip the threads out of the rivet.
If I were to do it again, I would probably buy the hand riveter. The one I have won’t reach anywhere you don’t have the width to open the handles all the way. I don’t have experience with drill riveters or pneumatic but I like that I can feel when the rivet is tightly secured and I don’t know how well I could do that with the last two.
So if you decide to purchase on of these, you’re going to have lots of parts and pieces laying around… inserts, screws, rivnuts and tools for removal. I would recommend purchasing a case to keep it all organized. I use this case, I have a bunch but this one is dedicated to my riveter.
Additionally, I use M6 the most on my truck. so I have learned to keep a surplus of rivnuts, screws and washers on hand. This also keep me from switching out the inserts on the tool itself on a regular basis and (fortunately) I have never stripped the rivnut at this size.
Have you used one of these rivnut tools yet? Do you have a preference? Tell me yours in the comments below.