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rivet gun advice needed

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So I just broke my third rivet gun in five years. This time I was just putting the normal Burnsco monel rivets in the mast and just like before the jaws broke.


The latest gun was a $60 Stanley one so I thought it would do the trick. The last one was a concertina style one.


Can anyone direct me to a decent one that won't break the bank?

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If the jaws break, it is nearly always the wrong size rivet. Make sure you have the correct tip size.

Although in saying that, Stanley is not Stanley of old. Once again, many of the hand tools supplied by the "Bunnings" of this world, seem to be poor quality made in China. In fact if you look closer at the range of hand tools on offer, you start to see that many are almost identical with just minor variations in things like the grip and colour. I bought a set of cable strippers recently. This is one tool where I try not to scimp on quality due to using them lots. I looked carefully at several and noted them as being identical. So I bought the Stanley seeing it was best price, but looked the same as the others. It ended up being a piece of junk. The two mistakes I made were Buying from Bunnings and expecting a quality tool. And buying Stanley and expecting a quality tool.
You just can't trust Brand Name to give you quality anymore.

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It's also very surprising who owns what companies. Although just because a company owns another that is a known quality tool maker, does not always mean the other names are of equal quality.
Stanley are now Stanley Black & Decker and under that name, own

  • Bostitch
  • Dewalt
  • Porter Cable
  • Stanley
  • Blackhawk (Proto)
  • Bost
  • Britool
  • Facom
  • Lista
  • Mac Tools
  • Pastorino
  • Powers
  • Proto
  • Sidchrome
  • USAG
  • Vidmar
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Mine cost me $0 but a large Aussie construction Co $150 odd but that was some years ago now. They have popped at least 500,000 rivets and are still going strong. I'll suss to see what name is on them. The are plyer types. Will do 1/4" no problem.

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how about



description..A heavy duty rivetting tool with long arms for extra leverage - accepts 3mm 4mm 5mm aluminium and steel rivets





or these




No no no . don't get a lever arm unit for masts. I did.

This is what happens . You go up the mast with your bucket of stuff yer fitting and yer rivet gun.

You drill the holes and put yer tefgel in , balance the fitting or tie or tape it in place for the first rivet

all good so far.

Then you get your rivet gun out and attempt to rivet the fitting in , only , you have to use two hands for that type of gun. Two or one plus something else. See where I'm going with this?

If you're a rigger and used to swinging from trees on a belt all good.

Normal people want to pressure treat the extrusion with their knees, grip the spreaders/ halyard/ whatever with one hand so hard moisture comes out of it and use ONE hand to operate the tool/ rivet gun in this case.

I am a normal person , therefore I chose one hand for one handle and various other bits for the other.

Shoulder , sorta works but permanently removes rotator cuff.

Head , yep, works but needs a trip to the dentist after the reverberation when the rivet pops.

Lets not talk about the groin.


Get a one handed rivet tool.

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Can't help on what type, but in my experience even the most expensive guns get a squeaky voice if you punish them with Monel Rivets continually. When you think of the mechanics of how a rivet gun works, you almost need jaws made of Kryptonite to be able to lock on to a little round rod and pull it till it snaps and not eventually take the edge off the teeth, or break. I used to treat rivet guns as replaceable items until aluminium rivets became more popular.

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i use the concertina type (lazy tongs)can be used one handed,as before right tip for rivet,never had a issue using alloy/ss/monel.


2 hands are best,hold base and push with other hand,just keep fingers/thumbs out of way

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If you want quality, go see Rivtec. They have 13 hand models to choose from.

For you Rigging guys, you should seriously consider one of these.
I used to have an air operated version and it was fantastic. Pull the trigger and in one stroke the rivet was done. But air is not an easy option when up a mast of course.

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We have 7 of the gesipa ones.. These things are reliable and very sturdy.... Dropped one from ten meters up once and it survived. The boys drop them every bloody day...but that's another story.

Can't speak highly enough of them.


Expensive though


Get the dark blue one for heavier stuff... Like stainless etc. A little slower but not by much.

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