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How to remove rivets: 3 proven methods

Whether you’re in the construction business, doing work on your home, or both, you want all to go according to plan. When looking at how to remove rivets, you either have the know-how to do such a thing, or you’re going to have to research if you do not bring in an expert to do the work for you. Making sure you get the rivets out in a timely and easy manner is likely what will weigh most on your mind. Removing rivets, often used in place of nails or screws, does not have to be the toughest thing you do. So, what’s the best way to remove a pop rivet?

How to remove rivets

Drill your way to success

Before you can get down to removing rivets, you must determine if you have the tools needed. In the event you have a power drill to get a rivet or rivets out of a surface, you can begin by using a drill bit. That drill bit allows you to drill directly into the surface where the rivet or rivets are at. Having the drill bit can make the process go rather fast and result in less time and effort on your end.
Your drill bit may have to go through any number of surfaces, including metal items, so make sure it is durable. Also, make sure the bit is securely attached to the drill. The last thing you want when using power tools is any flying projectiles. Given the speed with which they can move, you could end up with an injury if the bit is not secure. When using a drill, make sure to have protective eyewear on too. Given particles can pass through the air; the last thing you want is an eye injury. Your protective eyewear does not mean a pair of eye or reading glasses that can break if struck. Be sure to have professional safety eyewear on.
After using a center punch to form an indentation, take a hammer. Move the center punch directly towards the rivet. From there, use the proper sized drill bit to make its mark on the indentation. Drill at the speed you are most comfortable with as the bit and the head meet up. Drilling too fast could make for slippage if you are not careful. Going a little bit slower can take a little more time but also provide you with more accuracy to remove the rivet.

Grind your way to removing any rivets you want out

A second method to try would be using a grinding wheel. The wheel’s abrasive grains allow you to cut into surfaces. You can use the grinding wheel to grind down the rivet’s head, which is exposed from different angles. Remove as much of it as possible. While doing this, be sure to go at the appropriate speed and angle. You do not want to damage the wheel. You could injure yourself with flying debris from the wheel contacting the rivet.
In removing as much of the head as you can, then place your center punch or another item of choice in the center of the rivet. That will allow you to use a hammer and focus on hitting the center. From there, your power drill can finish the job up.

Hammer your way to victory

A third option for removing rivets would be to go with a hammer and chisel. In opting for this method, you place the chisel in a position where you can get the most leverage possible. Wedge it into place so it is firm and won’t be moving on you.
From there, take your hammer and hit away until you have clearly removed the head of the rivet. Much like using a power drill or grinding wheel, use the proper eyewear when hammering away. This can protect your eyes from any flying debris that could injure you.
Make the needed hits with the hammer to where you have gotten through to the surface of the rivet with the head gone. With the rivet removed, you can move on to the next step of work you want to do with that surface you’ve worked on.
No matter the method of removing pop rivets you use, find one that works best for you and gets the rivets out in a timely and safe manner so you can move to the next step of any project at hand with rivets no longer in the mix.

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