How to Remove Rivets – Rivet Removal Made Easy

The rivet is a permanent fixture in the world of mechanics and manufacturing. It’s essentially a metal pin that is inserted into two pieces of material to hold them together. The rivet is usually made out of aluminum, copper, or steel, and its primary purpose is to keep two items tightly sealed together. A common form of this would be the metal pins used to hold a car’s hood in place.

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how to remove rivets

Rivets can help you out in a number of ways. For example, if you’re trying to seal the lids on containers such as buckets or barrels, rivets can help reinforce the seal and protect it from leakage. Rivets also often come in handy when constructing metal fences because they offer a way for you to prevent intruders from cutting through the metal and getting what they want.

While rivets are pretty much permanent, that doesn’t mean you can never take them off. If you have items that are riveted to your property or home, there are certain rivet removal tools that will help you remove the rivets.

how to remove rivets

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Ways to remove rivets

There are a few different ways you can follow on how to remove rivets. Knowing the best way to remove a rivet will depend on how it is attached and where it is located. Some of the most common methods of rivet removal include:

Removing rivets with heat

This is one of the easiest ways to remove rivets. Simply heat up your rivets and either hammer them out or cut them off. You can use an oxy-acetylene torch, a propane torch, or even an electric grinder to get rid of your rivet quickly. The downside to this method is that it causes the surrounding material to deform or melt, which can cause additional problems.

Pinning out the rivet 

This method would have to be done with most metal rivets because they are screwed in place with screws or nails. You can drill out rivets through each side so they are no longer attached to either side of the material being held together. Once you manage to drill rivets out enough, these pieces will pop right out, leaving both sides clear for whatever piece needs to replace them.

Drilling out the rivets

Drilling out a rivet is for when you have a small metal, plastic, or wood piece that cannot be removed because of its size. Believe it or not, this can also be done with screws. Drill out the center of your rivet through either material until it is separated. You can do this with a drill or an angle grinder.

Once you manage to drill out a rivet, it will leave both of the materials free of anything attached to them. This gives you the freedom to attach whatever replacement pieces are necessary without any trouble.

Cutting off the rivets with a Sawzall or a reciprocating saw

In some cases, you will need to cut the rivets out of whatever material they are holding together. This can be done with a pair of metal shears or a sawzall. However, if you really want to get rid of the rivet quickly, use a reciprocating saw. You can even make one using a chisel to cut off the rivet.


Whatever method you choose, make sure that it’s safe and secure before removing a rivet entirely. Rivets are pretty sturdy little pieces, and if they aren’t removed correctly, they can cause further damage to whatever needs replacing. If additional help is required, use a reliable rivet remover or hire a professional.

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