How to choose correct rivet size for your project

How to choose correct rivet size for your project

Rivets are small metal pins passed through a pre-punched hole in the leather or other material and pressed tightly between the two rivet heads, creating a secure fastening.

Leather goods such as belts, tote bags, purses, backpacks, tool rolls, knife sheaths and more items can be made using single/double cap, tubular or solid copper/brass rivets.

At Leather Goodie Company we have double cap rivets in a couple of different sizes and finishes. Double cap rivets are preferentially used over single cap rivets in places where both sides of the rivet are frequently visible. I get asked quite often - what rivet size should I get for my project? So here I will try to answer the question and hopefully it will help you to choose the correct rivet size for your project.

If the stem is too long, the rivet won't set right, and if the stem is too short, you won't be able set it at all. You don't want the stem to extend more than 2-3 mm (1/8" ) beyond the leather. If it does stick out farther than this and you don't have another rivet option, you can use a pair of nippers to cut off the very end of the stem, but speaking from my own experience- I'm not a big fan of this method...The rivet should still set correctly, but you should test one on a scrap of leather first. Other very important thing to remember when setting the rivets with a manual setters is to make sure is, if the force of your hammer doesn’t come from directly above, the rivet will slip though, so it’s just better to have the stem at the right length.

Correct double cap rivet post length

For example:

For rivets with 7 mm stem length  you want your leather (or other material) thickness to be up to 4 mm (1/8 inch) thick.

For 8 mm rivet stem length your project thickness should be up to 5 mm (3/16 inchthick.

For 10 mm rivet stem length your project should be up to 7 mm (little over 1/4 inch) thick.

I hope someone will find this information I've put together useful. Any questions- I'd love to hear from you!