Let’s talk connection. No, not like a socially-distant connection over drinks in your buddy’s driveway. Connection…like metal connection. For metals like steel and aluminum, there are three primary connection methods — bolting, welding, and riveting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, welding and bolting have become the preferred method for connecting pieces of structural metal (think: bridges and building frames). Rivets, on the other hand, are still the best for applications such as sheet metal fastening. Historically, only hand-operated or pneumatic rivet tools have been available. However, with the introduction of the new Milwaukee M18 Rivet Tool 1/4″, cordless convenience is here. That’s what we’re going to learn about in this installment of Tool News Nirvana. For a detailed review of its lighter duty cousin, check out our review of the original Milwaukee M12 Rivet Tool here.
Milwaukee 1/4″ Blind Rivet Tool: A Riveting Development
Milwaukee is no stranger to the world of cordless rivet solutions. The M12 Rivet Tool has been on the market for a little while now and can install up to 250 3/16″ rivets (it can handle 3/32?, 1/8?, 5/32?, and 3/16? rivets). It’s a subcompact solution that is great for smaller jobs that require smaller rivets. However, what if you’re riveting something that is using thicker metal or that requires stronger fasteners? You’ll need to step up to the ¼” rivet size. The newly announced Milwaukee 2660 ¼” M18 Blind Rivet Tool is exactly what you’d need for heavier-duty jobs.
Milwaukee M18 Rivet Tool Capacities and Specs
The #2660 will install 3/16″ (4.8mm), 7/32″ (6.0mm), 1/4″ (6.4mm) and 9/32″ (7.0mm) aluminum, steel, and stainless steel rivets. The stated quantity of rivets per battery charge is 500 ¼” aluminum blind rivets from one 2.0Ah battery. The POWERSTATE brushless motor delivers 4,500 lbs. (20kN) of pulling force through a specialty steel alloy set of pulling jaws. This gives long-lasting performance when pulling high-strength rivets through all common materials.
Included in the package are the Milwaukee M18 rivet tool itself, 2 batteries, a charger, different sizes of retention nose pieces (for different sizes of rivets), a nose piece wrench, and various accessories. Other, optional accessories that are available separately include a set of long nosepieces and a protective rubber boot for workers who want to use this tool in a more industrial setting.
The mandrel collector is actually a really nice feature of this tool. If you’re familiar with blind riveting, you know that having your workspace littered by the nail-like spent rivet mandrels can be annoying and potentially dangerous. The collector on the Milwaukee M18 Rivet Tool will hold the mandrels until you’re ready to discard them.
Speed Your Riveting Process
Milwaukee claims that this is the fastest cordless rivet tool on the market, with speeds up to 50% faster than competitors. While it may not be as fast as some pneumatic riveters, the cordless convenience might mean that total job time would be reduced. Take it from me – I used to work in a sign shop, fabricating metal frames for roadside commercial signs. Some of these sign frames were 50 feet long, which required lots of rivets. All we had were pneumatic rivets, so I would be dragging hoses around the shop all day. I wish the #2660 were available 15 years ago, I would have been a lot more efficient!
The Milwaukee M18 2660 1/4″ Blind Rivet Tool is available shortly, but prepare your credit card – it does not come at a hobbyist price point.