View Full Version : Removing Rivets

09-03-2006, 12:03 PM
This is actually really easy to do, but I see far too many people do a lot of damage to their cases trying to remove rivets


First, use a dremel to cut the rivet so that it looks like a flat head screw. This is an old case. You can be a little more careful here.


Then use a flat head screwdriver to turn it slightly in both directions


It will easily break into two pieces


One or both of the pieces may still be attached slightly, so pull them off with pliers


I then use a Scratch Awl to push the little anchor piece through


And that's it! The whole process usually takes me about 30 seconds


09-03-2006, 12:07 PM
Almost all PC rivets are 1/8".
I've found that using a drill with a step bit works wonders and takes less than 10 seconds with practice. Makes the hole look the same, no damage to the case at all. Fantastic. I should upload some pics of a case I'm currently tearing apart.

This is a stepping bit.

Worth every penny. I use these things in almost everything. I will warn against using them in a drill press though.

09-03-2006, 12:34 PM
I just drill them out with a standard metal drill bit. You can't always get the drill into the right place, but i've never caused damage through it...then again, it's not something i do very often.


09-05-2006, 07:16 AM
Great tip. Very helpful I actually wondered how they could be removed funiliy enough.

09-05-2006, 11:13 AM
as a side note. most riviots used in pc cases these days are aluminum. if your stuck doing your work at night like i am and your worried about the neighbours complaing. this method is good for you so long as you do all the drimel work all at once. personaly when im working at night i just put the drimel over the rivot with the drill bit in er and i just hand turn the chuck while applying a little pressure. usually pops them right out in not too long.

Logic Zero
09-05-2006, 02:34 PM
I use a dremel with a metal drill bit, each rivet takes less than 5 seconds to do, no damage at all.

You just get a drill bit that is slightly larger than the size of the hole in the centre of the rivet, once you drill through the thin metal the "cap" of the rivet it is detatched from the pin, so it all just pulls apart!

09-06-2006, 01:39 AM
I drilled mine out, but I think I used a bit that was too large. I wanted to use the same size screws that were on the rest of the PC case, but since there are no threads, the screw wiggles a bit in the hole. Should I try to use the next largest bit/screw, or how do I get the screws to stay tight if there are no threads in the hole? Anybody else change rivets to screws?

09-06-2006, 01:47 AM
Personally i use a cordless drill and a bit about the same size as the hole the rivet is in. I've done it with excessivly big bits aswell, no damage to the case at all. takes about 5 sec's for alum rivets.

The key is to let the bit float in the center of the rivet so it doesnt end up wandering. as soon as it bites in, i jam the bit down and POP! Perfectly centered every time.

09-06-2006, 01:54 PM
i'd say a drill of any sort is the best idea, i personally drill rivets a lot at work and all you need to do is use a bit thats a little larger than the inside of the rivet, at worki normally use about a 4mm bit but for a pc case id say it were about 1.5-2mm (though ive not done it with a pc case yet)

09-07-2006, 03:39 AM
if your stuck doing your work at night like i am and your worried about the neighbours complaing. turn up the radio, so they won't hear the sound of the dremel :)

09-07-2006, 11:12 AM
LOL great solution. cover the noise your makeing by makeing a louder one. thats great.

09-16-2006, 02:49 AM
Drilled mine with a bit slightly larger that the hole in the middle. Once the flat part came off then plucked the end out with the same type of plier in the pic.

Drum Thumper
05-31-2007, 05:37 PM
Great advice. Be sure not to touch the removed rivet with bare hands, lest you want a nice little brand for about a month.

Yes, I'm speaking from experience :D

06-01-2007, 01:49 AM
Great advice. Be sure not to touch the removed rivet with bare hands, lest you want a nice little brand for about a month.

Yes, I'm speaking from experience :D

wow did you use a dull or broken drill bit??

i've held mine while drill then out and i've had no problems

06-24-2008, 03:25 AM
Ok, so lots of people confirming that drilling 'em out is the way to go.

I like to have a pair of pliers or diagonal cutters handy to remove all the sharp aluminum scraps that get caught on the drill bit. It's also handy to punch through stubborn rivets that already have the heads removed.

For converting to screws, you may just need to step up to a larger size screw. Self tapping sheet metal screws will work great.

05-10-2009, 05:15 PM
I have a great way to remove rivets with practically no marking. But seeing as I have baby in other hand and no photos right now, I'll post it later. :)