What size drill bit would you need for using a 3/16 rivet?
If you use a 3/16” diameter rivet, you will need to know what sized drill bit to use. You can use our handy chart below to tell precisely what drill bit we recommend you use. It also gives the drill bit sizes for other standard rivet diameters.
For a 3/16 rivet, you will need a drill bit that is either a #10 (0.194) or #11 (0.191). The rule of thumb to determine the drill bit size for a particular rivet is to allow up to six thousandths of an inch extra in diameter so the rivet can slide into the hole quickly.
Rivets are light, cheap, durable, and reliable, but as with screws and bolts, you need to prepare holes to use them. It is explained here if you’re in a dilemma as to how the recommended drill bit sizes are determined.
Rivet diameters are expressed in 1/32 of inch increments and their lengths in 1/16 increments.
The General Rule
The general rule of thumb to determine the appropriate drill bit size for a particular rivet is to allow up to six-thousandths of an inch extra in diameter (usually 4-6/1000”). That is, the drilled hole must be slightly larger than the rivet’s diameter, enough so that the rivet can slide into the hole quickly. Once inserted, the rivet will then expand to fill the gap tightly.
Which Size Drill Bit to Use
The chart above gives the recommended drill bit sizes for a range of standard rivet sizes. As you can see in the highlighted row, if you’re going to use a rivet with a diameter of 3/16”, you have two options:
Either use a #10 (0.194 or 0.1935 to be exact) drill bit or a #11 (0.191) drill bit for a 3/16 rivet.
Both these sizes should give you an adequate-sized hole for inserting the 3/16 rivet. The #10 drill bit is slightly larger than the #11 drill bit. You might prefer to use a #11 drill bit first, and if you find the rivets make a good tight fit, then you can use the same for the other holes. However, if the rivet does not insert easily, you can try the slightly larger #10 drill bit.
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