My old bike

When I was young, I bought my first bicycle from a friend at the end of the block. It had been sitting in their backyard for a few months, and I don’t think I could describe all the things that were wrong with it.  To add to my dilemma, I didn’t have a tool box or wrench set to my name, and my Dad was in the habit of keeping his tool boxes locked, or hidden in the garage. Before the summer was over, I learned to repair almost anything on that ten dollar bicycle with a hammer, a pair of vice-grip pliers, and a large screw driver that I borrowed from Dad’s tool box when he wasn’t looking. I wasn’t very efficient, but at least I could change a flat tire, or adjust the seat and handlebars.

Unfortunately, the professional repair technician is often faced with the same dilemma when he is in the field. How often does a technician or contractor roll up on a job, and have the wrong tools and inadequate fasteners to complete a project efficiently, and with equipment that will stand the test of time?

As manufacturing moves away from one-size-fits-all approaches to the products they manufacturer, and becomes more segmented, specialty fasteners are becoming more common place. In the same way a contractor wants to have the right tool for the job, projects are becoming increasingly tied to having the right fastener as well as the right tools.


Marson blind rivets are a perfect example of an older fastening device that has been redesigned for today’s construction industry. Standard rivets used in metal fabrication are short pieces of steel which are put through holes in two pieces of metal, and then both sides of the steel bar are pounded over into mushroom-shaped heads. The joint is reliable, and the metals pull themselves together.  However, when only one side of the material is available, a blind rivet is the perfect adaptation of this device.

A blind rivet features a hollow, soft metal sleeve with a stiffer shaft inserted into the center. The rivet is pushed into the holes in the fasteners and then anchored in place with a specialized tool. Once the blind rivet seats itself, the center shaft snaps off, leaving a strong metal-to-metal joint that is unaffected by vibration.  Some of these fasteners feature threaded rivets. Once the rivet is fastened in place, a machine screw or stove bolt can be inserted. This fastener is the perfect solution when a threaded hole is needed in a piece of sheet metal.

Torx plus security screw

The Torx head fastener is one of the most innovative products in the last 20 years, and now Torx screws are used in manufacturing and assembly plants around the world. This fastener is perfectly suited as a security fastener, and with a small change, Torx pin head security screws allow technicians to install equipment in public places with assurance that neither their fasteners, nor their equipment will not be tampered with.