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Slugbusters are expensive, even the smaller ones. stepped drill bits are great for the smaller holes, you can drill holes in sheet metal up to an inch and 3/8
As I recall, each size hand powered knock out was about $40.00.

They are easy to use.
 

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They actually called me this morning (jay-cee) because I ordered the 1/4" rivetnuts with the m6 tool. I do need to order some m6 rivetnus or plusnuts. Hey Orten, given the huge array of styles & characteristics, what were the factors in you choosing the particular 1/4-20 rivet nut you selected?
 

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Slugbusters are expensive, even the smaller ones. stepped drill bits are great for the smaller holes, you can drill holes in sheet metal up to an inch and 3/8
Michael, I used to punch everything before the stepped bits, they aren't cheap either though and they make a huge toxic mess. An electro magnetic shavings catcher would be great, just turn it off over the trash bag!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
They actually called me this morning (jay-cee) because I ordered the 1/4" rivetnuts with the m6 tool. I do need to order some m6 rivetnus or plusnuts. Hey Orten, given the huge array of styles & characteristics, what were the factors in you choosing the particular 1/4-20 rivet nut you selected?
Probably the size of the pre-drilled factory holes.
 

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Probably the size of the pre-drilled factory holes.
That's it? There are a number of styles and varying specifications for each hole size. What about this "grip" spec , ribbed not ribbed, etc. I am going to have to "study up" I guess.
 

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As I recall, each size hand powered knock out was about $40.00.

They are easy to use.
60 bucks for the 1/2 inch hole size, 90 bucks for the 3/4 hole size, cheapest way to buy them is to get the whole set for about 250 bucks. a stepped drill bit is about 20 bucks and will drill several sizes of holes.
 

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What got me to the Plusnuts was the difficulty I had trying to install Nutserts overhead in the roof ribs. Needed three hands with the tool I was using. Also the design off the Plusnuts where the four feet expand out makes the hole diameter less critical.

The 1/4-20NC Plusnut part # was selected based on the existing hole size in the van wall and the steel thickness.

I had uses aluminum pop rivits to install the plywood wall panels in the sold Sprinter. That worked very well but with Transit having so many holes the correct size for the Plusnuts I changed to using Plusnuts.
 

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Michael, I used to punch everything before the stepped bits, they aren't cheap either though and they make a huge toxic mess. An electro magnetic shavings catcher would be great, just turn it off over the trash bag!
you will still have to drill a hole to use the punch, a 7/8'' hole for punches bigger then 3/4'', unless you use existing holes! what is toxic? a tiny amount of paint dust?
 

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Good points. All I remember vividly is wading around in metal shards that stick to everything. Do you guys know if there is a hand tool or DIY method of installing those rivnut inserts with the protruding stud? I see they use a "pulling bolt".

Fortunately I found a bunch of local (USA) Ebay listings of small quantities of M6 products so I will sort though them and see what I can use. I know the stainless items would be handy for outdoor projects if I can find some true USA made.
 

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Used the 7/8" punch to make the hole for the larger punch.
it really does not matter, punches are very expensive and stepped drill bits are fairly cheap. for somebody who only needs to make 1 or 2 holes, (which is 95 percent of the people on this forum) a stepped drill bit would be the best and lowest cost option!
 

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who? me? i loved my Greenlee slug buster knockout punch set before i retired, what was clearly the wrong tool for the job was the hole saws i had in my younger days. (good for wood not steel!)
 

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Oh yeah. I've destroyed my share of rotary hole-making accessories, along with considerable damage to the stationary (more or less) object being holed. But, begorrah, a hole was made! Usually followed by abrasive adjustment ;o)
 

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what prompted my move to knockout punches was when the hole saw got hung up and my 1/2 inch milwaukee drill nearly broke my wrist!
 

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It turns out DIY is so simple I'm not even sure how the tool makes it go any faster.
Thank you very much for the tutorial. And hat tip to @atoine. I read both of your tutorials. Minor changes with a regular washer (didn't have a k-nut on hand), hex head bolt allows me to slip a ratcheting wrench over the bolt to tighten the nut. Didn't use grease - I'll guess we'll see how the hardware holds up.

Especially using a ratcheting wrench, the DIY approach takes about a minute. I agree, it's hard to imagine the specific tool being any faster. Practiced on the rear door where I didn't anticipate needing a working plusnut if I screwed it up.
 

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Another idea:
Note this tool works out of the box only with regular rivnuts, NOT plusnuts.

I bought the Astro tool 1442 which was on sale when I started on my van over a year ago.
I even called the company and they confirmed that the thread on their 14-20 adapter (black one on right in 1st and 2nd pict) is too short for the plusnuts.
I tried a few 14-20 rivnuts that came with the tool but found that they did not hold as well. The holes are a bit too large for the smaller collar they create behind the sheet metal. Possibly this is due to my inexperience.

So I bought 100 Plusnuts and was confident I could adapt the Astro tool to work with them.
With a few bolts, a nut, a threadcutter and some JB Weld I fabricated a longer thread 14-20 adapter (2nd pict left).

Now the Plusnuts can thread on the end while handles are spread, knock it into the hole at the end of the tool and bring the arms together. Spread arms once more, screw in a few more turns, and compress one more time. One plusnut ~ 20-30 seconds tops.

All 100 plusnuts were used, and I actually had to buy another bag for the few more needed.
 

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