We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Countersunk Rivet?

M. McGee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A countersunk rivet is a type of fastener that has a head even with or below the plane of the connected material. What makes a countersunk rivet different from a standard rivet is the head. In a normal rivet, the head creates a rounded bump on the surface of the material. A countersunk rivet’s head is pressed down into a cavity on the material, removing the bump. These rivets are typically used for aesthetic reasons or to reduce drag on the piece.

Rivets are a type of permanent fastener. They are pressed through two materials and into a solid plate or block. When they hit the block, the penetrating end deforms and spreads out. This creates a permanent hold since the head and the deformed tail of the rivet are both larger than the hole in the material. Once in place, the only way to remove the rivet is to cut it from the work piece.

There are a variety of different head styles common in rivets. The most common type is a round head. A round head rivet has a head shaped like half of a sphere. When these rivets are in place, the head is plainly visible on the surface of the object. The other common types of rivets, such as pan-heads or flat heads, also stick up past a connected object’s surface.

The head shape of a countersunk rivet makes the top of the rivet flush with the connected object’s surface. This requires a specially formed countersunk hole. Other rivets are different because as long as they are the correct size, they will go into any hole. A countersunk hole widens at the top to allow the head to move down further. It effectively lowers the connected surface down so the top of the rivet is flush with the material’s surface.

Both the countersunk rivet and hole have the same shape. This common shape allows the rivet to sit down in the hole but stay flush with the object. In nearly every case, the hole and rivet head are shaped like a funnel. The sloped edges hold the rivet better than straight edges and make it less likely that water or air will be trapped inside the connection.

Manufacturers use countersunk rivets to keep the surface of the connected object smooth. After placing the rivet in the surface, it is common to cover the surface over with a sealant or paint, completely hiding the rivet’s head. This makes the surface more aesthetically pleasing, since it can be totally smooth. In addition, it causes less drag than if air was needed to flow over a common rivet head, making these rivet coverings common in high-performance vehicles.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.
Discussion Comments
M. McGee
M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.