*let’s begin with, I am not sponsored by Girapow and purchased this tool with my own money. I was not asked to review this tool, I was just so impressed with it I thought more people should know about it.
95% of my power tools are Makita (36 LXT and 6 CXT) tools and 100% are cordless (12 additional tools that run on the Makita battery platform thru the use of battery adapters. So when I started looking for a cordless rivet tool, the first criteria is always whether the tool runs on the Makita platform, cost and of course performance. Makita does make a cordless riveter, as does Milwaukee, but the Makita is more than $1,000 and the Milwaukee is on the 12v platform; while checking in at $325 or more. $1,000 is out of my price range and investing in a singular tool on another battery platform, while spending over $300 (I would need the kit as I don’t have any Milwaukee tools) wasn’t something I was prepared to do. As I researched offerings from Ryobi and Dewalt (two brands that I have battery adapters, thus enabling the use of my Makita batteries) I came across a review of the Girapow on YouTube and cross referenced an Amazon review that mentioned this tool works on the Makita platform. For $150, and being free returns are offered, there was no risk in buying the Girapow and trying it out.
The weight of the Girapow will immediately catch your attention. It is top and forward heavy, [so a slight detraction (and why I use a 5ah battery to counter the weight and allow the tool to stand up)] is that the tool cannot stand up on its own or even with a 2ah battery. And while I haven’t found myself fatigued from holding it, if all you did was set rivets all day with this tool- you might experience some fatigue. That aside, I feel like the tool is durable and I was impressed with the tool case (I won’t use it but it is a nice touch). Not impressed with the instructions (in fact I can’t figure out what the selector switch accomplishes, seems to automatically work) Most importantly though, does this riveter work?
If you’ve ever set any amount of rivets by hand, you know how exhausting and inexact it can be since you need both hands to operate the hand tool. This makes setting rivets a breeze. Insert the right size tip (a quick tip, slightly loosen the nose that houses the jaws when installing a different size tip) for your rivet, place the rivet in your hole and squeeze the trigger. I’ve set close to 600 rivets without any issues and the 5ah battery hasn’t been exhausted during a days work.
Another tip- and this is listed in the instructions- don’t let go of the trigger until the rivet is set. If you do, the tool will reset it’s cycle without completing the installation of the rivet.
Without using the Makita or Milwaukee offerings, it’s impossible to say this tool is inferior in anyway. Some may nit pick that there isn’t a cup to catch the mandrels, that’s not a huge issue for me. What I can say is this tool performed this far exactly as I expect and need it to. It also increases my production time 10 fold, the quality of my rivets goes up exponentially and it was 40% of the cost of the Milwaukee, and is just over 10% of the cost of Makita. Even if you aren’t on the Makita platform, you get a 2ah battery and charge for less than $150. In my opinion, the performance, combined with the cost makes this tool a no brainer for anyone who sets rivets on a recurring basis.