The growing importance of lightweight construction to reduce resource consumption is leading to the increased use of multi-material systems consisting of components with varying geometric and mechanical properties. However, the joining processes to manufacture these assemblies are gradually reaching their limits, which is why innovative processes and methods are required. To enhance the versatility of the established but comparatively rigid joining process of self-piercing riveting, a new approach is to superimpose it with a tumbling kinematic. For this purpose, a tool is presented that consists of two synchronised axes that allow free movement and any position of the tumbling punch in a polar coordinate system in the form of a circle. Due to the chosen combination of axes, an in-situ control of the tool in the joining process allows to detect individual process sections and specifically influence the joining process by adapting the tumbling strategy. Controlling the tool with a combination of a programmable logic controller (PLC) and integrated Matlab scripts enables completely free kinematics and gives the possibility to react to parameters measured in the process. Continuously variable tumbling angles of the punch between 0° and 6° can be set and the combination of axes enables predominantly linear and rotating movements of the punch with comparatively high dynamics. This makes it possible to investigate the conventional tumbling kinematics in the form of circular and spiral trajectories, each with several tumbling angle increments. The influence of both force- and displacement-controlled punch movement is investigated and the rotational tumbling speed of the punch can be varied for the tests. The materials used are the typical multi-material aluminium alloy EN AW-6014 and the dual-phase steel HCT590X+Z with different sheet thicknesses. In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the resulting influences force displacement curves and geometrical joint characteristics are examined.