Author Topic: Tap and Die sets  (Read 1916 times)

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Offline bluestreak

  • Posts: 3
Tap and Die sets
« on: February 11, 2019, 11:43 PM »
What do you guys recommend?

I used the search function and didn't find much relevant.  Went back about 5 pages.

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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6110
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 11:50 PM »
Metric or imperial?

Offline bluestreak

  • Posts: 3
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 12:20 AM »
Metric or imperial?

Do you have a different brand recommendation based on unit of measure?   [huh]

I am in the US, but I need both a metric and imperial tap and die set.

Offline TinyShop

  • Posts: 338
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 01:11 AM »
I'm in the market as well though I plan to avoid dies and just focus on taps and drill sets and, separately, ratcheting t-handles. After all, I can't envision when I'd (ever?) need a die. Chasing existing threads and tapping new threads? Definitely. Spending time reviving an old bolt? Why? And no thanks.

I've got a couple of sources saved. These include:

(I've got my eye on this best-price-on-the-internet German-made Schroder set):

https://chadstoolbox.com/rs46554-schroder-46554-hi-trac-set/

And/or on the Schroder ratcheting t-handles separately (available in lots of places) and/or the tap and drill sets that appear on this page:

https://www.victornet.com/subdepartments/Tap-and-Die-Sets/1245.html   [not yet sure where these are manufactured]

I've convinced myself to spend more for high speed steel versions purely for the enhanced longevity. Might be overkill for my purposes...
ETS 150/5 EQ (DE) [PO], TS 75 EQ (DE) [PO], OF 1400 EQ-F (DE) [N], CXS (DE) [N], CMS-GE [DE], CMS TS 75 (DE) [N], LA-CS 50/CMS (DE) [PO], VB-CMS (DE) [N], MFT/3 (CZ) [N], DF 700 EQ w/Seneca Small Mortise Kit (DE) [PO], FEIN Multimaster 350 QSL (DE) [N], Bosch 1274DVS w/dust collection, sanding frame,  stand & fence (CH) [N], BOSCH 1590EVS w/dust collection (CH) [N], CS Unitec CS 1445 HEPA extractor <re-branded Starmix ISP 1435 H> (DE) [N], CT SYS (DE) [PO], Milwaukee 0302-20 (US) [N], Two (2) Porter Cable 862 (TW) [N], Porter Cable 447 (US) [N], Zyliss Vise (CH) [N], Hitachi C 8FB (JP) [H]

[PO] Pre-owned   [N] New   [H] Heirloom   (XX) country of origin

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 23
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 07:33 AM »
Taps and dies --- you get what you pay for.   If you are posting on this forum for advice, you probably won't use them enough to worry much about premature wear.   But it gets really annoying when the size is off on the cheap taps and the screws don't fit right.   See below at KBC the huge range in prices  -- you get what you pay for.

KBC Tap and Die Sets

Offline Mortiser

  • Posts: 39
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 07:55 AM »
@bluestreak , I have to say over the years, I've had very good service out of my Vermont-American set. Of course I don't know if they make them like they used to, but I've never had a broken tap or die. And, Cleveland Twist Drill makes a good product.
Good luck.
Rich

Offline jimbo51

  • Posts: 462
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 08:08 AM »
Tinyshop   I know one use of dies that keep occurring for me. It is when well known companies produces a threaded product with a poorly threaded integral bolt. One could of course return the product. However, with the right die, the bolt can be corrected in a could of minutes and the product used immediately.



Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 08:55 AM »
I would agree with tinyshop, dies have limited use, so I only buy them on an as needed basis from McMaster.  For fixing existing bolts I use a thread restorer set from Craftsman (relabeled Kastar I think, available for $45 on sale).  The set also has thread files to start the restoration before you put a die on the bolt.  These dies will coax threads back into shape rather than cutting and removing material. 

So for metric taps I bought an older used snap on set which is a relabeled Irwin set.  I believe they are HSS and US made.  It covers the range of smaller metric sizes I typically need. 
https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-Tools-Metric-41-Piece-26317/dp/B0000DD4KV

For imperial I spent a bit more and got a tap and drill set that covers a range of fine and course threads I typically encounter.  These are a bit pricier at just over $200 if you wait for an eBay 15-20% coupon.
http://www.gfii.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=C82F1F25724C44169317E11A12C1F739

There are a range of brands that offer high quality US made HSS sets.  Norseman, Viking, Greenfield, Morse, Chicago Latrobe.  Irwin has a mix of good and inexpensive stuff. 

For a tap wrench, I bought a starrett 93C that covers most of the range I need.  If I need smaller or larger, I’ll add other sizes as needed.
https://www.amazon.com/Starrett-93C-T-Handle-Tap-Wrench/dp/B001KVJUZ4

The above seems to cover 95% of my day to day needs.  I don’t do metal fabrication.  It’s mainly fixing or modifying something, so I can go months between uses.
-Raj

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 806
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 11:35 AM »
I have some old Craftsman sets from the 90's. Nothing fancy, but I have only ever used them to clean up threads (male and female) and they have worked perfectly and saved me from a whole lot of trouble a few times. It is amazing how good they work. I am sure the set could cut threads, but I never have done that.

When you get a set try to find one with clear labels on the taps and dies. Microscopic print that is gray on a slightly darker gray. I can barely see the label in sunlight.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6110
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 11:41 AM »
Well, working on American motorcycles and automobiles and British motorcycles I needed both taps and dies so I purchased this set 40-50 years ago and they're still going strong. They're Ace tap & dies made by Hanson in the US. They've seen a lot of use. The only bad thing is that they are strictly hand taps and cannot be used with a drill because they were never designed to be used with a drill. [tongue]






Times change and methods change and the taps I now use can be used with a cordless drill.  [smile] They're spiral taps and shoot the chips ahead of the tap. That Starrett 93C tap handle that Raj mentioned is real sweet. I also use a Schroder ratcheting tap handle that I probably use 75-80% of the time.


 
The only problem using any kind of tap in a drill is that the taps are hardened and the drill chuck will not BITE into the tap. So to prevent damage to both the tap and the drill chuck, you need to use tap drivers. These tap drivers are USA made by Lisle and cost about $25. If you prefer the Bluepoint (SnapOn) name on them, the same set will run you about $65.  [eek]  It's basically a socket with a 3/8" square drive on the bottom and a square drive on the front that accepts the square tap end.



Like others have said, you'll probably have more use for taps than dies. So when I went metric I decided I just needed the taps & tap drills.
These are Hertel TiN coated taps.
https://www.mscdirect.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/details/87145553

These are Cleveland 135º cobalt drills.
https://www.mscdirect.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/details/74330804


Offline cgrutt

  • Posts: 67
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 03:30 PM »
I have the Snap on TD2425 standard and TDM117A metric sets.  They have served me well over years but I really haven't used them that often.  Many years ago I broke at tap in my boat's fuel pump housing.  That was an expensive mistake ...   first buying an extractor set and then a new fuel pump housing after I did more damage trying to remove the hardened tap, lol.  I've also purchased a few Snap on taps that were larger than what came in set.  I have one loose 5/8 fine thread tap that is marked China.  All of the others were made in USA.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 06:36 PM »
I have a question for those of you using ratcheting tap wrenches...doesn’t it get in the way if you’re turning the wrench clockwise and counterclockwise to clear chips?  Even when I’m clearing paint overspray and schmutz from threaded holes I’ll turn 1/2, then back out 1/4 turn.  Where do you use them where the ratcheting wrench is useful?
-Raj

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6110
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 08:54 PM »
Even when I’m clearing paint overspray and schmutz from threaded holes I’ll turn 1/2, then back out 1/4 turn.  Where do you use them where the ratcheting wrench is useful?

If you use spiral taps, you only have to go forward especially if it’s a tapped thru hole. If it’s a deep blind hole I’d still use a spiral tap until you bottom out. Then extract the tap, blow out the hole and insert a bottoming tap and do the 1/2 turn 1/4 turn thing until you’re at the depth you need.

Better yet if you’re just cleaning schmutz from a tapped hole, the threads are already cut in the material. So then a tap in a cordless drill will work because the heavy lifting (thread cutting) has already been done. In that instance you don’t need to use a tap driver/socket.

Drive the tap in with a drill, drive it back out, drive it back in and then drive it back out. You’ll be surprised how easily the fastener installs in the hole. And it’s not because the thread size has been compromised. It’s just because the thread lands/roots have been cleaned well.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 09:07 PM by Cheese »

Offline WillAdams

  • Posts: 31
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2019, 12:11 AM »
I wish I did enough tapping to justify buying:

http://northernmachininginc.com/?page_id=21

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 530
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2019, 12:17 AM »
Like the others, dies aren't much use, if you need one, generaly you can just replace the bolt that is in need.  Or if you have a lathe and the right gear sets, do that.

On the taps, while you can't always use it, if you have a part you can take to a bench, I very much recommend a hand tapping machine. 

Thing like this

Makes things so much easier, straight and less broken taps.

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2191
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2019, 08:19 AM »
My next purchase, assuming I retain my sanity and avoid the MW-1000...Metabo 603828890 GB 18 LTX BL Q I

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 10:49 AM »
Thanks @Cheese , I might add a spiral tap if I find myself doing repetitive work with a particular size like 1/4-20. 
-Raj

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6110
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2019, 10:24 AM »
Thanks @Cheese , I might add a spiral tap if I find myself doing repetitive work with a particular size like 1/4-20.

Hey Raj @RKA , just as a for instance, here's a Hertel TiN coated 1/4-20 tap from MSC for $3.99. OSG and Cleveland are also available for a little more but I've had real good luck with Hertel. This will make your schmutz cleaning program easier.  [smile]

https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/41113648?rItem=41113648

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2019, 11:41 AM »
@Cheese You know, one of the things that concerns me a bit about chucking these things into a drill is what if I don't have the tap engaged properly when I pull the trigger?  As it is I gingerly start the tap and make sure it's engaging the existing threads before I put any force into the tap wrench.  I've never cross threaded a tap running it manually (well not one that was in reasonably good shape to begin with).  I assume, with a drill, you just start slow and if you feel resistance quickly you back out and try again? 
-Raj

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 6110
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2019, 11:51 AM »
@Cheese You know, one of the things that concerns me a bit about chucking these things into a drill is what if I don't have the tap engaged properly when I pull the trigger?  As it is I gingerly start the tap and make sure it's engaging the existing threads before I put any force into the tap wrench.  I've never cross threaded a tap running it manually (well not one that was in reasonably good shape to begin with).  I assume, with a drill, you just start slow and if you feel resistance quickly you back out and try again?

Ya Raj, it's not as bad as you might think. Two things going for you is the size of the tap (1/4-20) and that it's also a coarse thread. Like you say, just start out slow, apply little to no forward pressure and just let the tap find the lead-in thread.

On smaller taps, say #8 and under, for schmutz cleaning, I thread the tap into the hole first and then attach the drill.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1636
Re: Tap and Die sets
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2019, 11:59 AM »
Gotcha!  That makes sense about the smaller and fine threaded stuff.  Not dummy proof, just have to be careful.  Thanks!
-Raj