In various industries when mechanical work performing, taps and dies are used. There is always something to fix or tidy up, for example, when repairing your own car or in a large scale production. Problems such as torn threads can be easily fixed with the help of the best tap and die set. Due to the thread-cutting tools, it is possible both with the help of a machine and manually to cut the external (dies) or internal (taps) thread. In most cases, these facilities are made of high-quality and hard materials (for example, high-carbon alloy steel) in order to have an impact on units from softer metals.
It’s important to choose a really good tap and die set because modern manufacturers offer a huge variety of models. Each presented tap and die set review contains only real information and can be regarded as an honest survey of the diverse characteristics of a product that is useful in everyday and professional life. Here you can get acquainted with popular sets and find a well-deserved option for you.
Tap and Die Set Reviews
Each tool in a set is marked accordingly with the size and pitch of the thread. The thread, both on the dies and the taps, is smooth without flaws and defects. This GearWrench tap and die set includes 75 pieces, which can be used in confined areas (due to the small dimensions). Units are made of low carbon steel that is well-known due to its strength and endurance. The specified set includes elements with identifying both metric and inch measurements systems, so the person can easily choose the right unit for the work. The case is painted seamlessly, without flaws, smudges, and scratches. All elements are attached securely because each object has its own cell that corresponds to its form.
- The collet nut system is proficient, as it locks tightly and is well crafted.
- All the elements stay the same (without cracks and scratches) even after the case falls.
- The case is smooth with neat edges and has the correct geometry; when opened, the lid does not warp.
- The shanks on some taps are not relieved so the user is restricted to the threaded portion in tapping depth.
- Both small and medium tap adapters have to be included in the set, but the small one is absent.
The set allows you to quickly and efficiently carry out threading of various sizes on both internal and external metal surfaces of different parts. A small visual inspection is enough to see that some stamped numbers on elements are hardly visible as they were placed together too tightly. Moreover, dies and taps are solid (they are relatively heavy, made of carbon steel, and have sharp edges), but the holder looks unreliable (due to the thin plastic elements). 60 pieces may be enough for most innkeepers and the set has the metric thread standards, which is widespread and easy-to-understand. It’s important to use oil in order not to spoil the thread and the tap itself. It is completed with a convenient case in which individual tool holders are provided (for each of the products), special locks-latches (exclude opening during transportation), as well as an ergonomic handle with a wide grip surface.
- The product is made in the USA; it corresponds to its basic quality standards and includes the units with the metric system.
- Set elements can be used to tap cast aluminum.
- Bolts and nuts fit well the threaded threads; no backlash or wedges are observed.
- The box doesn’t include the instruction. Maybe this is a master tap and die set, but I have to figure out how to use elements from the set independently.
- I had to buy a few dies and taps of popular sizes additionally (they were absent in the set).
The Irwin tap and die set is a versatile product (that belongs to both inch and metric systems) for professionals (it also can be used by ordinary users) as it contains 117 pieces. The specified set is able to tap cast iron, but proper lubrication has to be applied. All the elements are covered with special oil to prevent rust; they are a little bit wet when you take them out of the box. If you are looking for useful tap and die sets for professional or home usage, this one can be regarded as one of them, as 117 decent elements are able to cope with a heavy load. The case with a thread-cutting set is convenient for transportation due to the ergonomic handle, moreover, its latch prevents accidental opening and falling out of items.
- All the kit components are made of corrosion-resistant high carbon steel.
- Units can be used to repair old and new internal and external threads cutting.
- Each tool is in its place (in a case), in an individual landing hole.
- The metal becomes curled on the edges of the dies (during the work process).
- The specified set is massive (22.5 x 14.5 x 3.8 inches) and the user has to find the place to store it. It’s hard to keep it on the shelf as the unit weighs 10.35 pounds and may easily break the shelf.
The Neiko large tap and die set consists of 45 tools that are made of grade steel, which gives them high strength and good corrosion resistance. Titanium cutting edges look very sharp; moreover, pay attention that while working, the heating of titanium remains within acceptable limits, this makes it possible to perform all the operations without their cooling. Titanium alloys are superior in durability to high-strength aluminum and magnesium at elevated temperatures. A thread gauge (for determining the thread pitch) is provided for technological control of operations. The tap holder from the Neiko 00916A SAE kit is equipped with an adjustable screw for fixing the taps. It also has handles with notches for a good grip. Taps are designed for threading both through and blind holes. Dies, due to their high rigidity, make it possible to get decent threads. Corrugated surfaces on handles of holders help prevent the tool from slipping. This unit probably can be regarded as the best tap and die set, as it contains solid elements of the most popular sizes.
- The kit creates coarse and fine threads, which are compatible with most widespread nuts.
- Wrench’s handle is removable, so it can be used in a tight space.
- The outside diameter is measured in the metric system, which is comfortable to perceive.
- The case has a smell of plastic.
- Box’s handles are cracked.
The set includes elements made of bearing steel that provides superior corrosion resistance and strength compared to the standard steel. It’s better to use cutting lubricant while elements exploiting. Being in the process of a decent tap & die sets finding, pay attention to this one. The unit can work on brass metal (it’s much softer than ferrous metals) and all the elements sizes (inch measurement system) are stamped on them, so you won’t muddle the taps and dies. The tap holder has a mechanism for shanks that provides for ease of use. There are notches on the handles of the tap and die holders for reliable and comfortable fixation. The kit comes in a shockproof plastic box, where each tool has its own compartment. This provides gentle storage and the convenience of finding the right size when working.
- Corrugated handles provide maximum power transfer from the palms to the instrument.
- All the units are able to work even with plastic and wood.
- The cutting teeth are sharp.
- The thread die dulls after threading 3/4 worth of 1018 steel.
- The EFFICERE set is small for professional use (you need to purchase additional elements) and the specified steel is too soft for titanium (so it’s better not to use it with harder materials).
What is a Tap and Die Set?
A tap and die set contains simply practical tools for creating internal and external threads. Screw threads can be used to fasten nuts, screws, and bolts together. They serve as fasteners for elements of many mechanisms. Each locksmith should have a set of dies and taps in the arsenal because who knows in which case the thread can be broken or completely missing. Each contains at least 9 items of various markings, as usual. The diameter of every die or tap corresponds to the generally accepted hole standard.
Taps are used for applying internal threads in holes: nuts, dies, and others. The tap is fixed in the head, inserted into the through hole, and when the master turns the handle, a thread is cut through the hole. There is different labeling of products: from M3 to M12. Each of these diameters is able to cut through grooves in screws and dies.
Dies are used for applying external threads to products: as a rule, on various pins. They are hardened nuts with through holes. The unit is inclosed into the die holder, inserted through the hole on the pin and rotated. A thread is cut at the moment of rotation. It’s applicable for threads on the bolts, screws, and pins creation.
Ways to Use the Tap and Die Set
These tools usually are endowed with high wear resistance (due to the heavily alloyed steel) and decent strength because they can be used continuously for a sufficiently long time. Before you know how to use a tap and die set, here are the specified elements, you will need:
- fully stocked set;
- the tap or die of the applicable size;
- the material to work with;
- a drill that will be used only for tapping;
- a grip or vice, due to which the material will be held steadily;
- specific cutting oil;
- the ratchet to turn the tap into the material’s hole.
The following steps on how to use this tool in a proper way:
- Choose the required drill size for the tap you are going to use.
- Fasten securely the material.
- Start drilling and gradually increase speed.
- Perform the tapping in order to make the threads.
- Use cutting oil if required.
All the operations should be performed carefully and without sudden movements. If you decide to buy a tap die set, use them in a correct sequence, starting from draft to finishing. Otherwise, thread damage and tool breakage are possible. Take a bevel square to check the perpendicularity of the tap relative to the workpiece surface. Choose the correct coolant. However, note that the bronze and cast iron items are cut without lubrication. Steel and brass go well with linseed oil, aluminum with kerosene, and copper with turpentine.
How to Choose Tap and Die Set?
When making a decision to purchase such a set, it is necessary to take into account several important features that determine the ability to use tools for a particular job performing:
- It is important to define the type of taps and dies that you may need. There are two generally accepted thread standards – metric and inch, but the metric thread is commonly used. The cutting edges of the specified die are distinguished by the presence of conical blades.
- It is essential to make sure that the thread on the die has a triangular profile. The user can ensure that the nut is slightly screwed onto the restored thread due to a similar tool.
- There are both manual and machine taps. Hand taps are used in plumbing, and threading is done manually. If you are going to work with viscous materials, such as titanium alloys, it is worth choosing sets that include several taps. In this case, the power-tool thread formation using machine taps can be significantly accelerated.
- Dies are also divided into several types. The most common are taper (are used for initiating a cut or thread), plug (is used for getting neat outcomes the holes’ ends), and circular (it helps get the complete threads in one operation).
- Pay attention to the build quality, as less solid but cheap units won’t be able to carry out their tasks for a long time. Low-quality steel isn’t able to cope with heavy loads.
- It is noteworthy that each set of taps and dies is presented in a convenient case, which can be made of either metal or plastic. This allows you to carry and store the tools comfortably.