Tap and die sets serve many industrial and manufacturing purposes. Both taps and dies are used to create screw threads. Some sets are used as cutting tools, and others to form the threads. Taps cut or form the female of a mating pair or nut, while the die cuts or forms the male, or bolt. Tapping is the tap-process of cutting or forming threads, and the die-process is called threading. Using tap and die sets to clean threads, is called chasing. These adaptable tools are key to quality control across numerous industries.
If you are working on a detailed job that involves works of nuts and bolts, a tap and die set should be among the desirable tools. Although many ignore the significance of a set, I suggest you shouldn’t because you never know when these small elements will come into play. The best tap and die set are not necessarily the most expensive or lavish ones on the market either.
What is a Tap and Die Set Used for?
There may be old bolts that need to be removed. Or you may want to breathe new life into some old ones for being reused. A tap and die set can be used to both remove old bolts and get them into a state that they can be reused. If this is all you are needing the tap and die set, there are sets for this purpose.
Anyone who has every bought bolt knows that they come manufactured in set sizes. There may not be a size that fits your particular project. With a tap and die set you can create your own customized from a metal rod.
There are times when you need to have threaded holes in various places to accommodate a bolt. For instance, on the car for fitting a custom trailer hitch. The tap and die set is the kit you will need to do this with.
Tips for Buying and Using a Tap and Die Set
If you are just starting out, then a basic 20- or 40-piece tap and die set should be all you need. It will come with the most common sizes and types of taps and dies, which will allow you to complete most projects. However, if you have a specialized project or you know that you will need a certain type of tap or a specific die, then make sure that you get a set that includes the pieces that you need.
Another important factor to remember is that for most metals, the manufacturing process can make them very hard, but it also makes them brittle when they’re stressed on the wrong points. So when using the tap and die set, make sure to take the time to clear the metal and wood shavings after every full rotation to prevent the tools from breaking.
- Make sure that you buy a set that includes the types of taps and dies that you need.
- Invest in a tap and die set that can easily handle the materials you frequently use.
- Taps and dies are brittle, so always take your time to clear the excess metal or wood from the flute during thread cutting to prevent breaking the material or your tools.
Q: WILL THE DIE BREAK AN OLD BOLT?
A: You may break an old bolt if you are not gentle when threading it on a die. You should make the turns slowly to allow the rod to seamlessly take the threaded design. Remember to reapply cutting oil to keep the bolt from overheating or sparking.
Q: HOW DO I KNOW WHICH IS THE RIGHT TOOL TO USE?
A: Tap and die sets come in casings that are labeled either SAE or metric. You will find the label on the case or on the tool itself. Keeping your set organized is the only way you’ll know how to select the right tool for the job. You typically select a tool that matches the size of your bolt or steel rod.
Q: IS IT DIFFICULT TO TURN A TAP WRENCH?
A: It may not be something you can do with one hand, but it’s not any more difficult than using a lug wrench. If you are using too much force, then you may need to upgrade to a longer T-handle. Also, lubricating the hole makes the tap glide in easier.