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Buying a Tap/die set

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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:58 pm

Good tools cost money.

Even the only half decent stuff at Sears will run several hundred dollars by the time you add any taxes.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... s+%26+Dies

I won't even check to see what Snap-On, Mac and Allied want.

Of course, you CAN buy smaller sets, but the price/piece usually goes up.

Buy tools when they are on sale is my advice.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:12 pm

Gippeto wrote:Good tools cost money.

Buy tools when they are on sale is my advice.


Good advice. Also, you can look at most tools as usually a life time investments. Once you have them, even though you might not use them everyday, you've got them!!..and will make working in your shop a joy when you don't have to worry about how your going to fit widget A into widget B.

One of the best gifts a dad can give his teenage son is a starter set of good socket wrenchs, a good toolbox, some basic screw drivers, pliers of several sort and a hand drill. A lot of it will indeed last him a lifetime!
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Unread postAuthor: SP00K » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:30 pm

So I'm kinda new to this terminology and not really sure what a tap and die set is. I kinda thought they were for for making threads in holes.

Amirite?
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:31 pm

Taps are for threading the inside of a hole.
Dies are for threading the outside of a rod or tube
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Unread postAuthor: SP00K » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:35 pm

Oh! Thanks. This is gonna make my next project so much easier. I'm going to Lowes right now to get one. I remember using these in metal shop but they were kind of a machine instead of a handheld tool.
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Sun Dec 14, 2008 4:11 pm

VH_man wrote:Frankerede:

I will look at lowes. I really actually need this, Because Im starting to get into working with Aluminum stock and stuff, and its becoming neccecary that things be Screwed together, Not glued.

They sell seperate NTP taps/Dies? Id need up to 1/2 inch, really. I could live with just 1/8 inch tho for most things.

Im going out and getting the last hour of driving i need before i get my liscence in a little bit, so ill stop at lowes and check it out.

Thanks Guys! I was pretty sure it was junk, But i wanted some outside opinions.
I actually bought my large taps and dies from Harbor freight, they aren't that bad actually.
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Unread postAuthor: Xxplosive42o » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:17 pm

Quality is important in taps and dies; you can scimp on the handles but not the tooling- its just not worth it.

Don't buy a set. Buy what you need individually. Sets out there, but I've never seen a quality set of taps and dies in a store. Junk is sold to the typical customer because the market for taps and dies is mainly industry and professionals.

This might be little bit off topic; although, this might help you decide. The different metals you'll generally see is HSS or Carbon Steel. Most will tell you the better ones are HSS. This is generally true; however, there's correlation but not causality. Carbon is somewhat cheaper to manufacture so the really budget stuff tends to lean with that, but you can find very high quality Carbon taps and dies and find junk HSS. But for manual use, I don't think there is much difference IF you comparing the same quality (dimensional accuracy, quality steel, properly hardened, tempered, etc.) The main advantage HSS has over Carbon is it's efficiencies at higher temperatures, something that really doesn't matter in hand tapping.

Cheers! -Xxplosive42o 8)
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Unread postAuthor: STHORNE » Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:39 pm

harbor freight is the walmart of all hardware stores.

Cheap stuff that does the job atleast once (you get what you pay for).
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Unread postAuthor: Velocity » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:23 pm

I really like the idea of Harbor Freight. The vast majority of their tools are low quality, but the price is so right for them...its great if you are going to buy a one-time use tool.

I actually bought a 2" Tungsten tap once for $30...still haven't used it though :cry:
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:15 am

Yet another of my dumb questions regarding taps and dies: Can i tap any pipe(copper aluminium iron) with the same diameter witht he same tap or do i need a seperate tap for each material, and can i tap iron at all?
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:43 pm

You only need one tap or die in each size. Taps and dies will cut threads in/on any material that is softer than the tap or die.

That being said, there does have to be enough material in the pipe to cut the threads, AND still leave enough material to handle any required pressure/load placed upon it.

For example, this may be a problem if you are trying to cut tapered pipe threads on thin wall copper.

Cast iron takes threads beautifully. Use cutting fluid, and remember to turn the tap or die backward at least 1/4 turn for every 1/2 turn in.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:34 am

Ok thank you Gippeto, ill se if there is any where here i can get taps and dies for less than 200$ a piece...
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