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PT Doc
01-16-2014, 05:18 PM
With the help of the members here, I have decided to get a tapping head. Send like the 2 major manufacturers are Tapmatic and Procunier. Are there any preferences to brand due to reliability, strength or ease of use? Is either brand better built?

Thanks for the help.

Toolguy
01-16-2014, 05:49 PM
They both work well. One thing I never liked about Tapmatic is the sheet metal arm to keep it from rotating. The other ones have a steel rod. Just a personal preference thing. I would look for one that has a chuck on the end that can be adjusted for different size taps. The other way you have to have a different holder for each size tap. The price for holders can add up if they don't come with the unit. You will never regret getting a tapping head. Once you have used it a little no one will be able to pry it away from you.

oxford
01-16-2014, 06:24 PM
I would look for one that has a chuck on the end that can be adjusted for different size taps. The other way you have to have a different holder for each size tap. The price for holders can add up if they don't come with the unit.

For the couple of tapmatics I used, they all used a flexible Jacobs collet to center the tap and then a retainer to hold the square on the end of the tap to drive it. You will need a couple of different size rubber collets to cover a full range of taps. I have a 50x and I think it uses 2 different collets to cover the range it is capable of.

dp
01-16-2014, 10:00 PM
I wrote a tear-down post for the Tapmatic 50X back in 2011. Need to add that to my blog, now that I think about it. Kind of reminds me of my new 8-speed hub I just installed on my old Schwinn - full of gears.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/45623-Tapmatic-50X-disassembly

becksmachine
01-16-2014, 10:59 PM
It depends somewhat on how you will use it. As I had mentioned before in a thread about forming taps, the friction style clutches in the Procunier are much more tolerant of operation at (very?) high speeds (>1,000 rpm). I suppose you could also make a case for this style also having better/finer control as it is possible to manually "feather" the driving torque.

That being said, the Tapmatic style units are probably more compact and positive in operation. Also, some of the Tapmatic units are available with a settable torque limiting clutch which can save you bacon in some applications.

Pick your poison. :)

Dave

Black Forest
01-17-2014, 02:17 AM
I don't like the Jacobs chuck some are referring to here. I took it off one of my tapping heads and put a Bilz chuck on mine. Yes you need a holder for each size tap but they aren't so so expensive. You can find them on Ebay quite cheap. what I like about the holders is they have a built in clutch for the tap. The tap is set for the size tap it takes so there is no fiddling with the clutch on the actual tapping head.

DR
01-17-2014, 06:27 AM
In my years of experience with tapping heads the best one for general use is this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ridgid-Supreme-Versataper-Model-6100-1-2-Tapping-head-4-collet-2-drives-tools-/331033042111?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d131b5cbf

Google on "versatapper" for more info. It's not clear if they're still made any more. I have two and love them. #10 to 1/2" capacity, uses adjustable collets. I've bought from the above eBay seller, he's an honest seller.

I hate Tapmatic heads with a passion, they're nasty and noisy. I just sold a 50X head for thirty bucks. Go to any large machine shop auction and you'll see a box full of broken Tapmatic heads.

Procunier are good. Unfortunately they have the special tap holder collet system, so thirty bucks for each tap size.

KJ1I
01-17-2014, 10:04 AM
PM sent.

dp
01-17-2014, 10:39 AM
What breaks in a 3/8"/M10 Tapmatic? Everything inside is beefier than a tap that size so I'm surprised they can be problematic unless dropped or misused. I paid $30 for mine and it's been flawless.

Jaakko Fagerlund
01-17-2014, 10:48 AM
SPV tapping head, nothing beats the cocking clutch mechanism. Once it over-torques, it starts free wheeling and no clank-clank-clank like some cheap ones do. Just love it, I got both tap and die holders for it, changing is very fast.

Black Forest
01-17-2014, 11:36 AM
SPV tapping head, nothing beats the cocking clutch mechanism. Once it over-torques, it starts free wheeling and no clank-clank-clank like some cheap ones do. Just love it, I got both tap and die holders for it, changing is very fast.

I have a SPV tapping head and I really like how it functions. The other one is a Bilz and it is quite good also.

DR
01-17-2014, 06:28 PM
What breaks in a 3/8"/M10 Tapmatic? Everything inside is beefier than a tap that size so I'm surprised they can be problematic unless dropped or misused. I paid $30 for mine and it's been flawless.

My 30X, 1/4" capacity, was full of little gears. After about 500 holes gears stripped. I got on the phone with Tapmatic going thru the unit determining which parts needed replacement. $125+ I got the parts. While reassembling there were some adjustments which the phone guy again was able to help with. So, I got it back in operation, calling once more to ask about an instruction manual for the adjustments in case they were needed after a bit of use. At that point the same doofus who sold me the parts and helped on reassembly asked why I hadn't just sent it back for their $90 one price fix-anything-deal. Duh.......

dp, I see the one you posted about is a 50XB that may be totally different inside than the plain "X" series. Tapmatic has so many different models now I have no idea what they're all about internally, only that my "X" series had tiny "strippable" gears.

One of my dislikes is the clattering gear/ratchet noise they make when retracting if you don't outfeed about twice as fast as infeeding. Friction drive units don't have the noises.

PT Doc
01-17-2014, 08:20 PM
PM sent.

Replied via pm.

dp
01-17-2014, 08:59 PM
My 30X, 1/4" capacity, was full of little gears.

Ok - that is much more like my new 8-speed hub I put on my bike. 3 gangs of planetary gears that fits inside a 90mm aluminum hub. Lots of interesting noises in there and over a dozen little gears subject to large stresses.

Lots of noise comes from the dog clutch going in and out of engagement and I think there's no silent alternative. My X version has not gear noises as it has no gears - it uses the friction planetary drive that is surely subject to wear over time.