I have been considering adding an automatic tapping head to my tool arsenal, but after spending some time on the Tapmatic site, I am more confused than ever. After reading the descriptions of their different models, I can't seem to be able to discern the differences or why one is better than the others for a specific job. Can someone(s) spell out the differences and elaborate on which model is the best choice for a hsm?
I've never been able to make much sense of the Tapmatic info, either.
So, I bought a Procunier #1 head. Supposedly superior in every way but I've never run a Tapmatic...
The Procunier #1 is for #0 through #12 or 1/4 taps, unless the material is very hard.
I like it so much I bought a Procunier #2 2 weeks ago. This will handle bigger taps, up to 1/2" in soft materiels and 3/8" in harder materiels.
Many folks say that tapping heads are not worthwhile, but they're not tapping hundreds of M3-0.5 in electrical enclosures...
Tapmatic is a very good tapping head, and has the advantage of being more compact than the Procunier style tapping heads. The selection of a tapping head will depend to a large part on what equipment you intend to use it on and what material and tap size you will be using.
If you can let us know the equipment and size range, we can make suggestions to help your selection.
Most of the holes I tap are in the #6 to 3/8 range and I would be doing them on a RF-30 mill drill. The few holes I need to tap outside this range could easily be done by hand.
Originally Posted by fasto
I have seen these listed on ebay, but have never seen one up close. Thanks for the info - looks like I may need to widen my search!
Either the Tapmatic 50X or the SPD5 will suit your application. Both will handle #6 to 1/2", and use Jacobs taper mount that will permit using an R-8 X JT arbor, using little head room on the RF mill.
The comparable Procunier is the 2E, capacity #6-5/16", or 3E #10 to 1/2". Both are significantly more expensive than the Tapmatic and I do not believe they come with anything but an MT arbor, which would require an adaptor to R-8, increasing the daylight used. The Procunier tapping head is also physically much larger.
I have a Procunier #1E and a 2E. The former has a 3/4" straight shank and the latter has a Jacobs taper mount.
Originally Posted by JCHannum
The big difference between the Tapmatic and the Procunier is that the Procunier has a clutch, so the harder you feed, the more torque it transmits. Obviously bottoming a tap is not good, but what's nice is that the instant you hit your stop, or simply stop feeding, it stops driving the tap.
The Tapmatics travel a certain distance before the drive dogs disengage.
Ultimately, it's a matter of taste.
I have and have used Tapmatics. I just plain don't like them. They're noisy, the torque bar bangs around, also the rapid sped return is hard to get used to.
Not only the above, my 30X stripped the gears a few years back after not much use. $120+/- for repair parts. When I called back to ask about adjustments on re-assembly the guy asked why I didn't send the unit back, they'd fix it completely for a flat fee of less than the sum of the parts. Great way to do business, huh?
I would not recommend the 50X for the small threads. Even though it's rated down to #6, it seems to me that's pushing your luck using so big a head for small threads. You have the issue of adjusting the torque setting for the different tap sizes which wouldn't be fun to change it every time you changed tap sizes.
Given the current prices of tapping heads it's really hard to know what to suggest. I definitely prefer the Procunier style over others.. The Supreme Versa Tapper is the favorite of what I own, apparently it's not made any more.
On edit: forgot to mention, I've never seen a tapping head that would actually do the maximum rated tap capacity.