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What were they thinking: T-handle tap wrench

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  • What were they thinking: T-handle tap wrench

    I have 2 T-handle tap wrenches that I took the handles off of & chuck them in my drill press for power tapping. EXCEPT the largest one, that is supposed to handle taps up to 1/2" is just a bit too small. 0.025 small. Why did they do that? Could it have saved them any money? It's not metric vs imperial as the few large metric taps that I have don't fit either.

    It's not just my wrench - a sampling of the wrenches on Amazon show the same problem in the reviews. Some of them don't say - I suppose that I could start buying those & return the ones that are too small.

    Of course, I'm not talking about the Starretts & other much-more-expensive ones. Does one have to pay the Starrett price for a wrench that's 0.025 larger?

    My work around was to grind all those too-big taps down 0.025.

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure tap handles are specified for the distance across corners they can accommodate and not the size tap they'll handle. You need a larger handle.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've used a lot of different taps and there sure doesn't seem to be much consistency in the
      sizes of the shanks and squares--they can be all over the place. Besides, if you're power
      tapping why are you using the tap handle any way? Just stick the tap in a regular drill chuck
      and go for it...
      Keith
      __________________________
      Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LKeithR View Post
        ... Besides, if you're power
        tapping why are you using the tap handle any way? Just stick the tap in a regular drill chuck
        and go for it...
        Because the tap is too hard for the chuck to get a good grip.

        Comment


        • #5
          There are tap adapters for use in a drill chuck. You need a 3/8" square socket adapter with a 1/4" hex to go with it.



          https://www.ebay.com/itm/29374840768...cAAOSwvmphhihv

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/40342002224...AAAOSwTWRh6Gwl
          Kansas City area

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm thinking that maybe it's a matter of quality control: the wrenches are designed to hold 1/2" taps, but the factory isn't doing it. Here's a close up:

            Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_2766.jpg Views:	0 Size:	100.8 KB ID:	1981913

            You can see that it's drilled and slit, creating corners to hold the tap. It's hard to see, but the corners are smushed down a little. If the smushing was done at the factory, to make the corners less pointy, then that op would determine the maximum size that could be held. The drilling & slitting would be easy to keep tolerances.

            Yeah, I know - it looks really ****ty. I think it's an entry-level Enco wrench.
            Last edited by Bob Engelhardt; 01-20-2022, 05:44 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

              Because the tap is too hard for the chuck to get a good grip.
              Which is a good thing. I tap through holes with a spiral point tap in a Jacobs chuck. If the tap jams it doesn't break.

              -js
              There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

              Location: SF Bay Area

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                There are tap adapters for use in a drill chuck. ...
                https://www.ebay.com/itm/29374840768...cAAOSwvmphhihv... [Irwin holder]
                If only the adapter would actually hold a 1/2" tap. Amazon reviews for the Irwin T-handle wrench complain about a 1/2" tap not fitting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jim Stewart View Post

                  Which is a good thing. I tap through holes with a spiral point tap in a Jacobs chuck. If the tap jams it doesn't break.

                  -js
                  I guess that I've been lucky (so far) & haven't broken any taps using the T-handle body. Of course I do have the VFD bottomed out at 5Hz, so there isn't much torque available.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

                    If only the adapter would actually hold a 1/2" tap. Amazon reviews for the Irwin T-handle wrench complain about a 1/2" tap not fitting.
                    I just went and checked mine. A 9/16 tap easily fits, a 5/8 not quite. I have used 1/2" taps in mine (the larger one) lots of times. A T handle wrench is something different.
                    Kansas City area

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I usually use a tap wrench like this for larger sizes:

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	61c9WfVMn8L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
Views:	314
Size:	36.5 KB
ID:	1981924

                      1/4" to 3/4". About $26. Many more on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/large-Tap-Wre...rge+Tap+Wrench
                      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                      USA Maryland 21030

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                      • #12
                        Kind of hard to use that in a cordless drill, drill press or mill spindle.
                        Kansas City area

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

                          Because the tap is too hard for the chuck to get a good grip.
                          Really? I do it all the time. Anything 5/8" and smaller is easy. Larger taps will usually slip
                          but they're relatively easy to hand tap anyway. You just need a good chuck--like a Jacobs
                          16N and you're good to go...
                          Keith
                          __________________________
                          Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LKeithR View Post

                            ... You just need a good chuck--like a Jacobs
                            16N and you're good to go...
                            $300 & up. I'll put one on the list.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can you spring open the jaws enough to file the flats?
                              Alternatively, seek out a better quality tap wrench at a tag or garage sale. estate sale, flea market or swap meet.

                              Comment

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