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  • CHEAP import tap and die sets

    Are good quality tap and die sets extinct. I have been trying to upgrade my button dies for tailstock threading, and my Tiwanese tap and die set. Ebay is full of cheap rethreading dies and taps, even the brand names like Craftsman, Snapon, Mac,....

    I finally scored a couple of old Craftsman tap and die sets, made by Greenfield. They are complete even with original screwdrivers. Small set is 4-36, 6,8,10-32, 10-24. Large set is 1/4-1/2 nc and nf plus 1/8 pipe thread.




  • #2
    Ebay is full of cheap rethreading dies and taps, even the brand names like Craftsman, Snapon, Mac,....
    The real brand names such as Warrior, Wizard, Dormer and SKF etc are still not made in China and are still expensive and worth every penny.

    Nice sets btw.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by quasi
      Are good quality tap and die sets extinct.
      The best quality taps and dies don't come in sets. You buy individual pieces as needed.

      Make sure any pieces you buy are HSS (high speed steel), they'll be marked as such. If they aren't marked they'll be carbon steel, making them not much better than re-threading tools.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey, a nice sharp quality carbon steel tap will hold a good edge and cut just as well as HSS.
        High speed steel is going to be tougher than carbon steel, but carbon steel will take a better edge, thats why they use it for chisels.

        You don't need to use high speed steel for tapping, it's main advantage is that it has a very good 'hot' hardness.
        And when you make a tap in the workshop you'll make it from carbon steel (drill rod/silver steel).

        That being said, all the better brands listed by Evan use HSS for taps and dies.

        It's not all bad ya know

        Peter

        Comment


        • #5
          i have a set of mastercraft canadain tire tap and dies but i do buy seperate dies and taps that are not supported in the ctire kits as they only goto 1/2 inch and i use larger ones then that so buying them seperate and getting good quaility ones vs cheap ones well i ca say with the better quaility taps and dies they do seem to cut the sae the difference is the better quaility taps and dies do last longer then the cheap ones, i bought a milbro die and tap and they were junk so i up graded that tap and die to the american vermont model this was a 7/16 tap and die and they work slick and last a long time so far i have had no issues with them at all for the jobs they do. now the HSS set fi have is good and works well and i have snaped a few taps and they have been replaced as well no problems and the HSS 9/16 and 5/0 ones i have from another maker work great as well lots of use on them and still cut good only buggered 1 tap so far from thoes pretty expecnsive but it was warrantyed and reaplaced for me no hassle , now the bg problem i do have is when iam threading 9/16 and 7/16 316 Stainless steel this seems to play havoc on my taps and dies i think i need to get better quaility taps and dies for thoes metals ,,

          Comment


          • #6
            I disagree Peter, carbon taps and dies are not as good as HSS. They are only fit for cleaning up or chasing threads. A carbon steel tap or die will not hold up taping new threads. The carbon taps and dies I have used are only good for one or two threadings in making a new thread in a hole or threading a rod. Don't even try to tap or thread SS with a carbon steel tap/die.

            We never used carbon taps and dies in the job shops I have worked in and I don't use them at home. Pay a little more and buy something that will last many threadings.

            I reciently bought some very small nembered adjustable Chinese HSS dies. While they cut ok I was not satisfied with the adjustability of them and will pay for the better grade in the future. I think Vermont and Cleveland are still USA made but I will be sure of the quality in the future.
            Last edited by Carld; 09-09-2007, 10:55 AM.
            It's only ink and paper

            Comment


            • #7
              I highly value my Taps and Dies.

              The majority of times, threading is a 2nd or 3rd op. of a nearly completed part. For the HSM this means you could have spent hours getting it to this point only to have import quality taps and dies perform a shoddy job at the near end.

              Morse, Greenfield, Butterfield, and Titan (for the new stuff) are invaluable assets to the work bench, (I say this from trial and error) Master Mechanic, and Vermont American, (Ace Hardware) might as well be Chinese made when it comes to harder materials such as SS. And don’t even get me started on the Chinese stuff. It’s more like a bad joke.

              Believe me, many a Tap and Die has hit the trash can for performing a shoddy job in my shop.

              Here are some well cared for and cherished Taps I purchased from the estate of a late machinist who passed away leaving them to his widow.





              and the corresponding reams for close fit work



              Would be nice to have one of them fancy sets all gussied up in one of them fitted cases, but for right now I’ll stick with what works

              Comment


              • #8
                Those low-class cheapies like OSG and Greenfield......... Pah!


                The best dies and taps I have are old "Card" ones. Must be from the 1940s, and still cut very well. Oh. yeah, they DID come in sets, but the sets are usually of small ones, with the very small size dies, possibly the 13/16 size.

                For some reason, many newer dies do not "start" as well as old ones. I have never tried to measure the reasons why, but there must be reasons.

                There ARE good quality sets. I recently came into a set of small metric taps and dies. The smallest size is 16 thou, and the dies are all about 1/4 inch OD. Very good quality Japanese watchmaker set.
                Last edited by J Tiers; 09-09-2007, 08:02 PM.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JoeFin
                  I highly value my Taps and Dies.

                  If I "highly valued" some taps I wouldn't let them bang into eachother
                  the way those are doing in a box.
                  ...lew...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lew Hartswick
                    If I "highly valued" some taps I wouldn't let them bang into eachother
                    the way those are doing in a box.
                    ...lew...
                    Lew –

                    Message understood and my humble apologies are offered for treating such fine old taps in that manor.

                    But frankly Dear Sir, you are beginning to sound like my wife. I am grossly out of space and in serious need of expanding my current shop sq. footage. How ever the Wifey unit is nagging about her desires I finish installing the Hot Tub and cazebo (which includes underground electrical / plumbing / concrete installation) she has been wanting and once again my desires of an additional 300 sq. ft. of floor space goes on hold.

                    To amend for my ways I offer this per your review
                    New Huot Tap Dispenser

                    Which will have to suffice until such time as I may fully reconcile the situation

                    Legalese
                    All puns are intended and fully for the enjoyment of the poster unless viod in the city and or state you are residing in, at which time the poster claims no liability and or binding agreement shall be made.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JoeFin
                      Here are some well cared for and cherished Taps
                      No offense meant, but to me that's an odd way to talk about taps. Taps are like razor blades, when they're dull you get a new one.

                      I may be the minority on this though. I've seen widows selling their husband's treasured cutting tools. "They're just like new, they served him well over the years". Invariably, it seems to me the tools will be dull.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yup i agree with DR



                        I've got a set of Irwin taps (new) that are not nearly as good as the hanson and morse taps i got for my uncle. They were all new from him (he buys pallets of damaged tools and then sells what he doesnt want... usually they are mis-marked, damaged packaging etc but otherwise they are in good condition) and they work way better and seem to have lasted alot longer than the irwin ones. The morse ones seem to cut better than the hanson ones, too. They start alot better and dont seem to gall as bad.

                        As a side note, one of the pallets that my uncle got in had some pliers and etc from channel-loc. He gave many of them to my dad and i but i noticed that all of the pliers were smooth jawed. Apparently thats why they were being sold as damaged goods, none of the ridges that were supposed to be on the jaws ever got cut!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DR
                          No offense meant, but to me that's an odd way to talk about taps. Taps are like razor blades, when they're dull you get a new one.
                          Yes that is true

                          That is if they cut correctly in the first place when they are "Brand New" directly out of the wrapper/package.

                          I have purchased from the local hardware store Hanson, and Vermont American (also marketed under "Master Mechanic") both USA made that would NOT cut threads correctly. Not even once! I've taken them back, complained to the owner of the store, ect, ect, it doesn't do any good. They are not allowed to stock any thing else.

                          So yes, when they cut correctly, even if they are 40 - 50 years old, you bet "Cherised, well care for" applies.

                          As for common sizes I use most often I buy them by the package.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            25-30 years ago, it seemed very few people has taps and dies at home, unless the worked at a machinist, now I can now buy a 80 piece inch and metric tap and die set from the local Rite-Aid drug store or Wal-mart for $19.95. Of course they are junk, but the people buy it don't know the difference, and unless absolutely got to have an 8mm x 1.25mm at 9pm on a Sunday night, most HSMers aren't going to buy it. I can go to Home Depot and buy a Vermont-American 3/8"-16 tap for about $4.00, I can go to an industrial supply store 6 blocks away and buy a Bennington or Greenfield for about $4.00, but the average person doesn't know that.

                            Its true nothing works like a sharp tap or die, either new or well cared for, but even a cheap tap is better than no tap. I've have had them turn to crap after 2-3 holes, but they did work, if its an odd thread or one your going to use only once or twice carbon steel can and will work, just not for long.

                            Jack
                            jack

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carld
                              I disagree Peter, carbon taps and dies are not as good as HSS. They are only fit for cleaning up or chasing threads. A carbon steel tap or die will not hold up taping new threads. The carbon taps and dies I have used are only good for one or two threadings in making a new thread in a hole or threading a rod. Don't even try to tap or thread SS with a carbon steel tap/die.
                              You're being a little bit harsh on good old carbon steel Carl, it's far better than you may think.
                              A new 'quality' carbon steel tap will cut just as well as HSS, but being less tough it's not going to last as long, but it will cut tough material just as easily.

                              In the best traditions of Sir John, here's one I made earlier<G>.

                              A little while ago, I needed a 3/8" BSF tap to make up half a dozen mild steel nuts for a friend, and not having one to hand I made this from Silver steel (1% carbon).
                              It's been knocking around on the bench for a few weeks after it was used, and happily was still reasonably pristine.


                              So I cut off a bit of mild steel, drilled it 8.5mm, than tapped it with this.





                              Then I cut off an 1" 304 stainless (I haven't got as much material as Sir John to waste), and drilled and tapped that too.




                              Then I cut off a length of 1/2" gauge plate, and drilled that.
                              This stuff is O1 tool steel, ground on both sides, and the grinding also seems to give it quite a hard skin.
                              Pretty tough stuff as you can see from the fancy blue swarf made when drilling it.




                              Then I tapped that with the home made carbon steel tap too.





                              I didn't bother with the third hole, as to be honest my home made tap was beginning to get a little bit of a twist in it.
                              Bear in mind that this tap was knocked up and very roughly hardened in quite a hurry at the time, so the reliefs are far from correct,
                              and the cutting teeth aren't perfectly formed for a tap either.

                              But it still cut half a dozen mild steel nut threads in the first place, another one today, and then more in stainless steel and tool steel.
                              Of course HSS will last longer, and be a better bet for production shop, but don't write off the old-fashioned materials yet.
                              It makes very sharp lathe cutting tools as well.

                              Peter

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