Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

HSS Tap and Drill sets

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • HSS Tap and Drill sets

    Any recommendations on sets of adequate quality for occasional use? I currently have many years accumulation of mismatched yardsale stuff and want to upgrade.

  • #2
    RHayes, whatever you do don't buy cheap. I have a Craftsman set (> 10 years old) that is fine as well as a bunch of really old taps and dies from an uncle (probably old Craftsman). I also have a cheap set (Pittsburgh; made in China). I don't remember where I purchased it, but thought it couldn't be all that bad. The taps in the set seem fine, but the dies are worthless. I have never been able to start one on properly sized and chamfered stock. These cheap dies just grind off the end of the stock. This happens whether starting the die in the lathe with my die holder or by hand in a vise.

    Comment


    • #3
      It will probably be a DOWNgrade.

      I had a cheapo set long ago. Later I was given a Sears full set. The cheapo set was better, the Sears set was returned as being essentially unusable.

      The complaint that jhmii has about the cheapo set is the problem I had with the Sears, made in USA set. Made in Chung-Ming-USA, maybe... The cheapo set started fine, and made good threads. Made-in-USA forsooth......

      I now have "mismatched" sets from Butterfield, S W Card, and others, which work far better. Several sets in wood boxes, and some that make sets, but the individual pieces may be from anyone. I DO have a set or two of OLD Sears, and they aren't too bad. A few Hanson, etc Those are the ones I'd lend someone.....maybe.

      Just to hit the other typical bugaboo..... I expect some of the taps and dies are the "dreaded carbon steel". Yah, whatever, they work fine.
      Last edited by J Tiers; 07-26-2016, 06:06 PM.
      CNC machines only go through the motions.

      Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
      Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
      Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
      I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
      Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think any new "sets" you find are either going to be poor quality or heart-stoppingly expensive. I used to think my old Craftsman set was good until I got my hands on a small pile of lightly used OSG, Winter, and Greenfield taps. What a world of difference.

        I was lucky enough to come across some very nicely made used taps/dies for cheap that cover most of my needs, so it does pay to keep your eyes peeled on craigslist, e-bay, etc. Up until very recently we had a used tooling supplier down the road who sold their cutting tools by the pound, and it was easy to find like-new tooling in their bins. When I need a tap or die I don't have, I put in an Amazon Prime order on the size I need from a make that I trust. On those rare occasions I can't wait the 2 days for an Amazon Prime order, I'll put the order in anyway (so I have it for next time), and either single point the threads if they're imperial or bust out the old Craftsman set if it's metric. It sometimes pays to have a cheap set as backup.
        Max
        http://joyofprecision.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          I have some inexpensive and even dirt cheap sets that are still adequate for aluminum, copper, and mild steel. The older, cheaper black oxide carbon steel taps and dies sometimes work better than the newer and less "cheap" alloy steel or HSS. They are OK for the occasional need for an "odd size" like #12-24. I bought some better taps for the sizes I most often use, particularly #4-40, #6-32, #8-32, #10-32, and 1/4-20. If I dis a lot more machining I would probably get multiples of these sizes, and sets of starter, plug, and bottoming types.

          I don't use dies very often, except to clean up work started by single-pointing thread chasing on the lathe. I do have some adjustable dies that are handy for getting a tight fit, but that's not often needed.

          Usually I tap holes by hand, and most tap and die holders in the cheap sets are pretty bad. So I would pay extra for good tools like that.
          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
          USA Maryland 21030

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
            I have some inexpensive and even dirt cheap sets that are still adequate for aluminum, copper, and mild steel. The older, cheaper black oxide carbon steel taps and dies sometimes work better than the newer and less "cheap" alloy steel or HSS. They are OK for the occasional need for an "odd size" like #12-24. I bought some better taps for the sizes I most often use, particularly #4-40, #6-32, #8-32, #10-32, and 1/4-20. If I dis a lot more machining I would probably get multiples of these sizes, and sets of starter, plug, and bottoming types.

            I don't use dies very often, except to clean up work started by single-pointing thread chasing on the lathe. I do have some adjustable dies that are handy for getting a tight fit, but that's not often needed.

            Usually I tap holes by hand, and most tap and die holders in the cheap sets are pretty bad. So I would pay extra for good tools like that.

            Old carbon steel may have been made well, since it was the only thing they had back then. Good carbon steel beats piss poor HSS.

            Modern taps made out of carbon steel are only made from carbon steel if they are the cheapest of the cheap. Cheap carbon steel does not beat cheap HSS, although for taps/dies, cheap HSS or carbon steel is worthless and good carbon steel or HSS is perfect.
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for all the quick replies. Several years ago I purchased two wooden boxes of taps and dies at an estate sale. I was to ignorant to check them closely and they had all suffered from "used too much when new" Anyway, was thinking of taps from CDCO. Anybody tried them?

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a few boxed sets from Goliath and presto, they were HSGT and very good, I still have a BA set, and to be honest I would never buy a set again, buy good ones as you need them, if you like boxes then an afternoon with a router and some 10 inch plank will get a box made, fit a plastic lid.
                To get a good set in box over here is not far off 1000 pounds, painfull.
                https://www.alltools.com.au/shop/ind...METRIC_OR_BA_)
                Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the best idea is to buy a cheapish set, to ensure you actually HAVE one of what you want.

                  THEN, either buy older sets, from good makers, or buy as you need them for the ones you use the most.

                  I found that buying as needed is great, IF you have an easily reached source you can buy from off the shelf immediately. Even then, it is a pain. I need a tap or die, I usually need it NOW and not next week or when UPS delivers in 3 days, or after I take time and drive to the store to get it, etc. I would rather HAVE a cheap one I can manage to get to work, than wait for a good one and have to stop on the repair of the machine that I need to have working now..
                  CNC machines only go through the motions.

                  Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                  Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                  Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                  I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                  Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    All the good quality taps and dies that I've gotten over the years cut SOOOOOO much better than the cheap sets that I feel they are worthwhile. The good stuff is ground with some slight relief so the cuts are cleaner and the torque needed is much less. So there's considerably less risk of breaking the tap in the hole.

                    They do not need to be domestic either. Some years back when KBC tools brought their imported taps in from Poland I got a couple for a project. They cut every bit as nice as Butterfield taps do.

                    A few years after that I scored some really nice "used" taps in most of the popular sizes from the Boeing surplus center tool room. Those taps are still going strong. If I didn't know they were "used" I'd swear that they cut like new.

                    So I really do feel that the good taps and dies are worth the money. If it's too rich to buy all at once then buy a $100 worth at a time until the set is complete. With any respect at all for the larger sizes you'll never need to buy one again if you run a hobby scale of operation.
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Most of the taps I have purchased have been from McMaster Carr. They do not publish the manufacturers names, but they always supply a quality tap. I have mostly purchased sets of taper, plug, and bottoming taps or spiral point ones. I buy the drills separately. I have a full set of letter, number, and fractional bits so I always have the proper size, even when I want to step up to a slightly larger one.

                      McMaster does sell tap and drill sets.

                      http://www.mcmaster.com/#tap-and-drill-sets/=13giwss

                      I would not hesitate to buy them. The prices are not cheap, but I would not recommend cheap taps.

                      Here is another angle. I have been purchasing some used taps from pawn shops for some experiments I am conducting. I wanted taps that were in bad shape. Dull taps. The bins of used taps in the local pawn shops seemed to fit the bill. But I have been surprised that when I clean the rust off of them, well over 50% of them were almost perfect. I suspect that some were never used to tap a single hole. They just sat around collecting rust. Most of them were name brand, quality taps. I paid around $1 per tap in the smaller sizes (<1/4") and up to $2 for the larger ones (up to around 3/4"). I always pick up a bunch from their trays and ask how much. Then I offer about 20% or 30% less. Haven't been turned down yet. You can clean them with a brush and soap then soak them overnight in vinegar to remove most of the rust. I have had to buy at least twice as many of these taps as I originally thought for my experiments.
                      Paul A.
                      SE Texas

                      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                      You will find that it has discrete steps.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Experiments? "Tapping" into the unlimited "zero point energy"?
                        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                        USA Maryland 21030

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One thing I've noticed is that good taps can be resharpened, once they are the actualy seem to cut better!, I took mine to the T&C grinder in work to get them touched up before I retired, he mounted them between centres on a clarkson grinder and redid the gullets, the process took a few minutes each and they cut better after grinding than before, you can send yours off and get them done, certainly cheaper than new, I've even bought some old odd sizes, big usually like 1" BSP and got them reground
                          I don't think the new cheap sets could be reworked.
                          Oddly I find resharpened drill bits work better too, perhaps it's just my own experience, new bits seem to snatch easily, the reground don't?
                          Mark

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I want to thank everyone for responding and helping me to get a better perspective on taps in general. Not so anxious now to go out and buy sets. (maybe a basic metric set-of which I have none) I've acquired some decent handles over the years and will concentrate on decent taps for the projects that come up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ive gotten hertel usa hss from enco when on sale. I bought one of every tap from #4 to 3/8 fine and course.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X