If you are an avid DIY-er, and prefer to repair rather than replace, then you may be wanting to add a tap and die kit to your tool collection. But what exactly are they and how can they help you? Taps and dies are tools used to create screw threads, which is called threading. Some of them are cutting tools whereas others are forming tools. A tap is used to cut or form the nut element and a die is used to cut or form the bolt element. The process of cutting or forming threads using a tap is called tapping, whereas the process using a die is called threading.
If you need to reestablish a thread, or clean up a thread, then this is called chasing. However this is when you need to ensure that you have the right tap and die kit to help you do the job that you require. It is always worth remembering the two main points. A tap cuts or forms a thread on the inside surface of a hole, creating a female surface that functions like a nut. A die cuts an external thread on cylindrical material, such as a rod, which creates a male threaded piece that functions like a bolt. Dies are generally made in two styles: solid and adjustable.
You might find yourself in a position where you want to repair old nuts and bolts or even create new ones, and to do so you are going to need a great tap and die kit to succeed. The last thing you will want to do is buy a tap and die kit that doesn’t work or perform in the way you expect it to.
When shopping online there is a level of uncertainty. You don’t necessarily know what you are getting until it arrives on your doorstep. But often if you find yourself needing a tap and die kit, you will be wanting one to arrive quickly, and therefore will want to avoid making the wrong decision. Whether you want great value for money, want something that provides high quality results, or just want to have the confidence that the tap and die kit you are purchasing can do the job, then below we have a selection of options that might suit you with some general information of the benefits and disadvantages of that particular purchase. Without further ado, here are some of the best tap and die kits that you can get your hands on:
1. GEARWRENCH 114 Pc. SAE/Metric Ratcheting Tap and Die Set
The manufacturer GearWrench has taken the ratcheting wrench design and applied it to this particular tap and die kit. The ratcheting handles and adapters allow for easy back and forth movement which makes things much easier to handle when cutting threads on either taps or dies. The ratcheting arc has a reverse lever which eliminates the hand over hand turning making it a smoother product to use. This particular tap and tie set is excellent value for money, and does come with a lifetime warranty.
With 114 pieces included in this tap and die kit you are bound to find the right mechanism to complete the job you want. Gearwrench is a leading manufacturer in this type of tool production, so this can give you peace of mind that what you are purchasing is good quality. The quality of the casing is also something worth noting, as some models have had packaging options described as being plastic and flimsy. The case in which these tap and die mechanisms have been reported as strong and sturdy.
- Ratcheting T handles wind Dies with a 5° swing arc and have a reversing lever to eliminate hand over hand turning
- Twist lock guide system reduces the “walk back” of the die guide and keeps the dies centered while cutting
- Ratcheting t wrench works with GEARWRENCH pass thru socket system
- Die adapters work with the 3/8inch Drive pass thru ratchet and socket system as well as socket accessories
- Auto locking feature allow the tap adapters to be removed safely Blow mold carrying case with tilted tap holders for easy access and storage Set includes 2 ratcheting T handles, 3 sizes of tap adapters and 2 sizes of die adapter, 2 extension adapters and a sliding T for the adapters, a 4mm hex key, 5 screw extractors, SAE and metric thread gauges, and 48 taps and dies in SAE and metric sizes ranging from 4 40 to 3/4” and 3mm to 18mm
2. IRWIN 117 piece Tap And Die Set
This tap and die kit seems to be a little more advanced and includes a few additional pieces and with 117 to choose from, you are bound to find the right thread or tapping mechanism to complete the job you are wanting. Some have said that while the quality of the product is good, you will find that the packaging can be a little awkward to get into and store. If that doesn’t both you then the quality of the actual tap and die kit itself will not disappoint.
It is quite a bold and large product, but what you get for your money means that you are getting quality as well as quantity with this product. There is a limited lifetime warranty in place for the item, but it doesn’t cover general wear and tear so that is something to consider. This tap and die kit is crafted of high carbon steel. This helps to provide the accuracy of professional craftsmanship that you rely on to get the job done right the first time.
- Ideal for rethreading fasteners and fastener holes for auto and machinery repair
- Constructed of high carbon steel for durability
- Puts commonly needed taps, dies, drill bits, and extractors at your fingertips
- Perfect set for the professional craftsman
- Contains 117 of the most commonly needed machine screw plug tap and hex die sizes, drill bits, spiral screw extractors, an adjustable handle tap wrench, 2-in-1 tap wrench, t-handle wrench, pitch gauges, and a plastic case
3. Craftsman 75 pc Inch & Metric tap and die Set
This tap and die kit is a lot smaller than some of the others that have been suggested in this article and with 75 pieces you may be wondering whether you will get the use out of it. However, this tap and die kit makes up for the quantity with the quality as the elements are formed out of quality materials and have a rust resistant satin finish to give you extra peace of mind. They are hardened and precision ground with steel making chip removal easier.
From the main comments regarding this product many previous customers have never had an issue in finding the right tap and de element to perform the thread or cap they are trying to replay or repair. In terms of storage and packaging, the only thing that has been suggested is that the tap and die elements don’t stay put within the box if they are knocked. However, small things such as that shouldn’t be the thing that puts you off investing in this kit. It offers great value for money and could be just what you need to complete the job.
- Combines inch and metric sizes in 1 convenient kit
- Set includes: 7 drive tools with accessories, 17 inch plug taps, 17 inch hex dies, 17 metric plug taps, 17 metric hex dies & sturdy storage case with handle
- Hardened, precision-ground and polished carbon steel surfaces make chip removal easy
- Hex-shaped dies permit use of sockets and wrenches as well as die stocks
- Rust-resistant satin finish for smooth cuts with less friction
4. TEKTON 7560 Tap and Die Set
If you are looking for a tap and die kit that can repair slightly damaged threads or create new ones then this smaller kit could be the one to consider. With only 45 pieces it is another smaller option to consider, but if your job isn’t as advanced or in the need of a varied choice of tap and die elements then this could be the kit for you. Smaller in size and quantity, but still has an excellent high quality finish and can perform the jobs and tasks in smaller varieties. There is a point that this particular tap and die kit is excellent value for money.
It has also been suggested that this tap and die kit would suit someone that doesn’t have mass experience in DIY and the use of units and bolts. It can be an excellent starter kit as you try and determine and fix threads and elements in a variety of different ways. Again the packaging is one thing to think about in terms of storage and the plastic box has been described as “flimsy” but the cost of the product will reflect this and the tools you get included will be enough to do what you need.
- Includes 1-pc. 1/4 in. T Handle Tap Wrench; 1-pc. 1/4 in. - 1 in. T Handle Tap Wrench; 1-pc. 2 in. T Handle Die Stock; 1-pc. 1-1/2 in. Die Stock Adapter; 1-pc. Screwdriver; 20-pc. Taps; 20-pc. Split Dies; Storage Case Tap and Die Sizes:; Coarse Threads (NC): 1/4 NC 20, 5/16 NC 18, 3/8 NC 16, 7/16 NC 14, 1/2 NC 13, 9/16 NC 12, 5/8 NC 11, 3/4 NC 10, 7/8 NC 9, 1 NC 8; Fine Threads (NF): 1/4 NF 28, 5/16 NF 24, 3/8 NF 24, 7/16 NF 20, 1/2 NF 20, 9/16 NF 18, 5/8 NF 18, 3/4 NF 16, 7/8 NF 14, 1 NF 14
- Hardened tungsten alloy high speed steel construction
- Cut new material or chase lightly damaged threads
- 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-flute plug taps and dies for hand threading applications
- Tapered coarse and fine taps start easily and prevent overthreading
5. Neiko 00916A SAE Pro-Grade Large-Diameter Titanium Tap & Die Set
Last of all we have the Neiko tap and die set that includes 45 pieces. Again it is a smaller option to consider, but the quality and value for money can often be the key to helping you choose the right tap and die set for you. This particular kit is constructed from professional grade steel that lasts throughout multiple uses for ultimate durability. The titanium edges help to retain its sharpness for a precise cut every time. It will help you to quickly repair any stripped threads with this simple to use tap and die set.
The kit can efficiently repair your screws instead of spending time to shop for a new one in the right size. Ultimately in terms of a smaller package, this one can often be a great choice due to the quality of each mechanism as well as the overall cost for the tap and die kit. Again the only drawback for this smaller option is the packaging and case storage, but other than that there have been some excellent reviews where people have stated that this tap and die kit has been more than enough to complete the job.
- PREMIUM TAP & DIE SET: Quickly repair stripped threads and screws with our easy-to-use SAE tap and die kit. The taps and dies feature coarse (UNC) and fine (UNF) thread designations for a large variety of hand-threading applications.
- HIGH-QUALITY THREADING TOOLS: Each tap and die is titanium coated for a precise cut every time. The titanium provides rust and corrosion resistance and extra durability, making these pieces the perfect mechanic accessories.
- THE RIGHT SIZE: This 45-piece SAE dies and taps kit has the right-sized piece for your threading needs. Our threading tool set includes UNC coarse-thread pieces in sizes 1/4-20 to 1-8 and UNF fine-thread pieces in sizes 1/4-28 to 1-14.
- EASY-TO-READ SIZING: Reduce time trying to find the right size with our thread-repair tool kit. Each tool has an engraved size marking to ensure easy identification so you can focus on your home project or professional mechanic work.
- CONVENIENT TOOLS: Our kit includes 1 die-stock handle wrench, 1 adjustable tap-handle wrench, 1 T-handle tap wrench, 1 die adapter, and 1 stubby screwdriver. This precise set comes in a heavy-duty blow-molded case for easy storage and travel.
Whether you have a lot to repair in terms of bolts and nuts, threading and chasing, whether a tap and die kit forms part of your overall tool collection when it comes to your job such as repairing motor vehicles, there are some excellent suggestions in this article that will hopefully help you to choose the best tap and die kit for your needs. Hopefully highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of some of the highest quality and best value for money tap and die kits will give you the confidence you need to buy the right kit for you and the job that you have in mind.
After you purchase your tap and die set, you will need to learn how to use it properly. This video will help you learn how to use your new tool: