The 6 Best Tap and Die Sets For 2018 – Reviews And Analysis
Anyone serious about metal will tell you how indispensable a quality tap and die set is. With the correct set for your needs, a whole new world can open up for you.
Table Of Contents
- Best Tap and Die Set Compared
- Top 6 Best Tap and Die Sets Compared
- 1. Greenlee DTAPKIT 6-32 to 1/4-20 6-Piece Combination Drill and Tap Set
- 2. GearWrench 3887 Tap and Die 75 Piece Set - Combination SAE / Metric
- 3. IRWIN Tools Machine Screw with Fractional Tap and Die Set, 12-Piece
- 4. IRWIN HANSON Machine Screw/Fractional/Metric Tap and Hex Die and Drill Bit Deluxe Set
- 5. Neiko 00911A Tap and Die Set, Premium, SAE, Titanium Coated
- 6. TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set, Metric, 39-Piece
- Quick Tips On Buying Tap and Die Sets
- Best Practice for Using Tap and Die Sets
- Final Note
On our best tap and die sets of 2018 list, we have included differently-priced sets for you to consider, depending on the amount and frequency of work you need to do.
Best Tap and Die Set Compared
We have set listed for both heavy and occasional users. Whether you are taking on project after project or just pottering around the garage from time to time, we feel one of these might be for you.
Top 6 Best Tap and Die Sets Compared
1. Greenlee DTAPKIT 6-32 to 1/4-20 6-Piece Combination Drill and Tap Set
This drill and tap set is constructed from high-speed steel, rather than carbon steel, for longer life.
I like that this Greenlee set saves time as comprehensive demurring, tapping, hole drilling, and countersinking are done in one operation with a power drill.
You can tap up to ten-gauge metal with this handy set. It even includes a quick-change adaptor which will assist you to tap, drill, and countersink, while it can even drive fasteners. This set’s strong hex shank guarantees solid connection to the drill. Back-tapering evades damage from over drilling.
If you are looking for a kit for heavy use, this is not the one. However, if you need to get some projects done and not pay out a high amount, this kit just might be for you.
2. GearWrench 3887 Tap and Die 75 Piece Set - Combination SAE / Metric
There is so much to like about this set. All of the taps and dies latch into place with index holders for the taps.
The ratcheting torque wrench is really convenient for taps and makes everything so much simpler.
The durable blow mold case is very well made and keeps everything safe. The warranty is a huge plus.
This is an impressive tap and die set. If you are looking to mass produce in your workshop, it may not be the one for you. However, for regular use, it is a keeper!
3. IRWIN Tools Machine Screw with Fractional Tap and Die Set, 12-Piece
What a great bargain this set is. This compact set is easy to carry and stays sharp after numerous uses.
Thread sizes included in this set are 1/4"-20 NC, 6-32 NC, 8-32 NC, 10-24 NC, and 10-32 NF. Measuring at 5/8" across, all of the dies are hexagonal. It also includes a No. 12401 T-Handle tap wrench.
At such a low price, with each piece being individually replaceable (who hasn’t dropped or misused a few taps in their lifetime?).
4. IRWIN HANSON Machine Screw/Fractional/Metric Tap and Hex Die and Drill Bit Deluxe Set
If you want to get the job done, but you are unsure sure of what sizes you’ll need, this kit has pretty much every size you will probably to need to use.
It is filled commonly needed extractors, taps, dies, and drill bits. I am a big fan of the high-speed steel drill bits.
This durable set is built with high carbon steel. It is especially great for machinery and auto repair when you want to rethread fasteners and fastener holes making it an ideal set for the professional craftsperson.
With 117 pieces which will cover most projects around the house, this set is simple to use. I am leaning toward this being my favorite set.
5. Neiko 00911A Tap and Die Set, Premium, SAE, Titanium Coated
This fast-selling gem, another in the lower price range for tap and dies sets, is perfect for the hobbyist or weekend mechanic looking to get occasional projects done right.
Unlike some other sets, which contain plain-finish products, this set has titanium coating to resist rust corrosion making it a much more durable product.
If used with care, this set could last several years. There is a good variety of tap and die sizes. For the low price-range tap and die set category, this set is a contender.
6. TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set, Metric, 39-Piece
I am astonished at the low price for this really great set which has a lifetime warranty to boot! The #7559 comes in a brightly colored case filled with High-quality milled alloy tool steel pieces.
While this is not a professional class set, compared to others in its price range, this one inches ahead. Tekton’s brilliant reputation for customer service does not hurt either.
For the infrequent user, this tap and die set is going to be fine in most cases. The TEKTON 7559 has a special place in the lower-priced tap and die set category.
Quick Tips On Buying Tap and Die Sets
If you are not quite sure what you are looking for in a tap and die set, it can be slightly confusing. You can end up battling with yourself what price you are willing (or can afford) to pay or just how big of a set you really need.
Do keep in mind that, no matter what size set you purchase, you will open up a whole new world of capabilities that you might not have had before. The set you purchase can really depend on what you will be using your set for. Most DIY aficionados have no idea how significant a tap and die set is until they own one.
To make sure that all of your pieces and components are securely kept in their place, it is best to find a tap and die set with a sturdy plastic storage case. You don’t want to waste time fumbling around with your materials without a decent case.
It is essential that you buy a handle that is painless to use. No one wants to use a handle that is cumbersome and difficult. If you have to push too much, you can end up with stripped threads and your taps and dies wrecked.
Tap and die sizes are also very significant. Preferably, the best tap and die set should cover both metric sizes and SAE for flexibility. A benefit of picking up a larger set is that you won’t be left in the lurch awaiting another tool to arrive if you’re doing a project that requires other sizes in the future.
Build quality, which we will discuss shortly, is completely related to the kind of steel used in fashioning the tool. High-speed steel can be a good investment, rather than plain-finish steel, if you will be using the tap and die set frequently.
Quality of Build
You need to carefully consider the build quality of the set you purchase. The old saying ‘’you get what you pay for’ can apply. If you are just looking to do a small job, here and there, then a cheaper kit can work for you.
Still, check the materials used and reviews of the product to make sure they will do the job you want. If you will be putting your tap and die set to heavy use on a variety of projects, it would be best to purchase a good set in a higher price category, with more pieces.
Best Practice for Using Tap and Die Sets
Using a tap and die set is astonishingly easy if you pay close attention to what you do. Careful work can prevent cracks and breaks while keeping your equipment in good shape. A perfect finished product is worth the effort and patience involved.
Not All Lubricants Work for All Materials
The proper use of the correct lubricant is crucial when tapping and threading. Do your homework to make sure the lubricant you use is the right match for the materials you are working with.
Using the wrong lubricant can cause mayhem with your work. Note: DO NOT lube cast iron unless you have a water-based coolant you can flood it with. Alternatively, you can use compressed air to clear graphite chips.
Taps and Dies
Pick the right-sized tap and drill that is suitable for the job. Tap and die calculators can be located online. To produce proper holes for tapping, make sure your equipment is well-cared for and the proper lubricant is used. Begin tapping at a slower speed and increase slowly to find the ideal speed. Do not jump into this at a higher speed to avoid mishaps and cracks.
Thread Cutting Tips
Using the proper tools, techniques, and lubrication is key to successful threading. Your taps and dies must be tougher than the materials they are going to cut. Due to their brittle nature, taps can easily break.
It's best to use the correct T-handle for taps instead of pliers or wrenches. The asymmetrical stress on the tap can cause it to crack or go off-center. Another best practice, to make sure you get a decent clean cut, is to “cleanse the threads” while you die (or tap) by backing out around three turns every time you do three turns forward.
Whether you are a heavy professional user or a DIY amateur, one of the posted tap and die sets above will make your life much easier. The right tap and die set can make various projects much simpler and give you options you never dreamed of.
A good set makes a big difference in your thread cutting work. We hope this best tap and die set of 2018 list helps you find the right tap and die set for you (or at least gives you some things to think about when purchasing one). Happy thread cutting!