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les peacock26/06/2018 11:25:01
18 forum posts

Can anyone recomend a good quality tap and die set

Hopper26/06/2018 11:29:01
4404 forum posts
93 photos

Tracey Tools are good quality at a good price. Not absolute top of the market but work well for home use.

Frances IoM26/06/2018 11:33:18
746 forum posts
26 photos
depends on your usage - most cheap tap + die sets are 'use once' (esp on steel) and most of time you will be buying ones that will see little use - better value is to buy individual as required - if you are only using Brass or Ali then carbon steel will be fine but if if steel is generally required then HSS is usually a better buy.
Tracy Tools are generally by return of post, Arc-euro also have competitively priced taps + dies inc sets which I've found to be good value.

Edited By Frances IoM on 26/06/2018 11:34:03

not done it yet26/06/2018 11:43:46
4500 forum posts
16 photos

As ‘thread chasers’ a cheap set might be recommended, but for serious threading from scratch I would buy good quality in the sizes you require.

Buy cheap, buy twice often applies with taps and dies. On top of that a broken tap, jammed in a hole, can be a real pain to remove - sometimes easier to start the part again!

Most of my Imperial items are years old and still cut the mustard. Made in the UK. Can’t say the same for the metric ones originating from china!

Mick B126/06/2018 11:45:35
1551 forum posts
83 photos

I've found Clarke's CHT303 set (Machine Mart) to be fine for standard metric threads in the M3-12 range.

The first set I bought has just been retired after 15 years' moderately frequent use on everything from brass to let-down HSS. They're about 28 quid and made of 'tungsten steel', whatever that is.

I'm happy to buy more expensive taps and dies where special requirements justify that, but as a starting point I think the Clarke set's hard to beat.

pgk pgk26/06/2018 12:32:00
1729 forum posts
287 photos

UKDrills taps are alf decent and economical. Even better when you order a set of machine taps and they send you dies in error they let you keep them <s>

SillyOldDuffer26/06/2018 13:25:38
5630 forum posts
1157 photos

Older cheap sets were often complete rubbish but my more recent purchases have proved surprisingly good, including a dirt cheap metric set from Lidl (apart from the M4 tap!)

A great deal depends on how often you use the set and the metals you thread. More expensive sets last much longer on difficult metals like Stainless, but cheap sets - provided they're sharp - deliver long service on Aluminium and Brass, and do reasonably well on mild-steel.

Because threading steel tends to blunt inexpensive taps and dies, I now keep two sets : one for ferrous, the other for non ferrous work. Both are supplemented by particular sizes and replacements most of which come from Tracy Tools, because they hit my 'value for money' bullseye. (They also sell tap-drills, which you also need.) Owning two sets plus add-ons might seem an extravagance: it's not. Part of the tool revolution is accepting that disposable tools are reasonable substitutes to heirloom quality in a hobby workshop. It is no longer 1955!

My advice is to buy a cheap set like one of these; don't fret about quality, just replace as needed. After using them for a while you will know whether or not you need something a little better.


JohnF26/06/2018 15:59:46
966 forum posts
142 photos

Have a look at this link, no connection other than a satisfied customer but you do need to buy from the sale flyers, I have Lyndon HSS ground thread taps and find them excellent, again best way is to bye when they are offering sets rather than single taps. Dies seem to be rarely on offer ! They also have a set of Ruko on offer which I'm sure will be ok -- HSS ground thread

On the main page select Special offers - sale flyers or Advantage + month --- this month look at pages 4 & 5


Mick Henshall26/06/2018 18:20:08
530 forum posts
31 photos

I have a lot of inherited taps and dies,buy now as I need them from Tracy Tools good value quick service


Andrew Johnston26/06/2018 21:14:38
5410 forum posts
627 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 26/06/2018 13:25:38:

Because threading steel tends to blunt inexpensive taps and dies, I now keep two sets : one for ferrous, the other for non ferrous work.

Good grief, you must be way more organised than me. smile I've got hundreds of taps; no way I could keep track of which ones were for what material. A lot of my taps are secondhand from Ebay, but for the sizes that I use most often I buy once and buy quality. I do have more than one tap for some sizes, but that's due to spiral flute, spiral point, hand and in some cases forming taps.

A lot of people seem happy with Tracy Tools; sadly that doesn't include me. I've had some issues with their taps and dies in the past. They seem quite brittle and I've chipped a number of teeth. So I no longer use them. Another minus for me, is that at exhibtions a lot of their tooling for sale is all jumbled up in boxes. I doubt that does the cutting edges much good. sad


richardandtracy26/06/2018 22:00:04
938 forum posts
10 photos

I have Lyndon ones for my most used sizes - M6 & M10. They work well.

I have carbon steel ones for odd sizes the are not often used, like M10 x0.75., or 7BA (don't often make cap jewels for Parker51 fountain pens, so HSS is not justified).

For really wacky sizes, like M7.4 x 0.45, or M12 x 0.8 triple start, they are only available in high quality HSS.

I had a cheap 'carbon steel' set from the late 1980's, and 3 of the 8 sizes were plain wrong pitch. A set of LH taps bought last year very cheap from a Chinese e-bay seller turned out to be a high quality RH set, so I kept them and felt I had a bargain even though I didn't have the LH taps I was hoping for.



john carruthers27/06/2018 09:02:26
604 forum posts
176 photos

I bought a cheap set from Aldi, still going well after 6 years (1 M3 tap replaced)
Not absolute top quality, but only £13 at the time.

Circlip27/06/2018 10:58:47
1088 forum posts

"I had a cheap 'carbon steel' set from the late 1980's, and 3 of the 8 sizes were plain wrong pitch. A set of LH taps bought last year very cheap from a Chinese e-bay seller turned out to be a high quality RH set, so I kept them and felt I had a bargain even though I didn't have the LH taps I was hoping for."

They were Lh taps, You use your LH to swing the tap wrench round.

Coat (lightweight) got.

Regards Ian.

mechman4827/06/2018 11:34:40
2633 forum posts
408 photos

... " They were Lh taps, You use your LH to swing the tap wrench round".

Aha! now I understand how to use my left handed monkey wrench. devil


James Jenkins 127/06/2018 12:51:10
125 forum posts

I've been buying up Dormer bits and pieces as I need them, sometimes second hand, I am happy with the quality. Sometimes something comes and it has a bit more wear than you had hoped, but generally you can tell from the picture. My favourite finds are New Old Stock item, as I tend to try and get UK made items. I have a few metric, as they tend to be cheaper and more readily available (though not usually UK made). The imperial is not as cheap, but I am trying to get sets together for key sizes (Drills, Reamer, Taps & Dies, Clearance Drills/Reamers etc) and then store them on cupboard trays all together, so all 3/8" together etc.


Ian S C27/06/2018 13:57:55
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Just buy the ones you need, no use having ones that you don't use. Sometimes you can get some cheap at garage sales, and second hand tool dealers. It can be handy to have BSW, and BSF taps and dies, I often get these threads to repair or replace on vintage machinery.

Ian S C

mechman4827/06/2018 17:47:45
2633 forum posts
408 photos

+1 for Ian S C; I do the same; & have collected, over the years, varying makes... Osbourne, Dormer, Presto etc. I also have sets from china which have proved very good VFM, some not so good, & a couple that are total crap. A mix of Carbon Steel & HSS & from British suppliers such as Arc Euro, Tracy Tools, Chronos, etc. usual disclaimers on all ref. plus car boot sales. I recently broke a HSS M2 taper tap from a set I'd bought from Arc Euro, carbon steel, so that will be replaced by HSS shortly, you pays your money...


larry phelan 127/06/2018 21:44:05
667 forum posts
22 photos

Most of my taps and dies are HSS split type. I have no time for those solid carbon dies,I regard them as junk.

I do have quite a collection of BSW and BSF,taps and dies from years back,along with some Metric,but any new ones I buy are always HSS, You can,t go too far wrong with them and they can deal with anything.OK,they cost a bit more,but then,you get what you pay for. There,s nothing worse than having a cheap tap break just when you are finished the thread.

XD 35128/06/2018 04:38:27
1418 forum posts
1 photos

The thing i don't like about buying sets is the majority of the taps and dies don't get used , Handy to have but for the most part i feel it is better economy to sit down and write down the sizes you are most likely to use (ie : i use mostly metric and 2,3,4,5,6,8 and 10mm fill almost all of my needs ) it then buy top quality mini sets which come with 3 taps and a die in the sizes i use most . Keep an eye out on ebay , i have picked up some top notch gear for a lot less cash than i would lay out buying from a tool supplier . The other thing i don't like about sets is the tap handle and die holder are usually crap cast units that break easily . I picked up a set of forged tap handles ( asian made ) from a local supplier for $30 au and so far i am very pleased with them . You can also pick these up off ebay as second hand units that were made back When we made real tools !

martin10728/06/2018 05:24:03
62 forum posts
2 photos

I use this guy on eBay a lot his are Osborn/Europa and reasonably priced plus he has a trade counter, I bought a set when I first started but find it easier just to buy either single of a set of 3 when and as required, and don't forget your local store ( the one I use has been around since the 30's and has stuff that you wouldn't believe his presto taps are for a M5 £5 each or £12 for a set of 3.


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