What kind of tap set???

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B Mann
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What kind of tap set???

Post by B Mann » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:19 pm

I know asking what kind of tap is like asking what kind of car??

Lets start off. I am new to machining and have a metric and SAE tap and die sets. Cheap stuff but has gotten me by for years. Upgraded some of the common pieces. Now I have a decent mill I am wanting to upgrade. I do not need or can afford top of the line. But want good. I have had several ideas, but have several questions. Mostly want to use them to tap with the mill. Looking for taps. Don't really need dies.

It would be nice to start with a SAE set. Common sizes maybe #6 through 3/8" Fine and coarse. Maybe a metric? About same sizes. M4? through M10. I can buy individuals as needed but may be a hassle to have to order another for each new project.

Ok, Questions. I hear 2 fluted are better for machine use. Fluted tip is good. High Speed Steel a good start??? What about spiral flutes?? Any other tips?? Will probably do some blind holes but regular taps will get me by.

Also where to buy?? Anyone sell tap sets like what I am looking for?? I tried amazon and the bay. A sea of taps from $15 tap and die sets of cheap stuff to $25 (and up) for a single tap. Grainger, Fastenal, MSC is good but very pricey.

Thanks for any help!!!

Russ Hanscom
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by Russ Hanscom » Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:43 pm

Too short an answer, but I would suggest buying taps as you need them, since good ones are expensive and some in a set will rarely get used.

HSS, spiral tip, is a good place to start. Since broken taps are really expensive, look for premium ones. For new, I go to MSC, but first I check ebay. Also look for batches or assortments; sometimes you can get the one you want plus a few extra for not more that the price of the one you want.

A lot depends on what you want to tap and in what volume. Coated or alloy taps may be an advantage, or not.

Others will have a lot more to say.
Last edited by Russ Hanscom on Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B Mann
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:07 pm
Location: Northern Indiana (Michiana)

Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by B Mann » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:10 pm

Russ Hanscom wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 2:43 pm
Too short an answer, but I would suggest buying taps as you need them, since good ones are expensive and some in a set will rarely get used.

HSS, spiral tip, is a good place to start. Since broken taps are really expensive, look for premium ones. For new, I go to MSC, but first I check ebay. Also look for batches or assortments; sometimes you can get the one you want plus a few extra for not more that the price of the one you want.

A lot depends on what yo want to tap and in what volume. Coated or alloy taps may be an advantage, or not
Not a lot of volume. Garage type work. Misc from steel to cast to aluminum.

Having a rough time with brands. Buying expensive does not always mean high quality. It would be nice to stick with US made. I thought vermont was decent. Now it sounds like their quality fell.

I found a used good quality mixed set on FB. He was wanting about $200. The picture looks like he stores them dumped in a bag/box. 200 seems high.

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Bill Shields
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by Bill Shields » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:31 pm

I purchase a lot from F&D tools = which you can find on amazon and other places - and order direct if you need something that you cannot find on amazon or ebay.

fdtool.com for a catalog

They are made entirely in the usa and i find to be much better than average quality.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

B Mann
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Location: Northern Indiana (Michiana)

Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by B Mann » Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:48 pm

Thanks Bill... Will look into them.

BTW just found this video... A little simplistic but VERY good on telling the different taps by looking at them. I have been using them for many years and did not know all this info.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkrUzGooA9k

Russ Hanscom
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by Russ Hanscom » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:01 pm

Forget used taps, and do not get the ones dumped in a bag. Taps have sharp edges for a reason. A good tap will last a long time if properly used. A worn tap is an invitation to a plugged hole.

Use the appropriate cutting fluid.

I have always considered Vermont to be a common hardware store brand, which means not real good, better than some, but not industrial quality.

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Bill Shields
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by Bill Shields » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:06 pm

I count holes with small taps and toss them after a while.

Sometimes larger taps and special pitch taps are worth resharpening. Find a good sharpening house and make friends..
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

B Mann
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:07 pm
Location: Northern Indiana (Michiana)

Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by B Mann » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:00 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 3:31 pm
I purchase a lot from F&D tools = which you can find on amazon and other places - and order direct if you need something that you cannot find on amazon or ebay.

fdtool.com for a catalog

They are made entirely in the usa and i find to be much better than average quality.
An answer that brings more questions. The FD catalog lists cut taps and ground taps. Is one better than the other?

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liveaboard
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by liveaboard » Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:42 am

I have some cheap taps [flea market mystery set], some expensive taps [Dormer, SKF], and some middle priced taps from a German ebay seller that specializes in taps + dies

The first ones are barely usable in mild steel. The top name is not noticeably better than the German ebay taps.
This is the ebay shop; https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/go-Werkzeuge ... 7675.l2563

These are not cheap tools, but competitively priced good tools. And I'm not sure about postage to the US. They sell Imperial and metric in different qualities and types.
I've been really happy with the taps I got from them. They cut mild steel like butter, and leave a nice clean thread.

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tornitore45
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by tornitore45 » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:19 am

You have some old cheap taps, so my take is order as you need or as a look ahead need.
For one reason or another I find I have to cut an on-line order or several during the course of a project.
Tap are not very expensive considering the average order. Add taps to the order to offset shipping charges or to pass the free shipping threshold.
Spiral Point (not spiral Flutes) are strong but need a through hole or enough depth to pack the chips pushed forward.
You may consider thread forming taps.
For the small sizes I like to order 2 or 3 Taper Plug Bottom, in a pinch I can grind the point to less taper
HSS instead of carbon is a no brainer. HSS flex before breaking, it gives you a chance. Carbon steel snaps like glass.
Mc Master for quality and $$ Victornet.com has a fair offering and the most rare thread EF and LH
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

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BadDog
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by BadDog » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:24 pm

I feel like my approach worked well for me. I had moved around the country, and was starting from scratch putting together a new shop to build a Rock Crawler. I waited for a big sale and bought the (premium/pro/best/something?) metric/fractional HSS Craftsman set. It's quite functional and came with associated tools. Over time, the ones I used frequently got upgraded, and I bought better holders as I found good deals on them. I still have to go to that set once in a while for dies or metric taps, but there are long stretches where it just collects dust as I now go to my high quality holders and taps. Having a lathe for single point, I have very few dies.

But, most of that became moot when I went to an auction and bought an organizer chock full of very high quality taps from 0-80 to 5/8" (in onesy/twosy up to 3/4) including many new in tubes. Total weight had to be over 50 lbs. It went so cheap they practically paid me to take it... $30! And the real beauty is that it included mostly spiral point and some helical for machine tapping, with only a few in each side manual taps. Other than a few metric, I've not had to buy a tap in the last 10 years since then. Sometimes you get lucky, but I don't expect I would ever duplicate that again in a million years. Which is why I denoted my initial plan which was working well and covered all the common bases adequately while supporting slowly expanding and improving quality in areas actually relevant to my interests...
Russ
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Russ Hanscom
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Re: What kind of tap set???

Post by Russ Hanscom » Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:32 pm

Lucky dog!

Harold and I know a machine tool dealer that frequently has to buy entire shops to get what he wants. The stuff that does not fit his core business is discounted, and some times if he needs floor space, there are super deals, and sometimes there are not.

It pays, or saves, to know all the possible sources in your area.

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