Cut professional grade threads with the best tap and die set
From minor auto repair jobs to major industrial and fabrication works, everything demand the versatility and the utility that a good quality tap and die set can bring to the table. Be it fixing nuts, bolts or spark plug holes or cutting new ones in raw steel or stainless, you can get professional quality threading that helps you save valuable time and reduces your effort as there is less scope for errors. However, if you are shopping for a new or a replacement tap and die set, then you may find the selection process a daunting one as there are almost hundreds of models to pick from.
Ideally, the best tap and die set is the one that comes with an assortment of taps and dies that allows you to tackle different bolt sizes with ease. Also, it should cover both metric and SAE sizes. However, quality should be your top priority because cheap and flimsy ones can guzzle gallons of cutting oil and still end up in two pieces. This happens even with the most skilled professionals who are diligent about cutting a full turn, backing off half a turn and applying the oil before repeating the whole process.
So, it is extremely important that you buy the right set that does not cost you in the form of an expensive mistake. A good point of reference is high speed steel (HSS) taps and dies which don’t cost a fortune, but don’t cut corners with quality either.
** All prices and ratings mentioned in this article are accurate at the time of publishing and may change with time.
Top 5 Best Tap And Die Set – Reviews
To make your selection process easier, we have handpicked a list of the best tap and die sets in the market that are used by engineers, technicians, mechanics and even DIY hobbyists who may occasionally pop a bolt.
#1 – TEKTON 7561 Tap and Die Set
Tekton is one of the most reliable names in industrial grade tools and the 7561 is one of their most popular offerings. It is a TAP and Die Set that is crafted from hardened tungsten alloy, high speed steel which is among the most durable materials used in making these tools. Some people would argue that compressed carbon makes a better choice. But if you are looking to invest in something long term, nothing offers better durability than high speed steel.
Perfect set for threading hard steel
The Tekton 7561 is a 45 piece set that is perfect for both home as well as professional use. It includes a set of 20 taps and 20 dies the sizes of which, range from coarse to fine in 6 to 24 mm. These are a tapered plug design that are perfect for most manual threading applications. The tap and die set is perfect for both cutting new ones or for repairs of slightly damaged or jacked up threads.
The rugged built quality and the perfect design makes it possible to use these with a wide array of materials that include mild carbon, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, alloy steel and bronze. In fact, a few customers have also mentioned that they have used this to cut threaded holes in wood.
Tekton’s Ironclad Guarantee
One of the advantages of buying Tekton’s products is that they are backed with an ironclad guarantee that doesn’t make you run around the bush. If you have a damaged or a broken product, you get a return or refund with minimal questions asked. ( see full features and specs)
To ensure that you do not snap taps during difficult tapping jobs, make sure that you have the right lubrication. A simple trick to prevent this from happening would be to back out slightly after the bite. That’s a rookie mistake that a lot of beginners are guilty of.
The Tekton 7561 is one of the best tap and die sets that costs under $100 and is more than perfect for home use, DIY use and light repair jobs. If you are repeatedly damaging the taps, then your task may demand a heavier duty set, like a Bosch or an Irwin.
#2 – GearWrench 3886 Tap and Die 40 Piece Set Metric
As we mentioned before, the market for the best tap and die set today is flooded with newer brands and products trying to get a larger share of the pie. One of the additions to this list is GreenWrench with their 40 piece tap and die set intended for home use and minor repair work. It includes the Ratcheting “T” wrench and adapters which allow you to minimize bulk by swapping out your wrenches unless you are handling heavy torque applications.
Exceptionally well built and designed set
It is common to expect a shoddily built tap and die set at this price point (see today’s price) that would at best, be able to tackle light weight alloy jobs. But the GearWrench 3886 will surprise you with its build quality. The taps and dies are made of heavy duty metal that holds up well to even difficult threading jobs. The set of 40, comes neatly organized in a good quality plastic case that are marked with laser etching. Once set into the slots and closed, none of the tools fall out even if you accidentally drop the case.
Clean cutting in a variety of materials
The taps and dies are very well built. The tapering edge design with the sharp metal allows for clean cuts in a variety of materials. You can easily cut threaded holes in alloy, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, wood and even plastic with the GearWrench 3886. The ratcheting handle is of very good quality. It is not something that is just thrown in to increase the saleability of the kit. It comes with a 5 degree step and rubber grips that allow easy use.
The GearWrench 3886 offers tremendous value for money. Great quality tools, excellent carrying case, Ratcheting “T” wrench and adapters, spring loaded jaws in the tap holders and a die holder with a centering mechanism. You can cut clean and sharp threaded holes with this. For the price point, you cannot ask for more.
#3 – IRWIN Tools Metric Tap and Hex Die Set, 41-Piece (26317)
When your threading applications demand the extra durability and power, then this 41 set Tap and hex die set from Irwin Hanson should be on your wish list. This is the metric version of this extremely popular model from Irwin which was previously available in the SAE version. A similar set being sold by Snap-On almost costs double of what this costs.
Irwin’s quality in a pocket-friendly price
Due the influx of cheap Chinese made tools, good quality American made tools like this set from Irwin have often been tagged as overly expensive. But when you actually start to use the tap and dies in this set, you can feel the difference instantly. The cut quality is sharp and clean. Even when you are tapping a blind hole, the tap doesn’t twist off. Includes a pitch finder/gauge tool that lets you find the right pitch for any bolt or thread. Durable high speed steel that makes it ideal for cutting through raw steel or any other type of material that you’d want to. (see full specs and features)
Backed by a lifetime guarantee
One of the assurances that you get while buying Irwin tools is that they come with an ironclad lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defects or if the tools break during use. The point is that the guarantee is probably useless because these will easily last for years without any problem. The die and tap set includes a range of sizes from 3mm – 12mm in fine and coarse. They come in a good quality carrying case and doesn’t fall out of the slots.
None of Irwin’s tools need an introduction. This Tap and Die set is a great investment that will last for a long time. At the price point, it is a complete steal and you’d be hard pressed to consider anything else over this.
#4 – TruePower 02-0554 Alloy Steel SAE/Metric Tap and Die Set
If you are a beginner DIY guy doing minor repair work around home or working with automobiles, then you are more likely to break a few bolts and need a hand tap and die set. Having said that, the tools will also be prone to more damage because you are new to handling it. This TruePower 02-554 is a perfect inexpensive beginner’s kit that can cut straight and thread to perfection without costing a fortune. Also, while higher priced entry-level kits contain only 20 – 40 pieces of tap and dies, this set from TruePower contains 60 pieces.
Hardened Alloy Steel for durable use
Don’t let the under $50 price tag (check current price) fool you into believing that this is a low quality set. It is crafted from hardened alloy steel which allows you to use it with hard steel as well as all other materials. The cuts are clean and sharp and it can create professional quality threads that will fit the screw right in. The package contains a thread gauge as well. That makes it very easy for beginners to get the bolt size correct and takes the guesswork out of it.
Well-constructed carry case
How many times have we seen a good quality tap and die set being let down due to a flimsy carry case? This 60 piece set from TruePower comes in a very good quality carry case that is made of plastic but is resistant to scratches and bumps. The slots for the tools are neatly labelled and organized and you can be rest assured that the tools won’t fall out even if the case is held upside down.
This is a no-brainer choice. It is inexpensive and contains enough tools to help you with basic repairs. The quality isn’t bad either when you compare the price point. Great buy for beginners.
#5 – Lang Tools 2581 26-Piece Thread Restorer Tap and Die Set
Last but not the least, we have this 26 piece thread restorer set from Lang tools that demands a place in every auto mechanics tool box. This is the most comprehensive set of thread chasers you will ever need. Mind you, it is only meant for restoring jacked up threads and not cutting new ones. But during auto repair jobs, unless you break bolts, you rarely need full-fledged tap and dies. If you do, we have just reviewed the best four in the market for you. Just pick any one of them.
Good quality thread chaser set
This 26 piece thread restorer set from Lang can easily pass off for a much higher priced kit. It offers tremendous value and can be a lifesaver in more situations than one, if you are a professional. Made of heavy duty steel, these will work with stainless steel and almost any other material that is typically used in industrial and automobile applications. The tap sizes range from fine to coarse allowing you to work on almost every commonly used thread size. (see full features and specs)
Different colors for the UNF and UNC
This 26 piece set contains both UNF and UNC dies and both of these are colored differently which is a very small but neat addition to the feature list. The only downside to this perfect kit is a flimsy carrying case that is best replaced if you would like to store the kit for long term use. Just replace it with one of the kits that you can buy online or even use a Tupperware container if you have one at home.
Threads can look very clean from the outside but the amount of grime and grease that they can hold can very easily jack up your fittings. Just grab this set of taps and dies from Lang and run them slowly through all of them to clean them and sharpen them. At the price point, this is as good a purchase as any.
** All prices and ratings mentioned in this article are accurate at the time of publishing.