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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    brisbane
    Posts
    245

    Default The Difference between Quality and Cheap Thread Taps

    I have one of the 70 piece tap and die sets. A quality product from China for sure. I have used it successfully on quite a few things but must say that it's alway hard work to tap or chase a thread onto steel. Ally is fine.

    I picked up a 3 pce Sutton M10x1.5 HSS tap set recently so I would have the full range for some projects and used it for the first time this afternoon.
    What an amazing difference. Threading into 1020 CRS and it was as easy as pie.

    Damn I hate that - now I have to get a few more common sizes in quality brands.
    Cheers

    Craig
    Brisbane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    20

    Default

    The P&N tap and dies from the local hardware stores are good quality + you can buy them one at a time as need be or order them in. The cheap sets are well ---CHEAP.
    Theres something very satisfying about cutting your own thread, add some oil, forward, back, forward, back although it's not the sort of job that you would want to do all day long.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Melton
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Hi try taping stainless steel you find out how long they last,and taping
    aluminium still need to be a good tap. I do a lot of work on our race boats.
    New set ups it takes time a good tap will not last long.You dont use taps made in china.
    Tony

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Graceville. Qld
    Age
    73
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Yez pays yer bucks yez get what yer paid for..........Dead simple.

    Colin Howkins
    Graceville. Qld

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    I have a set of HSS tap and dies from China and I have found them to be excellent. They are not the el cheapo set offered by retailers here but I would rate them better than new carbon steel taps from Sutton - I find they break.
    To explain that better I tap lots of threads every week so I use a cordless drill and if the tap is not up to it they snap. The Chinese HSS have lasted well over six mionths and no breakage yet.
    Cheers,
    Rod

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
    Age
    68
    Posts
    864

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rodm View Post
    I have a set of HSS tap and dies from China and I have found them to be excellent. They are not the el cheapo set offered by retailers here but I would rate them better than new carbon steel taps from Sutton - I find they break.
    To explain that better I tap lots of threads every week so I use a cordless drill and if the tap is not up to it they snap. The Chinese HSS have lasted well over six mionths and no breakage yet.
    Mate its not that the Sutton taps arn't up to it , fact is they are not designed to be used in a cordless drill , they are designed to be used in making a full thread for strength , so I wouldn't say there not as good as the set you have but just not suited to the application you are putting them to.
    Ashore




    The trouble with life is there's no background music.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Eastern Suburbs Melbourne
    Posts
    218

    Default

    I'm curious Rod, what size taps can you get away with when you power drill them. Always contemplated power tapping but been hesitant to do so.
    By the way, I've use Chinese taps but not often and found that if you go slow and use lots of lubrication, they'll work, however they do seem to become blunt much faster than the better quality taps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Blackrock Vic Aus
    Age
    74
    Posts
    0

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    From my experience the only way to go with power tapping is to use HSS "Gun nose taps"

    These have a cutting lead which drives the chip forward and do not require backing out to break of the chip which has been cut.

    They can only be used effectively on a through hole as the chips will build up forward of the tap and pack up at the bottom of the hole.

    We use them with an impact driver very effectively.

    Price is at a premium but as mentioned before you get what you pay for and time saved is money made.

    Peter

    Mugwoody

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Ashore
    Yes have to agree with you on that and I should have worded it better.
    Point I was trying to make was a set of Chinese HSS Taps that cost me $50 have been good for heaps of use with a cordless drill verses the Sutton taps which cost multiples of the other set and snap real easy. The Chinese set are not meant to be used in a Cordless either so somewhere there is a message but I'm not sure if I have worded it correctly. As Peter points out a machine tap is the correct and proper tool to use but my workshop budget is not endless so I adapt.

    I think what I was really trying to say was not all Chinese gear is inferior and tooling and machinery seems to be improving. Perhaps price might be a good indicator of quality rather than the origin of the manufactor.

    I tap down to 3mm with the cordless but I do run taper, Intermediate and bottoming taps or at the least the last two. Set your clutch accordingly and back out as you need to. I am not recommending this as an approved method and do so with the knowledge that you run a higher risk of breaking a tap or grinding out the threads of your hole. Hand tapping with a tap wrench is the safest and correct method and I still do this if I only have a couple of holes to tap.
    Cheers,
    Rod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alexandra Vic
    Age
    65
    Posts
    533

    Default

    If you do enough tapping and it can be done in a machine, consider dropping a few hundred dollars and buying a tapping adaptor for a drill press.

    Units provide a clutch mechanism, auto reversing by lifting the machine quill, plus a decent tap holding mechanism.

    Have seen lots of guys do quickies with a battery drill, often finding that they have a nicely reamed unthreaded hole, or a snapped tap for their efforts.

    Tapping head never snapped a tap in 2-3000 holes, ally, mild bar, stainless bar, come what may, just needed the appropriate tapping drill and a drop of lube. Always had a good fitting thread for a class 8 bolt or screw.

    Also never come accross a Suttons carbon steel tap or die after quite a few years in the game, used suttons and P&N stuff but it was always HSS. Have seen plenty of asian units branded so, and a they generally resulted in oversize female threads and undersize male threads.

    What exactly is "carbon steel"? I know that the basic definition of steel is that it is a carbon bearing alloy of iron, and may contain a varity of other alloying ingredients. I have always seem 'carbon steel' as a marketing ploy for inferior products, and when I have encountered it it has behaved in that way.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Hi Malb,
    I have used a reversing tap chuck on a mill and it is on my wish list. Most of the tapped holes I do are on the fly during fabrication of steel plates and angles and the majority of these I could not do in the mill or a drill press. I have only one good eye so I don't risk it by welding although this would be a much better method.

    You had me a bit worried about my memory of the carbon taps but I did a quick search and sure enough Sutton do a range of carbon (their description) taps and dies.

    Have a look here:
    http://www.sutton.com.au/Products/carbon/

    They are not in the Sutton industrial range so I think you are right in your assumption that it probably means inferior quality. Anyway this is the range of taps and dies that Bunnings, etc sell or used to sell and the reason I stopped buying Sutton taps and dies.
    Cheers,
    Rod

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Quality of taps

    Gentlemen,
    There seems to be notion that Sutton carbon taps are inferior to the Sutton industrial type taps .
    I believe that nothing can be further from truth.It is all about the semantics really.

    Holdens are inferior to Rolls Royce's too,but still perform the task of driving around the roads adequately.

    We are not making a fair comparison here. The carbon taps are intended for an irregular application where as the industrial quality is intended for hard non stop production type work.

    If you insist on paying 500% more than required than the industrial grade is probably the way you should go. A set of
    industrial grade straight flute taps will probably set you back $ 1500.
    However if you are like the rest of us and use your tap set may be couple of times a year ,the carbon taps will do the job and do it well.

    The thing with taps is to store them correctly,cleaned lubricated and not banging up against their mates to gain maximum performance and longevity from them.

    Use your carbon taps with the correct tapping holders with lube and there won,t be a problem.

    Sutton and P&N have been around for donkeys and are the choice of Industry who funny enough don't seem to buy a lot of Chinese Ebay taps.Industry unless engaged in production work buys carbon taps a lot of the time.

    I have used Aussie quality carbon taps in my job for over 40 years and have not had problems, other than those of my own making ,in that time.The majority applications of taps are irregular being used for repair,one off or light use.The taps have always been adequate for the tasks asked of them.

    There may well be good quality Chinese taps and dies but then again,not much of anything in Chinese stuff has an identifiable brand that allows you to seek a specific maker out if it is identified as a quality manufacture.
    PS if you want to ID a carbon tap leave it uncleaned and un oiled out in the atmosphere and it will rust.

    Cheers
    Grahame

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    melbourne
    Age
    49
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I absolutely agree with Grahame I have never had a problem with Sutton taps and dies it all comes down to using the right tap for the right job

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