How To Use a Tap And Die Set: Beginners Guide

How To Use A Tap And Die Set Properly For Beginners

Whether you have a broken screw/bolt that needs to be repaired/removed, or you want to make small adjustments around yourself like hanging a painting, repairing a lawnmower, or performing a DIY project, a tap and a die toolset is a must-have for you. I bet a number of you are using this handy toolset without even knowing its name. Today I’m gonna talk about how to use a tap and die tool set properly, and if you are a beginner, this is the perfect place to start. So let’s get started right away.


What’s A Tap And Die Set

It is a collection of tools you can use to screw threads on blank stock or in holes. Tapping refers to the process of cutting/forming the threads using a tap. And the process that uses a die is referred to as threading. Usually, this set comes with matching taps and dies in the most common screw sizes.

Let me explain. The tap is a metal rod that resembles a drill bit with a sharpened edge. And a die is a round metallic device with a hole in the center. The number of tools in a tap and die set varies on the intended use. In a nutshell, it is a two-in-one tool used to chop threads around a hole and into a thread. 


What Are Tap And Die Sets Used For

Tap and die sets are primarily used by repair workers, mechanics, and metal/woodworkers around the globe. But that doesn’t mean others can’t use this versatile toolset. Suppose you need to rethread a bolt, create a threaded hole to fix broken screws/damaged bolts or repair a metal/wooden machine. In that case, you’ll need one of these toolsets.

As you’ve already known, Tap and die sets consist of two parts. A tap and a die. They both have different applications. We need to use a die when bolt holes are stripped, or the bolts are cut off. And you can use taps to thread metal, plastic, or wooden rods/pipes. You can also create shafts of any length with this handy toolset.


How To Properly Use A Tap And Die Set

Now let’s have a look at how to use this powerful toolset to your advantage. Shall we?


How To Use A Tap

Though there are many types of taps available in the market, the using process is the same in all of them. The tap’s main purpose is to cut or form the female threads into a variety of materials. To use a tap properly, first, you have to select the appropriate drill size for your selected tap. Then secure the material you want to drill with clamps/vice.

Now, Select the proper bit size and fasten it tightly into your drill. Now you can start drilling. We recommend starting slow for the best results. Don’tDon’t forget to use cutting oil if you are working with hard materials such as steel or cast iron. This will ease the heat of friction.

Once you are done drilling, It’sIt’s time to insert the tap into your ratchet. Now, place the tap into the hole and start slowly turning it clockwise. Our experts recommend making two turns clockwise, then backing the tap out by a half turn. This will help you prevent any broken material or small particles from damaging new threads. You can keep turning until the tap has made a few threads and once you are done tapping, turn the ratchet counter-clockwise to remove, and you’re done.  


How To Use A Die

Now, let’s check out how to use a die. A die is used to cut and form the male portion of the mating pair. Start by choosing the die of your preferred size and check if it fits properly. Once you get the perfect sized die for the job, fasten the material you want to cut using a vice/clamps. Now, Prepare the material by filing the end.

Make sure that it is clean and square. Don’t forget to apply cutting oil. After that, Position the die, center over the material, and start turning. Just like the tap, proceed with two full turns and a half turn backward. Continue turning until you’ve threaded the entire length of the material. Lastly, remove the die wrench from the material and brush away any debris.


Common Uses

Now that you know the basic use of a tap and die tool set let’s look at some of the most common cases you’ll need the help of this toolset and the proper way to utilize them.


Fixing Threads

Bolts can become cross-threaded or blunt after a long time. If you want to fix the threads, you can use a die. The job is a bit tricky. But as long as you make sure that the die doesn’t move in an angular motion but goes straight down along the bolt’s body, you’ll be fine.


Threading A Nut

If you want to thread a worn-out nut or a new hole, using a tap can make your job much easier. You just have to use a gauge to carefully determine the correct size, use the wrench to secure the tap, and keep turning it straight down to the hole.  


Drilling A Thread Hole

Drilling holes through a metallic or wooden object is necessary when you need to attach a bolt to a surface where no built-in holes are available. That is easy as well. Just measure the size of the bolt that is supposed to go through the hole, choose the correct drill bit, fasten the material, and start to drill slowly/gently.


Tapping The New Thread

To create ner threads across a bolt, you just have to choose the right tap, secure the hole, and fasten the tap with a wrench. It’sIt’s that simple. But don’t forget to follow the two turn forward, half a turn back method. This will protect the inner part of the threads from damage.  


Transforming a Metal Rod Into a Bolt

You’llYou’ll only need the die for this job. The process is the same as mentioned above. Just make sure that the rod has a beveled or sloped edge. If not, you can use a grinder to make a beveled end rod out of a flat end. One other thing, use cutting oil to keep the die cool and enhance the performance.


Bonus Tips

Here are some bonus tips that will help in your work:

  • Take Your Time Using A Tap/die
  • Apply Cutting Oil Frequently
  • Keep Your Tools Organized After Use
  • Remove Debris When Needed
  • Be Careful When Determining The Number Of Tpi (Threads Per Inch)
  • Use Tools Made Of A Harder Material Than What You Want To Cut
  • Follow The User Manual/guide Properly

Over To You

If you want to do the household repairs yourself, very few tools can be as helpful as a tap and die toolset. AS now you know the proper way to use a tap and die toolset, the minor repairs in your home and workplace will become a child’s play to you.

That’sThat’s all for today. I hope this article proves to be helpful to those in need. Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comment section below. Thanks for reading this far. Happy threading to you.

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