How To Use A Tap And Die Set: Let’s Find Out

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We are living in the age of scientific achievements. In no era in history, mankind have made so much advancements in science and technology.

We are literally living with machines. Machines have made lifestyle easy and comfortable for us.

So let me ask you a simple question.

What is the contribution of nuts, bolts or screws in our life?


Trust me, you will be more amazed to know that those tiny tighteners have huge contributions in our life.

We use these tighteners in screw threads to fit different parts of machine. From ceiling fan to woodworks, threading is considered as a vital application.

Do you know which machine element is produced most in every year? The answer is screw threads.

Threading is one of the most important step in machine making.

There are different ways of generating threads. And, the most widely used system is to form thread with a tap and die set.

What is a Tap and Die Set?

A tap and die set contains variety of taps, dies and two separate handles for taps and dies respectively. It may also contain a gauge, few wrenches and a storage case.

The taps and dies come in several sizes. You may use it for both coarse or fine thread holes.

The set comes in both SAE and metric measurement system. You can purchase the one of your choice.

A tap makes threads by cutting metal from inside. It is used in making holes for bolts and screws. And, a die generates threads by carving metals from outside. For example, a die is used in making threads for nuts.

How to Use a Tap and Die Set?

It is always cool to know how to fix things that we use in our daily life. Sometimes, we seek help from experts for little things.

Knowing to use tap and die set can serve us greatly in times of need. For minor fix ups, we will be able to do the things by ourselves. Thus, it will save our time and energy.

In this article, we will illustrate how to use a tap and die set easily.

Many people are afraid of learning new things. Do you know why?

Just because of the sheer complexity that are described in user manuals.

Thereby, our intention is to make our article helpful for beginners. We will try to provide the simplest instruction.

So, without further ado let’s begin.

Guideline for Using a Tap and Die Set

Things you’ll need:

  • Tap and die set
  • Metal block for tappings
  • screws and bolts
  • Nuts
  • Metal rod for threading
  • Lubricant

Instructions for Tapping

  • You can use wooden or steel block for tapping. In this illustration, we are going to choose a metal part for tapping. Remember, you are going to attach screws and bolts in this metal block.
  • Determine the bolt you are going to be using. Use a gauge to calculate the number of threads in this bolt.
  • The choice of tap will dictate the diameter and depth of your thread. You can use the gauge to find the tap of your requirement.
  • Follow the user manual that is given with the tap and die set. Find out how deep should you drill for the selected tap.
  • Tighten the metal block you want to drill. You can use a clamp to tightly secure it for drilling.
  • Begin drilling at a steady speed. Use lubricants such as WD-40 to smoothen up the drilling process.
  • Insert the tap in the handle. Slowly rotate the handle clockwise for cutting the metal part. Try to keep the handle as straight as possible. For every two clockwise turn, take half a turn counterclockwise. The reverse turn is necessary to break the long chips with cutter. Otherwise, it may exploit your threads. If the hole is deeper, you may need to remove the tap from handle and clear the broken chips.
  • After the tapping is done, remove the handle by rotating it in reverse direction. Use the screw or bolt to check if the tapping has been done perfectly.

Instructions for Using the Die

You need die for making threads on screws, bolts or in metal rod. We will be making new thread on a metal rod.

For simplicity, we are going to make a 3/8˝ thread in a 3/8˝ metal rod. So, we need to choose a 3/8˝ die.

  • Secure the metal rod with a clamp.
  • Insert the die into the die handle. The tapered portion of the die should face the rod downwards. In other words, make sure that the engraved end of the die is facing the die handle upwards.
  • Apply some lubricant on the material and on the die. While threading, it may generate heat. So we frequently need to apply some lube during the threading process.
  • Apply the handle 90⁰ downwards facing the rod. Begin cutting threads by applying some pressure on the rod.
  • For every two clockwise turn, take half a turn backwards. You will see the chip forming.
  • Remove the die handle after the desired length has been achieved. Remove it by slowly rotating the die upwards. Clear the debris from the rod. In this way, threading is complete.

You can follow the above mentioned guideline to properly use a tap and die set in your workspace, home or garage. The tap and die set can also be used to repair old threads.

For further insights about using taps and die set, you will find many helpful video tutorials online. Also, you may contact our another resource team’s for more quarry. Practicing it a few times will make the task easier.

If you have any objection regarding our article, kindly let us know.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Tap and Die Set

If you’re unsure what tap and die set to choose, these are some pointers that you could follow to help you decide:

  • If you want something that is better in durability, choose one that is made with high-speed steel. They’re generally more expensive than carbon steel. However, high-speed steel is a lot more durable and robust.
  • Determine the number and range of pieces you will need. Having more means the set is more flexible for different uses.
  • Tap and Die sets with additional tools is really useful and helpful. It helps you reduce buying extra tools.
  • Choose a tap and die set with most of the parts in the set are corrosion resistant. If they are corrosion resistant, they’ll be serviceable for a longer time.
  • Make sure you check the application or material capabilities of the tap and die set. It is generally listed in the product information from the manufacturer. This will help you get an idea of where you should ideally use the set and where not to use it.
  • Make sure that the case is durable. The case is an important part of the set that holds every component of your tap and die set. Therefore, you don’t want it to wear out faster than the components it’s storing inside.


This is how you should properly use a tap and die set. Make sure you follow it properly and follow any safety tips. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be using a tap and die set without needing to rely on instructions. You may want to share this with others, explaining and recording it with your high-definition camcorder to make it more visualize.

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