In this guide we’ll look at the best tap and die sets.
We’ve compared components, sets, cases and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Tap and Die Set?
More Detailed Tap and Die Set Reviews
Sealey 40 Piece Tap and Die Set Review
This 40pc Tap and Die Set made by Sealey is one of the best tap and die sets on the market. It provides a quality selection of pieces and comes at a reasonable price.
The set comes in a nice sheet steel box with a blow moulded tray that keeps all the pieces in place. The metric alloy steel taps and dies are of good quality and robust enough for most DIY and car maintenance jobs. The set features split dies with machined lead-ins for ease of use. The set also includes a Tap Wrench, T-Bar Tap Wrench, Die Holder, Screwdriver and Thread Gauge.
The die holder features a self-centring mechanism for straight and accurate threads. The set includes 2 taps for each size, a taper tap and a plug tap and the pieces are nicely finished.
Overall this set is robust, comprehensive and offers excellent value for money.
Foraver 86 Piece Metric Tap and Die Set Review
The Foraver 86 Piece Metric Tap and Die Set is made from heat-treated tungsten steel, includes a comprehensive range of taps and dies and comes in a robust plastic case that keeps everything organised.
This set offers great quality construction as all the pieces are precision machined, ground and polished. As well as a good range of taps and solid dies the set includes an adjustable tap wrench, long-handled adjustable tap wrench, T-handle tap wrench, die handle, long die handle, screwdriver, metric screw pitch gauge and SAE screw pitch gauge. The solid dies can clean up and re-thread damaged, corroded or dirty screws to make them usable once more.
This tap and die set is a useful kit for cleaning and repairing damaged threads and provides a good range of components.
Draper 52 Piece Tap and Die Set Review
The Draper 79204 52-Piece Tap and Die Set is made from high carbon steel, contains a good range of all the common sizes and comes in a steel storage case with a plastic insert.
This tap and die set includes a good range of taps and split dies. It also includes a die holder, screw pitch gauge, screwdriver centre punch and 5 screw extractors. The taps and dies are suitable for cleaning and cutting threads on mild steel and aluminium. The set also includes the correct drill bits for tapping.
This set comes in a sturdy good-looking steel case with a plastic insert.
This tap and die set offers great quality at an excellent price and is ideal if a standard range of sizes is your main requirement.
US Pro Engineering Quality 32 Piece Metric Tap and Die Set Review
The US PRO Engineering Quality 32 Piece Metric Tap and Die Set is made from alloy steel, includes 21 taps and comes in a nice metal box.
As well as the 21 taps the set also includes 7 cutters as well as a cutting edge holder, screwdriver and screw gauge. Each size comes with 3 different types of taps: a taper tap, an intermediate tap and a bottoming (plug) tap.
All the components are well made. This is a nice small set that contains the most commonly used sizes and is perfect for small engineering repairs and hobbies.
CCLife 32 Piece Tap and Die Set Review
This 32 piece Tap and Die Set offers a low-cost option yet includes all the essential components for minor repairs and hobby use.
The set includes a range of taps and dies as well as a die holder, a cutting drill bit ratchet, tap wrench, screw pitch gauge and screwdriver. All the components are of reasonable quality and perfectly suitable for small repairs on soft metals.
The set comes in a nice metal case that has clearly marked holders for all the parts.
This set is a good choice for occasional jobs, hobby use and beginners.
Tap and Die Set Buyer’s Guide
A tap and die set is a set of tools that is used to create or repair screw threads. The tap is used to cut the female part of the pair where the thread is internal, such as a nut. The die is used to cut the matching male part of the pair where the thread is external, such as a bolt or screw.
Using a tap is referred to as tapping whilst using a die is called threading. When using a tap and die set to clean or repair existing threads, the process is called chasing.
Most tap and die sets, like the Foraver 86 PCS Tap and Die Set, include a range of taps and dies as well as a tap wrench, T-bar tap wrench, die holder, thread gauge, screwdriver and drill bits. This provides everything you need for the job.
The components can be made of different materials such as carbon or tungsten steel. Carbon steel is usually fine for most home and car maintenance use.
It is also a good idea to purchase a suitable lubricant to make the job easier and protect the tools from damage.
Tap and die sets come in a range of sizes. Most manufacturers include a full list of the sizes included in the product description. You can also buy additional sizes separately.
There are three main kinds of tap: a taper tap, an intermediate tap and a bottoming (plug) tap. Some sets don’t have the intermediate tap as this is not such a standard requirement.
There are a lot of pieces in a tap and die set and if they get mixed up it can be a nightmare to sort them! For this reason, it is worth investing in a set with a good case that keeps everything in place. Many sets like the Draper 52-Piece Tap and Die Set come in a steel case with a plastic insert to hold the numerous pieces.
A tap and die set is useful to repair items when the original fixing components are damaged. Taps and dies can be used to repair appliances, cars and furniture. Sets like the US PRO Engineering Quality Tap and Die Set are useful for small engineering jobs while the CCLife 32 Piece Tap and Die Set is an affordable option for simple repairs and hobby use.
How do I use a tap and die set?
Firstly, you should confirm the size and depth of thread you need. Sizes can be measured using a thread gauge. Consult a chart to determine the correct size of drill and tap. Your set may come with a chart or these can be found online.
Next drill a hole of the correct diameter and depth.
Secure the object you are working on and apply a generous amount of lubricant to the surface being tapped.
Insert the handle into the tap then hold the tap so that it is perfectly in line with the hole and turn it clockwise. You will feel strong resistance as you turn.
Rotate the tap clockwise a few times, then reverse the process to bring the tap back out so that you can clear the tap of chips and loose material. You should do this every couple of turns. Add more lubricant if necessary.
Once the tap has reached the correct depth, back it out of the hole, clear out the chips and wipe away any excess lubricant.
If you are a handy person that likes to repair home appliances or vehicles than a tap and die set is a very useful tool. Many items have very specific parts that are not easily purchased so a tap and die set allows you to make new components exactly to the size you require. A tap and die set also allows you to clean up corroded or worn threads to make them useful again.
The Sealey AK3040 40 piece Tap and Die Set would be our recommendation. It comes with a good range of taps and dies plus all the accessories you are likely to need. It also has a sturdy and well-organised case to keep all your parts together.