Shop Floor Talk  

Go Back   Shop Floor Talk > Welding and Metalworking Forums > Machining

SFT Search:   
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-13-2014, 07:05 PM
Pat's Avatar
Pat Pat is offline
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 1,808
Default Advice needed for good tap and drill kit

I have been wanting a good tap and drill set for the longest time, but have just been buying single drills and taps as needed. I now have most of the common SAE taps and drill bits, but some are missing the mating tap or drill bit. The other night I had the need to drill and tap a 5/16 coarse thread hole. After drilling the correct size hole I loaded the tap into the hand tapper. Something looked weird about the tap. Upon putting my glasses on I noticed that some moron (me) had left the tap on the welding table, and evidently was welding hot enough to cause the tap to have permanent weld berries stuck to it.............so

Around where I am at none of the usual stores carry the kits, and the best quality singles I can find are usually the Hanson/Irwin brand.........which are nothing to write home about. I have been searching internet tool supply places and have found several different brands offering the kits. Most of the brand names I have never heard of. This is probably because they are professional quality sets, and as you can tell I am not accustomed to buying quality.

One brand (Greenlee) I have heard of but have no experience with. The other brand that is carried by many of the stores is Chicago-Latrobe. Can anyone tell me their experiences with these 2 brands, or offer advice/suggestions on other quality kits? I almost always hand tap with the only exception being a 1/4-20 in a hand drill...........Thanks for any advice or suggestions.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-13-2014, 08:37 PM
MAC702's Avatar
MAC702 MAC702 is offline
set phasers to .50 caliber
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Clark County, NV
Posts: 4,314
Default

Greenlee is marketed to electricians, and some of their products are the best tools for that trade. But depending on what kind of tool it is, you may not really know who is the real manufacturer, what is the quality level, or what is the country of origin. I've no idea who might make their taps.
__________________
"It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive." - Jimmy the Tulip
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-13-2014, 08:50 PM
Lu47Dan's Avatar
Lu47Dan Lu47Dan is offline
Connoisseur of Old Iron
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: N/W Pa.
Posts: 5,973
Default

Pat, I have used and owned Chicago - Latrobe taps over the years and they worked just fine.
I am trying to get at least two taps in every size, that way I have a spare when the one I am using breaks.
I can not remember what brand I have been getting locally, but they are not as good as the ones I order through MSC. I do not buy their cheapee taps but I do not spend a lot extra money on a tap that might be used once or twice.
Dan.
__________________
Tools to Men are like Shoes to Women , you can never have too many !!
Used diesel engines are an adventure anyway you look at them !!
Miller XMT-304 Multiprocess
Miller 10-E Wire Feeder
Miller Spectrum 2050 Plasma Cutter
Hobart AC/DC stick welder
Hobart 175 Mig
Craftsman O/A set
Turbo torch and B-tank
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-13-2014, 10:25 PM
milomilo's Avatar
milomilo milomilo is offline
Auction Addict
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Wheatland, Wyoming
Posts: 15,324
Default

I get a lot of my taps at auctions. You do get cheapies, but more than not you get USA made taps for pennies each. If you want to get lot sizes go to Ebay and search for tap lot and you will see many listings. I get outbid often but sometimes I get a lot real cheap even with the shipping. I like Greenlee the best.
__________________
Chris

Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.
Woodrow Wilson
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-14-2014, 01:25 AM
LKeithR's Avatar
LKeithR LKeithR is offline
Hey...wait...is there a prize?
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Langley, B.C.
Posts: 5,084
Default

I've used a lot of taps and dies over the years and, honestly, I've never had much luck with any of the "sets". They're usually made to a "price point" and just don't stand up to the better brands. There are many good brands out there--We've used Clarkson/Osborn, Butterfield, Marxman, OSG, Emuge, Dormer and Nachi, to name a few. The latter brand is our "go to" right now--a little pricey but they're available locally and they stand up really well.

Taps and dies are definitely one of those products where "you get what you pay for" and I'd much rather pay a bit more and not have to worry about breakage or premature dulling...
__________________
Keith

Measure twice and cut once...or...wait, was that the other way around?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-14-2014, 10:30 AM
dubby's Avatar
dubby dubby is offline
Director: Fish Seduction
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Lubbock, TX
Posts: 9,429
Default

Organize a drawer in your cabinet for your own tap/die set and then start filling it up. Do the same with your drills.

I've found the sets to be problematic as well. You throw a lot of money into a set, and one or another part is going the be crap to keep the price down. For aluminum and occasional steel, the Irwin stuff has been working fine for the past three years. They're going to wear out, it's a lot less painful to set aside a $3 tap than a $30 one.

I now try and buy mine on ebay when I have time to remember. Now that HD has swapped brands, I don't know what I'll use when I forget to order them. I keep 3 of each of the standard ones I use in the drawer for breakage. But, on ebay I usually will try and find a quality-looking one from the pictures and not pay so much attention to the name. Sometimes you really get surprised with a good tool that everyone else overlooked because they only wanted a particular brand.

A 'clue' I've picked up on is that a better-made tool will be packaged in the plastic tooling box (blue one in pic) rather than stuck to a piece of cardboard or thrown in a bag. Some come in little cardboard tubes as well. If the manufacturers care enough to package them a little better, I'd imagine they take a little more care in their manufacturing as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tubes.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	24.7 KB
ID:	119908  
__________________
I've always had more time than money.

Wade's Custom Kydex
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-14-2014, 10:50 AM
terry lingle's Avatar
terry lingle terry lingle is offline
Something's Fishy ...
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Birch Island, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,338
Default

Keith s correct it is better to pay for good quality taps as you need them than buy a "set" and use a lesser tap in a critical application and have it fail.

There is a lot more to a tapping application than the thread size. Factors such as material type and hardness, through hole or blind hole.
If you are bottoming how close must you get. which way you want the swarf to go and more.
Most of these can be ignored most of the time the trick is knowing when you need a new or different tap before you have a failure.
After a failure you need a new tap and either a way to get the broken one out or a second hole in the part or even a new part.
__________________
Life beats the alternative hands down.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-27-2015, 08:35 PM
park city tom park city tom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: southern indiana
Posts: 158
Default Taps and drills

I looked up Chicago-Latrobe. They were part of Greenlee, and along with several other old American names were resold and seem to be "international" now.

I also found Morse Cutting tools, another good old American brand. I don't know where they're made, either.

If you're looking for new stuff, your best bet is probably to buy high speed steel taps, dies, and drills from McMaster - Carr. They don't sell junk. When you see the prices, you might think Fleabay is worth a look.

For future reference(next Spring and Summer), another possibility is engine and tractor show flea markets.

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-27-2015, 09:17 PM
digr's Avatar
digr digr is offline
The Real Deal
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Duluth MN
Posts: 8,189
Default

Did a quick search and this came up, I don't know anything about them but the rest of their stuff looks pretty good. Its a nice set with everything in one place and I think that is what you are looking for
__________________
Drawing by Smartdraw
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-27-2015, 09:56 PM
park city tom park city tom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: southern indiana
Posts: 158
Default Tap and Drill Set

Wow, DIGR.

I found the same set at littlemachineshop.com, for $10.00 more.

They also sell American-made H.S.S. drill sets for decent prices.

Tom
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Web Search:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.