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  #1  
Old June 1st, 2010, 11:40 PM
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Wanted: Tool Recommendation

OK, so I'm part way through the tear down of my 110 and have started the rebuild. I need to get a tap and die set. I see Irwin stuff all over the local hardware store and at Amazon. IS Irwin any good? Without breaking the bank, what do you recommend?
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  #2  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:22 AM
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Craftsman has the 39 piece metric set which has all of what you need short of an M14 tap and the die for the tire carrier/wheel studs for $80.

Ron
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Some tools I cheap out on, so all my tap and die set come from Harbor Freight. I think it's less than $20 for a full SAE or Metric set. And strangely, the only tools I ever break are Craftsman.
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  #4  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 07:56 AM
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I picked up my Tap and Die from Harbor Freight too... Plus, they have a lifetime warranty and a 20% off coupon in some magazines. I bought both of their largest Metric and SAE sets for less than $50 each.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:31 PM
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2 votes for HF and 1 for Craftsman. Thanks for the recommendations. The closest Sears with tools is ~45 miles away and HF is much farther.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Just order off the internet.
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  #7  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:11 PM
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I get mine from McMaster Carr. The HF stuff is only good for chasing threads when you are trying to get rust and crud out of threaded inserts or the like. They are not what I'd call machinist quality. When you buy a set you get all these sizes and accessories you never use, so I just buy the ones I need and spend a little extra for good ones. Get a good holder too.
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  #8  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Orly Mr. Briggs, which ones?
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  #9  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 05:49 PM
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FWIW, I personally find that the harbor freight tap sets are just fine as long as they are in HSS (or better.) I don't see much of a need to spend a lot of $$$ on taps as the Chinese put out fairly good ones.

The most important part about tap sets are:

1. That you buy T-handle wrenches. The ones that usually come with the tap and die sets are straight-handle and are (IMHO) bad rubbish. A set of three T-handle wrenches will not cost much but will vastly improve your ability to tap difficult metals - even stainless.
2. That you have the correct tap drills available so that you do not over or under-engage the taps.

Dies are a little more complicated. If you are attempting to cut threads in untapped stock (i.e. pipe) I highly recommend hexagon dies with matching wrenches.

I do not recommend round dies for anything other than Aluminum or chasing cross-threaded or hack-sawed existing threads.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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Unless you're gonna' make a livin' with your tools and you only use the tap & die sometimes, Harbor Freight is good'nuf for me.

Dennis
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  #11  
Old July 30th, 2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Ah, apples and oranges here. You posted a rethread kit, not a tap and die kit, HUGE difference. Different applications.

I use a MAC tap and die set and break taps from time to time. Another person I know uses a Snap On kit and has yet to really break one, and his kit gets used often and it's at least 10 yrs old.

I use my tools daily and H.F. lasts about 30 seconds, literally.

For a home shop or trail tools, you can't beat craftsman.
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  #12  
Old July 30th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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The only snap-on thing I have is my box. I got a like new $6k top and bottom box set up for $1500. Thank you to the down economy.

I like the old Kobalt as they were made by the same people who made snap on. Bought a bunch of it on clearance. The rest of my stuff is mainly craftsman. The taps and dies I have from craftsman are fine although I don't use them hard (thread chasing out zinc mainly).

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  #13  
Old August 1st, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grnrvrs View Post
OK, so I'm part way through the tear down of my 110 and have started the rebuild. I need to get a tap and die set. I see Irwin stuff all over the local hardware store and at Amazon. IS Irwin any good? Without breaking the bank, what do you recommend?
Do you really need a tap and die set? Or are you just cleaning up existing threads. If the latter, this kit works well:
http://www.amazon.com/Kastar-972-Fra.../dp/B000P6UNHE
I didn't get mine at Amazon, but I can't remember where I got it, for a good bit less.

I had a Craftsman tap & die set that I liked, that was stolen some years back. I haven't replaced it yet.
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  #14  
Old August 1st, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Just since I had it handy... here is an amazing thread on Harbor Freight coupons... always has an available 20% off to print out;

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1276399
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  #15  
Old August 1st, 2010, 11:09 AM
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It's not the tap and die set brand that will matter much to an occasional user, it's having the proper drill bit set that matters if you want a proper thread without breaking taps.
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  #16  
Old August 1st, 2010, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for all of the input. The rethread v tap and die distinction is a god point. Most of the time, I need to chase crud/galv out of threads. I ended up picking up a bunch of singles in the sizes I need, because the sets all were missing at least one of the sizes I was looking for.
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