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Tap and Die Basics

Learn how to use a tap and die set with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

When you’re working on a home improvement project or doing some metal working, nothing’s more annoying than a stripped screw or bolt. With a tap and die set, you can make a bolt or screw like new. With help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can learn what a tap and die set is used for, and even how to use one.

What is tap and die?

Tap and Die Basics
If you have a worn out screw or bolt, you may want to use a tap and die set. Learn about the basics of tap and die.

Tap and die sets are tools that are used to re-thread screws and bolts. The die is used to cut new threads on a stripped or worn out screw or bolt. A die can also be used to cut threads into a steel rod, if the rod has a beveled end. The tap is used to cut threads into a hole to match the bolt or screw.

How to Use Tap and Die

While it may take a bit of practice to learn, you only need a tap and die set and a few steps to learn the process.

Tap

1. To begin, make sure the die and tap are the same size. Most sets will have marked sizes that correlate with each other.

2. Once you’ve picked out your tap, oil it up to reduce friction and make it easily go through the metal. Clamp the metal piece onto a work bench with a C-clamp. Take the tap handle, secure it on the tap rod and turn until the metal piece is threaded.

Die

1. Secure the screw, bolt or metal rod in a bench vise, with the beveled end facing up. Use a small amount of oil to lubricate the screw, bolt or rod.

2. Secure the die on the screw, bolt or rod and turn, using both hands. The trick is to keep the die as straight as possible to get the best thread. Continue turning until you’ve threaded the desired length, and turn the opposite way to release the die.

Once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple. Plus, you won’t have to worry about stripped screws and bolts. For more tips and how-to’s, visit our hand tools blog.

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