How to Use a Tap and Die to Create or Repair Threads

When using a tap and die set, it’s important to understand the terms. “Tapping” occurs when you cut, or recut threads into a hole or nut. Most auto mechanics and metalworkers have likely dealt with this issue. It may have occurred in the form of a stripped socket or cut-off bolt which needed re-threading. Learning how to use a tap and die set lets you fix serious problems in metal that would otherwise leave you high and dry.

How to Use a Tap and Die Set

You use a “die” to either cut or repair threads onto a bolt or piece of metal. The metal of these thread cutters exceeds the strength of most sheet metals. With the right amount of oil and care, you can quickly and consistently cut or repair threads for machined screws and bolts.

Find the Correct TPI

Before you can start threading, you first have to determine the number of threads per inch (TPI). You need this to grab the correct tap and/or die for the bolt, nut, or hole. Most tap and die systems, include some kind of gauge. These use a number of different “blades” that help you match the correct TPI of a bolt or nut. Some look a little like a small pocket knife. Many of these thread checkers exist on the market and you can find one that works well for you.

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