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Milwaukee announced “user-driven innovation with new taps and dies program” today, bringing innovation to a tool category that “has seen little to no improvement in decades.”
Milwaukee Director of Product Marketing, Brad Urban, says that the new Milwaukee taps and dies deliver on the brand’s “promise to disrupt the market.”
The new taps and dies feature innovations that stem from “countless hours of field research,” with a focus on understanding users’ pain points, needs, and applications.
Milwaukee new thread-cutting tools are described as having three premium features:
- Black oxide coating to fight against corrosion
- Clearest markings for quick and easy size identification
- Precision machined threads for precise threading
There will be tap and die sets with different part counts, as well as separate accessories such as tap and die handles and thread pitch gauges.
It is notable that individual taps and dies will be available.
Milwaukee will be launching straight flute plug taps in SAE sizes from #4 through 3/4″, and metric sizes from M3 through M14, and in coarse and fine sizes for both.
They will also be launching tapered pipe taps from 1/8″ NPT through 3/4″ NPT, as well as 1/8″-28 BSPP.
2-piece tap and drill bit sets will be available for select fastener sizes.
Dies will be available in SAE sizes from #4 through 3/4″, and metric from M3 through M14, also in both coarse and fine sizes, plus pipe taps to match the taps.
The higher part count tap and die sets will be packaged in clear-lid low-profile Packout tool boxes, for convenient storage and portability.
Milwaukee Packout organizers are great tool cases, even if you don’t use them as part of a larger system.
If you don’t plan on transporting the sets around very much, the included removable insert is drawer-friendly. This allows for convenient low-profile placement in a tool cabinet, chest, cart, or other fixed or mobile storage system.
There are two types of tap and die handles – standard handles that are included in some sets, and a Hex-Lok 2-in-1 handle that’s included by itself and in other sets.
The new Milwaukee Hex-Lok handle is said to provide maximum leverage and control. It has an ergonomic grip and all-metal design (which I suppose can be said about all tap and die handles), and is optimized for smooth operation.
It can be used with 1-inch hex-shaped dies, and taps up to 1/2″ when paired with the Milwaukee tap collet.
Milwaukee says that, “with this innovative [Hex-Lok] 2-in-1 handle design, users can easily swap between internal or external threading providing the most versatile threading solution. Ultimately, reducing the number of total components carried on the job.”
Milwaukee Tap and Die Set Pricing and Availability
- 17pc SAE tap and die set (49-57-5600) – $45
- 17pc Metric tap and die set (49-22-5601) – $45
- 15pc SAE tap and die set w/ Hex-Lok (49-22-5602) – $80
- 38pc SAE tap and die set with Hex-Lok (49-22-5603) – $200
- 38pc metric tap and die set with Hex-Lok (49-22-5604) – $200
The new tap and die sets and accessories will be launching in August 2023.
The new Milwaukee Hex-Lok handle is advertised as delivering the “most controlled” and “smoothest threading” and “ultimate user comfort.”
I haven’t had the best experience with 2-in-1 tap and die handles, mainly because the one I have has a rather useless ratcheting function. This new one looks interesting. Improved user comfort sounds good.
The Packout organizer looks to be a great inclusion with the larger sets, especially the similar 2-in-1 storage option as provided with Milwaukee’s Packout-equipped socket sets. You can carry everything around together, or place the insert into a tool drawer.
This is a surprising product category for Milwaukee to enter, and I think the Packout organizer will be one of the more meaningful features for the higher part count sets.
In my opinion, this has the potential to win Milwaukee a piece of market share over time, and perhaps enough to where the existing competition is forced to pay attention and shake things up themselves.