I have decided that I want a tapping head. Tapmatic is frequently on
sale in the enco catalogs so thats where I am starting.
I see the X, R and DC/TC series.
The X and R appear to be the same except the R can run right or left
hand. The DC/TC series has lower down feed but I really don't know
what that does for me.
I will use the tapping head on a vertical mill or maybe (but unlikely)
a drill press.
Right now, I'm leaning towards the R3.
Is a procunier a better choice?
Answer, very simply, is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no
question of it, yes.
When I first used a Procunier, after using Tapmatic for a couple years, I
could not imagine anyone wanting a Tapmatic.
I have used both and I think the Procunier is the better of the two. I
have at present two Procuniers, the smaller one I got from MSC (a little
over $500 several years ago) and going strong. The other larger one from
eBay last month for $12.50 (Gloat) works well but had to buy collets.
The ones that run faster in reverse are handy for hand tapping.
Once the threads are cut, you can get the tap out, and get to the
next hole quicker.
The ones that run the same speed are handy if you have an older
nc or cnc machine without a tapping cycle.
Then you can program the same down speed as up speed, and the tap
should follow. Harder to do with two speeds up and down.
Running left and right hand is a real handy feature.
Left handed threads do appear from time to time.
I got a couple from ebay, some form an auction.
Wonderful things for the shop.
Sometimes, it is quicker to do a batch of parts in the 2 axis
knee mill than in the bigger machining center. Sometimes. g
I got a Procunier on eBay. It is the "CNC" tapping head, it has no overload
clutch. It can still be used manually if you have a depth stop. You
make sure the tap doesn't ever hit bottom, however, or it will break it.
You should know that Procunier parts like the collets are a bit expensive.
I only got the one size that was in the unit, so I made my own collets.
They weren't that hard.
Procunier is a good outfit to deal with, parts are available from most of
the machine tool suppliers, and they welcome phone calls asking for
help, parts, etc. They will send out an instruction and parts manual free.
I don't do a whole lot of tapping, but the tapping head REALLY beats
doing it by hand! I had one job that required about 600 6-32 blind holes,
and it was a killer to do by hand. I also did a fixture plate with 144
holes. It did that in less than 20 minutes!
I have never used the tapmatic. But I can attest to the ruggedness of the
The first one I owned was the single most abused piece of equipment I have
ever owned (and I have several owned used lawnmowers).
It must have been used in a drill press with a scored taper and every
surface was covered with hammer dents.
You could barely make out that the three lumps on the bottom were nuts. The
housing was cracked in three places. Two of the cover screws were stripped
and the the taper was covered with grind marks and a scar from the setscrew
they evidently used to keep it mounted in the drill press.
But the darn thing still worked like a champ. Eventually I aquired another,
I ebayed some Procunier parts including a new housing, I pulled the guts out
of the beat up one and stuck it in the new housing, and it still works fine.
Paul K. Dickman
Harold & Susan Vordos wrote in message ...
I have used both, and have to say that my money would definitely be spent on
a Procunier. I have one that I bought used, looked like it was new. I also
can direct you to at least 2 others (Model 1E) that are in the hand of my
local used machinery dealer.
I am a bit confused on the 1E. J&L catalog says it reverses at 2x but
it does not say that it auto reverses. I discussed this with a friend
that has a used one (but hasn't used it) and he says he doesn't think
it reverses because it doesn't have any gears in it. He says it just
a cork cone clutch. The only other Porcunier ones are CNC models and
those state clearly they auto reverse. However these are too expensive
for me to justify.
The driving factor is that J&L has a 25% discount that expires tonight
so its order it now or wait for the next sale.
Likewise, Ed. Saw a lot of recommendations for the Procunier in this
thread but no analysis - design or anecdotal - of why it's
significantly better than the Tapmatic equivalents. I never had a
problem with my well used R5, and it has all the bells and whistles
that everyone seem to be praising the Procunier for having. One
I have about a half-dozen Tapmatics (from little 1 & 1a models to a
couple 50x models and a big R7) that I use almost every day... and they work
very well. We probably break a tap every couple thousand holes... but
usually because the work piece gets loose or something. >:-(
I have no basis to say they are "better"... having never used anything
else; but they are good!
There is no pre-set torque limit on those.
If you bottom the tap, and keep pushing down,
you can generate enought force to break the
smaller taps for a given tapper's range.
please reply to:
JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com
Note that TapMatics come in several styles.
One style has adjustable travel before the dog clutch releases,
and is better for tapping relatively shallow blind holes.
Another style has fixed dog-clutch release travel, but has an
adjustable clutch, which can make it better at avoiding breaking taps.
I finally downloaded the manuals (note that I never have bought a new
one, just a small one with the clutch (30X IIRC -- good up to 1/4-20),
and a larger one with the adjustable travel to release but without the
clutch (40R or is it 50R -- good from 1/4-20 up to perhaps 1/2"). The
first was an eBay item, the second an opportunity from someone else at
the metalworking club meeting.
Based on the downloaded manual, you don't use the numbers on the
clutch for anything -- you just adjust it (with a *new* tap) to just
above where it slips. Then, when the tap starts to get dull, the torque
needed goes up, and you get a warning when it starts to slip, so you can
swap it out, and put in a sharp one.
In any case, with the smaller taps (0-80 though perhaps 6-32) I
would pretty much *insist* on the clutch feature.
I had to make MT-2 shanks for each, as I normally use them in my
Both have worked very well for me in everything that I've asked
of them so far.
I don't know what other features the other models of TapMatic
have, but at least the two that I have each provide different features
from that list of Procunier tapping head features.
The TapMatics use the Jacobs "rubberflex" collets and tapping
chuck -- two sizes cover the range of a given tap head, and they are
rather expensive (and unlikely to come with a used tapping head in good
condition). I understand that the Procunier needs a custom tap collet for
each size, and that these are even more expensive, so this seems to be a
bit of a tradeoff.
I've also recently made an adaptor to hold MT-1 tap collets
(Thanks MPToolman for your offer on the newsgroup) in the releasing tap
holder for the turret lathe. Is there a chance that the Procunier uses
the MT-1 tap collets?
My wife once used a Procunier to tap something like 9000 2-56 blind holes. She
broke a tap at that point because she had to change to a different machine.
Finished the job with a second tap which did about 3000 more holes. Maybe
has improved their design since then, but I know what I like and won't be
any money on any tapping heads.
After a while this thread seemed to boil down to experience with
a particular model. I called tapmatic and got some guidance.
A procunier is basically a forward and reverse cluth. Push it down
and it applies torque to the tap proportional to the down pressure.
When you stop pushing down and pull up, the upper clutch engauges and
it backs out.
A tapmatic is self feeding. When the tap engauges the work, it pulls
itself into the hole. It will continue until you stop feeding. When
you stop feeding it will continue by the amount of down feed designed
into the unit you are using (there are several models one has adjustable
downfeed). At that point it will shift into neutral. When you pull up,
it shifts into reverse and backs out.
Tapmatics have a clutch that will slip if the torque is excessive.
This will sense when the tap is dull or I suppose an accidental bottom
out of the tap. Procuniers do not have this clutch. The torque is
proportional to the down pressure.
Tapmatic makes several models with different features. The TC/DC model
has adjustable downfeed and is designed for blind holes. The R model
will tap left and right hand.
I figure that some of the dislike of the tapmatic is that people don't
understand how they work and are using the wrong model for the job.
Anyway I figure the TC/DC model would work well for my needs and I like
the idea of having the clutch. I will find out when I try it.
AS they say, the proof is in the pudding...
--Interesting. For the "slop" reason alone I'd pick Tapmatic for
my needs then, as it means that I can quickly set up and tap a pile of
holes with a drillpress and I can save the mill for the important stuff.
--FWIW I've been a happy Tapmatic user for some time. The downside
of these has always been what can happen if you bottom the tap in a hole
and spin the part B4 you have a chance to back it out. That's why I developed
It takes a minute to set it up, but then I know I won't have a "bad day",
so to speak..