Taps and Dies ?

I'm looking to buy a metric tap and die set, from M2 to M12, first and
plug taps
and dies.
I also want a UNF set, but really only for cleaning threads rather than
Dormer would be my first choice, but are massively expensive (even with
a hefty
discount from work).
I looked at this place:
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and their "British
Made" sets.
A bit of digging on the website revealed the taps and dies
are "Totem" brand,
which is in fact Indian, not British. Given that the
owner of tapdie.co.uk is a
Mr. Nadirshaw, I put 2 + 2 together. I
e-mailed Mr.Nadirshaw with the simple
question of "what is the country
of origin of your taps and dies", but got a
load of waffle in return.
All I could make out was that they are sourced from a
variety of
countries, including Britain. To me "British Made" means exactly
and my question should have had a one sentence reply.
Does anyone have any experiences of this place, or any other
recommendations for
sets. I'm looking at spending about £150 max on the
metric set, and considerably
less for the UNF set, maybe up top £50.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Reply to
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Some years ago I purchased a set of Metric HSS Taps & Dies from Machine Mart Item CHT527 3mm-12mm taper-second & plug. They have proved to be very good! The smaller sizes are a little on the short side so check that the length will do what you want. At £46-98 inc vat almost twice the price I paid about 6 years ago but still not bad value.
Reply to
Totem have been around a long time and I have used them to make me taps for uncommon threads in the past with no problems. I suspect there are a lot worse products around in markets and aldi/lidl stores.
Do you really need a set? Are there sizes you would only use rarely and maybe cheap carbon steel would do and invest in quality HSS for sizes you would use? You also get tap wrenches and die stocks which you might not need. I agree it is nice to have all sizes there on a just in case basis but that might be a financial luxury.
For your unified needs, maybe sets of CS from Tracy tools would be adequate. I've have such a set for similar requirements to yourself and they have been OK.
Reply to
Bob Minchin
When you go to specific items the wording is a lot more telling:
"Taps & Dies in BRITISH-made wooden boxed sets"
At least we can still makes wooden boxes in the UK.
Reply to
Cliff Ray
Hi Dr G, For a long time their site made a big point about "British Made" but on closer reading it seems it was the boxes that were British. I have some of their Taps and I'm afraid I was not greatly impressed with their quality of finish or cutting ability. I cannot comment on their Dies, as I don't believe that I have any. If you want "Made in the UK" you could try Lyndon, available from Tilgear or J&L and other good tool factors, they seem reasonable quality at reasonable prices. T.W.
Reply to
the wizard
Bob, Salamanda,
I have had a Talco carbon steel metric/unf tap and die set for the past 22 years, and, believe it or not, it has served me very well for both cleaning threads and making threads. Not fantastic, but does the job. I'm assuming therefore, that an HSS (or HQS) set would last me for the rest of my days. The real question is I suppose, how much do you pay, and, at the price points I'm looking at, is there any real difference in quality?
I agree that buying taps as and when may well be the best route, but if I'm doing a job, I tend to want to get on with it without sourcing tools first. I do indeed already have good quality die stocks (Dormer and Presto) and Eclipse tap holders. having said that, a Dormer M10 first & plug tap and die will set me back about £30 I think. So...I could have five common sizes for around £150? Then of course, I bet the first one I'd need would not be one of those five!
Hmmm. Difficult one.
Thanks for the comments.
Reply to
In article , Bob Minchin writes
I'd go along with that. I bought a cheap set, then any that wore out or broke got replaced with top quality ones. So far, that has only amounted to a couple of smaller metric and BA threads. I also bought one or two frequently-used metric ones like M6.
For the cheap starter set, I got mine many years ago from Tracy Tools, though many of their cheap sets were then carbon steel, don't know about now. Today I would be looking at something like
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Which at under £40 for HSS is pretty good value.
Carbon steel taps are noticeably inferior to HSS ones, other things being equal, but are OK for occasional use.
Also worth keeping an eye on the monthly special offers at J&L, since they often offer top quality tooling at much below normal catalogue prices.
Reply to
David Littlewood
Speaking from experience, the cheapest carbon steel taps and dies are made by cutting the thread with another tap or die and then heat treating to harden them which causes distortion to the thread profiles - money is saved by ommitting the final stage of grinding them to the correct profile. Whilst the rough threads cut with such tools are sufficient for the backstreet car repair organisations that these sets are aimed at they certainly aren't accurate enough for model engineers. Cheap carbon steel dies are often solid not split making them difficult to use.
HSS taps and dies have been more expensive because of the cost of grinding them to the correct profile but now that they are made by the million for industrial machines they are both accurate and often can be bought cheaply. Over the last few years I have bought at shows from stands of companies like Proops many HSS metric taps and dies of good quality for around a pound each. I assume that those shown on the Proops website are the same but slightly more expensive
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(2nd item on the page)
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(2nd item on page)
They are made by the million for industrial processes and thus are both accurate and cheap. The downside is that the taps come in one type rather than first, second and plug with the M1.5 to M6 having a point (used for laocating in the thread cutting grinders used to manufacture them) so are best for cutting through threads. However I have found that it is quite easy to use a bench grinder to remove the points and produce a plug tap. (I tried to purchase an M3 plug tap from my local engineering supplies Cookes in Chadwell Heath but it also had a slight point and was a lot more expensive).
Last year I bought from Chronos for around 14 pounds a set of HSS taps in a metal case there are 21 in all with 3 types each of M3, M4, M5, M6, M8, M10 and M12 which I have found are good quality. I see they are now 20pounds including VAT and postage. See: the 4th item in:
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Reply to
Alan Dawes
Except in small sizes, maybe 5mm or less. Small CS taps break too easily, and then you can't get them out.
Not okay for anything but the bin, in my book.
Small HSS ones can break too, but it's less likely.
-- Peter Fairbrother
Reply to
Peter Fairbrother
I have a "Linear" HSS set, M3-M12 taps 1st 2nd and plug plus split dies. I have been very pleased with them. Tap wrench was crap and broke but I had better quality others. You may find it difficult to find a set starting at M2. (Wrte that then checked Farnell who do have a Dormer set M2 - M12 for £509!)
Good luck
Reply to
Richard Edwards
It actually says:
British-made Wooden or Metal BOXED SETS
Which, to me meant the sets were British made.
He also has a reference list which included Rolls-Royce and BP, two companies I'd expect to use the best equipment.
All very odd if you ask me.
Reply to
Bob Minchin
Strangely enough, Greenwood Tools used to list the exact same looking tap and die set as the ArcEuro one. Same box, screwdriver, *presumably* the same manufacturer, but it was around twice the price at Greenwood. I phoned to ask why this was, and to be honest can't rememeber the answer. I know I didn't buy a set from either place though. I notice Greenwood have stopped listing them now.
Sorry the posts here are in a strange order. I think it's something to do with using RCGroups as a host. Can cause confusion and anger form what I remember of last time I asked a question, so apologies in advance!
Reply to
They are the ones that you CAN get out - easier than HSS ones, anyway; as long as they are broken in a steel/iron bit.
Reply to
At the moment, Aldi are selling cheap/cheap sets of metrics which should clean up threads etc
Reply to
Good to hear from you Norm, hope all OK. Thanks for the pointer, never like using good kit to clean up rusty parts etc.
Best regards
Reply to
Keith, Going off at a tangent or 3, hope you are well. Getting old> 80 -you know! I was in Aldi actually getting a funny little vise for a fiver- 2 varieties, if you must. Nice soft jaws etc, etc. Worth a look.
Just had the Myford Super 7B slideways ground with turciting on saddle for =A3250. County Durham firm- 50 miles . Sent a photo to one of my lot who said 'I doubt if******** could do it as nicely' Hummmm?
Guy does full reconditioning big stuff but put my titchy through in a bit of down time.
Cheers- and for those with Chinese stuff - Kung Hai Fat Chow
Reply to
Thanks for that, I will have a look.
Reply to
last time aldi had them was 21st Jan
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they will be all gone by now
they are OK ..ive used them and continue using them ..they are not chocolate and do the job.
you'll have to wait another 6 months now before they are on sale again .
all the best.markj
Reply to
We had them some left on Sunday in Newcastle/Tyne - hence my comments. I've seen them phone up branches to see what was left for other items.
Fingers crossed? Regards
Reply to
ravensworth2674 formulated the question :
If they are the same ones as they sold before, then they are only worth what you are paying for them - not a lot. That is not to suggest that all that they sell is similar.
Reply to
Harry Bloomfield

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