Reviews

LAST UPDATED: October 10, 2019

Best Tap and Die Sets: Cut New Threads and Holes

Fix the threading on your worn-out tools with these best-rated taps and die sets

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The Review Team

  • Product Network

    14 Products

  • Clock

    7 Hours

  • Reviews

    10 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON October 10, 2019

Tap and die sets are a collection of taps and dies put together in a well-organized casing. They help you repair old bolts and nuts and fix the threading on screws. If you are a mechanic, you will find this toolset very useful, but only if you get the right one. We have put together some of the best taps and die sets in our buying guide below.

  • Best Overall
    GearWrench Tap and Die Tool Set 
    Summary
    Summary
    A 75-piece toolset with both SAE and metric indexes and a convenient ratcheting T wrench.
    Pros
    Pros
    Secure twist and lock guide system.  Durable carbon steel construction. Ideal for working in tight spaces. Organized using index holders. The case includes a convenient carrying handle.
    Cons
    Cons
    Not large enough for frequent thread cutting. Fragile case. Doesn’t offer as many size variations as larger sets do.
  • Best Overall
    GearWrench Tap and Die Tool Set 
  • Best Value
    TEKTON Tap and Die Set
    Summary
    Summary
    A neat and well organized 39-piece metric toolset with fine taps and dies designed to prevent over-threading.
    Pros
    Pros
    It comes well-stocked at an affordable price point. High-quality steel construction. Protected from over threading. Includes a collection of coarse and fine tap and die sizes. It also includes a T wrench, dies stock, and screwdriver.
    Cons
    Cons
    Only calibrated in the metric system. Fragile plastic casing. Not strong or versatile enough for heavy-duty jobs.
  • Best Value
    TEKTON Tap and Die Set
  • Honorable Mention
    IRWIN Tap and Die Set
    Summary
    Summary
    A 117-piece toolset that offers all the taps, dies, drill bits, and extractors for professional craftsmanship
    Pros
    Pros
    Ergonomic design. Calibrated in both SAE and metric system. Includes many versatile parts. It has almost all sizes covered. Self-aligning dies and taps. Includes spiral screw extractors.
    Cons
    Cons
    Expensive. It’s a bit bulky and feels heavy. The set doesn't hold all the pieces in place.
  • Honorable Mention
    IRWIN Tap and Die Set

    Tap and die sets are a collection of taps and dies put together in a well-organized casing. They help you repair old bolts and nuts and fix the threading on screws. If you are a mechanic, you will find this toolset very useful, but only if you get the right one. We have put together some of the best taps and die sets in our buying guide below.

    Best Overall

    If you're looking for high-quality and efficiency, the GearWrench Tap and Die Tool Set may be the best product on the market. This 75-piece tool set is made from heavy-duty carbon steel. The secure twist-and-lock system makes this set extremely easy to use. It is ideal for working in tight spaces, and the included case has a convenient carrying handle. The ratcheting handles and adapters allow for simple back-and-forth movement while cutting threads on either taps or dies. The 5-degree ratcheting arc with reversing lever of the GearWrench set eliminates hand-over-hand turning while working. The die adapters work with the 3/8-inch drive pass-thru ratchet and socket system, as well as socket accessories. An auto-locking feature allows the tap adapters to be removed safely. One downside of this tap and die tool set is that it is not large enough for frequent thread cutting

    Best Value

    Get the best bang for your buck with the TEKTON Tap and Die Set. This tap and die set is made from high-quality milled alloy tool steel. The 39-piece set is very well organized with fine taps and dies designed to prevent over-threading. Available at an excellent price point, the TEKTON tap and die set includes 17 taps and 17 dies in a variety of coarse and fine sizes. The value set also includes a long handle tap wrench, "T" handle tap wrench, die stock, 1/8-inch flat screwdriver, and thread pitch gauge. One downside of this set is that it is only calibrated in the metric system. The included storage case keeps everything neat and organized, but it is made from a fragile plastic casing. This tap and die set may not be strong enough or versatile enough for heavy-duty jobs.

    Honorable Mention

    The IRWIN Tap and Die Set offers all the taps, dies, drill bits, and extractors for professional craftsmanship. This 117-piece tool set is ideal for any auto and machinery repair. The set is made from extremely durable high carbon steel. The IRWIN tap and die set is calibrated in both SAE and metric systems. It includes many versatile parts, including six machine screw taps and six dies, 10 SAE taps and 10 dies, 16 metric taps and 16 dies, and two pipe taps and two dies. All the tap and die tools needed for the included taps and dies come with the set. The set also includes drill bits, spiral screw extractors, an adjustable handle tap wrench, 2-in-1 tap wrench, T-handle wrench, pitch gauges, and a convenient plastic carrying case to keep your tools organized. Compared to other tap and die sets on the market, this product is rather expensive.

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    Best Overall

    If you're looking for high-quality and efficiency, the GearWrench Tap and Die Tool Set may be the best product on the market. This 75-piece tool set is made from heavy-duty carbon steel. The secure twist-and-lock system makes this set extremely easy to use. It is ideal for working in tight spaces, and the included case has a convenient carrying handle. The ratcheting handles and adapters allow for simple back-and-forth movement while cutting threads on either taps or dies. The 5-degree ratcheting arc with reversing lever of the GearWrench set eliminates hand-over-hand turning while working. The die adapters work with the 3/8-inch drive pass-thru ratchet and socket system, as well as socket accessories. An auto-locking feature allows the tap adapters to be removed safely. One downside of this tap and die tool set is that it is not large enough for frequent thread cutting

    Best Value

    Get the best bang for your buck with the TEKTON Tap and Die Set. This tap and die set is made from high-quality milled alloy tool steel. The 39-piece set is very well organized with fine taps and dies designed to prevent over-threading. Available at an excellent price point, the TEKTON tap and die set includes 17 taps and 17 dies in a variety of coarse and fine sizes. The value set also includes a long handle tap wrench, "T" handle tap wrench, die stock, 1/8-inch flat screwdriver, and thread pitch gauge. One downside of this set is that it is only calibrated in the metric system. The included storage case keeps everything neat and organized, but it is made from a fragile plastic casing. This tap and die set may not be strong enough or versatile enough for heavy-duty jobs.

    Honorable Mention

    The IRWIN Tap and Die Set offers all the taps, dies, drill bits, and extractors for professional craftsmanship. This 117-piece tool set is ideal for any auto and machinery repair. The set is made from extremely durable high carbon steel. The IRWIN tap and die set is calibrated in both SAE and metric systems. It includes many versatile parts, including six machine screw taps and six dies, 10 SAE taps and 10 dies, 16 metric taps and 16 dies, and two pipe taps and two dies. All the tap and die tools needed for the included taps and dies come with the set. The set also includes drill bits, spiral screw extractors, an adjustable handle tap wrench, 2-in-1 tap wrench, T-handle wrench, pitch gauges, and a convenient plastic carrying case to keep your tools organized. Compared to other tap and die sets on the market, this product is rather expensive.

    Tips

    • When cutting threads into a rod, it’s good practice to clean the threads by backing out three turns per every three turns you cut. It helps you maintain a clean cut. 
    • If you are cutting into a worn bolt, remember to lubricate the rod to have an easier time cutting through the material. The lubricant will also reduce overheating caused by metal-to-metal contact.  
    • A die may not work well on a flat-ended rod. You need to use a grinder to make a beveled end on the rod. 

    FAQs

    Q: Will the die break an old bolt?

    A: You may break an old bolt if you are not gentle when threading it on a die. You should make the turns slowly to allow the rod to seamlessly take the threaded design. Remember to reapply cutting oil to keep the bolt from overheating or sparking. 

    Q: How do I know which is the right tool to use?

    A: Tap and die sets come in casings that are labeled either SAE or metric. You will find the label on the case or on the tool itself. Keeping your set organized is the only way you’ll know how to select the right tool for the job. You typically select a tool that matches the size of your bolt or steel rod. 

    Q: Is it difficult to turn a tap wrench?

    A: It may not be something you can do with one hand, but it’s not any more difficult than using a lug wrench. If you are using too much force, then you may need to upgrade to a longer T-handle. Also, lubricating the hole makes the tap glide in easier. 

    Final Thoughts

    Our top pick is the GearWrench Tap and Die Tool Set. It's ergonomically designed and has every tool strategically laid out. 

    If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a toolset, then you should choose the TEKTON Tap and Die Set.