Metal Works 110 Piece SAE Tap and Die Set
Price: £100 – £150
+ Bonus Draper Screw Angle Guage (at the end)
This is one of those tools that you don’t need a lot of the time, but when you do need it, its worth its weight in gold. I got my car (obviously) and there were a few damaged bolts and rusted in holes all over the place. So I made the decision to get a tap and die set. I went to my local tool dealers a huge place and they had various sets there. I am obviously after AF set or SAE to fit the American threads. I was bombarded with 20 piece, 30 piece 150 pice and everything in between. The choice was mental. I saw a nice set in a steel case with 110 pieces in it. This was a good set so I am tools and I compared with the cheaper sets. They felt more substantial and just felt sharper! The options in the kit I was told was more than I would ever need, for the extra £30 I could double my options. So the Metal Works 110 piece SAE set was purchased.
Whats in the Box:
The box itself was a cover and nothing else came with it. It would have been nice to have had a guide or usage guide? I believe the cost and size of the set they assume you know what you’re doing. If you don’t there are plenty of walk-through on YouTube to help you out. The case is made of a strong sturdy steel and catches are solid to stop the lot falling out. The parts are manufactured in tungsten steel to a very high quality and the sizes are marked on each part. The smaller handles have a single locking thread that only needs to be done up finger tight or a very slight nip with a flat head screwdriver. The larger handles are supplied with a single locating screw and the other two (one each side) lock the die in place.
The top layer consists of the Taps and the bottom layer has the dies. The layers are plastic and numbered above each part. The plastic is rubbish and wont take too much abuse, but more than that the printing of the sizes on the plastic will rub off if you try to rub the oil off the plastic from the parts. That is rubbish, end off. This is the weakness of the kit. The tools are very different.
The contents of the kit itself consist of the following;
- Metric, UNC, UNF and NPT taps and dies.
- Comprises 2 tap handles: M3-M12 (1/6″ – 1/2″) and M6-M20 (1/4″ – 3/4″) plus 2 die handles 25mm (1″) and 38mm (1 1/2″)
- Dies, taper taps and bottom taps: 4NC40, 6NC32, 8NC32, 10NV24, 10NF32, 12NC24, 1/4NC24, 1/4NF28, 1/4NS24, 1/4NS32, 5/16NC18, 5/16NF24, 3/8NC16, 3/8NF24, 7/16NC14, 7/16F20, 1/8NPT27, M6X1.0, M8X1.25, M10X1.0, M10X1.5, M1X1.5, 1/2NC13, 1/2NF20, 9/16NC12, 9/16NF18, 5/8NC11, 5/8NF18, 3/4NC10, 3/4NF16, 1/4NPT18, M12X1.25, M12X1.75, M14X1.25, M18X1.5
I use these more than I thought I would. I have some dodgy bolts that needed cleaning the treads up as they were so rusted it was difficult to get a not on let alone tighten up. I have used the set to create a complete thread for the carburetor linkage. They worked perfectly and with very little effort. I find the technique of a little 3-in-1 oil on the thread and half turn forward then back up a quarter works best. This takes longer but it makes sure the swarf or what ever is not getting in the way of the cut. I have used them on the drive shaft stud bolts as they were mangled beyond belief, a quick work round with these tools sorted that problem out. You can unscrew the handles each side if you want to too, ideal for small place in situ. Obviously this will take a while but I have used it like that and it does work.
The cutting is sharp, and the tapered lead-in helps to get the threat started. Good clean and crisp cutting. I used the taps to clean out the holes where the thread was rusted up. Everytime I have used them I have had clean cuts.
This was a fair bit of money, but I have the option for the taps to be down to the bottom or tapered to stop nearer the bottom. Do I need all these options? I doubt it but you never know, this is a comprehensive kit that I am glad I have bought the set. The case is good but the inlays of a cheap blow moulded layers is rubbish. I would have expected a little more substantial material to be used. If you handle the plastic carefully it will be fine. But that is not the point really. If you can see past this then it’s fine.
Rating: 8 out 10
The parts great shame about the storage and the numbering rubbing off. For that I have knocked of a mark each as it annoys me. There are other kits out there have better cases and storage of the parts but not as good a quality. I would rather have it the other way round, which is exactly what I have got. Would I buy it again? Yes no questions asked. If it had decent storage I reckon it could be a top scorer.
Draper Screw Thread Angle Guage
I would highly recommend the little set of tools I use to make sure I am using the correct tap or die.
It came from Draper andd was recommended to me by a friend, it’s worth checking the threads properly instead of using the wrong size and ruining the thread completly. There is not much to say obut the tools except it looks a little bit like set of feeler guages and has teeth of various sizes on them to fit within the thread. Obviously this is the SAE set. I wont bother to rate is as does its job and does it well, it serves no purpose other than identify thread types. Once the tread is identified pick it out and apply the part to do its business.