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Tap & Die Set - Recommendations That Work and Won't Break the Bank!

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I'm looking for a tap and die set to add to my tools collection, I don't have a specific need right now so a set that will cover most needs (80:20 rule) would be great. I have looked online and to be honest the range of sizes in sets and types of tools is a little confusing and I'm worried I'll end up buying a set that I can't use. Can anyone recommend a set, or let me know a good range of sizes to get, along with the best style of tool(s). I'm happy to purchase a generic "own brand/value' set on cousins etc. or a decent quality Chinese set from eBay/Ali as I don't think I will use them often enough enough to justify the Burgeon tax.

Help/advice/guidance greatly appreciated


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  • 1 month later...

I do not believe there is one answer for this, a lot depends on what you work on. I have come to believe, possibly, that modern watches use m-fine screws. However if you are doing vintage it can be all over the place, between manufacturers and even within ranges they had their own specific threads. I have seen a post by @nickelsilverthat he knows a clockmaker with 500+ different screw making plates.


i think this maybe why you are not getting answers on this topic.



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tomh207 is right. No such set about that I know of. The same goes with antique clocks. You best bet it to build your own set as if and when you need a tap or die and then you will still come unstuck so screw plates are the answer. You might find the interesting.



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thanks for those replies.  that was very helpful.  the other thread posted by oldhippy posted a couple of videos on how taps and dies are made, which was very interesting.  making my own is beyond my skill set.  someone in the thread also posted that they purchased the set from esslinger which i already had in my cart.  that person said the set was "absolute junk."  so i'm glad i hadn't purchased it yet.  the other sets i've seen online (amazon, ebay, etc.) also seem to look just like this set (although i can't be sure they are the same); which makes me wonder if there exists a set that is economical in price, suitable for the hobbyist.  esslinger also has a set for about $700 but that is way beyond what i can justify.  they also have a "Swiss Made Tap Tool Hole Threader Metric Threads" that can be purchased individually for around $16 (i take that back, once you choose the size you want a new price appears.  the small one comes in around $35).  Assuming those are of decent quality that may be the way to go if you just need one.  their individual dies cost around $42.  that's actually going to get expensive very quickly.  at this point i think i'm just going to punt for now.  don't want to waste money on something that doesn't work and can't justify the expensive stuff.  i hope this rambling helps some other hobbyist out there looking at this issue too.  enjoy your day.  Arron.

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Common tools are available for every budget eg a serviceable claw hammer £5, a decent one £15 etc. 

Specialist tools don't seem to have any middle ground, either cheap and substandard or expensive but high quality. 

If you only want to cut the occasional thread, maybe a cheap set will work but you won't know until you try it. It may be money down the drain. 

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