9 Types of Threading Tools and the Applications

Posted on Dec 27, 2020

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Threading Tool

Hand taps are a very common type of threading tool that you can buy from nearly every local hardware store. Despite the commonality, it is not ideal for CNC operations. Hand taps are said to be one of the most cost-effective threading tools as they can yield great performance with minimal investment.

About Threading Tools

Threading tools often referred to as the threading tap and dies, are metal cutting tools used to form a thread on a part. These tools are mounted onto a thread mill to work. Other than threading taps and dies, threading tools like the threading heads, thread milling cutters, and thread-cutting abrasive disks are also used for similar purposes.

As the primary kind of threading tools, taps and dies, they are both used to create screw threads. A tap is capable of cutting or forming the female portion of the mating pair (e.g., a nut). A die on the other hand is used for cutting or forming the male portion of the mating pair, such as a bolt. Using a threading tap to cut or form thread is called tapping, and threading is when you use a die to cut or form threads.

Choosing a treading tap isn't easy because it comes in many styles that correspond with distinct purposes and applications. Therefore, in this article, we’ve reviewed 9 common types of threading taps to help with your selection process.
 

Different Types of Threading Tools

There are a variety of threading taps, including hand taps, plug taps, spiral point taps, power taps, just to name a few. There are only a few of the common threading tools out of the many different threading tools out there.

We've organized a list of the more commonly used taps that you will have a better idea of what threading tools are for, allowing you to make better decisions on which one you need.
 

Hand Taps

Hand taps are a very common type of threading tool that you can buy from nearly every local hardware store. Despite the commonality, it is not ideal for CNC operations. Hand taps are said to be one of the most cost-effective threading tools as they can yield great performance with minimal investment. There are generally two types of hand taps:

  • Taper Taps: Taper taps are perfect for thread cutting. It is complemented by a lot of tapers to make threading cutting much easier, and they can be bought almost everywhere.
  • Bottoming Taps: Bottoming taps are not designed to have a taper toward the end because it is mainly for threading the bottom of its reach. This type of threading tap is ideal for threading blind holes, but you should first thread the whole with a taper tap prior to doing it with a bottoming tap.


Plug Taps

Plug taps are tapered with three to five threads. Taper taps generally have more threads and bottoming taps have less. One thing to keep in mind with regard to the terminology is that bottoming tap is sometimes referred to as the plug tap in some places, depending on where you are. Plug taps may also be referred to as the second tap, which means that they are often applied subsequently, and you should make sure that you get the right one.
 

Power Taps

Power taps are power-driven tap that is essentially a “spiral point” plug tap. It is also known as the “gun tap”. This type of tap has cutting edges displaced to the tap centerline from an angle. Such design allows the chip to be broken continuously and ejected forward into the hole, preventing crowding. Power taps are typically used in holes that penetrate through the full length of material so that the chips can escape.
 

Forming Taps

Forming type is quite different from other types of taps. Forming taps force-displacement of metal into thread shape after being turned into the hole, rather than cutting metal from the sides of the hole like cutting taps do. Forming taps only work in malleable materials like aluminum or mild steel, which is why the formed threads are typically more robust than cut threads.
 

Spiral Flute Taps

Spiral flute taps closely resemble the endmills because of the open spirals. They are an ideal means for ejecting chips out of the hole. If you are working with blind holes, this is without a doubt the type of tap you should use. Furthermore, spiral flute taps are also very easy to manipulate, which are perfect for holes with interruptions. Compared to a hand tap, spiral flute taps are definitely handier despite there are features that overlap.
 

Interrupted Thread Taps

For an interrupted thread tap, there is a tooth for every other thread. Due to such a unique design, interrupted thread taps are able to extract chips very well. Also, interrupted thread taps are very similar to power taps in a way that they both allow chips to escape fairly easily.
 

Pipe Taps

Pipe taps are specifically used for pipe threads. They typically come in both tapered pipe taps and straight pipe taps. Straight pipe taps are used when you want the pipe thread to be straight, whereas tapered pipe taps are used when you want the pipe thread to be tapered.
 

Extension Taps

This type of tap has long hanks. Such design is specifically for the purpose of allowing you to reach holes that are exceptionally deep. Due to its nature, extension taps are also referred to as the long shark tap.
 

Punch Taps

This is another more unique type of taps for tool threading. The thread taps incorporate the technology that enables tapping cycle time to go down 75%. It is one of the most advanced and modern threading technology that is definitely a great tool to have for your threading needs.
 

Final Words

When it comes to threading, you definitely have many options to choose from. As you may have already noticed, each threading tap is designed to meet a specific purpose and application. Some are more ideal for hard materials, and some are better for softer materials. Knowing all the different types of threading tools available to you is very important because it will allow you to choose the right one for the intended tasks at hand.
 

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