I have never used a tap and die set but I find myself in the market to purchase some for a couple project I would like to do.

What features should I be looking for, ease of use, etc.? Anything I should avoid?

I'm looking for 3/4" to 1 1/2" size die and taps

  • Are you looking for a particular size?
    – rob
    Apr 28 '15 at 19:00
  • @rob I'll add that in!
    – bowlturner
    Apr 28 '15 at 19:01
  • I feel like you would be looking for a bigger thread when using wood to discourage breaks
    – Matt
    Apr 28 '15 at 19:01
  • @Matt right, this is one type I was looking at leevalley.com/US/Wood/page.aspx?p=41791&cat=1,43000
    – bowlturner
    Apr 28 '15 at 19:02
  • @Matt Yeah, that's why I asked...I looked at the HF set in the first answer and thought bowlturner might be looking for something larger.
    – rob
    Apr 28 '15 at 19:03

Most die and tap sets are made for metal and as such, the threads may be too fine to be supported in wood. There are sets specifically made to cut threads in wood, such as this one sold by Garrett Wade or this one made by Beall

If you want to use a standard machine thread, you should reinforce the threads with epoxy.

  • The question is specifically about buying a set specifically made for wood, but how would you go about reinforcing machine threads with epoxy? Wouldn't that wreak havoc on the tolerances?
    – rob
    Jun 2 '15 at 15:52
  • Basically, tap the thread normally, then apply some epoxy in the hole so it covers the threads, then tap the hole again after the epoxy cures. The epoxy will strengthen the small fibers that form the threads. There is an article in Fine Woodworking about this. "How to Toughen Wood with Epoxy" from #240 April 2014
    – LeeG
    Jun 2 '15 at 16:21

A coarser Square thread or Acme thread tap and die would be good for wood as they should be stronger and more durable than the common V threads, especially for soft materials.


Not that it has been an exhaustive search but when it comes to Taps and Dies more effort seems to be put on technique and the wood used then the actual taps/dies used.

The one universal point that makes sense it that with taps save yourself the trouble and get the taps with the matching drill bits.

Since you are using them for just wood they should last much longer then if they were used on metal.

Like I said in my comment you should be looking for ones that make larger threads. Most of the larger taps and dies I saw were for making broom handles for example. The do make one with tighter threads. This video shows a bench using machine threaded taps and the builder praises them


I bought a generic set from Harbor Freight relatively cheap and it works quite well. I use it in wood, mild steel, cast iron, and even used in in hardened steel (with some oil) and they work just fine.


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