10 Best Tap and Die Sets of 2023 – Top Picks & Reviews
A good tap and die set will completely change how you approach your projects. With such a set in hand, you can repair old nuts and bolts in no time flat. You can even create nuts and bolts from scratch!
However, the quality of the final product is only as good as the quality of your tools. That’s why it’s so important to find the best tap and die set for your needs. But it can take a lot of valuable time to research all the sets on the market.
That’s where we come in. Our comprehensive reviews and buyer’s guide will help you make the best purchasing decision. Keep reading to dive into all of our reviews!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||GEARWRENCH 82812 Ratcheting Tap and Die Set||
|Best Value||TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set||
|Premium Choice||IRWIN 26377 Tap and Die Set||
|Best Choice PT-001 Tap and Die Set||
|ABN Metric and SAE Standard Tap and Die Set||
The 10 Best Tap and Die Sets
1. GEARWRENCH Ratcheting Tap and Die Set – Best Overall
We think the best overall tap and die set is the GEARWRENCH 82812 Ratcheting Tap and Die Set. This set includes 48 taps and dies made from sturdy carbon steel. And the ratcheting T wrenches provide a lot of versatility (especially in tight places) thanks to their 5-degree arc.
Thanks to the different plug and taper configurations, there is even more to love. Honestly, the only downside to the Gearwrench set is that the case looks and feels a bit cheap. However, that doesn’t matter when it contains such a high-quality set!
2. TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set – Best Value
You might not have a lot of money on hand to throw at a new set of tools. In that case, you’re probably searching for the best tap and die sets for the money. To us, the best possible choice is the TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set.
If you’re looking for an affordable set, this has one of the best prices on the market. At the same time, you still get plenty of convenient features, including plug taps in the 3- and 4-flute variety, steel construction, and a decent case.
What keeps this from being our best value pick? The steel construction isn’t sturdy, so the pieces will likely break after frequent use. However, it is a good choice for someone who needs a “once in a while” tool set.
3. IRWIN 26377 Tap and Die Set – Premium Choice
Now and then, you have enough money to splurge on a new set of tools. In that case, you might seek the best “top-shelf” option for a tap and die set, and our recommendation in this category goes to the IRWIN 26377 Tap and Die Set.
The carbon steel construction of the taps and dies lets you know you are getting a high-quality product. And the spiral screw extractors give this set great versatility and value. Finally, its compatibility with metric and customary sizes makes this set very easy to use.
However, the Irwin kit isn’t perfect. In addition to its high cost, some users reported quality control issues that cause some pieces to break unexpectedly.
4. Best Choice PT-001 Tap and Die Set
Sometimes, the name of a product makes a bold claim. For example, the Best Choice PT-001 Tap and Die Set proclaims itself the best possible choice for handymen. While we don’t agree with that assessment, it is still a very solid set.
The 40-piece set includes a storage case that makes it easy to put everything up. This is a pretty great “all-in-one” set because it provides a range of taps and dies in different sizes and some wrenches, handles, and a gauge.
What keeps Best Choice from being our best choice? While the all-in-one nature of the set is convenient, the wrenches and handles are of poor quality compared to the rest of the set.
5. ABN Metric and SAE Standard Tap and Die Set
While it’s not one of our top choices, we were impressed by the ABN Metric and SAE Standard Tap and Die Set. It has several tools stored in a sleek and eye-catching package.
First, you get a 60-piece set, which is more than most of the sets on this list. It includes various taps and dies (compatible with standard and metric) to tackle almost any project. The alloy steel is very durable, and the gunmetal gray storage case looks great on your shelf.
There are only two problems with this set. First, the good-looking case does a poor job of holding the different tools in place, and the T handle tends to loosen a bit while you use it.
6. GEARWRENCH Ratcheting Tap and Die Set
We featured another GEARWRENCH set as our top pick. This set is the little brother to the 82812, but how does the GEARWRENCH 3887 Ratcheting Tap and Die Set really compare?
First of all, we love the ratchets. Like the other GEARWRENCH set, you get reliable ratchets that you can use with a five-degree twist. Having plug and taper taps makes this set very versatile, and you get all of this for a very competitive price.
So, what keeps this set from our top spots? You get fewer parts than others, and the set lacks some of the most common sizes. As good as this set is, you may need a larger one to tackle more projects.
7. Neiko 00912A Tap Die Set
The Neiko 00912A Tap Die Set has a very competitive price. Unfortunately, it makes a few more compromises than our best value pick. Let’s get the good stuff out of the way. In addition to the great price, the Neiko set comes with 40 pieces, which is ideal for beginners. It also comes with a special rethreading kit that is very user-friendly.
At the same time, the set is limited to metric tools, which is a big turnoff for many users. The case looks and feels very cheap. Finally, the alloy steel these taps and dies are made out of is not as durable as carbon steel.
8. Lang Tools 2581 Tap and Die Set
As we near the bottom of the list, we need to review the Lang Tools 2581 Tap and Die Set. While this isn’t the worst tap and die set out there, it’s also far from the best. This 26-piece kit is relatively versatile but not as much as the 40- and 60-piece sets we have looked at. Similarly, while there are multiple sizes for the taps and dies, you don’t get as many options as some of the other sets.
The Lang Tools set is a bit limited because it does not come with handles. Additionally, the tray that comes with the case is flimsy and unreliable. Finally, some users reported that the pieces are prone to breaking.
9. Craftsman 52377 Tap and Die Set
If you’re looking for a comprehensive kit with several pieces, the 75-piece Craftsman 52377 Tap and Die Set seems like a solid bet. Unfortunately, it has several issues you need to be aware of before making a purchase.
The fact that it can handle standard and metric sizes is convenient, and the carbon steel construction makes everything durable. Unfortunately, they are the only positive features.
The handles in this set are cheap and won’t last long, and some of the bits don’t fit very well. It is tough to read the sizes on the bits, and the dies are not likely to stay in place.
10. Performance Tool W4002DB Tap and Die Set
The Performance Tool W4002DB Tap and Die Set is last in our list of reviews, and we’re sad to say that it has really earned its spot at the bottom. With 40 pieces, there are a decent number of bits and accessories in the set.
The storage case is very convenient, but there are significant issues you should be aware of before buying this set. For instance, the tapping handle is very cheap, and the taps and dies are not very durable. All it takes is a bit of pressure to break the accessories in the set.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Tap and Die Set
Our exhaustive reviews covered some of the best (and worst) tap and die sets on the market today. But what if you’re still on the fence about what to buy?
We put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you decide. It will walk you through some of the vital features of a good tap and die set and what you need to watch out for.
What Do Taps and Dies Do?
Our buyer’s guide covers a lot of ground, including many factors you should know about before buying a tap and die set. Before we go any further, though, we need to answer a pretty basic question: what is a tap and die set, anyway?
It contains the tools you will need to make threads for screws and bolts. The tap wrench is one of the tools, and it lets you create internal threads within metal blocks and sheets. After that, you can easily add bolts and screws to the blocks or sheets.
The die and the die stock are used to fashion threads around metal rods so you can fasten nuts to them. Alternatively, you can use the die and die stock to put new threads on your old bolts and screws, giving them new life. Speaking of new life, the die and die stock can also help you repair your old threads.
All tap and die sets come with these essential tools, but not all sets are completely alike. The tools may have differences in diameter, hardness, and pitch from set to set. Which tap and die set is best for you depends on the kind of metal you plan on working with.
Different Kinds of Taps and Dies
We refer to “taps and dies” as if they are very similar. In reality, there is a lot of variation in the tools. By understanding the variation, you can pick the set that’s best for you.
Are you looking for a beginner-friendly set? In that case, you’ll want one that has taper taps. Thanks to their tiny, flat threads, the taps don’t require much effort or force to get started.
While they are great beginner taps, experienced users use them in conjunction with others. For example, you might use a taper tap to start a hole and then use other taps to work the threads you have created until they are “just right.”
Bottoming taps are so named because they don’t have the flattened threads at the beginning. You can use them to create a high-quality thread down to the bottom of the hole.
While this is a great feature, the truth is that it takes a lot of practice (and a lot of trial and error) to perfect using these taps. They aren’t beginner-friendly but versatile for those who know how to work with them.
As you can tell, taper taps and bottoming taps are pretty much the opposites of one another. You might be wondering if anything achieves a perfect balance between the two. The answer is “yes,” and it’s called a plug tap.
They have flattened threads at the beginning, but not as many as a standard taper tap. They help you achieve complete threads inside a blind hole far quicker than a traditional taper tap. As you might expect, plug taps aren’t as easy to use as taper taps are. At the same time, though, they aren’t nearly as difficult to master as bottoming taps.
Some of the tools in a tap and die set are very specialized, and the best example is the circular die. It is a special tapered die designed to help you achieve a complete thread in one smooth operation. Like their tapered tap counterparts, these tapered dies are fairly easy for beginners to pick up and use.
Some tap and die sets include two-piece adjustable dies. Arguably, this is the part of your set that you are least likely to use regularly. That’s because these dies only exist to help you make a very long thread. Doing so is a long and complex process, and most beginners cannot use them effectively without plenty of practice.
Factors to Look at Before Buying
Our reviews have covered many features you might find in different tap and die sets. But which ones are the most important?
Quality and Longevity
We say this about plenty of tools, but that’s because it’s a universal truth; you want your purchase to be an investment that stands the test of time. That’s why you should be concerned about the quality and longevity of your new set. The best tap and die sets are made of very high-quality steel. But as most handymen know, steel can vary quite a bit in quality.
For example, alloy steel is a fine choice for those who will only use their sets from time to time on small repair jobs. But for bigger projects and a long-lasting set, you’ll want tools made of high-carbon steel. This level of quality commands a higher cost, but it also ensures you won’t have to replace your new set anytime soon.
Amount and Types of Parts
As you can tell from our reviews, each brand comes with a different number of parts. While getting more parts always feels like a great value, you also need to pay attention to the quality and diversity of the parts.
Think hard about the kinds of projects you wanted a tap and die set for in the first place. You can then pick the set with the exact tools you need to complete those tasks.
Measurements and Sizes
Some tap and die sets are based on the Metric system, and some are based on SAE (American sizing). This is the kind of “fine print” you must pay attention to before purchasing. Some sets may be incompatible with your existing nuts and bolts. You can also seek out sets that feature both sizes for maximum versatility.
Congrats! You’ve completed our extensive product reviews and our buyer’s guide. However, we need to return to a fundamental question; who were the biggest winners in our list of reviews? For the best overall pick, we recommend the GEARWRENCH 82812 Ratcheting Tap and Die Set. It features several parts made of sturdy carbon steel.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend the TEKTON 7559 Tap and Die Set. It provides many features for the price, and you won’t feel like you’ve made major compromises with the taps and dies inside. Now, all you have to do is purchase your favorite set and marvel at all the tasks it will help you complete!
More buying guides like this: