The 8 Best Drill & Tap Sets
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Drill and tap sets are used by machinists, mechanics, and anyone working with fasteners to create threaded holes in metal. These threads can often support thousands of pounds of clamping force, which is important when building machines or structures that are under heavy loads. Our selections will help you navigate this tool category and decide which kit is best for your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 08, 2019:
So called "impact-ready" tap/drill sets can be quite useful and can very quickly tap steel. Therefore we included models such as the DeWalt Impact Ready 5-Piece and the HHIP 1011-0018 on this list. They are all low in the list because it is very difficult to use them without an drill (try drilling into steel by hand), they work better if you use a standard drill bit first anyway (defeating the purpose of having the 2-in-1 design), and they are limited to holes of a few millimeters in thickness (4-6mm). If you try to tap thicker material, you risk breaking a tap or crossing the threads.
For hand tapping that does not have these sorts of issues, the Norseman Viking 57580 and the Irwin Tools 26377 are both excellent sets. The Norseman is better quality but does not have the range of options that the Irwin provides.
Plentiful lubrication is indispensable when using taps to thread holes. Without it, the friction between the cutting surface and the base metal is too great and the tap can bind and break - not to mention that much more force is required to turn the tool. Using drills, bits, and taps is dangerous and proper safety precautions should be observed to avoid personal injury or damage to property.