Different Types of Threading Taps (With their Images & Uses)

tapping on a lathe
Hand operated tapping on a lathe

Here I have explained different types of metal threading taps and threading dies with their names, images and their uses.

So let’s dive right into it!

Types of threading taps

There are two main types of taps for threading.

  1. Solid taps
    • Taper tap
    • Plug tap
    • Bottoming tap
  2. Collapsible taps

Let’s see each of these metal threading taps one by one.

#1) Solid taps

Solid taps are made up of single pieces and they look similar to threaded bolts having four flutes that provide cutting edges.

Solid taps can be operated by hand and they are generally used for cutting internal threads in small diameter holes.

As the solid taps are operated by hand, they are also known as hand taps.

Solid taps (or hand taps) can be used on metal lathes, drill presses as well as other tapping machines.

There are 3 types of solid taps as mentioned below.

  1. Taper taps
  2. Plug taps
  3. Bottoming taps

Taper tap

Types of Threading Taps (taper tap)

The taper taps are having a taper shape at the end. Around 6 threads at the starting are having a tapered section.

Because of the tapered end of the tap, it becomes easy for the tap to enter the hole which is to be threaded.

The tapered tap increases the diameter of the thread as it advances in the hole.

Plug tap

plug tap

Plug taps (also known as second taps) are chamfered upto 2-3 threads at the beginning of the tap.

The plug taps are generally used after the first tap (i.e taper tap) is withdrawn from the partially threaded hole.

Plug taps are used to get the final required depth of internal threads on a workpiece.

Bottoming tap

Bottoming tap

If the internal thread is to be made throughout the hole (i.e from one end to other end), then the bottoming tap is used.

In simple words, the bottoming taps are used to make a complete hope right up to the bottom of the workpiece.

#2) Collapsible taps

Collapsible taps

Collapsible taps are the type of threading taps which cut the internal threads and collapse inward when the thread is completely made.

The main advantage of collapsible thread is that it can be withdrawn easily without facing the problem of unscrewing it from the workpiece.

Collapsible taps do not show any interference of machined chips, and hence it gives better surface finish.

The thread cutting speed by using collapsible taps is more as compared to solid taps because the unscrewing of tap from the workpiece is completely eliminated.

Collapsible taps are of two types;

  1. Radial cutters collapsible taps
  2. Circular cutters collapsible taps

The radial cutter collapsible taps are used for cutting small threads and the circular cutter collapsible taps are used for cutting large threads.

The above image is of radial collapsible tap in which the blades move radially inward and outward. Because of this the tap can easily return from the threaded hole after thread cutting is done.

The trip plate is present on the collapsible tap which is used to adjust the length of thread to be cut.

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