Number drill bit gauge sizes range from size 80 (the smallest) to size 1 (the largest) followed by letter gauge size a (the smallest) to size z (the largest).. Using a Tap and Die set for the first time can be a fiddly process and it’s easy to make mistakes, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get started!
There are several different sizes of tap drill and die, and it is important that the correct size for the job is used.
To use a tap and die set, firstly confirm the size and depth of thread that you need, and use a chart to determine the correct size of drill it and tap. Once the tap has reached the correct depth, back it out of the hole, clear out the chips again (use compressed air if necessary), and wipe away any excess lubricant. The most common causes of problems when working with taps and die sets are caused by using a worn out drill or a dull drill bit, or by choosing the wrong lubricant. When you are selecting a lubricant, make sure you choose the right type for the material you are working with. DON’T: Open a split die too far, or use too much pressure when closing them, because this increases the risk of breakage.


DO: Start slowly and gradually increase the speed if you are using a tap or die with a machine. Freight only items are shipping by truck due to weight, contents, or size attributes that exceed standard shipping limitations. The tap is used to cut the female part of the mating pair (such as a nut) and the die is used to cut the matching male part of the pair (for example a bolt). Note that most taps cannot create a thread that goes all the way to the bottom of a blind hole, so if you need to thread a blind hole make that hole slightly deeper than the desired screw length.
A dull drill bit will make your work a lot harder, and could even result in damaging the material you are working with, or the tap itself, because you have to use so much more torque when tapping.
If the item that you are working with slips while you are threading it, there is the risk of it being damaged or the angle of the threading being off. Instead, twist it back and forth to loosen it up, then restart the process once it moves freely. As a rule of thumb, long chipping materials have greater tensile strength and require a bigger rake angle.


Measure the hole that you want to make carefully, and think carefully about your choice of tap and die. Cutting threads using a tap is referred to as tapping, while using the die is called threading.  If these tools are used to clean up existing threads, then the process is called chasing.
If you are working with other materials you should select a lubricant that will not be absorbed by that material.
You can always make a hole bigger, but it is very difficult to rectify a mistake if the hole that you make is too big!
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