Tapping or Thread Milling – Which is Best?

by | Feb 14, 2017 | Business

Should you run a machine shop you probably have a lot of thread work to do from time to time. Basically, there are two methods for threading holes. You can use a thread tap or you may purchase a thread milling tool from your Allied Machine tool supplier. Which is the right choice? Let’s explore the issue a little closer.


Taping is often referred to as a ‘tap and die’ method. Tapping is used to create threads in female components, while the male threads are made with dies. You can create new threads or repair threads which have been stripped. For example, when automotive spark plug threads are damaged, one can put a tap tool in the hole and repair the threads. This is a common use for machine shop thread tapping.

To tap threads, a tapping tool is place in the hole and rotated, cutting threads into the material. You can use manual methods or modern machinery to create threads this way.

Thread Milling

Thread milling is a common CNC machinery process. Your Allied Machine tool provider carries a number of milling tools, specially designed for cutting threads. A thread milling tool is inserted into the hole and a cutting edge, cuts the threads (one at a time). The machine moves up as it cuts.
Milling is less expensive because the same tool can create a variety of different threads. By programming the CNC machine, one can cut custom threads with high tolerances. This is very important if you need to create precision threads.

Which is Best?

With tapping, you need a separate tool for each thread type. Also, you cannot make adjustments once the threads are tapped. When you choose, thread milling, you need to purchase fewer things from your Allied Machine tool distributor. This strategy can save you a great deal of money on shop costs.

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