Irwin taps?


Jan 16, 2017
I was wanting to upgrade from my harbor freight tap and die set, are the irwin/hanson sets any better or should I buy just a few taps I need in hss, this is for occasional hobby use, I have a lathe so don't really need dies.
All of the newer Irwin/Hanson taps and dies I have seen lately are Chinese imports. They may or may not be any good. I do not have any, and use old stuff like GTD, Card, Union, Morse, Brubaker, Threadit, Threadwell, Vermont, and other old American tools, bought for a song. Some of the imports may well be OK, but for me it is not worth the cost and the drive or shipping to find out when excellent NOS USA stuff is still available dirt cheap...

Don't wait until you need it to buy it...
what you want to look at ia the construction material the Chinese and Irwin taps are more than likely carbon steel (bad) you need to get taps that are marked hss ( high speed steel) ( good) bill
Tap & die sets are tempting to buy but these days they're usually junk unless you pay a lot of money for good one. I have one of those HF sets too & an old Craftsman metric set from my automotive monkey days. The HF set is absolute junk. The old Craftsman set is just general purpose & gets the job done to get by but not ideal, same quality as the Vermont taps found in hardware store if not exactly the same.

The Irwin set will likely be the same. Irwin was recently sold to Stanley black & Decker as well as Lenox, both were owned by Newell Rubbermaid. I like & use Lenox bandsaw blades. Hope their quality doesn't get worse, we'll see what happens with Craftsman.

I buy good quality taps individually as I need them even if I have the size in one of my sets. In the long run you'll be much happier, less swearing, save money, & have better quality tapped holes.