How to Use a Pipe Tap


A pipe tap is used to make threads in a pipe. A pipe tap resembles a shortened bolt with a slotted or square head on one end and threads on the other end, interspersed with sharp fins. Pipe taps come in various sizes and configurations.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill and drill bit
  • Oil
  • Wire brush
  • Tap wrench
  • Pipe tap
  • Apply cutting oil to the drill and drill a hole in the pipe that needs threads.

  • Clean the hole with a wire brush. Remove any loose chips or pieces of metal that can result from drilling.

  • Apply oil to the pipe tap. Insert the threaded end onto the hole and grasp it with a tap wrench.

  • Turn the pipe tap clockwise one half of a turn, then turn the pipe tape counterclockwise one half of a turn. Continue this process slowly and carefully until you are able to go all of the way through the hole with the pipe tap, always advancing and retreating with the pipe tap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turning the pipe tap slowly forward and backward is important as if helps to break free any metal chips or slivers, thus leaving clean threads for you to work with. Rushing the process can result in sloppy threads that could fail.

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