How To Know When To Replace Your Tap Holder

TM Smith Tool was established as the pioneer in quick-change tooling over 60 years ago. Our commitment continues today, creating innovative products and custom solutions for convenient tool holding systems for aerospace, automotive, machine tool, marine, and medical use. Quick-change devices such as our high-quality tap holders are designed for ease of use for everyone from new users to the highly experienced. 

What Is a Tap Holder?

A tap holder is a tool that creates a threaded hole, such as a chuck or grip. Holders can be used in a screw machine or turret lathe to hold or float a tap. High-quality tap holders serve a valuable function in many industries. Any industry that manufactures a product that must be screwed to another surface relies upon a tap tool. 

Secure assembly depends on properly threaded holes for screws. The tap holder is a critical component that ensures even spinning during production. A budget, low-end tap holder, can break easily, potentially damaging the part and creating waste. Investing in high-quality tap holders can streamline the process, providing stability for the tap tool and efficiency for your operation. 

Types of tap holders include:

  • Cartridge style tap holders – These compact, quick-change tap holders are designed for use with an end mill holder or in a tool block.
  • Close center tap holders – These quick-change holders are available in rigid or tension options with a small O.D. for use where a standard holder is too large. 
  • Radial floating tap holders – These quick-change holders are designed to mitigate misalignment between the workpiece and the cutting equipment. 
  • Rigid tapping holders – These tap holders are designed for fast tapping and CNC machinery. They are available in HSK, straight, steep taper, and ACME shanks.
  • Tension/compression holders – These quick-change holders eliminate tapped holes over or undersized or damage to threads caused by force or tension.
  • Tension/compression with radial float holders – These quick-change holders are available with axial and radial compensation, straight, ACME, or Morse taper shanks, and adjustable centering pressure. 
  • TIG welding – When the tap resists other removal efforts, weld a head on it and use vice grips to grab it.
  • EDM – An electrical discharge machine can be used to remove the center of the tap. The remaining cut edges can then be removed by hand. This method, though reliable, is not as practical for small shops that may not have access to an EDM machine. 

How To Replace a Tap Holder

When working with tapping tools, you occasionally need to replace the tap holder. The first step to replacing a tap holder that may have worn out or broken during use is to remove the pitch insert from the tool. Once that is terminated, you should be able to unscrew the old tap holder and remove it. 

To replace the tap holder, screw the new tap holder into place and adjust the length. The standard size is 46 mm or 1.810 inches. Now you can reinstall it in the quick tapping tool, put the snap ring in place, and reinstall the stripper plate. 

Why Choose TM Smith for Tap Holders

When your business depends on high-quality tap holders, you need TM Smith. Our company is proud to offer American-made products manufactured with the highest quality standards in our ISO 9001:2015 facility. Our leading-edge inspection equipment includes a CMM, ID air gauges for shrink fit bores, and certified air gauging. We are an industry leader in providing best-in-class tool holding solutions with the most competitive prices.


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