Review: GEARWRENCH 114 Pc. SAE/Metric Ratcheting Tap and Die Set - 82812
Tap and die sets are all the same right?? Wrong! Meet the gearwrench 82812 114 piece SAE & Metric Tap and Die Set. With 48 different carbon steel tap and die sizes, this monster kit is sure to have the size you need. Throw in the extra features also included and there is no doubt this set stands out in the crowd!
The high quality blow molded case of the Gearwrench 81812 comes with four total latches, (2) on the front and (2) on the side. The taps are located in the top portion of the case, while the dies and accessories are located in the lower half. Everything locks in place securely and I have had no problems with items dislodging through transport.
The die holders slide into the ratcheting T handles and a friction ring holds them securely into place. The 5 degree arc of the ratcheting mechanism allows for ease of use in spaces with may contain obstructions. Almost an expansion of Gearwrench’s pass thru system, these handles will fit their pass thru sockets and the tap/die holders will fit in the pass thru ratchets.
Due to the hexagonal shape of the die holder, and the square drive of the tap chuck, the dies and taps easily center and cannot wobble or slip while in use. I have found this to be a common problem and source of frustration with cheaper tap and die sets. The carbon steel taps and dies included will cut threads and even work for stainless steel. As always, cutting oil is recommended as well as reversing the direction often to prevent binding from metal shavings.
Another nice feature is a knurled wheel that engages (3) pins (see pic below). These pins serve to guide the die over the item being threaded to maintain straight cuts. the knurled wheel and pins are all made of metal as they should be.
This set comes with two ratcheting T handles, each equipped with a reverse/forward lever on them. The smaller size comes in at just over nine inches in length while the larger size is just over 13 inches. Made of polished chrome with a plastic insert (one of the only plastic pieces in this kit I might add). They fit comfortably in the hand. As mentioned above, the friction ring holds the die holder firmly in place but not so tight in becomes difficult to remove when desired. Gearwrench has even included a socket adapter to allow further versatility within this tool kit.
Also included in this set are three sizes of tap holders. The smallest opens large enough to accept a 1/4 shank. The next size opens large enough to accept a 3/8 shank. The largest will accept a 1/2″ shank. All of them easily center and securely hold the taps. The small and medium size tap holder also have holes in the side to accept a smaller (included) non-ratcheting t handle for more precise and delicate threading tasks. The larger tap holder does not include this hole, most likely because this tap holder requires much more force due to the larger tap sizes. The larger tap holder also includes a spring loaded lock that engages once inserted into the ratchet. This locking feature is easily undone by twisting the end of the tap holder.
Extra features not found in many other kits in include a small set of extractors in case you need to remove a seized/broken bolt or screw. No sizes are given, however, the extractors look like they would work well on bolts 1/4″ through 3/4″. The set also includes two thread pitch gauges, one metric and one SAE.
I have no regrets on purchasing this kit. It contains almost any thread size that you are likely to come across. I also found the lack of plastic components as well as all of the extra features refreshing in this day and age of cost cutting. If this set just seems like overkill to you, I would suggest picking up the Gearwrench 75 PC SAE/Metric set number 3887. That is the set I was initially going to pick up, however, the amount of extra items and sizes included in this kit make it a better value in my eyes because you should never need purchase a different set down the road for additional sizes.