What Is a Threader Tool?

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  • Written By: Maggie J. Hall
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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A threader tool, commonly known as a tap and die, creates threads on the external and internal surfaces of metal or wood, producing screws and nuts. Threader tools accommodate varying diameters of cylindrical objects. By using different cutting surfaces also, they can apply varying numbers of threads per inch. Some types of threaders require manual force, turning a handle around the end of a material while cutting the threads. Some industrial tap and die tools are powered by electricity.

A box and tap threader tool set can produce a screw-like end and a matching nut on wooden dowels and hollowed pieces of wood. The box thread cutter generally consists of a wooden rectangular shape with a circular hole in the middle. The cavity contains metal cutting grooves. Extending from either end of the rectangle are wooden handles. Using a threader tool for creating threads on a wooden dowel basically involves placing the cutting device perpendicular over the end of the dowel.

The individual then revolves the device around the dowel in a clockwise motion, as if screwing a nut onto a bolt. The box set threader cuts the wood surface as it is screwed clockwise. To remove the cutter, the operator turns the device counter clockwise. Applying mineral oil to the dowel and threader tool prior to cutting makes for easier maneuverability.


Producing a wooden nut involves using a wood tap. The wood tap threader tool resembles a metal bolt with enlarged grooves on one end. The box tap set contains a piece of metal which slides through an opening at the top of the tap and forms a T-handle. Forming threads involves inserting the tap into the piece of wood and turning the handle. Rotating the handle reams the interior of the wood, forming threads. After reaching the desired thread depth, the user unscrews the cutter from the wood.

Threading tools for metals function in a similar manner but are typically constructed of all metal parts. The threader cutting tool generally fits into one end of a handle. The center of the threading tool die head usually contains a clover leaf pattern. The innermost ridges of this pattern form the cutting surface. Some metal threading tools contain permanently mounted adjustable die heads that rotate in and out of the circle in the same manner as a drill chuck.

Tool and die sets usually contain a gauge which measures existing threads in the event a screw or bolt incurs damage. The tool enables the user to repair the threads on the object by determining the size of the required die. Industrial or professional threader tools typically use electricity. Electric threader tools may be handheld, tabletop or freestanding machines. These machines often have interchangeable cutting die heads that accommodate varying pipe diameters.


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