How Fast Can I Tap into Metal?

The revolutions per minute affect the quality of the thread produced and the wear life of a tap. Revolutions per minute are a function of figuring the recommended surface feet per minute and converting it based on the diameter, to a RPM. Most tap manufacturers provide recommendations of starting points of surface feet and conversation tables to revolution per minute. Regal Cutting Tools can provide these charts upon request.

How Fast Can I Tap into Metal?

Selecting the optimum speed for tapping is unlike drilling or milling because the feed rate is fixed based on the pitch of the tap. A 10 pitch tap will feed .100 in one revolution while a 20 pitch will feed half that in one revolution. Deciding the best speed to run a tap in a given part can best be determined by considering how many holes have to be produced. It may be that running at a high RPM, knowing that tool life is being reduced may be beneficial if lower production time overall is justified.

Finding the Optimum Tapping Speed

Running too fast usually causes extreme heat which has a negative effect on the cutting edges of the tap. Welding of minute chips to the cutting edge can produce torn or oversize threads. Choosing the most effective tapping speed will be influenced by the:

  • Hardness or condition of the material
  • Accuracy of the hole being tapped
  • Rigidity of the fixture and machine

The advances made in tool material and coatings can influence the selection of taps for various materials.  High Performance taps like Regal’s SuperTuf material specific line can run at higher speeds without being negatively affected by heat. Coatings can also reduce the wear factor in production tapping. If you need help with finding the optimal tapping speed for your specific application and needs contact Regal today and one of our associates will be happy to assist you.