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Tool Ratcheting Tap Handle

Tool

terry_g

Super User
A friend was cleaning out his shop and gave me a box with an assortment of HSS drill bits, some wood drill bits and some worn out screwdriver bits. I put the wood bits away in case I need them one day the HSS bits mostly 1/4" to 1/2" will get used, I will toss most of the screwdriver bits in the steel bin at work next week. At the bottom of the collection was a really nice reversible ratcheting tap handle. I cleaned the surface rust off it and tried a few taps in it. It will work with 1/4" to 1/2" taps. It went into my tap and die drawer.
The tap in the tap handle is 1/2" NC to give an idea of the tap handle's size. It looks like a really good quality tool. It almost wound up being disposed of.

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Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
I can read the first part of the part number on that tool, but it looks like something comes after the 162. What is it?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member

maybe...?

Probably. Makes Sense Shawn.

I didn't know General was still in business! That's one very old tool company!

I was going to check e-bay.
 

David_R8

Scrapper of metal
Moderator
Premium Member
I bought one of those. Not made in the US and it was utter junk. Went back in the box to vendor about 10 minutes after I opened it.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I have a made in Germany shop quality one like this, probably 20 years old now. Works fine. But there are now lower quality clones so beware.
KBC sells (sold?) a eastern block made one which is also good, but the 3-pos lock is a lift & rotate mechanism, a bit less convenient. Decent quality though. IMO
 

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ducdon

Super User
Premium Member
I found alternative ratchet handles while browsing the Steen Hansen Motorcycle catalogue. They come in 1/4 and 3/8 inch drive. The tap sockets came from the Mac Tools and Matco trucks. I don't use them often but their great when it's an ugly spot to work in.
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historicalarms

Ultra Member
I found alternative ratchet handles while browsing the Steen Hansen Motorcycle catalogue. They come in 1/4 and 3/8 inch drive. The tap sockets came from the Mac Tools and Matco trucks. I don't use them often but their great when it's an ugly spot to work in.
View attachment 27369
after reading the first couple or three post's , I was thinking some enterprising dude on this forum could probably muddle up something similar to your tool...pretty sure there will be one or three viable options comeing soon.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
The tap sockets came from the Mac Tools and Matco trucks. I don't use them often but their great when it's an ugly spot to work in.

I first encountered tap sockets at another members shop. It was love at first sight.

I can see your point about location, but for me the huge advantage is getting away from those God awful tap handles with moveable jaws that always seem to back off, drop taps, and lose grip. I would much rather use a standard 1/4 3/8 or 1/2" drive. The sockets make this possible.

I don't think I'm in love with a ratchet itself though. For most tapping, I'm not a fan of crank er down. I prefer the old standard +1 -1/2 +1 -1/2. However, I do like the shape of the handle.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
Here is what I use a lot for #2 up to 1/4. I made these guys about 10 years ago now? Can't remember. I had to make a bunch of 1/4" hex pins for a fixture at work, so I ran off about a dozen more to make some custom tools like these, and some other extensions and special drill holders. The little pressed in round on the end was to take up slack in my drill/driver.
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I used to have a little Hitachi 12v LiIon 1/4" hex drill/driver (not impact) that was amazing for power tapping. It would sometimes struggle with 1/4"-20's :D, but it had a great clutch, and I power tapped many thousands of 4-40, and 6-32 holes with that thing without tap breakage. After over a decade of almost daily useage, the brushes finally burned out, and it's been sitting on the basement workbench for too long waiting to get fixed.

I have traditional tee handles, and other big tap wrenches, and use them as well, depending on the situation, and available clearance, but the "contraptions" above handle most hand tapping chores in the shop. I prefer to power tap whenever I can though. I sometimes have to drill and tap holes in weird places. Not shown is a right angle drive that has paid for itself time and time again too. The 1/4" drive system let's me get creative and get the job done.

I bought one of the import ratcheting tee handles a few years ago after using a guys good one at work. It's junk, and I gave it away. I don't like how far away the handle is from the business end, and the whole thing was a bit sloppy. The little palm ratchet above gives me great control and feel from the tap especially on the little stuff. The one in the origional post looks like a decent one though. I wouldn't waste my money on an import again.

I did stumble on this guy a while back, and may order it sometime. It looks handy for some bigger taps.
https://www.amazon.ca/SATA-Ratcheti...AifQ==&sprefix=RACTHETING+TAP,aps,582&sr=8-44

This reminds me, I need to make some more of those tap drivers for home use. As I build up the home shop more and more, I get frustrated at all the good tools I have at work, that I miss having at home.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
I really hate those handles also, but that's what I use, every time...

I wish I had added that same comment to my own post....

Despite my hatred, it's what I "usually" use too. Some of mine are better than the others though. Oddly, the best of mine is a Bosche.

As mentioned above, I just recently bought a set of tap sockets after borrowing a set from a member. I think they are in the process of changing my world. Time will tell.
 

ducdon

Super User
Premium Member
I first encountered tap sockets at another members shop. It was love at first sight.

I can see your point about location, but for me the huge advantage is getting away from those God awful tap handles with moveable jaws that always seem to back off, drop taps, and lose grip. I would much rather use a standard 1/4 3/8 or 1/2" drive. The sockets make this possible.

I don't think I'm in love with a ratchet itself though. For most tapping, I'm not a fan of crank er down. I prefer the old standard +1 -1/2 +1 -1/2. However, I do like the shape of the handle.
At the end of the day I still use the god awful ones most of the time.
 

Downwindtracker2

Active Member
Canadian tire, yes Canadian Tire, sold a made in Germany one. I used one at work for 23 years , almost daily. I bought a Busy Bee knock off and only used it once. I then bought another CT made in Germany for home.
 

Dan Dubeau

Ultra Member
I don't quite understand how the tap is locked rotationally in the tool holder. Is that the flat of the tap body I see within the milled window?

View attachment 27595
Yes, you got it. The round hole for the shank intersects a slot cut from the side, that is sized for the square drive end of the tap. There is enough of a snap fit, that the taps don't fall out, but are easily removed when needed.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
Canadian tire, yes Canadian Tire, sold a made in Germany one. I used one at work for 23 years , almost daily. I bought a Busy Bee knock off and only used it once. I then bought another CT made in Germany for home.

Can you post a link to the one at Canadian Tire?
 
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