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Tool Tap handle Starrett 91B or Greenfield #4?

Tool

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
The point about Amazon gambling is a good one. We flogged this subject thoroughly elsewhere. Tool purchasing is a minefield because Cloners are getting smart. They often price it close to the real one vs. amazing discount a) to better camouflage b) to increase profit even more. If that weren't enough, many former good/big name tooling companies are themselves outsourcing, sometimes resulting in reduced quality with their own name on it.

Its been a few years but I got mine from KBC, providing just as price reference. They come on sale but KBC has unfavorable minimum shipping so choose your poison.

 

Chipper5783

Well-Known Member
He did a great job on the tap wrench, I believe on the original ones at least the end of the plunger is heat treated. In his demo he was using a spiral lead tap and backing it out frequently. In my experience (tears were involved) this is a good way to chip the leading edge. This tap is designed to push the chips forward (through holes) and they work very well - on a through hole, do not turn backwards until the hole is clean through, so there will be no chip to break. If one must use them on a blind hole, don’t chip break until the bottom and then go back and forth several times.
 

slow-poke

Ultra Member
The comment about the heat treating is interesting. I assumed that The Starrett ones are heat treated (both the plunger and the body) perhaps that's not the case, I just figured that if not heat treated that the tap interference points would quickly damage the square?

Comments please.
 

slow-poke

Ultra Member
Looks gorgeous. Full report?
+ It's new
+ Yes it's gorgeous.
+ I spun the rotating cap handle off smoothly, there is no sign of machining residue
+ The plunger is spring loaded and moves freely so I did not bother to remove the retaining pin
+ I tapped a couple of holes and it holds the tap firmly
+ Heat treating / quality of steel, not sure how hard it is (I don't want to file test it), time will tell
+ I have never used one of the old ones, but overall it seems excellent.
+ ITM Canada free shipped it out quickly and for less than the typical used prices on eBay

I now have two quality straight handle one small (this one) and one large that was made in 1910, all the others are in a heap being sold on Kijiji
 
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Six O Two

(Marco)
I'm thinking the cat's meow would be to make my own. But before I did that I would need to experience the genuine top models to understand why they have the reputation.

I agree with @slow-poke above...

For a while, I'd made do with the cheap handles included with cheap overseas tap kits and was getting more and more frustrated. They never seemed to hold a tap properly or very well, certainly for any more than half a turn. At the same time, I'd been watching a lot of youtube vids whose creators seemed to be of the "starrett or nothing" mindset and I thought to myself what kind of magic pixie dust must be in these Starrett tools these guys are all so gaga over them. I figured their blind patriotism was leading to them overselling the benefits of a certain marquee brand name's tools.

So I did an experiment and bought myself a lightly used 91A Starrett tap handle off ebay. And when it arrived and I started using it, I had to reassess my assumptions. Goddam if that little tap handle isn't an absolute joy to use. It's got a great hefty feel in the hand, despite its diminutive size. It's gorgeously finished with no sharp edges, and the thread and plunger mechanism are silky smooth. I've already got more tap handles than I realistically need, and I usually just prefer to chuck up a tap in a power tool (I know, I know...) -- but it's definitely got me thinking about picking up a 91B...
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
I now have two quality straight handle one small (this one) and one large that was made in 1910, all the others are in a heap being sold on Kijiji

Sounds like a good plan for me too. The best one I have is a Bosche. It MIGHT survive the Kijiji Auction. We will see. With about 2 dozen or so pieces of crap here, I might be able to pay for 3 good ones. They will go cheap even though they are not broken and work ok, I just can't take anyone for a ride. It's just that I truly hate using them. I do not power tap anything.

I'll wait till yours are gone and then put mine up for sale too. @slow-poke - Please let me know when that day arrives or post a link here so I can watch. That way you get a watched flag on your sale which might prod a potential buyer... LOL.
 
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Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Hmmmmm......the 91D goes to 3/4 inch. That's probably the size I use most around the farm. But I think I'll wait to see how the B looks before I take that plunge...... Besides that, every once in a while I find I use a square socket and a ratchet wrench (sometimes with a cheater on it) for the big stuff.
 

slow-poke

Ultra Member
FWIW, someone on this forum pointed out that the Starrett is a copy of the the British Moore & Wright. EBay UK seems to be slightly behind the crazy prices on eBay.com (sometimes) and shipping from UK is on par or cheaper than from the US. That's where I found my large tap handle.
 

Perry

Ultra Member
Anyone close to the Chatham area? @Susquatch :) These are on Kijiji.


Screenshot 2023-02-15 at 08-36-17 starrett tap handles 91A-91B Hand Tools Chatham-Kent Kijiji.png


Price is high when you compare them to the ITM Canada prices that slow-poke referenced. You never know he might be willing to bargain.


The ad shows an Alberta area code. So I contacted him. He is in Chatham with an Alberta number.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Crap! I am away for a week!

I didnt order yet. They are in my ITM shopping cart.

I'd prolly be willing to pay close to new prices for old school quality.......

I'll check with him when I get back.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
According to kijiji, they are still available. I'm heading home later today. Maybe I'll call enroute.

The small one looks well used. Might also be rust pitting that was removed. They are $73.86 & $105.28 new at ITM - about 180 total. I am thinking a very fair price would be 120 for both (2/3 of new) so I plan to start at 100, and see what he says. Worst that can happen is that I buy new from ITM.
 
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