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Thread: Hanson taps any good

  1. #1
    Bill D is online now Titanium
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    Default Hanson taps any good

    I guess Irwin bought out Hanson. Are the old Hanson taps any good.
    the web site does not say where or what steel is used to make the new ones. All references to content on new or old Hanson taps say carbon steel not hss. I assume the new ones are made in China of the cheapest iron, with poor heat treat, they can get just like the vice grips are now made.
    Bill D.

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    David Utidjian's Avatar
    David Utidjian is offline Titanium
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    I don't know about older model Hanson taps but the ones from my local hardware store (Irwin/Hanson) are garbage. Don't let the pretty gold color fool you... they are just plain carbon steel and brittle as sugar.

    That said... the Irwin brand hole saws from the same store are pretty good for what I have needed to do with them. The hole saws say "Made in USA" on them. Check the box though... where something is made seems to change by the minute these days

    -DU-

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    KIMFAB's Avatar
    KIMFAB is offline Stainless
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    I have also had bad luck with Hanson taps from my local hardware store.
    Very brittle and break easily.

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    Dave A is offline Titanium
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    I have an older (40 yrs) set of Hansen taps and dies and they have held up pretty well for non production use. Don't remember if they are carbon or HSS, so would have to look. Clearly not as good quality as Greenfield, etc.

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    coyotekid's Avatar
    coyotekid is offline Cast Iron
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    There's not much about machining that I know without a doubt, but I do know this:

    Hanson taps are absolute pieces of shit! They are so brittle that I'd bet some are snapped off being removed from the package.

    Maybe the older ones were a good tool, but the ones I've gotten from Ace Hardware are terrible.
    moonlight machine likes this.

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    Forrest Addy is online now Diamond
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    Buy you taps at tool dealers not consumer stores like Sears, auto part tores, and Home Depot. I buy M2 HSS Hansen Whitney taps and get pretty good life from them and they are not that expensive.

    Needless to say don't use the same tap to de-rust a tapped hole as you do in tapping clean metal.

    Shop carefully and feel free to be skeptical. Skeptical is not the same as contemptuous.

    Skeptical means you need objective demonstrable evidence that a tap is suitable for your service.

    Contemptuous meand your mind is made up therefore resistant to objective proof or repeatable demonstrations of the contrary.

    Another point is if you are breaking taps left and right perhaps your tap drilled hole is too small or maybe the tap is chip bound. For one: tap drill for 65% threads (a little more engagement with compensate for the trifling loss of thread section) and for the other: use spiral point or gun taps that directs the chips in a spiral out through the flute space.

    A good all-ground thread HSS tap will cost 5 times the price of Sears or HD consumer grade carbon steel tap. The very fact you are shopping for quality goods suited for accurate sensitive work in consumer stores tells me you are not shoppng in the right places. Also sneering defeatist statements demonstrates lack of a concept of what constitues a good tap.

    There are about eleven distinct bullet points defining a tap suited for a given material and tapping application. A tap selected for even general purpose duty that conforms with the basic tap criteria will run hundreds of holes before it needs sharpening. A consumer grade tap intended for a single use in soft metal may fail on its third or tenth hole.

    Seeking "quality" might seem laudible but "quality" without an accompanying acceptace criteria means you are seeking an undefined ideal and therefore are sure to be dissappointed. You have to define your requirements in specific terms.

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    Conrad Hoffman's Avatar
    Conrad Hoffman is offline Stainless
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    I wince when I buy taps, but I learned long ago that a cheap tap can be the most expensive thing in the shop. I just chipped a tap this morning and wasted half an hour getting the piece out

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    recoilless is offline Hot Rolled
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    I have never seen a Hanson tap that was labeled HSS, not to say they never made them. I lucked out 5 yrs ago and bought a pallet of taps/dies from retired Tool and die guy for $110, all good names (Greenfield,etc). I also have a set of Vermont American I keep for less than important jobs and have had good luck with their Carbon steel taps a;though I use them about 5-6 times a year.

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    rons is offline Stainless
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    Those taps are in a class called "disposable tools."

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    Dave A is offline Titanium
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    Just because, I walked down to the shop and looked at my tap and die set. They are branded "ACE by Henry L Hanson Co" and do not have any markings as to steel type. The brochure mentions that they are "tool steel", whatever that is, but clearly not HSS.I bought them in 1966 as I recall, so they are about 44 years old.

    The back of the brochure has a guarantee statement that says"

    "The user of any tool manufactured by the Henry L Hanson Company Inc., must be completely satisfied with its performance in every way, or the tool will be replaced free of charge."

    I wonder if they still stand behind that blanket guarantee?

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    daleroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    "The user of any tool manufactured by the Henry L Hanson Company Inc., must be completely satisfied with its performance in every way, or the tool will be replaced free of charge."

    I wonder if they still stand behind that blanket guarantee?
    I'll bet they do... If you think that's such a great deal I'll trade any silver dollars your not fully satisfied with for a nice new crisp dollar bill. Heck I'd even trade those old crusty solid copper pennies for some nice new shinny plated ones. Think about it, lots of things have followed this trend, I remember eating apples that looked terrible but tasted 10x better than the beautiful apples I can get at the store today. When will it end?

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    andmfg is offline Plastic
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    I have two Hansen tap and die sets that I purchased 20 years ago that are high speed steel. I only use them occasionally but have had great luck with them. Never broke a tap. I don't have any opinion on carbon steel Hansen products presently available. But I do know Hansen made high-speed steel tap and die sets (they are all marked with HSS).

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    Mainer is offline Aluminum
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    Here is what I think I know:

    Henry Hanson Co was in Worcester, MA, years ago. Their stuff was top quality. They went out of business and the name Hanson got sold to the highest bidder, or whatever. I don't think the current Hanson products are as good.

    Hansen-Whitney is something else again. I've bought their taps and been totally satisfied.

  14. #14
    James H Clark is offline Hot Rolled
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    Bill D: The old Hanson/Whitney taps were very good years ago (mid 60's to mid 90's ). The company I worked for (Alcoa) bought good stuff. This was before the days of coatings , but we had good luck with them. Wasnt' much production work, but a lot of maintenance and repair work, often under less than ideal circumstances. The stuff that shows up at local hardware stores is a different breed of cat. Cheap and inferior crap.If they are marked Hanson/Whitney in blue boxes, you're okay. Good luck.

    JH

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    77ironhead is offline Titanium
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    I guess it depends on your criteria, like Forrest said.

    In a somewhat different vein- if you're just looking to chase out a cruddy hole on a head for your 1977 whatever and 'good enough' is all you're really looking for, and convenience (i.e. you can buy it on a Saturday afternoon and have it in your hand right now) is important, I suppose the carbon steel origin unknown Home Depot special is sufficient.......if you can afford to order it and wait a day, you can buy a graded class (H1, H2 etc), HSS, made in USA, T&O, 2 flute gun-style (which means ability to power tap instead of hand-only like the ones at HD) for about the same $$$$........why would you even question the decision?
    Last edited by 77ironhead; 10-09-2012 at 06:42 AM. Reason: fixin' tha grammer, man!

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    lazlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77ironhead View Post
    if you can afford to order it and wait a day, you can buy a graded class (H1, H2 etc), HSS, made in USA, T&O, 2 flute gun-style (which means ability to power tap instead of hand-only like the ones at HD) for about the same $$$$
    Are you sure the T&O taps are made in the US? That's Traver's house China brand...

    Edit: yeah, Travers claims they're made in the US, and that they're T&O's exclusive distributor. Shrug.

    http://www.travers.com/product.asp?r...494-12-664-700

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    John Madarasz's Avatar
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    I have an old Hanson Tap and Die Super Set USA from the late 90's...decent tool set that I still use on a weekly basis with no problems. The tap wrenches are garbage however and have all been replaced with Starretts which makes a HUGE difference regarding accuracy and performance when using hand taps imo. Personally I think at least 50% of tap breakage when hand tapping occurs due to incorrect wrench selection, or bad quality wrenches...so it's tough to blame breakage on the tap when the operator is at fault a lot of the times.

    Last August I bought a blue box Metric Irwin Hanson 41 piece carbon steel tap and die set # 26317. I'vbe used it a few times with no issues...hex dies which I don't prefer however...wrenches are junk as usual but with a box full of Starrett, Greenfield and old Yankee wrenches's it's not an issue. fwiw the new metric set is made in the USA...says so on all the taps, dies and literature enclosed

    I hand tap a lot of undesirable materials all the time...alot of copper, silicon bronze, ratty A36, 1018 etc., mostly in the 4/40 - 3/8-16 range and I've never really been able to tell that HSS cuts any better than a good quality carbon steel tap. Alot of hand tapping is experience imo, knowing when to back off and clear chips...what kind of oil to use, knowing when to change to a 3 flute vs a 4 flute or a use spiral tap to finish a hole etc. A lot of times if a tap doesn't feel like it's cutting well in a certain material, I'll change out to a different style type tap, not necessarily a different material type tap

    I could see wanting HSS for harder stuff like nickels and stainless steels...but...

    Nothing wrong with Irwin Hanson USA taps or dies for short run production or general shop use imo...just make sure you have good wrenches, good grease, clear your chips from your tap AND your hole, and take your time. If you do a lot of 10-32 0r 1/4-20 tapping, or a lot of tapping in a specific thread count...get some HSS spiral flute, 3 flute, bottoming in that size to use as a compliment. No one tap can do it all

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