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Can a regular tap and die set be used to install thread inserts?

Can a regular tap and die set be used to install thread inserts?

We get this question a lot. Customers want to purchase just the Time Sert inserts because they already have a tap and die set. After explaining that a tap and die set is not the same, our question for them is "I know you're trying to save money, but how will you drill the correct size hole, counter-bore for the lip of the insert and how will you cold roll the bottom threads of the Time Sert insert if you don't have the proper install driver?" In short a Time Sert kit is needed to install Time Sert inserts properly. 

Question: Can a regular tap and die set be used to install thread inserts?

Answer: Standard tap and die sets aren't suitable for installing Time-Serts or Helicoils because these inserts use special taps called STI (Screw Thread Inserts) taps.

STI taps have a different thread profile compared to regular taps. They are specifically designed to create threads that match the profile of the inserts, ensuring a proper fit and secure installation. Attempting to use a regular tap from a tap and die set would result in mismatched threads, which may cause the insert not to fit properly or even fail during use.

To install Time-Serts or Helicoils correctly, it's important to use the appropriate STI tap designed for the specific insert you're using. This ensures that the threads in the material match the threads of the insert, providing a reliable and durable solution for repairing or reinforcing threaded holes.

Question: What makes the Time Sert kit so different than other competitive brands of thread repair kits?

Answer: In short, Time Sert is made in the USA and is unique in how the bottom threads are expanded by using the installation driver. The install driver cold rolls the bottom threads while expanding and holding the insert in from the bottom. No other thread repair kit implements this method to secure their insert. We have an article on other differences between Time Sert and a well known brand that is widely used but not fully understood. See the following for more information. 10 Differences Between Time Sert and Helicoil, Auto Repair Blog.

Question: Can I use a thread repair kit on different materials?

Answer: Time Sert kits work on steel, aluminum, and cast iron. Just make sure you have enough material to work with. Choose the right kit and insert length, using as many threads as you can. For blind holes, leave about 1/4" or 6.3mm of space below the insert.

Question: What is a blind hole?

Answer: A blind hole is a hole that doesn't go all the way through the material. It's called a "blind" hole because you can't see through it to the other side of the material. We have an article that covers this in more detail, see the following article Blind Holes - Auto Repair Blog.

Wise Auto Tools' commitment over the years has been to provide informative car repair blog articles and thread repair kits to help complete repairs. We also sell all types of mechanics tools as well. Remember to save our website as a favorite and consider us for your upcoming automotive tool needs.

11th May 2024 DennisB

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