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Old 08-11-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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Default Harbor freight drill taps.

I bought a few drill taps at HF and have broken a few off. Are the greenlee ones significantly better?


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Old 08-11-2017, 11:32 AM   #2
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I can't say if they are better, but I haven't used them a lot and they have held up.

Even when things are made at the same place, often times there are differences.

All those taps might be forged at the same plant, but then go off to different places to be tempered, which is the important part.

It's similar to AR15 lower receivers. They are 80% made in bulk at only a handful of plants, but the final milling and parkerizing is done differently and separates the good from the bad.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:45 AM   #3
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I can't say if they are better, but I haven't used them a lot and they have held up.

Even when things are made at the same place, often times there are differences.

All those taps might be forged at the same plant, but then go off to different places to be tempered, which is the important part.

It's similar to AR15 lower receivers. They are 80% made in bulk at only a handful of plants, but the final milling and parkerizing is done differently and separates the good from the bad.
For the AR15s, it sounds more like Quality Control is better at some places?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:54 AM   #4
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I bought a set of the Harbor Freight taps, tested them on a good quality cover plate right side by side with a greenlee, and could see no difference. I tested them in doubled up cover plates, again no noticeable difference. I used an impact to make it a harder test, it has the torque to snap them if they bind. I used a little petrolatum from a tube of lip balm for lube.

The single Greenlee 10-32 was $9 at Ace HW and the HF set was like $12 with five bits from 6-32 to 1/4-20 plus some screwdriver bits for no apparent reason and a plastic case.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
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All harbor freight tools including their power tools are use once and then throw away.

If you not breaking them...you ain't really using them.

I almost lost an eye once when a pair of vise grip pliers jaw broke on me and hit me just above my eyebrow
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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I have found both Greenlee and HF to work exactly the same in an impact and both snap easily in a drill if you stress them sideways at all. Only broken the 6-32s so far.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:19 PM   #7
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If the Greenlee was made in USA I'd consider spending more. If they work exactly the same side by side, and they're both made in China, I suspect they're rolling off the same line and getting different labels, and I'm buying the cheaper ones.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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Ok good to know. My main question was: are the greenlee's less prone to breaking, but it seems they aren't. I think the biggest problem is we were using them in 1/4 inch steel plate. I made a few holes that worked fine but my helper was having trouble. We each broke off two before deciding to change tactics.

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Old 08-11-2017, 06:27 PM   #9
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Ok good to know. My main question was: are the greenlee's less prone to breaking, but it seems they aren't. I think the biggest problem is we were using them in 1/4 inch steel plate. I made a few holes that worked fine but my helper was having trouble. We each broke off two before deciding to change tactics.

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Old 08-11-2017, 06:30 PM   #10
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What were you using for cutting oil?
Cutting oil. 😉 No seriously it was Rigid dark oil.

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Old 08-11-2017, 06:32 PM   #11
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Cutting oil. 😉 No seriously it was Rigid dark oil.

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Hmm, I use tap magic and have had good results with it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:00 PM   #12
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Ok good to know. My main question was: are the greenlee's less prone to breaking, but it seems they aren't. I think the biggest problem is we were using them in 1/4 inch steel plate. I made a few holes that worked fine but my helper was having trouble. We each broke off two before deciding to change tactics.
IMO the drill-taps are great for quick holes in sheet stock when you're doing a bunch all day.

I occasionally make holes in heavy stock like 1/4" and I use a cobalt bit, a tap and a tap wrench. In hard material, as soon as it starts to bind I back it out, clean out the shavings, and go in again. It might take a little longer, but I hardly ever break a tap.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:57 PM   #13
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I have had several sets of both HF and Greenlee drill taps.
They will both break just as easy.
Don't think the Greenlee ones even have any Greenlee marking, except for the case they come in.
Right now they mixed with HF ones, can't tell them apart.
Break one buy a new set.

The Greenlees are not made in Rockford, IL USA.
They are made in China.
If I'm buying China stuff it might as well be from HF.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:59 PM   #14
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I have had several sets of both HF and Greenlee drill taps.
They will both break just as easy.
Don't think the Greenlee ones even have any Greenlee marking, except for the case they come in.
Right now they mixed with HF ones, can't tell them apart.
Break one buy a new set.

The Greenlees are not made in Rockford, IL USA.
They are made in China.
If I'm buying China stuff it might as well be from HF.
Good point!
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:14 PM   #15
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Wait, harbor freight sells AR lowers? Can I use my 20% off coupon?
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:24 PM   #16
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Wait, harbor freight sells AR lowers? Can I use my 20% off coupon?
Lol!

You and a million other guys would be pounding down their door for that deal!
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:30 PM   #17
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Greenlee ones are better quality. You get what you pay for. Hf is junk made to thrown out
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:40 PM   #18
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Greenlee ones are better quality. You get what you pay for. Hf is junk made to thrown out
Have you compared the two side by side?
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:12 PM   #19
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I bought a set of the Harbor Freight taps, tested them on a good quality cover plate right side by side with a greenlee, and could see no difference. I tested them in doubled up cover plates, again no noticeable difference. I used an impact to make it a harder test, it has the torque to snap them if they bind. I used a little petrolatum from a tube of lip balm for lube.

The single Greenlee 10-32 was $9 at Ace HW and the HF set was like $12 with five bits from 6-32 to 1/4-20 plus some screwdriver bits for no apparent reason and a plastic case.
Drill/tap/countersink bits should only be used with an impact in my opinion.

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Old 08-12-2017, 03:23 PM   #20
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Drill/tap/countersink bits should only be used with an impact in my opinion.
Agreed, I found them to work great with an impact.
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