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What is a tapped hole?

What is a Tapped Hole?

A tapped hole is a hole drilled prior to a machine screw being inserted.


A tapped hole is similar to a pilot hole, except that it is usually larger, and has threads cut into the inside surface of the hole.


Tapped holes are used in metals where a nut and bolt cannot be used.

Why Create a Tapped Hole?

Unlike other screws, machine screws cannot cut their own threads when being driven into material. For example, when drilling a screw into a material like wood, the screws thread buries itself in.


As a result of metal being a stronger material, the screws thread is unable to cut into it. This means that they must be inserted into a tapped hole. Tapped holes provide extra grip to ensure that the screw stays in place.

Tap Drill Bits

A tapped hole is formed using a drill bit and a tap drill bit.


The pilot drill bit forms the initial hole…

…and then a tap drill is used to cut the threads.

When a screw is inserted, its external threads wind down into the internal threads created by the tap bit.


Please note: The tap bit and screw must have matching threads, or you could end up damaging the threads of the screw or the tapped hole.

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