Canadian Manufacturing

Metal tapping goes cordless

New innovation from FEIN allows users to tap high-precision holes on the go



—Sponsored article by FEIN Canadian Power Tool

The best tool for tapping precise holes in metal parts and workpieces is—not surprisingly—a dedicated tapper. For years, hole tappers have been the go-to power tool in metalworking and manufacturing shops and now, FEIN Canadian Power Tool has launched an industry-first innovation—a cordless version.

“There are a lot of people now that far prefer to have cordless tools over corded,” says Randy McDonald, national product manager with FEIN in Mississauga, Ont. “For some, it’s a personal preference and allows them to be more mobile when working. Another consideration is if you’re out in the field and there’s no electricity close by or if you’re working at heights away from a power source, cordless tools are the better option.”

The new AGWP 10 tapper from FEIN provides an efficient and accurate way to tap holes in tough material such as metal.

The new AGWP 10 uses the same proven platform as FEIN’s cordless drill screwdriver. Unlike cordless screwdrivers though, the AGWP 10 has a dedicated tapping head, and equally important, a made-in-Germany brushless motor, which allows it to stand up to harsh and demanding metal tapping applications. Buyers of industrial power tools might be surprised to learn that isn’t always the case, as many power tool manufacturers use cheaper motors from low-cost overseas suppliers.

“The FEIN brushless motor is about 30 percent more efficient than a regular DC-type of motor,” McDonald says, adding the AGWP 10 also has the same ergonomic features and benefits FEIN designs into other handheld power tools, and comes with flexible power options too.

“We have a five amp-hour battery platform and a 2.5 amp-hour battery platform,” he says. “The 2.5 amp-hour battery costs a little less, and it also makes the tool a little lighter. Plus, all our lithium ion batteries have the FEIN safety cell technology. Each battery is charged and monitored individually.”

Powerful motor
For FEIN, continuing to innovate tapping technology is a relatively easy choice. Though many other power tool manufacturers have stepped away from tappers, FEIN is in a niche market—targeting high-quality manufacturers and fabricators needing reliable tools to work with metal.

Cheaper tools and drills might get the job done for those working with softer materials, “but if operators want to drill in steel or thick steel or stainless, for instance, they need a tool with an extremely powerful and efficient motor.”

McDonald also notices a tendency among some manufacturers to use regular drills to tap holes instead of a metal tapper. Though FEIN offers a wide selection of quality handheld power drills, McDonald recommends against using them for metal tapping applications.

“If you tap a hole with a drill or a cordless drill screwdriver, the tool is always running in one rotation. As it starts going into the hole, it might become stuck in the material and can snap. Operators also have to completely stop the tool once they’ve penetrated to a certain depth, then reverse the tool back out. But with our tapper, it’s a one-step process.”

Another risk of using screwdrivers is broken taps, he adds. “If you break a tap in a hole it’s very time-consuming to get it out and can cost a lot of money. Our dedicated tapper eliminates that risk and avoids downtime.”

Faster taps
On the topic of speed, all FEIN power tools are rigorously tested in Germany, and these trials have shown how a dedicated tapper saves operators time.

“The material they tested was 3/8 of an inch thick and it was mild steel,” McDonald says. “It took 29.7 seconds to hand tap it. To tap with an electric drill or a cordless drill driver it took 7.5 seconds, and with either one of our tappers, cordless or electric, it was 2.3 seconds. It was a huge difference. The tool provides faster tapping cycles, saving time and money.”

In addition to preventing broken taps and tools, the tappers also use a technology called a floating jaw chuck. This innovation corrects the angle of the tap, if the user is slightly off-centre, resulting in more concentric and on-spec hole taps, he adds.

For many metalworkers, dedicated tappers are the clear choice for producing high-quality parts and components. With the new cordless option from FEIN, they now have even more flexibility and mobility when tapping precise holes.

FEIN has been a world-leading power tool manufacturer for 150 years. FEIN Canadian Power Tool Company, located in Mississauga, Ont., provides a range of high-quality power tools and accessories. Visit www.fein.ca for more information. To view other articles on industrial power tool selection, safety and care, see the Technology Showcase.

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