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Tips for Buying Industrial Thread Gages

If you need to purchase a set of industrial thread gages for your new machine shop and want to ensure you get the most for your money, then it's vital the gages you select fit the following requirements:

  • certified for traceability and accuracy by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • conform to the ANSI/ADME screw thread standards
  • clearly marked with their calibrated pitch diameter

In addition, each of these buying tips will help you make the best purchase for your shop's unique needs.

Tip: Buy Taper Lock Gages for Low Production Environments

The most popular thread gages sold on the market today are taper lock style. As their name implies, taper lock gages are tapered where they lock into their handles. This type of thread gage is the easiest to lock into its handles and doesn't slip in the handles like other styles tend to do. In addition, manufacturers of taper lock gages clearly mark each gage with its exact size and pitch diameter for ease of use.

Taper lock thread gages are ideal for lower production environments where they won't quickly be worn out. They last for many hours of machining and are very accurate. However, for high-production environments, you can save a lot of money by choosing reversible thread gages.

Tip: Save Money by Purchasing Reversible Thread Gages

Reversible thread gages are very popular in high-use shops because they have two usable ends on each member and are cheaper than purchasing multiple taper lock gages. Once the first end has worn down and is no longer producing bores to specification, it can be easily cut off and a fresh usable end is ready to go.

There are a couple of downsides of using reversible thread gages. This style of gage requires a bit of extra care locking them into place in their handles. And, once locked in, they do tend to sometimes want to slip in the handle when boring a very hard surface.

Tip: Consider Buying Specialty Thread Gages for Unique Applications

It's important to note manufacturers each make their own collection of specialty thread gages in response to the requests and special needs of their customers. For this reason, you may easily be able to find a specialty gage if you need one for a unique application. Before making do with a gage that isn't designed for your project, do a bit of research and find out if the gage already exists and is obtainable.

Contact a company like WESTport for more information.

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