Ask Irwin

I was trying to tap a hole in aluminum with a 1/4" tap. Half of the tap broke off in the workpiece. How do I get it out?

Ideally you would want to use a tap extractor. These are readily available from catalog houses such as Grainger and McMaster-Carr. If you do not have access or the time you may try the following. The smaller size makes it more difficult. First, see if you can find a couple of small nails that will fit into the flute or groove of the broken tap. Insert them into two grooves or flutes across from each other. Clamp onto them with a pair of locking pliers. Try to turn the piece out with the nails. If the piece is broken off flush with the top of the hole you may try to turn the piece by striking it with a punch. This may be more successful if two people can punch it at the same time.

Ask Irwin a QuestionClick a question below to view the answer.

Chisels

Circular Saw Blades

Drill Bits

Extractors

Fastener Drives

Hand Saws

Hole Saws

Levels

Marking Chalk

Pliers and Adjustable Wrenches

Snips

Tape Measures

Taps, Dies, & Sets

Utility Knives & Blades

Laser Guide

Door Lock Installation Kit

STRAIT-LINE LL 120

STRAIT-LINE Rolling Tape

STRAITLINE® Sonic Laser Tape 50

STRAITLINE Stud Finder 150 LCD (Wall Scanner)

STRAIT-LINE Intersect w/Stud Finder

STRAITLINE Intersect

STRAITLINE X3

IRWIN Lettered and Numbered Drill Bits

IRWIN Permanent Staining Chalk