How to Thread Pipe

When working on an older home, it may be necessary to thread pipe when updates or repairs are needed. Pipe threader machines have evolved over the years and portable units are now relatively inexpensive and can be used by homeowners who choose to do their own plumbing rather than hiring a professional. Here’s how to thread pipe.

Most new pipe threader models have an on-board cutter, reamer, oiler, foot switch, stand and 115V operation.


1. Purchase or rent a manual pipe threader machine from an equipment retailer.

  • A die head will be attached to cut the thread.
  • Machines now have the ability to thread pipes made of different material, including various types of plastic or resin.
  • A heavy duty pipe threader can also cut your pipe into workable sections.
  • The pipe threading machine will be used to thread the end section of your pipe.

2. Inspect the pipe threader before beginning and replace dies or any parts that show signs of wear.

  • Inspection for signs of wear will not be necessary if you purchase a new threader.
  • Worn or damaged dies can result in poor thread quality.

3. Mount your pipe firmly in the pipe vise by placing it in the vise and then tightening until it is held tightly.

4. Cut the end of the pipe cleanly and squarely by using a pipe cutter.

  • If you have an industrial pipe threader with cutting capability, use the machine to cut your pipe to length.
  • Pipe cutters come with and without guides, which provide square alignment. It’s better to use a guide, rather than estimating your cut.
  • The pipe cutter will have a thin cutter wheel, which will slice through the pipe as you guide it in the space.
  • Be sure to wear goggles and protective gear. Steel may produce sparks.

5. Ream the cut end of the pipe to remove any burrs from the cut using a reamer, which is a cylinder-shaped rotary cutting tool that you run smoothly across the freshly cut edges of the pipe to remove rough edges.

6. Select your die head according to the size and type of pipe you are threading and the thread form you require.

  • Die heads come in different shapes and sizes that include different threads for pipes that have different diameters.

7. Place the die head over the pipe on the threader.

8. Press steadily on the front of the die head, while simultaneously pushing the handle down to start the threader.

  • Before placing too much pressure on the handle, check to be sure the ratchet pawl is engaged.

9. Use your weight as leverage to apply pressure on the handle, while holding it firmly.

  • Be sure to maintain proper footing and balance for maximum control.
  • Never use a tool or mechanism to hold the handle in place in order to free your hands.
  • This can be dangerous and could result in injury.

10. Apply threading oil generously while threading.

  • Using an oil too thin as a substitute for threading oil can result in sub-standard threading.

11. Cease threading when the end of the threading die is flat against the end of the pipe.

  • When the die is even with the pipe, that means the correct threading size has been reached.
  • If you continue pushing after this point, you will damage the thread.

12. Reverse the ratchet mechanism and turn the die head in the opposite direction.

  • Be careful to maintain control of the threader as the dies are removed.
  • Threads can become damaged when the die head is being removed if you don’t maintain control and move the piece smoothly.

13. Stand the pipe on end and gently tap it to remove any particles that may be lodged within.

14. Clean the pipe with a cloth, removing any oil.

  • Be careful, the threads will be very sharp.

15. Seal the threading with Teflon tape or a pipe thread compound when attaching the pipe to the connector.

16. Clean the pipe threader machine thoroughly after use so the oils and metal pieces do not damage the machine, which could cause sub-standard threading during your next project.

(This article comes from wikiHow editor released)

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