How to Use a Manual Pipe Threader? Step by step Guide

Have you ever noticed that the pipes you buy from the hardware store are not always perfect? They are either too long to manage or are poorly threaded. These low-quality threads result in leakage and remain a constant headache. In some of the cases, they may not show leakage on the spot, but after a few days, you find the joint leaking. At this stage, you have spent much and do not want to make a purchase of a single penny.

Manual pipe threading can save you from this situation without any extra cost. you can manually thread the pipe of any length in no time. If you have old pipes in the store, it is the best time to make it in use. I will be your helping hand in the project ‘How to use a manual pipe threader?’ to reinvent your old pipes. Most importantly, if they are long, you will also get how you can cut to adjust the length as per your requirement.

You will need a few tools like threader, die, and vise that you can either rent at a low price or borrow from your friend. If you neither have an ideal vise nor getting from anyone, you can still thread the pipe quite easily, but you have to follow the safety guidelines and rules that I mentioned to prevent any mishap.

So, do not let your plumbing messy and thread the pipes. Let us see how you can do this.

Pipe Threading Equipment

Before gathering the pipes for threading, make sure you have all of equipment. If anything is missing, make sure you arrange it for smooth handling and quality work.

  • Pipe vise
  • Pipe cutter
  • Die head
  • Pipe reamer
  • Pipe threader
  • Thread cutting oil
  • Sealant tape

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How to Use a Manual Pipe Threader?

Here is a step by step guide that will tell the manual threading process easily. Either you are threading a single pipe or working on more, do not miss any of the steps to get the best results.

1.Wear the protective gears

The very first thing you have to do before starting your threading project is to wear safety gloves and goggles. As you are working on silver or steel pipe and there are chances that small scraps may damage your eyes. These safety gloves will also protect your hands from accidental slip and the grease of the lubricant.

If you do not feel comfortable with gloves in both hands and find it difficult to make a grip, you can wear it in one hand. That will give you a double benefit to hold firmly with protection from cut and grease.

2.Cut the pipe to the required length

If your pipe is long, do not waste it. You can cut it very easily. For example, your required length is 3 feet, and the pipe you have is 5 feet, use a cutter or a hacksaw and cut after measuring the size. You will get the pipe of your required length with a little effort. This thing will save your money to make an extra purchase for an additional pipe.

When you have cut the pipe, rub the fingers over there. Do you feel any rough edges? There must be sharp burrs that you need to smoothen with a reamer. Reamer is a tool that makes the cut surface even. Insert the reamer in the cut side of the pipe and rotate. Remove it after a few rotations and check with the fingers. You will see there are no sharp edges and are safe to use.

3.Firmly secure the pipe on the vise

When you have cut the pipe, next is to prepare for threads. Take a vise to fix the pipe that could be either a table vise or a pipe vise.

Rotate the handle of the vise counterclockwise to loosen the jaws of the vise. When you feel the jaw space suitable to fit the pipe, stop rotating, and fix the pipe. Do not block the pipe end that needs to be threaded.  You have to place it in a position so that the end of the pipe is sticking out. Rotate the vise handle clockwise and secure the pipe.  

4.Mount die head on the threader

The die head and threader are the main things to make threads. This ratcheting pipe threader consists of a long handle on which a circular part called the die head is attached. The die head is a ring structure with several teeth inside that are responsible for threads on the pipe.

Before making the final arrangement of the pipe in the die head, make sure you are using the head of compatible size. You will see die heads are available in different sizes that you can select according to the right diameter of the pipe. If the diameter of your pipe is half inches, you will set a die head on which ½, means half, is mentioned.  

 When you are ready with the right head, fasten it on the handle of the threader until you make it tight.

5.Grease the pipe

Till this point, you have made all the attachments perfectly, and next, you are just about to thread. Keep in mind that you need oil to lubricate the pipe. If you find it difficult to slide the die head on the handle, you can also lubricate the surface to attach it easily.

This oil will also lubricate the teeth making it easier to add threads on the pipe. So, saturate the pipe end without being worried about it. The more oil, effortless the process will be.

6.Start threading

Now you have to exert pressure on the die head by rotating the handle of the threader. Push the die head towards the pipe and rotate the handle clockwise with the force enough to start cutting. Repeat the process until all the teeth of the die head are around the pipe. When you see this, it means you are successful to add threads to the pipe, manually. If you find it too hard to deal, again lubricate the jointed pipe end and die head.

When you will start rotation, you will feel resistance that is a clear indication of the threading. If you do not feel any resistance, the die head is not working, and you need to apply more pressure.

7.Unscrew the assembly from threaded pipe

You have threaded the pipe, and now you have to unscrew the assembly of pipe, threader’ handle, and die head. There must be a black knob near the die head, just pull it and reverse the direction of the handle. Now rotate the handle of the threader counterclockwise until you separate the head from the handle.

Place the threaded pipe in front of you. The threads are the same you were looking for. Now wrap Teflon tape on it and make a joint where you want. The threaded pipe is ready to use.

8.Cutting the pipe threads without a pipe vise

All don’t need to have an ideal vise. Most of you either do not have or many own a heavy vise without jaws. This heavy vise will not serve you the right way in manual threading, and you have to make adjustments.

You will not find it difficult as the tools you need are pipe wrench, threading die, and most importantly, you must have threading oil.

If the size of the pipe is long, take a measuring tape and mark on it. Take a hacksaw from your toolkit and cut at this marked point to make the length usable. If there are any imperfections or sharp edges, make them up and smoothen the surface.  

Now, place the pipe on the vise, although you cannot firmly tighten it. If you do not have any vise, you can use a table for this task, but it may prove dangerous for slipping off the pipe. When you place it, put the wrench on the pipe and tighten it to secure. This grip matters a lot as it is the main holding power of the pipe. Rotate the handle of the wrench and let it sit on the table. That will ensure the pipe wrench is performing its function and is holding the things in place.

This pipe assembly is ready, and you have to screw the threading die with the end of the pipe you want to thread. Apply heavy pressure on the die handle and keep lubricating the surface to minimize resistance. If you slip the pipe over and over again, use pliers to lock the pipe. These pliers will bear the torque and repeat this process. It will give you quite ease of working. Keep rotating the die until you see threads on the pipe.

You can remove the assembly and separate the pipe that is threaded now.

Guidelines for manual pipe threading – Things you must do

It is interesting to add threads to the pipe, but you have to be very careful throughout the process and follow all the safety guidelines. Failure to do so may result in severe injury. Here are some important safety instructions to make your project safe and secure.

  • Never stand to add threads without personal protective equipment because your wellbeing is your top concern.
  • Wisely check all the equipment, threader, its handle, and die head to make sure that everything is fine.  If the handle, die head, or any other part of the threader is damaged or worn out, it will lead to low-quality threads and will make the process problematic.
  • When you are working on a scaffold or lift, you have to ensure your safety to prevent any fall.
  • You have to fix the pipe in the vise and make sure that it is firmly secured and cannot move. If you carelessly place it over the vise and start applying pressure, you will lose the handle, and the pipe may hit you harshly.
  • Do not cheat the pipe by exerting pressure with another pipe as it may cause big trouble for you.  
  • You have to check the size and type of die before applying pressure to the handle of the threader. If you have attached the die of a larger size, it will not adjust to the pipe, and you may fall with your force. Similarly, you may hurt yourself if the handle is greasy. So, do not forget to clean it and gently apply pressure at the start. When you have confirmed everything is alright, you are free to use threader.
  • Do not let your arms do this whole job. When threading manually, keep your body weight on the handle and maintain your balance. That will maximize the force in a balanced direction and will help to keep the things in control.   
  • When threads are complete, and you are removing the threader and die from the pipe, rotate the die head in the opposite direction. If you lose control over the thread, the die may damage the threaded pipe with its sharp teeth.
  • Clean the surface and tools with a dry cloth. Save the threader and die at a safe place to prevent any damage. If you place them as they are and use them next time, it may harm you due to the grease and dirt. This oil will also ruin the sharpness of the die head teeth.

This is all that you need to do for adding threads to the pipe manually. When you will follow all these guidelines under consideration, you will not be stuck at any point. That will also cost you nothing but your time and effort.

After adding threads, attach this pipe in plumbing and see the difference. You will get this pipe is totally different at the joint that will also be free from the risk of leakage. Your DIY activity not only saved you from a hell of problems but also made you pro for future tasks. Now you can easily thread any pipe either it is of steel, copper, or PVC.

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