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Best Thread Repair Tool: Rotary Thread vs. Thread Files

Best Thread Repair Tool: Rotary Thread vs. Thread Files

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There’s a couple of reasons why there’s an excess of thread repair tools on the market—the most obvious reason being that thread damage happens a lot, a lot more frequently than most people realize. Another, perhaps less obvious reason, is that no single thread repair tool is 100% effective, 100% of the time.

Rotary Thread, however, is so versatile that it’s the closest thing to a quintessential thread repair tool—but more on this later.

For now, let’s talk about thread damage.

What Causes Thread Damage?

Best Thread Repair Tool: Rotary Thread vs. Thread Files
Damaged Thread

Thread damage is a very common problem. There are a lot of things that can damage threads, and threads can get damaged in a lot of different ways.

Some of the most common factors that result to thread damage include—

● Breaking of a fastener

● Installing fasteners the wrong way

● Installing fasteners with mismatched size or thread pitch

● Using incorrect bolt torque

● Cross threading

Thread galling

● Rust and other forms of metal corrosion

● Extreme pull-out force

● Excessive vibration

● Normal wear and tear

Depending how severe the damage is, it’s often not impossible to fix and repair worn and damaged threads. In nearly all situations, proper thread repair and restoration would require cleaning, correcting, chasing existing threads, or in some cases, recutting new threads entirely—both require the right thread repair tools.

Traditionally, the most common thread repair tools include:

● taps and dies

thread chasers

● threaded inserts

● thread files

Let’s first talk about thread files—

What is a Thread File?

Damaged Thread
Thread File

A thread file, as its name suggests, is a tool that’s used to manually file worn, deformed, and mangled threads back to shape.

A thread file is often used for cleaning and correcting internal and external threads—but mostly external threads. Occasionally, however, when a die just isn’t suitable or available, a thread file can be used to recut a damaged thread, removing additional material in the process.

There are a number of advantages to using a thread file.

For one, a thread file is fairly easy and straightforward to use. Using it requires no professional experience, and the learning curve is minimal, if any.

A thread file is a great tool to use when working on external threads that just require a bit of clearing and correction.

Thread files are typically milled to sport teeth and gauges that correspond to 8 different thread pitches.

Thread File Disadvantages

There are obvious disadvantages to using a thread file.

Because it’s essentially used to file material off a damage thread, a thread file is typically made of extra-strong tool steel. Despite its relative strength, however, a thread file still has its material limitations, and as such, it’s rather limited and effective only on threads made of lead, zinc, brass, regular steel , and other relatively softer materials.

Thread files are also pitch dependent, which means that you have to manually match the correct size file to the pitch of the thread you’re working on, or run the risk of damaging the thread even more.

Also, since it’s a manual tool, the act of raking a thread file back and forth to file a thread back to shape can be quite a chore.

What is Rotary Thread?

Rotary Thread
Rotary Thread

Rotary Thread is a thread repair innovation born out of more than 60 years of experience in machining, engineering, repair, and manufacturing.

Threads are absolutely ubiquitous—they are literally everywhere, but they vary by quite a bit. If you spend enough time tinkering with things, you’ll know that literally every kind of thread repair tool would require you to match the correct size tool to a particular measurement of the fastener you’re working on—whether it’s the diameter, thread pitch, etc.

NOT Rotary Tool.

Despite all the variations and varying measurements of all the different threads, all threads share the same 60-degree V-angle in their basic design—so does Rotary Thread.

Rotary Thread essentially creates new threads off the original 60-degree angle worn, deformed, mangled, threads—making it the only TRULY UNIVERSAL thread repair tool that works on both internal and external threads, on ALL of the most common inch, metric, pipe, ACME, square, and buttress types of threads.

Rotary Thread Advantages

There are a number of advantages to using Rotary Thread over other more traditional thread repair tools, such as taps and dies, thread chasers, threaded inserts, and, yes, thread files.

For one, Rotary Thread is not pitch dependent and does not require pitch matching. Unlike a thread file that requires you to carefully match the correct size tool to the pitch measurement of the thread you’re working on, Rotary Thread is capable of repairing any thread regardless of thread pitch.


As mentioned earlier, Rotary Thread is the closest thing to a perfect thread repair tool. It’s versatile to the point of being universal, it’s easy to use, and it doesn’t require you to be a professional to get professionally repaired threads.

However, if there’s one minor drawback to using Rotary Thread is that it obviously requires a rotary tool.

That said, Rotary Thread is a far more superior alternative to a thread file or any other thread repair tool—it can fix any thread on practically every kind of nut and bolt out there, and it gets you professionally repaired threads with minimal effort and experience.

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