NES ThreadMate tools allow you to quickly repair questionable threads without hunting for the right sized tool. The manufacturer, Shilo Technologies, claims that it doesn’t matter whether your threads are left or right-handed, Metric or Imperial, the ThreadMate will adjust to any pitch.
One of the big selling points is that one ThreadMate repair tool can do the job of many different dies, at least when it comes to repairing threads. Unlike dies, ThreadMate tools cannot form new threads on round stock.
While the ThreadMate tools cannot add new material to damaged threads either, they can straighten and clear these threads, allowing better access to remaining good threads. In a pinch you might be able to use the bad threads for holding power, but you probably want to replace the nut or bolt as soon as possible.
The NES brand encompasses a whole line of specialty tools for repairing internal and external threads. The ThreadMate brand seems to refer to one external thread fixing tool and two internal ones.
Here’s a quick promo video that shows how the external ThreadMate thread repair tool works:
The external ThreadMate works with threads from 5/32″ to 1/2″. To use it, place the tool around the damaged threads and turn the knob until it engages the threads, then rotate the tool in the direction marked by the arrow located right above the knob.
NES also makes larger universal external thread repair tools with 5/32″ to 3/4″ capacity (NES1A) and 11/16″ to 1-1/2″ capacity (NES2).
The two internal ThreadMate tools cover the range from #12 to 1/2″. To use one of the tools, insert it in the hole and turn the knob until the blades engage the threads, then turn the tool in the direction that pushes it out of the threads.
All the ThreadMate tools come standard with a guide for 60° threads, but you can also buy an optional 55° guide for British standard threads (Whitworth really?).
Pricing for the external thread ThreadMate is around $35 to $38. It’s available online through Home Depot, Amazon (3rd party), Sears (3rd party), and many other retailers.
It’s harder to find the internal ThreadsMate tools, as they only seem to be sold in a kit with the external ThreadMate. Pricing for the kit is $129 at Amazon. Amazon and other retailers do carry the other, larger NES internal thread repair tools.
Buy Now (Craftsman version via Sears)
The promise of being able to grab one tool to fix threads without having to search for your tap and die set sounds like it would make you more likely to check and repair them, saving you more trouble later.
Downside: There doesn’t seem to be a smaller version for working with machine screws.
If anybody has any experience with this tool, please let us know if it is worth owning!