Posted on: February 2nd, 2017 in Al's Tech Talk

Different Types of Pipe

tubes-pipes-geometric-abstract-81628Steel Dragon Tools pipe threading machines can cut, thread, and ream a variety of different types of pipe with the right die head and dies. Some of the different types of pipe available on the market includes black iron, galvanized steel, stainless steel, copper, and plastic. Each pipe material has different uses and qualities.


Black iron pipe is made from mild steel. Black iron pipe is susceptible to corrosion when exposed to alkaline or acidic water. Black iron pipe is typically used for low-pressure and low-heat applications with gas or steam but is not suitable for potable water.


Cast iron pipe is manufactured with molds and is mostly used for sewage and waste removal. Cast iron pipe will corrode when in contact with carbonic or sulfuric acids. Cast iron pipe can be found in the sewage systems of many homes due to its durability and longevity. This type of pipe is popular for use in waste removal before of its thickness. The pipe’s density helps to muffle the sound of water and waste moving through it, resulting in a quieter home.


Galvanized iron pipe, also known as galvanized steel pipe, is steel pipe with a protective zinc coating. The zinc layer prevents rust and corrosion for approximately 40 years. Once the layer of zinc has been worn away, corrosion and deposits of salt and lime will eventually block the pipe. Galvanized pipe was used for potable water delivery but has been replaced with the more resistant copper and easier-to-handle PVC. Thanks to its anti-corrosion properties, durability, and relatively low cost, galvanized pipe is still popular for use outdoors in irrigation or in large construction projects where the amount of copper pipe needed might be cost prohibitive.


Stainless steel pipe is made with different alloys for use across many industries including food, aircraft and aerospace, nuclear energy, military, and medical applications. Stainless steel pipe is highly regarded for its low maintenance, corrosion resistance, hygienic properties, ease of fabrication, durability, and recyclability. Some types of stainless steel pipe are highly acid resistant and are typically found in chemical plants or for use in food processing.


Copper pipe is durable and corrosion resistant. This type of pipe is easy to handle and install but can be expensive. Copper pipe is typically used for potable water delivery and refrigerant lines in air conditioning systems. Copper pipe can also be used for gas delivery systems, both industrial and medical.


Polyvinyl chloride pipe (PVC) is a versatile material that comes in several chemical variations for different uses. This pipe can be used for pressure and non-pressure applications including potable water service, radiant floor heating, drains, waste removal, venting, irrigation, and ice melting. PVC pipe is inexpensive, easy to handle, and resistant to most household chemicals. PVC pipe does have a low resistance to heat and will expand rapidly when heated. PVC also has a lower pressure rating and crush resistance when compared to most metal pipe.


Steel Dragon Tools manufactures a variety of different pipe dies and die heads for use on the pipe material listed above. For more information on Steel Dragon Tools pipe threading machinespipe dies, or die heads please click here or contact customer service here or by phone at 734-224-7112.


Steel Dragon Tools pipe dies are available for purchase from and


Posted on: January 4th, 2017 in Al's Tech Talk

Replacing Dies In A Die Head

500aReplacing or installing new dies in the Steel Dragon Tools 811A Die Head is quick and easy. Lay the die head on a stable surface and move the handles to make the scroll inside the die head retract. The scroll holds the dies in place.


Once the scroll has retracted, slide the die into the die head. The scroll must be fully retracted to remove or install a die into the die slot. Each die is marked with a number and should slide into the corresponding die slot on the die head.


Push the die into the die slot up to the marked line on the top of the die. Once all four dies have been inserted, move the handle to re-engage the scroll, securing the dies in the die head. Some adjustment on each die may be needed if the scroll will not fully engage.


Wiggling the dies back and forth while moving the handle will usually remedy the problem. Once the dies are firmly in place, reinstall the die head onto the pipe threading machine.


Having multiple die heads with
different-sized dies can reduce work stoppage. Utilizing two die heads with different sets of dies will reduce the work load from switching outs dies when threading a variety of pipe sizes and materials. Simply remove the die head from the machine, install the second die head with a different die set, and continue threading pipe.


Steel Dragon Tools dies and die heads are interchangeable with compatible dies and die heads from a variety of manufacturers. Steel Dragon Tools die heads will fit compatible machines and will accept compatible dies. Steel Dragon Tools dies will fit compatible die heads as well.


For more information on Steel Dragon Tools dies and die heads, please contact customer service by e-mail or by phone at 734-224-7112.


The full line of Steel Dragon Tools dies and die heads are available for purchase from Craig’s Affordable Tools or Toolz Unlimited.


Posted on: December 6th, 2016 in Al's Tech Talk

The Common Traits of High-Performance Threading Oil

One of the most important elements when threading pipe, manually or with a machine, is the use of high-performance threading oil. High-performance threading oil is critical to producing straight and sharp threads when threading pipe. High-quality, professional-grade pipe threading oil from Steel Dragon Tools will facilitate perfect pipe threads every time.
Not all pipe threading oil is created equal. High-performance threading oil has four common characteristics:


1. LUBRICITY. The oil must have high lubricity to minimize load and reduce friction. Threading oil with high lubricity will reduce the friction between the dies and the material being threaded. Threading oil chemically bonds to the threaded surface and transforms into a metal film as dies cut away material. This metal film lowers the coefficient of friction and the load is reduced, resulting in threads that are straight and sharp.


2. HEAT ABSORBPSTION. Threading oil must absorb heat and immediately conduct it away from the threads. Excessive heat at the cutting surface leads to premature wear of the dies, metal chips welded on to the cutting edge of the dies, and torn, disfigured, or wavy threads.


3. ADHESION. Threading oil should cling to the pipe surface even in extreme temperatures. Oil with the proper viscosity will stick to the surface of the pipe during the threading process. This oil will transform into a metal film, reducing friction and absorbing heat as the pipe is threaded. The lowered friction and cooler temperature will result in straight and sharp threads.


4. CONSISTENCY. The viscosity and effectiveness of the oil must remain consistent throughout its operating life. High-quality threading oil will resist oxidation and will not have any volatile cSDT-46100_01ompounds that can evaporate. The performance of the oil should remain effective throughout its life cycle.


With proper care, high-quality threading oil will never need to be changed. Threading oil only needs to be changed if the oil is contaminated with solvents, other oils, dirt, or grit. New oil should be added as needed to maintain the proper level in the oil sump of the pipe threading machine or the oiling bucket. Oil loss while threading pipe is common since RD-RF-300_18the oil will stick to the threaded material.


High-performance threading oil from Steel Dragon Tools has high lubricity, and will absorb and dissipate heat immediately. Steel Dragon Tool threading oil easily clings to threading surfaces, and maintains a consistent viscosity throughout its operating life. Steel Dragon Tools threading oil does not contain PCBs, heavy metals, chlorine, or other halogens.


To purchase the Steel Dragon Tools high-performance threading oil, visit Craig’s Affordable Tools or Toolz Unlimited.


For more information on the Steel Dragon Tools high-performance threading oil call 734-224-7112 or e-mail


Posted on: October 6th, 2016 in Al's Tech Talk

Steel Dragon Tools Pipe Threading Machine Die Heads fit RIDGID® Dies

Most Steel Dragon Tools pipe threading machine die heads will fit RIDGID® pipe threading dies.  Steel Dragon Tools die heads will accept either SDT or RIDGID® brand dSDT-811A_01ies.


RIDGID® dies are available from a wide range of RIDGID® dealers. If there isn’t time to order new Steel Dragon Tools dies, simply purchase RIDGID® brand dies locaSDT-711_01lly and finish the job.


Steel Dragon Tools manufacturers several popular models of die heads including the 811A and 815A Universal, Self-Opening Die Heads for Models 300, 300A, 500, 500A, 535, 535A, 800, 801, 802, and 1822 pipe threading machines. Universal, Self-Opening 711 and 714 Die Heads are available for Model 1224 pipe threading machines.


Steel Dragon Tools also manufacturers dies and die heads, like the 11-R and 12-R , for manual pipe threading machines. SteeSDT-12R_01l Dragon Tools 11-R and 12-R Die Heads will work with compatible Steel Dragon Tools and RIDGID® hand-held power drive pipe threaders. Steel Dragon Tools 11-R and 12-R die heads can also be used with certain manual ratchet-style pipe threaders.


To purchase Steel Dragon Tools dies and die heads, please visit Craig’s Affordable Tools or Toolz Unlimited.


Steel Dragon Tools is not an authorized distributor of RIDGID® and/or Ridge products. RIDGID® Marks are trademarks of RIDGID, Inc and are used for product identification purposes only.


No RIDGID, Inc., Emerson Electric Co., or Ridge Tool Company warranties apply to reconditioned and/or refurbished products. The original manufacturer’s certifications no longer apply to reconditioned and/or refurbished product.


RIDGID® Marks are trademarks of RIDGID, Inc. and are used for product identification purposes only. Steel Dragon Tools® offers a one (1) year warranty against manufacturer defects on all Reconditioned RIDGID® machines.