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Distinguished SOTW member, musician, technician &
5,079 Posts
Was curious so just checked a bit.

M2.5x0.45mm tap which is common for woodwinds and a very standard size. There are Chinese stores on ebay selling this, supposedly made of HSS, for about $1.50... including shipping. I don't know how much shipping costs them that they don't lose? Even if it was a mild steel rod, let alone made to a tap made of HSS (which is doubtful but who knows).

These often come in sets of two or three. The cheapest locally available set of three, by a good brand, made of HSS, made in several possible places (China/Japan/Korea/Germany) costs $17. The same company has their own brand, made in Germany, which you can buy as a set of three or individual taps. The set is $42, each separately is $15. There is sometimes an advantage to a set but with copper alloys not always.

IMO the better quality tap would be worth $15 even if you only need to use it once.

Getting a bit off optic... but FWIW, all the basic hand taps, whether good or the cheapest ones, are almost always the regular type made for steel. They work pretty good with instrument copper alloys because it is not a very demanding case so usually they are fine.
Optimally a different tap is better for copper alloys. I once had to tap aluminium-bronze. No regular hand tap could do it. Nothing but squeaks and getting stuck. I tried a couple of much better taps, spiral, higher quality coatings... it was better but still pretty terrible.

After consulting I got a tap especially for copper alloys. It was "magic"... suddenly it tapped just fine. For comparison, the M2.5x0.45mm size costs $40 and (at least locally) these are available in only very standard metric sizes.
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