HSSE Tap Guide

Allen Benjamin color codes HSSE taps to simplify the selection of the right tap for specific materials. Each of the six color-ring taps are manufactured with application-specific design criteria based on characteristics and hardness range of various part materials. The table below illustrates which color ring tap is best suited to the material being threaded.

Material Color Chart

*NOTE: For material or material group not shown (such as No Lead Brass), please consult Customer Service here.
** BHN hardness range may vary depending on steel/workpiece condition.


AlCrN: Aluminum Chromium Nitride
CrC: Chromium Carbide
CrN: Chromium Nitride
DLC: Diamond-like Carbon
N: Nitride
N + Ox: Nitride + Oxide*
Ox: Steam Oxide*
TiAIN: Titanium Aluminum Nitride
TiAIN + WC/C: 'Hardlube' - Titanium Aluminum Nitride + Tungsten Carbide/Carbon
TiCN: Titanium Carbonitride
TiN: Titanium Nitride
WC/C: Tungsten Carbide/Carbon
WS2: Tungsten Disulfide
ZrN: Zirconium Nitride

(*Oxide may also be shown as 'O')

In many applications, a tap that is properly designed and used under recommended conditions will produce acceptable results without the use of surface treatments. However under some conditions, such as tapping excessively hard, abrasive or challenging materials, the use of performance enhancing surface treatments will be beneficial to the overall results of your tapping operation in terms of improved tool life and internal thread quality. Coolant-through taps may also be a consideration.

NOTE: Surface treatments are considered 'special design' and will be quoted as special taps. Contact Allen Benjamin for tapping and surface treatment recommendations and pricing.

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Product Literature

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HSSE Tap Guide

Review the tool guide.

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