Thread cutting is the machining of threads. The thread is machined into the workpiece with appropriately shaped tool cutting edges. Taps are used for internal threads and dies for external threads. These designations are the usual designations for these tools, but are not entirely correct. Taps do not drill but cut a notch along a helical line in a cylindrical inner wall, dies on a cylindrical outer wall. The aim is that the screw thread (outside) and the nut thread (inside) fit together.

There are machine taps and hand taps. Machine taps are used in a machine tool. There are different types of machine taps. They are designed to achieve optimum results with different types of holes and different types of material. In combination with holding tools, hand taps can be used to cut threads in manual operation.

Dies can be used both in manual operation and in machines. For this purpose, appropriate die holders are required for the various application areas.

Taps, dies, holding tools and assortments are summarized under the generic term thread cutting tools. If one adds the thread formers, thread templates, thread chucks and thread gauges, one can generally speak of thread tools together with the thread cutting tools.