I have a hole that contains metal shavings after I have tapped it. Is there a common method to clean out metal shavings from between the threads of the tapped hole?

  • $\begingroup$ I changed the wording of your question some to make it fit a little better with how the site works. Basically, it now asks for a solution instead of a comprehensive list. $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


There are a few ways to do this obviously it's easier to clean a through hole than a blind one.

  • Run a clean second or plug tap through the hole. If you keep a tap just for this purpose it also has the benefit of keeping one 'fresh' tap which clean clean up any burrs of defects from worn taps when initially cutting the thread.
  • Flush the hole with cutting fluid, suds or degreaser.
  • Scrub the thread with a cylindrical nylon or brass brush of the appropriate diameter, a brush mounted in a cordless drill can be an effective way to clean multiple threads.
  • Cut a slot down the length of a bolt or stud of the appropriate size and carefully run it into the thread
  • Hold the part inverted and tap with a nylon or hide hammer.

Edit : good point about compressed air. A probe type air duster (either from a compressor or a hand held aerosol) or even a manual blower can be effective, especially where threads are hard to get at by other means. This tends to work best when the hole is reasonably free of oil and grease so flushing with something like a solvent or alkaline degreaser first may help. Obviously care needs to be taken not to blow solvents or debris from the hole into your own (or anybody else's) face and eyes.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Nice list. Only addition would be spray compressed air into it. Works even better if you've got a really thin nozzle and can get to the base of a blind hole so then all the air is rushing out of the hole. $\endgroup$
    – m4p85r
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I think the compressed air was the first thing I thought of. Wish I had that and BEFORE i tried putting a tap through it with a bunch of thick grease... i tried using pressurized spray, but even after washing it out first, didnt look like its doing much at all... $\endgroup$
    – Zero
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Typically if you blow shop air across the opening, chips will tend to work their way up and out. No special nozzle is required. $\endgroup$
    – Ethan48
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 22:39

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