Getting the Threads Started
Secure the pipe firmly in a vise. Loosen the jaws of the vise by turning the handle counterclockwise just far enough to fit the pipe between them. Place the pipe in the vise so the end you want to thread is sticking out, then turn the handle back clockwise to tighten it and secure it in place.
Put on work gloves and safety glasses. These will protect your hands and eyes from any metal slivers and accidental cuts. It will also keep your hands clean as you lubricate the pipe and pipe threader throughout the process.
Cut and ream the pipe if you need to make it a different length. Use a pipe cutter or a hacksaw to cut the pipe to length. Insert a reamer in the cut end of the pipe and rotate it around to remove sharp burrs and smooth the end out.
Choose a die head based on the pipe’s diameter. Read the numbers on the different die heads for the ratcheting pipe threader to see what sizes they are. Select a die head that is of the appropriate size for the pipe you want to add threads to.
Attach the die head to a ratcheting pipe threader handle. Remove any die head that is already in the handle by pulling it out. Slide your selected die head into ring at the end of the handle until it snaps all the way into place.
Lubricate the end of the pipe with threading oil. Apply a generous squeeze or two of threading oil to the outside end of the pipe. This will lubricate it so it’s easier to put the die head on as well as lubricate the teeth of the die head, making it easier to cut the threads.
Place the die head onto the end of the pipe. Slide the center hole of the die cutter onto the end of the pipe. Push it into place as far as it will go.
Ratchet the handle while applying pressure to the die head to start cutting. Push against the die head, towards the pipe, with 1 hand. Ratchet the pipe threader’s handle clockwise with your other hand as far as you can go, maintaining pressure on the die head as you do so to make the teeth start cutting into the pipe.
Cutting and Finishing the Threads
Lubricate the exposed teeth of the die head. Squeeze more threading oil onto all the teeth of the die head that are not yet cutting into the pipe. This is important to make cutting easier and prevent wear and tear on the teeth.
Keep ratcheting the handle until all the die head’s teeth have cut into the pipe. Turn the handle back counterclockwise about 3/4 of the way, then ratchet it clockwise as far as you can go, using your bodyweight to help you turn it. Repeat this until all the die head’s teeth are around the pipe, which means all the threads have been cut.
Reverse the direction of the ratchet handle and ratchet it off the threads. Pull up the little black knob next to the die head and turn it to reverse the direction of the ratchet handle. Ratchet it counterclockwise as far as it will go, then turn it back clockwise about 3/4 of the way, and repeat until you have unscrewed the teeth of the die head from the threads.
Wrap Teflon tape clockwise around the threads at the end of the pipe. Seal the threads with 2-3 wraps of teflon tape before you attach any connectors or fittings. This will ensure a tight, well-sealed connection.