Care and Maintenance of Rotary-Shouldered Connections

Get more out of your drill string by properly maintaining your Grant Prideco drill stem products.


Best practices for maintaining rotary-shouldered connections.

Initial makeup

Even though connections are heavily coated with phosphate, thread damage is not always prevented. A generous and thorough application of high-quality thread dope (40% to 60% by weight metallic zinc minimum for drill collars or thread compound for rotary-shouldered connections) will help minimize galling.

New connections that have not received factory make-and-break should be “walked in” with chain tongs. Always use the recommended makeup torque for the thread design. Exercise care to maintain calibrated torque measuring and indicating gauges for future use. After initial make-up and break-out of the connection, clean and inspect the threads, faces, and shoulders. Repair any minor damage. Relubricate and retorque the connection.

Repeat make-up and break-out a third time before going in the hole. Monitor break-out torque; it should be the same as or less than the makeup torque. High break-out torque is an indication of problems, and the connection should be inspected for damage.


Use thread protectors on both connections when handling drill stem products. Rotate breaks on each trip. Clean and inspect the individual connections.

Qualified personnel should periodically conduct a magnetic particle/black light inspection. Drill stem products that are left idle or put in storage should be cleaned, inspected, repaired, and rust-proofed as necessary before installing thread protectors. 

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