Making-Up Connections

Recommendations for making-up drill stem components


Stabbing-in connections

Ensure correct alignment before stabbing. Automatic stabbing systems (top drives, iron roughnecks, pipe racking systems) must be set to ensure alignment. The use of a stabbing guide to make-up connections does the following:

  • Reduces the chance of shoulder damage, which is particularly important for double-shouldered connections
  • Increases safety by removing pinch points
  • Saves rig time (no need to stabilize string before stabbing)


Maintain proper alignment when spinning-in connections; misalignment can damage threads. Use reduced speed for initial turns until sufficient engagement is achieved and increase speed thereafter. For most premium connections (except HT™, GPDS™, uGPDS™, and EIS™), reverse the rotation if threads become crossed. Connections will shoulder at the end of spinning; no contact indicates an issue.

Mill varnish may need to be removed if it fills up spinners/rollers and creates sliding.

Gripping for makeup

Place the tongs as low as possible on the box while respecting requirements for minimum distance from the sealing shoulder. The tongs can be set very low on the pin tong area as long as they do not interfere with the box tool joint. One torquing grip is enough to make-up the connection; the need for multiple grips indicates an issue. Refer to the chart in the Specifications tab for further tong gripping specifications.

Connection break-in on the rig floor

Before the joints are put in service, connections must be broken in; either in a factory make-and-break or on the rig floor. Follow the below steps for a three-cycle rig floor break-in:

  1. Apply a uniform layer of thread compound to the pin and box connections.
  2. Make-up joints as slowly as possible to 100% of makeup torque (MUT). Break them out. If the breakout torque is less than the MUT, the connections do not have to be separated.
  3. Make-up the connections again to the same torque. Break them out. Separate pin and box. Repeat.
  4. Reapply thread compound and make-up joints as slowly as possible again to the MUT of Step 2, and they are ready to be run.

Proper torque application

Before running drill pipe or bottomhole assembly (BHA) components, make sure that sufficient MUT is applied to the connection.

The drill string will likely be exposed to dynamics (vibrations). Stick and slip is very damaging to connections and can induce higher-than-planned torque. Rotary-shouldered connections are vulnerable to downhole make-up if not given proper MUT before running.

Do not hesitate to apply the maximum recommended MUT from our performance specification sheets and adjust for the thread compound friction factor (FF).


Tong-Free Area Specifications for Box Connections


Minimum clamp distance between box external shoulder and top of lower jaw die


As per API



½ in.


½ in.


2 in.





2 in.




2 in.


2 in.


2 in.

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