1. n. [Drilling]
A short length of drill collar that has male threads on one end and female on the other. It is screwed onto the bottom of the kelly or topdrive and onto the rest of the drillstring. When the hole must be deepened, and pipe added to the drillstring, the threads are unscrewed between the saver sub and the rest of the drillstring, as opposed to between the kelly or topdrive and the saver sub. This means that the connection between the kelly or topdrive and the saver sub rarely is used, and suffers minimal wear and tear, whereas the lower connection is used in almost all cases and suffers the most wear and tear. The saver sub is expendable and does not represent a major investment. However, the kelly or topdrive component threads are spared by use of a saver sub, and those components represent a significant capital cost and considerable downtime when replaced.
See: drill collar, kelly, slips, top drive