Removing Drill Chucks and Other Drill Chuck Tips

Small drill chuck. Photograph by Snaily.

Drill chucks can occasionally prove to be a larger bane than any other tool-part from the shop. It is said that we shouldn’t be annoyed by the little things in life, but sometimes the “little things,” such as our drill chucks, may be the most frustrating of all.

Chuck Removal

Removing your drill chuck can occasionally be an insurmountable battle. Deal with it easily and quickly with these few steps.

1. First, set the tool’s gear box in low, and make sure the clutch is fully engaged.

2. Open the chuck completely, and you will find a little screw in the middle (every now and then, this screw may be missing, but do not fret as it is easily replaceable, and it is not necessary to remove the chuck). Keep in mind that the screw has left-handed threads, while the chuck has right-handed threads.

3. Once the screw has been removed put the small end of a large hex key inside the chuck’s jaws.

4. Place the tool on its side and use a hammer to tap on the long end of the hex key counter-clockwise until the chuck comes loose. Some chucks are screwed on quite tightly, so be patient and continue tapping.

5. If hammer-tapping does not free the chuck, remove the hex key and squirt a few drops of WD-40 into the base of the chuck’s recess. Allow the lubricant to set in the chuck for at least one hour.

This may take a few attempts, but that pesky chuck is guaranteed to come loose after some time.

Finding Closure?

It’s very common for drill chucks to wobble slightly out of place and is stuck open. There’s a screw within your drill chuck that holds the chuck in place. Occasionally these rascally screws are known to wiggle loose out of their threads stopping the chuck from making a complete closure. There’s a very simple solution: Just locate a screwdriver that will fit the slot on the screw top, and tighten counter clockwise.

Your wobbly chuck issues may persist because the threads on the chuck or the screw is stripped. Other factors include locked-up or rusted chucks, slipped or broken fingers on the inside of the chuck. At this point it is best to call for professional inspection.

Best of luck, and hopefully these tips will help you not to be annoyed by the little things either at work or in the shop.

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