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You might want to change the chuck on your drill for any number of reasons. If you own an older drill, you may want to add a keyless chuck for convenience or replace a broken or rusted chuck. If you have a newer drill, you could add a keyed chuck for extra bit-gripping strength. These guidelines’ll help you replace your drill chuck.

Step 1. This step loosens the screw inside the chuck. Open the chuck all the way — if you see a screw inside, it’ll need to come out before you can remove the chuck. If there’s no screw inside, you can skip steps one and two.


Step 2. If there’s a screw inside the chuck, typically the threading will be left-handed, so turn it clockwise to remove it. Be careful, and use the right size screwdriver — you don’t want to strip the screw.


Step 3. Insert the largest hex key that you have into the chuck, short-side-in, and tighten the chuck. Tap the hex key sharply in a counterclockwise direction to loosen the chuck. Now you can remove it by hand.


This won’t work for every consumer drill ever made, but pretty close. Most drills will match one of two common chuck-threading standards: 3/8″-24 threaded mount for 3/8″-capacity drill chucks, and 1/2″-20 threaded mount for 1/2″-capacity drill chucks — but on some drills just the opposite may occur. To be safe, always check the thread count before you buy a replacement drill chuck.

Chuck Removal Guide [Jacobs Chuck]
Jacobs Replacement Chucks Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]


42 Responses to Change Out The Chuck On Your Drill

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks, this is a really useful post. M

  2. Brian says:

    Well, I’ll have to pull out that old corded drill with the busted keyless chuck and see what I can do.

  3. Electron says:

    If the drill has a selectable gear ratios (e.g. low/high, 1/2), put it into the low range before striking the hex key. This provides the least mechanical advantage from the chuck-end of the drill, making it harder to turn the motor (and easier to loosen the chuck).

  4. BC says:

    FWIW, I love the Rohm brand ratcheting keyless chuck on my Makita 6217D 12-volt cordless. Not sure if you can find them easily or not – I’ve never looked.

  5. James says:

    Awesome- I have a Milwaukee right angle drill with a frozen chuck that was given to me as a freebie when I bought an old saw a few years ago. I blew up a 13/16″ Harbor Freight end wrench trying to loosen it; maybe this method will work better.

  6. Donny B says:

    These are also great for those “cheap” drill presses that have bad keyed chucks and you can switch over to a keyless. Make life in the shop easier….

  7. ambush says:

    Drill presses usually have a taper not threaded mount, so you’ll need a pickling fork or a prybar, you can also rebuild(clean and regrease) the chucks on larger drill presses by pressing the sleeve off, I recommend indexing the jaws to their housing with an awl to make sure they go back in the same place. I believe jacobs has instructions for that too.

  8. SlowJoeCrow says:

    Two extra tips for getting out that left hand threaded retaining screw. Makita typically used a 3mm allen head, and 1/8″ hex key is a slightly tighter fit and less likely to strip, also many of these screws have factory applied threadlocker so once you get it turning, don’t stop until it’s out or the threadlocker will reharden. With practice and the right tools this is very quick and easy, I could have the chuck off and the case open on a Makita 6095D in about 2 minutes.

    • russ says:

      Just got a 1/2″ one off a Porter-Cable. 5mm Allen, cut off a straight piece and drove it with a socket, adapter, and 1/4 impact driver. Reversed it often, left and then right, until it would finally rotate more than a few degrees. Then a big Allen to smack the chuck off.

  9. Bee says:

    those rohm chucks sure are good.
    no runout. solid grip.

    cheap chucks are the thing that bother me most on cheap drills.

    I have one on a hilti corded drill.

  10. davidh says:

    i;ve found that lots of heat anywhere on the chuck before you try removing it will also help soften the threadlocker. i use a 1/2″ impact wrench on a 3/8″ piece of hex key. zoom.

  11. Chris says:

    How do you get a Keyless self tightening 1/2″ chuck off a Dewalt DC925? Dewalt doesn’t supply any information on this and apparently there may be a special tool required. Is there a trick or something I can make to help removal of this chuck.

  12. Larry Geiger says:

    Hi Steve T.
    I just bought a very nice Jacobs 700 at Sears. They had keyed and keyless for 3/8 and 1/2 in drills. $34.99

  13. George Corvin says:

    What manufacturers do not tell you is why the gear on both chuck and key get spoilt. The main reason for it is that the holes get full of dirt and the pinof the key does not get far enough into the hole and the tip of the gears get damaged. These holes should be cleaned regularly and your chuck;s life will be greatly lengthened

  14. Ray Jacobs says:

    Anyone know how & where I can obtain info about how to rebuild a few small Jacobs Chucks key types???

  15. Chris says:

    Haven’t received a response yet… figure I should repost…

    Anyone know how to get a Keyless Rohm Self Tightening chuck off the Dewalt DC925. I have heard that there are $250 worth of tools required, but am not convinced that it’s that difficult.


  16. steve f says:

    i have a dewalt 236 corded drill has a bit in the keyless chuck and it is broken.how do i get the bit out and replace the chuck?please help thanks steve

  17. Ken Michetti says:

    May I trouble someone to tell me the proper removal of the chuck on an older Delta Rockwell drillpress Catalog 15-000.
    You can email direct to program.ed@hotmail.com

  18. PutnamEco says:

    Old Wood Working Machines is a wonderful site to find out info and ask questions about older machines. They even have some old manuals posted.

  19. Plank says:

    Very useful Brad!

    I never thought about using a hex key, I used a visegrip when I tried to remove the keyless chuck on my drill. All it did was scrape off the nylon jacket.


  20. Phil says:

    I have a Makita 6404 corded drill that I put a Jacobs keyless chuck on many years ago – shortly after I bought it. I just rebuilt the drill since I like it and thought it was worth saving. When I tried to take the chuck off to put a new one on I tried everything until I had it in pieces. I cannot figure out what kind of screw (if any) is down in there, and nothing I tried, or try, seems to help get the thing off. Now I’ve got a piece of the chuck attached to the drill somehow, with some kind of screw probably stripped down in there,and no jaws left to clamp to a 90 degree hex wrench. AAArrrgggh! I’ve read all the “how-tos” on every website I’ve found, so please don’t suggest any of the typical methods if you have any thoughts on how to get it off. Thanks

    • russ says:

      Maybe a step drill into the end of the chuck driven backward with a 1/4 impact driver? some penetrating oil overnight first, though. If you have access to a lathe, clamp it in the 4-jaw and rotate the drill with a pipe wrench. (Did you say you like this drill? This may be the opposite of help.)

  21. Jason says:

    Oh Phil!! I hear you!! I’m currently having the same issue with my Ryobi cordlesss drill chuck. It’s now July 2012, You posted back in November 2011, STILL no responses… Anyone? Anything? Desperate….

  22. Beachbum says:

    You could try cutting off whats left of the chuck with a cut-off tool. Then you should be able to see if there’s a screw in there that needs to come out. Remember…it’s left hand thread.

    They sell cut-off tools cheap at Harbor Freight. I have the one that runs on air. Works great. They also have electric ones.

    • Dr T says:

      I had to cut the chuck off of my 40 year old Makita angle drill. It’s been a great drill but i ruined the chuck while dismantling an old bush hog. i ran the chuck against a piece of strap steel and took the teeth off. the LH screw broke off when i tried to remove it. drilled it out and now have a clean head to mount a new chuck on but no screw to hold it on. Haven’t had any luck finding a screw. Dont want to glue it back on…
      Dr t

  23. barry says:

    Perfect, made my life easier!

  24. farhad says:

    I have a dewalt precussion drill. I want to change the keyless chuck on it, but i didnt see screw inside chuck. I put a Allen wrench in it and strike but I cant remove it. please help me.

  25. P3T3 says:

    Hilti chucks must be rotated counterclockwise for removal.
    internal locking screw is a left hand thread

  26. Al Schroeder says:

    Using the Allen wrench and hammer worked amazingly well. I was able to free the chuck on a very old drill and, as luck would have it, replace it with the chuck from another drill that had croaked. Thank you for the excellent tip.

  27. Mark B says:

    This worked perfectly with a Ryobi cordless drill, which needed a new keyless chuck. Thanks!

  28. Jim says:

    I’ve undone the screw in my keyless chuck but the screw just keeps turning and does not seam to want to come out any ideas please? the chuck is stuck open so was thinking off knocking a large allen key in and giving it a wack but unsure with screw still in there

  29. Mike says:

    Worked great! chuck came right off.Thanks for the information

  30. michael says:

    I used a pretty heavy duty soldering iron to heat the head of the retaining screw, enough to melt/loosen the loctite on the threads

  31. Ron says:

    I have a Dewalt DW236 drill that the keyless chuck is stuck closed without a bit. How to I get this open, I’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions.


  32. kirk says:

    I’ve been having the same trouble as many of the other commenters regarding the removal of the chuck retaining screw on a couple of my air drills (an Astro pneumatic and a cornwell). All of the removal instructions I have read lately state that the screw is left hand thread (which I have experienced before on some cordless drills), but after running out of options and turning the old chuck on my drill gold from using my mapp gas torch to try to melt the loctite, I decided to drill the head off from the screw by clamping my air drill in the drill press and then worry about extracting the screw after I had removed the chuck. It worked, I used a 1/4″ bit to drill the head off from the retaining screw, then using an Allen wrench like is mentioned in the article, broke the chuck free from the drills spindle threads. I was then able to double nut the spindle and heat the remainder of screw with mapp gas and then remove the screw once the loctite was melted. Much to my suprise the screw turned out to be RIGHT HAND THREAD and screwed into the spindle about an inch, all of which was covered in loctite. Now that I have this experience behind me, I will be drilling the screw heads off from a few of the other drills that I have given up on and hopefully give them a purpose once again

  33. terry says:

    how do u get the chuck off of a dewalt cordless hammer drill the the chuck will not close

  34. Scott says:

    I have two identical Dewalt corded drills.
    On one the center screw, has been destroyed since the lousy keyless chuck over the years allowed bits to grind it away. Other one, has also been ground, but still enough remains that it is a allen hex key bolt. Of course can not remove either one. The only way is to carefully cut the chuck from the drill. Grind on it to expose the bolt and maybe then a vicegrip can twist it out. Perhaps another idea is some kind of specialty tool like an easy out. But you know if that is left hand threaded it wont work as the spirals or design is not made for left hand screws. If I can replace the chuck, question then is where to get a new center left hand screw? the new chucks I buy are all KEYED, no more destroying chucks and drill bits.

  35. Carl says:

    This advice was really great for my more modern drills, but how do I go about removing the chuck from vintage electric drills where there’s no way to lock the shaft to unscrew the chuck?

    • russ says:

      Older drills usually have no Loctite. Put a little penetrating oil in, leave it over night. If there is no screw in the bottom of the chuck, put the largest allen wrench that will fit in and clamp it down as tight in the chuck as you can. The inertia of the motor will resist the rotation, don’t need a shaft lock. Strike it repeatedly lefty-loosey with a soft face hammer. Turn the drill between strikes so that the allen sticks out horizontally for best impact.

  36. Fatimah Hafer says:

    Practical analysis – Coincidentally if people require a KY TC 95-1 , my kids discovered a fillable version here https://goo.gl/dtP8nC.

  37. odysseas panayiotou says:

    unfortunately the chuck on my drill is stuck with a drill bit which cannot come out and so the complete chuck cannot
    be changed.

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