How Do You Get A Stuck Drill Bit Out of a Drill?

Almost all drills include a few sizes of drill bits, which makes them as convenient as possible. It allows you to switch between drill bits to tackle different tasks. If, however, a drill bit becomes stuck inside the drill, what happens?

While trying to remove the bit, you might end up damaging both the drill and the bit. But what can you do when the drill bit gets stuck?

In the event that a drill bit gets stuck, you can try a number of measures. It’ll generally help to loosen the chuck. Occasionally, you will need to use a wrench or a screwdriver to attempt to loosen it. By loosening the chuck, you should be able to take the drill bit out.

If you are using a different type of drill, there will be a different method to loosen the chuck. Let’s explore a few of these options.

Loosening The Chuck Using A Wrench Or Vice

An efficient method for removing a chuck is usually to loosen it using a wrench or vice.

Drill bits are held in place by the chuck part of the drill. Drill bits are most often held in place with plastic chucks. However, some drill bits may be held in place with metal chucks.

It is usually possible to remove the bit by screwing the chuck open. If it jams, there are alternative steps that you can take to open the chuck.

A wrench could be attached to the chuck to generate a little extra leverage. This will allow you to grip the tool better. Using a vice grip might be a good solution if you do not have a wrench, or the wrench cannot grip the plastic well.

IRWIN VISE-GRIP Locking Pliers Set with Tray, 10-Piece (1078TRAY)

Then you can begin twisting the chuck once you’ve got a steady grip. Doing so will result in the bit being released.

Drills these days will be able to operate both clockwise and anti-clockwise. You will be able to loosen the chuck using the drill’s power. For most drill models, you will find a sliding control that will allow you to control its direction. This must be pushed to the left in order for the drill to run counterclockwise.

For most drill bits, this procedure will do the trick. Occasionally, however, it can still be wedged into the chuck. Smudging lubricant along the bit might solve this problem for you. A simple twisting motion may be all you need to loosen it and then you can safely remove it.

The method is usually effective in releasing the bit, but you should be cautious. Excessive pressure on the chuck key might damage the drill.

To prevent this, cover the wrench or vice with a piece of cloth. You will be able to grip the vice more easily.

Releasing The Chuck On Older Drills

You might be using an older drill in some cases. The bit removal process for these can be different.

A key is required to remove the bit from these drills, unlike more modern ones. There will be holes in the chuck if that is the case. By inserting the key into the hole and turning it clockwise, you can release the bit. Once one is released, work on the next one. You may need to turn it a few times before it becomes loose enough to remove the bit.

Upon finishing this task, you will be able to safely remove the bit from the drill.

You can usually find a replacement key online if you lose yours. Keep in mind that there may be several sizes available. It is important that you find one that is compatible with the drill you own.

Drill Bit Stuck In Material

There might be times when you are drilling into the material and the bit gets jammed. To remove it, you have a few options.

The first thing you might want to try is to turn the bit anticlockwise with a pair of pliers. In this way you can remove the wood bit from the drill and free it from the drill.

Other times it may simply be embedded in the material that prevents this approach from working. If so, you may want to drill the bit out. Using the method described earlier, remove the bit from the drill.

Pick a bit that is larger than the jammed one. Measure accurately and drill on the other side of the material. As you drill out the bit, you’ll be able to remove it. Using this method will require grinding the two bits against one another. They may become dull and need to be replaced.

Removing A Broken Drill Bit

There can be occasions when the drill bit has sheared off inside the drill. When that is the case, it can be harder to rely on one of the above methods.

A pair of pliers will be needed in this instance to get ahold of the broken bit. Then, slowly start to turn the chuck counterclockwise. This should release the pressure on the bit, and allow you to remove it safely from the drill.

As a quick safety consideration, bear in mind that drill bits can have sharp edges, especially if they are sheared off. To avoid injuring yourself accidentally with the bit, make sure you are careful when handling it.

Why Do Drill Bits Get Stuck?

With this knowledge, you now know how to unstick a stuck bit. So what caused the bit to get stuck in the first place? This might be due to several reasons.

An improperly oiled chuck is the first possibility. Regular oiling plays an important role in drill maintenance. Drill bits will slide in and out easier with regular oiling.

Another possibility is that the chuck was overtightened. While you were using the drill, vibrations might have caused the chuck to be tightened even more. When you come to remove the bit, it may already be very tight.

Using the right drill bit is also important. For example, some bits will be designed for drilling metal while others will work best when they are used for wood. Using this method, you can reduce the chance that the drill bit will shear off or get stuck during drilling.

What is a keyless chuck?

Different shapes and sizes of electric drills are available. There are different types of bits that can be used with all types of drills, regardless of how compact they are or how heavy-duty they are. Chucks are circular metal clamps with a hole in them that hold the drill bit in place. They hold the drill bits in place while drilling.

With some drills reaching speeds of up to 4,000 rotations per minute, it is crucial to hold the bits tightly and securely. A special key or hand can be used to position the bits in the chuck. Keyless chucks allow you to replace drill bits without having to use any special keys. A major advantage of this type of chuck is the ease with which bits can be replaced.

After placing the bit inside the chuck, you can tighten it around the bit by twisting the chuck.

The use of keyless chucks on hand drills and compact cordless drills has become increasingly prevalent. As chuck mechanisms were improved over the past decades, keyless chucks can now be found on larger and stronger drills.

Different Drill Bit Sizes

When we are working on a project, we don’t always need identical sizes of holes.  Good thing drill sets include a variety of drill bit sizes.  You want a small, big, shallow, deep, square, or any other shapes, the drill bits will make them for you.  

ENERTWIST Drill Bit Set, 246-Pieces Drill Bits and Driver Set for Wood Metal Cement Drilling and Screw Driving, Full Combo Kit Assorted in Plastic Carrying Case, ET-DBA-246

The following are the standard sizes of drill bits:

  • Metric Drill
  • Center Drill
  • Long Series Drill
  • Jobber Length
  • Fractional Inch Drill
  • Screw Machine Length Drill

Freeing Your Drill Bit

Jammed drill bits can pose a big problem. To help you free the bits, we looked at some tips that you can use.

  • Holding the drill chuck in a vice or grip while running the drill in the reverse direction.
  • Using a key, you can remove the bit from an older drill 
  • Placing pliers to free a piece that is stuck in the wood. 
  • Drilling the bit out is another option.
  • The sheared drill bit can be removed with pliers.
  • To avoid getting stuck with bits, the chuck should be oiled properly.

Types of power drill

There are several types of drill you can choose from, including corded and cordless drill. Drilling small holes in wood and plasterboard and occasionally masonry, the best choice is a drill with hammer action. 

Drill drivers

These drills not only drill holes into wood and metal, they also act as drivers – this means they can loosen and tighten screws using different drill and screwdriver bits. 

Combi drills

Combi drills offer all the same features as a drill driver, but with the additional hammer-action feature, making it suitable for drilling into masonry and brick too. 

Impact driver

Impact drivers are primarily a heavy-duty screwdriver for repetitive or larger screwdriving projects. It uses an impact mechanism that helps reduce the impact on your wrist by doing more of the hard work for you. They are effective for tightening bolt head and nuts as well as drilling into metal due to its high torque capacity.

Hammer drill

The Best Hammer drills, also known as impact drills or percussion drills, are a powerful option suitable for drilling hard surfaces like concrete and masonry. Multiple torque settings allow you to adjust the power while keeping the RPM low, so it can power through hard materials whilst limiting damage to the surface area. Hammer drills do not always have a reverse screwdriving function, but impact drills do.

SDS hammer drill

SDS drill have the same features as hammer drills, but the hammer action is improved with an SDS function. A piston firing the drill bit forward and pulling it back drives the hammer action on these drills.