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Drills are the most commonly used tool when making a hole in concrete, metal, wood, etc. However, you might need to make different sizes of holes often to do your job correctly. Moreover, drill bits decay fast when you drill into rock-solid materials. Hence, you will need to change your drill bits from time to time.
Changing the bit is not a difficult task, but you must ensure that it is done correctly. Because if you misplace the bit, it will be impossible to make a hole with it. In case you are wondering how you should change the drill bit properly, don’t worry. In this article, we will describe the whole process in a simple way so that you can change the drill bit correctly, even if you are a beginner.
There are multiple types of drill chucks, and the process of changing drill bits is different for each kind. If you are unaware, a chuck is a part of the drill that holds the bit in place with the three jaws in it. The jaws open and close when you rotate the gear or sleeve of the chuck. While some of the modern drills come with keyless chucks, some drills with keyed chucks can be operated with the associated keys. No matter which type of drill you use, this article will guide you to change drill bits as we will talk about each of these categories.
How to Change a Drill Bit?
If your drill’s chuck has three holes around it, then it must be a keyed chuck. Here, you will require a chuck key of the specific size to change the drill bit. On the other hand, changing drill bits is a more straightforward task in the case of keyless chucks, and they don’t require any additional tools to perform the job.
The compact, cordless, and lightweight hand drills usually come with keyless chucks to make the process of changing drill bits faster as well as easier for the users. In addition, there have been many significant developments in chuck mechanisms. As a result, we can see many heavy-duty drills with this chuck type nowadays. Here is how to change drill bits in a keyless chuck.
Loosen the Chuck
First of all, hold the drill’s handle with one hand and the chuck in another. Then twist the chuck counterclockwise to loosen the jaws. There is another way to do it. In that case, you have to smoothly pull the trigger of the drill while holding the chunk in your hand firmly.
Replace the Drill Bit
Once the chuck is loosened, the existing drill bit will be set free. Pull it out of the chuck and replace it with the required size of the drill bit. Here, you have to insert the plain portion of the bit inside the chuck. While setting the new drill bit, you have to make sure that it is properly centered between the three jaws.
Tighten the Chuck
After placing the drill bit correctly, you have to tighten the chuck by twisting its sleeve clockwise. Then, hold the bit and the chuck gently with one hand and press the trigger a few times. It will help you to set the drill bit straight.
Keyed chucks are found in older and more heavy-duty drills like drill presses. These chucks usually have three holes and gear with teeth all around them for loosening and tightening the jaws. A chuck key specific to that drill is required for changing drill bits in this case.
Insert the Key
Grab the chuck key; it should come with the drill box. The keys contain a circular series of teeth and a tip underneath. First, match the teeth of the key with the teeth of the chuck. Then, insert the tip in any of the holes.
Rotate the Key
Start rotating the key counterclockwise to loosen the jaws and continue until you can pull the existing drill bit out. Sometimes you may find it hard to relax the jaws if the drill has been unused for a long. In that case, you can use WD40 anti-rust spray to make the job easier. Once it is loosened, pull out the key and keep it aside.
Replace the Drill Bit
This step is similar to the keyless chuck. You have to replace the existing drill bit with your required one and place it correctly between the chuck’s jaws.
Tighten the Chuck
Now, you have to hold the drill bit straight in place with one hand. Then set the key appropriately to the holes and twist it clockwise. It’s better to tighten all three holes for safety. Finally, remove the chuck key.
What to Do If You Lose the Chuck Key?
Though a chuck key is crucial for loosening a keyed chuck, there are a few other ways to do that too. So, if you can’t find the chuck key, don’t worry. To open the keyed chuck, you will require a screwdriver and a drill bit. First, you have to insert the drill bits’ plain end into any of the three holes around the chuck. Then set the screwdriver’s tip in a tooth of the chuck’s gear. You have to put the drill bit and the screwdriver, one on top of another, in a cross pattern. Next, use the drill bit to leverage the screwdriver and slowly rotate the chuck.
You can also use pliers to loosen the chuck. Put the drill bit in the chucks hole as before to hold the chuck still in position and grab the gear with the pliers firmly. Now, you can twist the drill chuck slowly to loosen the jaws.
If you have come so far, you should have a pretty good idea about how to change a drill bit. However, before doing the job, don’t forget to take safety measures. Work carefully with patience to avoid injuries to your hands and damage to the drill. Consider wearing a rubber hand glove while changing drill bits.