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How to Change a Drill Bit​?

The ultimate guide on changing a drill bit of any type of drill machine.​
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Being a productive DIYer or a professional drill user requires you to change the drill bits repeatedly. Even working on the same project often requires changing different bits.

 Although it’s not a very tough job, it’s important to change the drill bits properly because failing to do so can certainly lead to severe losses, e.g., it can cause injury or physical damage to your drill. 

Don’t worry, as our informative tutorial will briefly guide you on the correct way of changing the drill bit. If you want to buy new drill bits, then head over to—best drill bits for hardened steel bolt.

In this article, we will be discussing three main topics:

  • Keyless chuck
  • Key to chuck 
  • Impact driver’s chuck

Before moving to the detailed guide, let us brief you a little bit about the chuck. This is what we will frequently be referring to in the coming discussion.

The chuck is the main end of a drill, which is responsible for holding and firmly gripping the drill bit.

How to Change a Drill on Keyless Chuck​?

The picture above shows the keyless chuck, which is very common these days in many cordless drills. These chucks are famous for their easy to use design. 

Thus, instead of carrying a key for replacing the drill bit every time, one can easily swap the bits with easy rotation. These drills are available at a very reasonable price. Do give a read—best drills under $50.

Following are some of the steps to swap the drill bits in keyless chuck:

Disconnecting the Power:

Firstly, you have to disconnect the power supply. If it’s a cordless drill, then disconnect the battery. For corded drills, detach the power cable.

Locating the Right Place:

To change the drill bit on your machine, first, you have to locate the chuck. This refers to the place that holds the drill bit and is found on the top end.

Swapping the Drill Bits:

Now hold the chuck with one hand and the drill with the other hand. Now carefully rotate the chuck’s sleeve. Once the chuck is open, the three internal jaws will loosen the old drill bit. Carefully take out the drill bit and insert the new bit.

Make sure to insert the new drill bit, rightly in-between the three jaws. For bigger drill bits, it might quickly get inserted. However, make sure that the smaller drill bit properly sits between the three jaws. Failing to do so will lead to off-centered drilling on the axis. Or else it can even blow up your drill. Thus be vigilant.

Tighten It Up:

Finally, when you are done with insertion and verification. Now rotate the sleeve of the chuck in the opposite direction as before. Continue till the sleeve is sufficiently tight. Congratulations! As you are done with changing the drill bit.

How to Change the Drill Bit Using a Chuck Key​?


Now for some old or big corded drill, you may find a key chuck. These are now relatively less seen on newer machines in the market, as keyless are now more widely used. However, they are used for some heavy-duty tasks like drilling into concrete. Do read—drilling into brick vs. mortar.

Discontinue Power Supply:​

Usually, they are powered by corded cables. In that case, remove the corded cable. It will take some time to shut down. Don’t trigger the machine while shutting down.

Uncover Key and Its Insertion Hole:​

Now locate the key and its holes. Normally there are three holes.

Swapping Bits:

Now insert the key in any one hole. Rotate the key to loosen the drill bit; once the drill bit comes loose, remove it and insert a new drill bit. Now tighten the drill bit by rotating the key in chuck’s hole.  

For better and firm grip, rotate the key in all three holes of the chuck.

How to Change a Drill Bit of Impact Drivers?

Perhaps the quickest change drill bit is of the impact driver. These are the least versatile drill bits because they only accept hex-styled bits. This makes its use limited; however, it is very responsive and reliable on those limited jobs.

Swapping Bits of Impact Drivers:​

The chuck is very small on these designs. It has a small collar. All you need to do is to pull out the collar, take off the old bit and insert the new bit. After insertion, let go of the collar by releasing it, and it will firmly hold the hex-drill bit.

Failing To Insert the Drill Bit in the Correct Way:

Speaking of non-proper insertion of drill bits can certainly lead to severe damages and injuries. Here is a small list for prevention of these damages:

Off-Centered To Axis:

Mainly for the keyless chuck, it’s important to insert the small drill bits rightly in the three internal jaws center. The inappropriate insertion will place the drill bit between any two jaws. This will make the drill bit revolve in a circular motion instead of rotating around its axis.

Blowing Off Drill:

If the drill bit is inserted inappropriately and even used to drill, it will place a huge anti-torque force on the chuck. If the drill machine is used in this position for a longer time, it will eventually blow up the drill machine.

Wrist Injury:

Certainly, the heavy machine may transfer the anti-torque jerks to the operator’s hand. All this happens in a split second, which may cause severe wrist injury.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Bottom Line:

To conclude, the drill machine requires nice care, so they don’t only last longer, but also adds to your productivity. Changing the drill bit is not a very tough job and should be done right to avoid any damages and losses. 

We hope that our small and handy guide has done its job by instructing the correct way of changing the drill bits on keyed/keyless chucks and impact drivers. Also, make sure to store the key of chuck at an easily remembered place for stress-free accessibility.

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