How to Get a Drill Bit Out of a Drill? [3 Ways]

A drill bit is one of the most important tools in woodworking. It’s not just for drilling holes in wood, but also can be used in many other ways like cutting and shaping it.

During construction, you will encounter times when you have to switch drill bits. Although the process of changing drill bits is quite simple, doing it without really knowing how can damage drill bits and even your equipment.

This manual will teach you how to properly get a drill bit out of a drill and what you should do if the drill bit is stuck inside the chuck.

3 Ways in Getting a Drill Bit Out of a Drill

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When working on different projects, you need to use various correct bit sizes to get the job done! If you want to get a new bit, you have to remove the drill bit inside your drill driver.

To do this, you can either remove the drill bit manually, using a drill or using a drill key.

1. Removing the Bit Manually

Most modern drills allow you to remove the drill bit manually. The step-by-step procedure on how it’s done is listed below.

  • Locate the chuck

You can start fixing a piece of the drill with a chuck that holds to place drill bits properly. It’s located at the end of the drill. Chucks are commonly made of plastic on their outermost part. You can locate the chuck while the drill is turned on or off.

  • Turn the chuck counterclockwise

You can hold the handle of the drill with one hand and the chuck with the other. Rotate the chuck counterclockwise to loosen the chuck jaws that are holding the drill bit.

Continue doing this until the drill bit falls out; remember to catch the bit when it falls out. Keep the drill bit in a bag or secure a place so that you’ll not lose it.

  • Unscrew the chuck if it’s stuck

If the chuck is stuck, you can insert a Phillip’s Head screwdriver into the drill tip. Turn the screw in the chuck counterclockwise to loosen it enough to allow you to rotate the chuck. When the chuck starts to rotate, don’t forget to replace the screw.

  • Use a wrench for a stuck chuck

You can use a wrench or a vice grip to turn the chick counterclockwise if the chuck is stuck. Forcing to turn a chuck when it’s stuck can damage the entire drill.

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2. Removing the Bit Using the Drill

You can also use the drill itself to remove the drill bit when changing bit sizes. Here’s the step-by-step guide.

  • Press the button on the left side of your drill

Look for a button above the handle of your drill and press it. This button is responsible for determining the direction where the drill will spin when you start the tool.

When you push the button on the left side, your drill will rotate counterclockwise, removing the drill bit.

  • Hold the chuck

Secure the chuck with your free hand so it won’t rotate when you pull the drill’s trigger.

  • Pull the trigger

Start to pull the trigger on your drill so that the internal parts of the chuck will also rotate. When the chuck jaws rotate, the drill bit inside will fall out. Keep the drill bit in a secured place once it’s out of the drill.

3. Removing a Bit Using a Drill Key

Older versions of drills have keys that are used to remove drill bits. When you have a drill with a chuck key, here’s the procedure you can follow.

  • Find the hole where the key will fit

The hole where the chuck is fitted has a special key that will help you remove the drill bit inside. Locate this and insert the key.

  • Turn the chuck key counterclockwise

Once you have inserted the key, turn it counterclockwise around 5 to 6 times. Doing this will start to loosen the drill bit from the drill.

  • Loosen the other holes on the chuck

When you are done with one hole, loosen the other holes with the key. Loosening all the holes will remove the drill bit from the drill.

If you cannot remove the drill bit even after loosening all holes, recheck whether all holes have been turned counterclockwise.

How To Get a Broken Bit Out of a Drill Driver?

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When drill bits start to wear out because of constant use, they may break or snap along the way. If this happens to you, here are different guides you can follow using different tools in your hardware box.

1. Using Lock Plier

Using locking pliers is the easiest method to remove a broken drill bit from a drill. This method can be used on steel, metal, and aluminum.

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If the drill bit is sticking out:

  1. Before removing the bit, wipe it with a clean cloth to remove any lubrication which can prevent you from securing a grip on it.
  2. With the locking pliers or vise grips, grab and lock the bit in the proper position and turn it counterclockwise. Once the drill bit pops out, grab it and then pull it out.

If the drill is not sticking out:

  1. Use a chisel and make a small hole until you reach the drill bit with your locking pliers.
  2. Use your locking or nose needle pliers, grab the drill bit and then turn it counterclockwise until you can remove it entirely.

2. Using Screw Extractor

If you don’t have locking pliers, you can also use a screw extractor to remove a broken drill bit. With screw extractors, you have to follow safety precautions to prevent any injury. You would need the following materials:

  • Safety goggles
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Central punch
  • Extra drill bit with a smaller diameter
  • Cutting oil
  • Drill
  • Screw extractor
  • Wrench
  1. Use your chisel to smoothen the rough ends of your broken drill bits. Smoother drill bits will be easier to work with.
  2. Position the center punch at the center of the broken drill bit. A center punch is used to create shallow holes. Using your hammer, strike the center punch to create a hole and help stabilize the drill.
  3. Choose another bit with a smaller diameter and lubricate its tip. Doing this will make it easier for you to pierce into the broken bit.
  4. Drill into the hole made by the center punch with your drill tool. Remember to drill straight and start with a slow speed. Ensure that your hand is not moving too much as you drill to continue drilling into a straight line.
  5. Get your screw extractor and put it inside the hole you just recently drilled. Lock it in the right position and strike it with the hammer to tighten it in the hole.
  6. Then, get your wrench and lock it on top of the screw extractor. Turn the wrench counterclockwise continuously until the extractor comes out of the hole where it was stuck.

3. Through The Universal Method

This universal method can be used in removing a broken drill bit on almost all types of materials. For a drill bit that’s striking out, you can follow the step-by-step process below. 

  1. Blow air into the hole using a blower or canned air to loosen the drill bit. Remove any unwanted dust surrounding the drill bit as well.
  2. Use locking pliers or nose needle pliers and then grab the drill bit. Once the pliers have grabbed the bit, turn counterclockwise while also giving a little pull to get the bit out. 

The process is different for a drill bit that’s not sticking out. Follow the step-by-step guide below. 

  1. If the drill bit is not reachable with pliers, measure its diameter and attach a drill bit with a larger diameter to your drill. Drill until you reach the tip of the broken bit.
  2. Use canned air or a blower and blow air into the hole. Remove unwanted dust as well. Grip the tip of the broken drill bit with either locking or nose needle pliers. Turn the pliers counterclockwise and pull the drill bit out. 

Why Do Some Drill Bits Get Stuck?

When you need to do multiple drilling, you have to switch between drill bit sizes. When you don’t properly manipulate the drill and drill bits, the drill bits might get stuck in the drill or the material.

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Why does this happen? Drill bits commonly get stuck in drills when they are not properly inserted in the chuck jaws.

When drill bits are not inserted in a straight direction, they may bend and get stuck inside. Hence, these drill bits will not be able to operate accordingly.

Drill bits can also get stuck in the material you’re drilling. This happens when you exert too much pressure on the drill driver as you try to drill a hole in the material.

Too much force and pressure can cause drill bits to get stuck and overheat as well.

In addition, it can get stuck when you do not lubricate the chuck enough. Lubrication is an essential component of routine drill maintenance.

How to Avoid Getting Your Drill Bits Stuck?

Stuck drill bits are a hassle and can take up so much time removing them. Drill bits can get stuck in any material. To avoid encountering such circumstances, try to follow the simple guides below.

Wood Surface

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Although wood surfaces are relatively softer than other surfaces, drill bits can still get stuck when not manipulated properly. Using a drill bit that’s stuck on a wooden surface can be a frustrating experience. Use these tips to avoid this from happening.

  1. Make sure drill bits are sharp and well-maintained.
  2. Use the correct type of drill bit for different types of wood.
  3. Drill fast to avoid splintering and hole blowouts on wood surfaces.
  4. Allow drills to take a break from time to time when drilling multiple holes on wood.

Hard Surface

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  1. Here are the tips for harder surfaces to avoid getting your drill bits stuck.
  2. Ensure that the drill bit is fitted and tightened into the hole properly to avoid any stains.
  3. Drill at low speeds for metals and concrete to avoid overheating and breaking the drill bit.
  4. Different hard surfaces need different drill bit types. It would help if you used the right drill bit on your new drill.
  5. Drop a few amounts of oil when drilling into metal. For concrete, use a few drops of water to keep the area dust-free.
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How do you Remove a Drill Bit From Wood?

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When a drill bit is stuck in wood surfaces, there are two possible scenarios. Both of the scenarios have different procedures for removing the stuck drill bit.

Scenario 1: The drill bit’s shaft is protruding

  1. When the part of the drill bit is exposed and protruding, it’s easier for you to remove the entire bit using hand tools like a pair of pliers. The step-by-step procedure is listed.
  2. Open a pair of pliers and compress the pliers’ jaws around the stuck drill bit’s shank.
  3. Tighten your grip around the pliers’ handles and turn counterclockwise.
  4. Continue turning counterclockwise until the drill bit loosens, then take it out from the wood.

Scenario 2: The drill bit’s shaft is embedded: Using the Screw Extractor Method

  1. Get a drill bit and screw extractor with a smaller diameter than the stuck drill bit. Attach the chosen bit to the power drill.
  2. Center the but in the power drill into the center of the stuck bit’s shank. Drill halfway through the stuck bit’s shank.
  3. Attach your screw extractor to the screw extractor wrench, and press its tip into the hole you recently drilled. Twist the wrench counterclockwise to thread the screw extractor into the stuck bit. Continue doing this until the bit loosens completely.

Scenario 3: The drill bit’s shaft is embedded: Using the Drill Method

  1. Get a metal drill bit smaller than the stuck bit and then insert it into the power drill.
  2. The bit’s tip in the power drill should be directly over the end of the stuck drill bit. Start drilling through the shank of the stuck bit. Pull back from time to time to remove metal shavings.
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How to remove a stuck spade drill bit?

Spade drill bits are generally used to drill larger holes. When they get stuck, you can use pliers with longer and thinner jaws to pull them out.

You can also use a drill and rotate it counterclockwise to remove a stuck spade drill bit easily.

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What is a keyless chuck in a drill?

A keyless chuck allows you to change and remove drill bits without using any special key. You can easily change drill bits by twisting them counterclockwise and tightening them.

How can you remove a drill bit from a damaged chuck?

When the chuck of your drills wears out, and the drill bit gets stuck inside, here’s a simple guide on removing the drill bit.

  1. Run your drill in reverse while holding the chuck firmly. It’s recommended to wear gloves to avoid getting hand injuries.
  2. Lubricate the head of the chuck to help in loosening the drill bit.
  3. Tap the drill bit inside the chuck to help loosen the chuck jaws inside.
  4. You can also use a strap wrench to remove the drill bit from the damaged chuck.

Never Get Stuck in Drilling Again

Drill bits are made of steel and are the most important tool in your toolbox. It is easy to break them if you don’t take care of them.

If you’re not careful, you could end up damaging your fingers or cutting yourself while working on a project.

They are very useful tools in your construction projects. With the right drill bits, you can save much time and effort during the job.

However, when it comes to drilling through different types of materials, you need to change the size of each bit according to the work surfaces that you are using. If you follow these tips, your drill bits will last longer.

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