Substituting a Keyed Chuck for a Keyless Chuck


It’s common for DIY’ers to keep using their old drill even if its not quite up to par with more modern models, after all we all like to stick with what works best for us. That said, frustration can set in when the chuck key is missing preventing you from changing a drill bit. Luckily modern technology allows a conversion of the old keyed chuck into a new keyless one, instantly getting rid of all that fumbling around for the chuck key, whilst retaining the same great drilling experience you’ve come to know and love!

A keyless chuck key offers an easy twist on/twist off solution, and for a little cost. Better still, in a matter of minutes you can transform your old drill into a user friendly keyless chuck upgrade. You should have no problem releasing the chuck from the existing drill with the availability of an owner’s manual to help you.

Alternatively, a few simple steps can be taken to remove the old chuck for a new unit in the absence of clear instructions.

Step 1 – Ensure Required Chuck Specifications

Every chuck has a specific thread size and count stamped or labelled somewhere on it. Use this information to find the right keyless chuck for the drill. It’s recommended that you take the drill along with you when buying the new keyless chuck to ensure you get the right size.

Step 2 – Getting Rid of the Old Chuck

Once the new keyless chuck is to hand, it’s time to remove the old one that’s currently in the drill. This requires a bit of muscle  but it shouldn’t be too problematic for most people. The chuck key may be required to open and lock the chuck jaws to a wide position with the chuck screw identified at the end of the chuck throat. The screw usually takes on a reverse thread with a tight fit.

The fun part is the insertion of the chuck key into the chuck with the drill firmly positioned on a solid work surface. At this point strike the chuck key sharply to loosen the chuck – usually a standard thread to be turned counter-clockwise. The chuck could be quite tight so it might require a few whacks before becoming loose enough to be unscrewed, thus allowing you to withdraw the old chuck.

Step 3 – New Keyless Chuck Installation

The last step is to insert the new keyless chuck into the regular threaded drill spindle; hence, at this point a clockwise turn is required. When the once you turned it by hand to the point that it feels tight, the chuck is well inserted. Proceed to open the jaws wide to install the old chuck screw – this time in a counter-clockwise motion as this is a reverse thread as standard.

Once a drill bit is inserted into the new chuck you’re ready to work. Test it out by drilling a hole in some scrap material. The new chuck should feel tight and perform without any wobble; but if it does it’s simply a case of tightening the chuck screw.

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