How to Change a Drill Bit — Change Without Any Hassle

Home for your simple DIY projects. For these tools to be helpful, you have to learn how to use them correctly. Drills are such powerful tools that need some learning. You need to learn, not only how to use it but also how to change a drill bit so you can do so without harming yourself or damaging the bits. In this guide, you will learn how to remove drill bits then insert new ones safely

What Is a Drill Bit?

A drill bit is the rotating component of the drill that does the drilling in materials such as wood, metal, steel, or stone. The drill bit is attached to the drill to create holes by rotation. Drill bits come in different shapes and sizes and can create different holes in a variety of materials.

By selecting the right drill bit, you can make holes in almost all types of materials because the drill bits are very hard. The drill bit should be used correctly and sharpened from time to time.

What Type Of Drill Do You Have?

Before you replace the drill bit, you must know the type of drill you are dealing with. There are two types of drills, keyed drills, and keyless drills. These drills require different methods to replace their drill bits.

Parts of a Drill

As at now, you know the basics of a drill, as the type of drill suitable for a particular project, how to use and store drill bits, etc.

The next but most important thing is now to understand the different parts of a drill we will mention while discussing how to change drill bits. Some of those parts include

The Chuck

The chuck is that part of the drill that is closest to the drill bit. It has a mechanism that holds the drill bit in place. It looks like a clamp, but it rotates as the drill’s trigger is pulled to turn the bit.

Chuck Key

This is a tool that looks like a key. When inserted into the chuck, it will loosen the jaws so the drill bit it is easy to remove the dirt. This tool is also necessary when you need to tighten the chuck after inserting a new drill bit.


This is a mechanism on the drill that, when squeezed with a finger, will make the drill bit and the chuck to rotate.


Jaws are the clamps that grasp the drill bits to keep them steady when the chuck is rotating. They are contained within the chuck. If your drill bit sways, then it means the jaws are clamping it well.


If you have a drill with a keyed chuck, you need a tool that looks like a key to loosen the chuck before you can remove the drill bit and replace it with a new one.

The keyed mechanism is useful as it offers another protection level by keeping the drill bit in position to reduce the risk of the drill bit slipping and causing an accident.


The keyless drills don’t require any tool that looks like a key; instead, you can just loosen the chuck, and the jaws will get unhinged so you can remove the drill bit.

The most important benefit of the keyless drills is that you don’t need a chuck key and, therefore, need not worry about losing it or looking for it whenever you need to exchange the drill bits. However, remember that keyless drills are more expensive than keyed drills.

keyed drill

How To Change Drill Bits in Keyed Drills

The keyed drills are more common than keyless drills. Not only are they safer to use than the keyed drills, but they are also good at keeping the drill bits safer. Here are the steps you can change the drill bits in keyed drills.

Insert the chuck key

Some drills come with chuck keys that fit into the drills. Other drills have a place to store the keys while others don’t. Hold the drill firmly then insert it in the keyhole. The teeth of the key are made such that it fits well into the keyhole in the chuck and fit snugly.

Turn the key

Once the key in well into the keyhole, turn it in an anticlockwise direction and it will loosen your chuck, as you rotate the key, you’ll see the chuck turning.

Remove the old drill bit

Once the chuck is loose, the drill bit may just fall off. To avoid injury, work on a bench so the drill bit can fall on the bench. If the drill bit cannot fall off, you can pull it out gently using your index finger and thumb. Again, if it cannot come out, check whether you loosened the chuck. If not, you may need to insert the key and rotate it once more.

Insert the new bit

After removing the drill bit, leave the jaws open so you can insert a new drill bit. Hold the new drill bit between your index finger and thumb, then slide its smooth part into the chuck. Choose a drill bit of the right size so it can slide in smoothly.

YouTube Video Credit: KJDOT

Tighten the chuck

Tighten the chuck by holding the drill with one hand and using your other hand. You should tighten the chuck is properly so the drill bit cannot fall off during use.

To tighten the chuck, insert the key, then turn it in a clockwise direction. Do so until you feel the chuck is tight enough. Repeat this on all other keyholes if your drill has more than one keyhole.

How To Change Drill Bits in Keyless Drills

It is easier to replace old drill bits in keyless drills than in keyed drills. Follow the steps below the replace and old drill bit in a keyless drill.

Loosen the chuck

You’ll not need any tool to loosen the chuck in this case. Just hold the drill in one hand, then grasp the chuck with the other hand. Turn the chuck in an anticlockwise direction, and the jaws will become loose.

Some drills have a switch on them can you can use to loosen the drill bit by pulling the trigger. Check your drill if it has this option, if it has, you can read on the owner’s manual how to operate that mechanism.

Once you are set, hold the chuck, making sure your fingers are far from the drill bit. Pull the trigger, and the drill bit will become loose so you can remove it.

Remove the Drill Bit

The drill bit should come out on its own once the chuck is loosened. If not, you can apply some force to pull it out. If it doesn’t come out, it means the chuck is not loose enough. Always work on a bench so that when the drill bit comes out, it doesn’t fall on the floor but on the bench.

Insert the New Bit

Hold the drill in one hand and the drill bit on the other hand. Insert the drill bit into the chunk, ensuring that the smooth side of the drill bit enters the chuck. It is good to have a drill bit of the same size as the one you removed.

​If the drill bit is smaller, you must tighten the jaws manually by rotating the chuck clockwise. This helps in keeping the drill bit in place as you tighten the chuck. Remember to center the drill bit before you tighten the jaws.

Tighten the Jaws

Hold your drill bit in one hand and the chuck on the other hand. Rotate it clockwise to tighten the chuck. Ensure it is tight enough to prevent the drill bit from wobbling. If your drill has a trigger, you can use it to tighten the chuck. Place the trigger on the correct setting then pull it slightly until the jaws hold the drill bit tightly.

Twist the Ratcheting Mechanism

If your keyless drill has a ratcheting mechanism, you can use it to activate the drill by twisting it clockwise. The twisting mechanism provides additional security while you are holding the drill bit in place. It sits next to the chuck.


The more you change many drill bits, the more the process will become easier. Learning how to change a drill bit is a continuous process that improves with more practice. When dealing with modern drills, you’ll find the process to be a little easier, no matter the type of drill you are dealing with.

I hope this guide will prove useful for you, whether you own a keyed or a keyless drill. If you have a keyed drill, ensure you store the key at a place where you can easily remember. This is because you’ll not be able to change the drill bits without the key.

Relevant Resources

Hello. Thank you for visiting My name is Jacob P. Kelley, the author and founder of this site. I have vast experience in tools & home improvement, and I’m willing to share my expertise with you.

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