How to Change Electric Hand Drill Bits

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An electric hand drill is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your garage. It can be used to drill pilot or access holes, as a screwdriver or even as a paint stirrer with the right attachment. Perhaps what makes an electric hand drill so valuable to most people is that it can change roles in an instant. All you have to do is change the bit!

Things You'll Need

  • Electric hand drill
  • Drill bits
  • Decide which bit you will be attaching. This will depend on exactly what application you are going to be using the drill for. Do you need to screw drywall onto wall studs? Do you need to bore a hole for a door handle? Or, perhaps you need to drill a pilot hole for a furniture project. Choosing the proper bit is important for making the job go smoother and easier.

  • Find the chuck key and locate the clamp gear and chuck cap. You will have to use the chuck key in order to break the drill's hold on the current bit. The chuck key is usually found attached to the cord near the plug end. It is a piece of metal featuring a thin handle and a round, grooved head that resembles a gear. On the front of the electric hand drill, you will see a set of grooves that resemble those found on the chuck key; this is the clamp gear. There will also be a series of holes immediately in front of the gear-like grooves; this area is called the chuck cap.

  • Insert the tip of the chuck key into one of the holes on the chuck cap. The grooves on the chuck key and the clamp gear should fit together.

  • Turn the chuck key counter-clockwise. Use the handle of the chuck key to get proper leverage. Like the gears in a clock, the turning chuck key will force the bit slot of the drill to open. Sometimes, a little extra force is required if the existing bit was really tightened down. Once you break the hold, you can easily loosen the drill tip by turning the chuck with your hand.

  • Remove the current drill bit and open the chuck wide enough for your new drill bit. With the old bit removed, you may have to open the tip up even wider depending on the size of the bit you will now be attaching. If that is the case, just keep turning the chuck to open it wider.

  • Insert the new bit and hand-tighten the chuck to hold the bit in place. Use the chuck key to further tighten down the drill's hold on the bit by inserting it as you did earlier and turning it clockwise. That is all it takes to change electric hand drill bits!

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