How to Remove a Stuck Drill or Auger Bit

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A stuck bit can damage the bit, drill or user
A stuck bit can damage the bit, drill or user (Image: drill machine closeup image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

At some point, anyone who does home repairs will watch their drill head turn while the bit stays still. Invariably, the culprit is a loosely connected drill bit, which tends to happen more often with hand-tightened, cordless drills than with electrical drills that use a key chuck to secure the bit. Users should be careful when bits become stuck; it's quite easy to break the bit, making it even harder to remove and possibly damaging the drill.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid soap
  • WD-40
  • Vise grips
  • Backup drill bit

Tighten the chuck. Placing gentle pressure on the drill, try to push the bit into the material being drilled, then withdraw it steadily.

Pour liquid soap or spray WD-40 into the area around the bit. Tighten the bit, then try drilling counterclockwise.

Remove the drill from the bit. Take the vise grips and try turning the bit counterclockwise. Be careful to avoid breaking the bit.

Drill a second hole, very close to the first hole. Sometimes, this will reduce pressure on the stuck bit. Attach the drill tightly to the stuck bit and try removing the bit.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the bit becomes stuck, don't try to force it out. You'll burn out the motor on your drill.

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