How to Tighten a Dewalt Cordless Drill Clutch

A DeWalt cordless drill with a twist drill bit installed in the keyless chuck.
A DeWalt cordless drill with a twist drill bit installed in the keyless chuck. (Image: Hand yelow drill isolated image by Marek Kosmal from

DeWalt, a division of the Black & Decker Company, manufactures a number of different cordless drill models, most of which include a drill clutch. The controlling mechanism is a rotating collar between the keyless chuck and the body of the drill. By adjusting the setting of the clutch, you can alter the amount of torque transferred to the chuck. This is particularly useful when driving screws, as you can tighten the DeWalt cordless drill clutch to the proper setting so that the head of the screw is flush with the surface of the board.

Things You'll Need

  • DeWalt cordless drill
  • Screw bit
  • Screws

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Hold the body of the drill with one hand, and rotate the clutch (a collar with incremented numbers around the collar) so that the desired setting is in line with the pointer on the top of the drill. Higher numbers mean more torque, while lower numbered settings will have less torque.

Drive a screw into the board or other material. Release the drill's trigger when the clutch begins to slip.

Inspect the head of the screw to see if it is above or below the surface of the board. If the head is protruding from the surface, increase the clutch setting one or two numbers, and continue driving the screw. If the head of the screw went too deep into the material, reduce the clutch setting.

Repeat step 2 with another screw. Continue testing and adjusting the clutch until the screws are being consistently driven to the proper depth.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using a cordless drill, be sure to wear appropriate safety equipment, including safety glasses to protect your eyes.


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