How to Unscrew a Drill Chuck Without a Key

The drill chuck is one of the most exploited and, accordingly, elements that quickly develop their resource. Therefore, regardless of the frequency of use of the tool, it sooner or later goes out of order. But this is not a reason to purchase a new drill. a worn cartridge can simply be replaced with a new one. The procedure is simple and can be done independently at home, if you adhere to certain rules and recommendations of experienced masters.

What it is?

The cartridge serves as a seat, holder of the main working element of a drill or perforator. This can be not only a drill, but also a concrete drill for tools with impact function, a special nozzle in the form of a Phillips or flat head screwdriver. There are special nozzles for drills designed for grinding, cleaning various surfaces. They are mounted on a round or multifaceted pin, which is also installed in the cartridge.

Cartridges for drills differ in design and installation method on the tool and are divided into three types:

Cone chuck

It was invented back in 1864 by the American engineer Stephen Morse, who also developed and proposed the use of a twist drill. The peculiarity of such a cartridge is that the clamping of the working element occurs due to the coupling of two shaft surfaces and a separate part with the landing hole. The surfaces of the shafts and the hole for installing the drill have equal taper sizes, the angle of which ranges from 1 ° 25’43 ” to 1 ° 30’26 ”.

The angle is adjusted by turning the base of the mechanism, depending on the thickness of the installed element.

Gear-crown construction

A more common type of cartridge for hand-held power tools for home use. The principle of the design of such a cartridge is simple. a thread is cut at the end of the pin emerging from the drill, and the cartridge is screwed onto it like a nut.

The drill is held in the chuck by three cone-shaped lobes located in the center of the chuck in the collet. When the nut on the collet is turned with a special key, the petals come together and clamp the shank of the drill or other working element. a whisk for the mixer, a screwdriver nozzle, impact chisel, and tap.

Keyless Chuck

It is considered the most convenient option. This is the latest technological modification of this device. It is used in almost all modern models of well-known manufacturers of drills.

The working cutting or other element is also fixed by special petals, only a key is not required to clamp them. The locking petals are clamped by hand. by turning the adjusting sleeve, on which, for ease of scrolling, a corrugation is applied.

To prevent the sleeve from unwinding during tool operation, an additional lock is provided at its base.

How to take off?

Since all types of cartridges for drills have their own structural features, their dismantling also involves the implementation of various actions. Special tools are also needed.

It is possible to dismantle with improvised or interchangeable means, but during the first disassembly it is not recommended to experiment, since it is possible to damage the tool.

In general, the procedure is not complicated and is quite feasible independently at home


The method of attaching a cartridge by the Morse method is one of the most reliable, but it does not provide for complex manipulations. The design perfectly withstands power loads along the axis both in conventional drills and in tools with impact function. Therefore, it is so widely distributed in manufacturing enterprises.

The cartridge is dismantled in several ways.

  1. It is necessary to strike with a hammer from below on the cartridge case. The main thing is that the blow should be directed along the axis towards the landing site of the cutting element. drill.
  2. Detach chuck, wedging surfaces: insert a chisel into the gap between the chuck and the drill body, for example, a chisel and, knocking it with a hammer, carefully remove the shaft. In this case, it is very important not to hit in one place so that the shaft does not skew: gradually pushing the cartridge shaft, the chisel must be inserted in different places.
  3. Use a special puller, similar to those used to dismantle bearings.

In most taper hand drills, the shaft bearing is mounted inside the tool body. But there are also models where it is located outside. In this case, the removal should be done as carefully as possible, otherwise there is a chance of damage to the bearing. If the shaft is stuck too much and cannot be removed, do not hit it with a hammer with all the force.

In these cases, it is recommended to try to treat the surface with anticorrosive agents. kerosene, WD-40 aerosol preparation.

Ring gear

Gear-crown chuck is wound onto a pin integrated in the drill. Accordingly, to dismantle the device, you just need to unscrew it in the opposite direction, but you should take into account some nuances. The peculiarity of the threaded fastening of the chuck is that on the pin emerging from the drill the thread is right-handed, and on the chuck itself. left-handed. Thus, during operation of the tool, the cartridge, turning clockwise, automatically wraps itself and tightens on the shaft.

Video: How to Unscrew a Drill Chuck Without a Key

This feature ensures its reliable fixation on the drill, eliminates backlash and spontaneous discharge of the element from vibration. This specificity of the cartridge insertion should be taken into account when removing it. during the operation of the drill, the cartridge is screwed onto the axis all the way, the thread is clamped with maximum force.

Therefore, to spin it back, you will need the following tools:

  • wrench;
  • Phillips or flat head screwdriver;
  • hammer;
  • special key for clamping drill bits or chuck key.

Consider the order of the actions.

  1. Using a special key to clamp the cutting element (drill), turn the collet counterclockwise all the way and lower the locking petals in this way.
  2. Inside the cartridge, if you look into it, there will be a mounting screw that holds the cartridge on the landing shaft. It is necessary to unscrew this screw with a screwdriver, holding the shaft with an open-end wrench of the appropriate size. The screw head can be either a Phillips screwdriver or a flat head screwdriver. it depends on the manufacturer. Therefore, it is better to prepare both tools in advance.
  3. Then, rigidly locking the collet in one position (holding it with the teeth of the clamping nut), unscrew the cartridge shaft with a wrench.
How to Unscrew a Drill Chuck Without a Key

If the landing shaft is strongly stuck and the strength of the hands is not enough to turn the open-end wrench, it is recommended to use a vice. Clamp a wrench in a vice, put a shaft on it, and insert and hold a tetrahedral head with a collar inside the collet.

Holding the drill with one hand, break the thread with a gentle hammer blow on the winch. You can try to carry out the same operation without a vice. insert and hold in the collet a tetrahedron with a long handle (to increase the lever) and, firmly holding the shaft with an open-end wrench, sharply twist it counterclockwise.


Depending on the manufacturer and model of the tool, keyless chucks are mounted on the drill in two ways. they are screwed onto a threaded pin or fixed on special slots.

In the first case, it is removed in the same way as a gear-crown device:

  • lower the clamping petals;
  • unscrew the locking screw;
  • clamp the hexagon or knob in the cartridge;
  • Having fixed the base of the shaft, unscrew it with light hammer blows on the hexagon.

The second option with slots is used in modern devices and does not provide for removing the use of any tools. Everything is done by hand in automatic mode easily and naturally. It is only necessary to firmly hold the upper ring of the cartridge by hand, and rotate the lower one counterclockwise until a click is heard.

You can also navigate by special marks on the cartridge case. They indicate to which position the lower ring must be scrolled to remove the device.

How to disassemble?

To disassemble the gear-crown cartridge, you need to fix it in a vice in an upright position with the petals up. Preliminary lowering petals or cams down to the stop. Then unscrew the toothed nut with an adjustable wrench, preferably grease it with oil. When the clamping nut is unscrewed, remove the inner bearing and washer. Remove the product from the vise and unscrew the sleeve from the base.

There are models in which the base is not screwed in, but simply inserted into an external adjustment sleeve (shirt). Then the cartridge should be fixed in a vice in the same way, but only so that the sleeve passes between their lips, and the edges of the coupling abut against them. Deepen the cams or petals as much as possible and unscrew the toothed nut. Put a soft metal gasket on top (copper, bronze, aluminum), heat the shirt with a building hairdryer or blowtorch and knock the case out with a hammer.

Keyless chucks are much easier to disassemble, but they do not provide for a complete analysis of all components.

To clean, check the inside of the element for damage or replace them, you must:

  • hold firmly in hand the part of the mechanism where the clamping cams are located;
  • insert a screwdriver into the slot between the couplings and carefully, turning the cartridge, separate and remove the lower plastic part of the case;
  • deepen the petals as much as possible;
  • insert a bolt of the appropriate size into the cartridge and hammer out the metal assembly housing from the second outer coupling with a hammer.

Further disassemble keyless chuck does not make sense. Firstly, all places that need cleaning or lubrication will already be available. Secondly, further disassembly of the internal element is not provided by the manufacturer and, accordingly, will lead to spoilage, failure of the entire mechanism.

Morse cone involves even less disassembly. After dismantling the entire mechanism from the drill, it is necessary to clamp the outer metal sleeve (shirt) in a vice or hold it firmly with pliers. Then, using a gas wrench, pliers or an inserted hexagon, unscrew the clamping cone from the housing.

How to change?

Morse cone is mainly used on equipment of engineering enterprises. But some manufacturers equip such a design with hand drills and perforators for private, home use. A cone cartridge is marked with a letter and numbers. For example, B12, where B conditionally denotes the name of the cone, and the number 12 is the diameter of the shank of the working element, for example, a drill.

These indicators should be considered when replacing.

To change such a cartridge, you need to knock it with a drill with a hammer or a special puller. A new product is installed by fitting its rear side onto a conical shaft.

The gear-crown cartridge is used in the manufacture of not only home, but also professional construction drills, designed for severe loads and a long service life. When the trouble-free, almost non-stop operation of the tool for several hours is important. when assembling various building structures, furniture, machine tools. Therefore, it provides for quick replacement so that workers do not lose a lot of time on this. It is only necessary to unscrew the shaft of the worn mechanism from the pin mounted in the drill body and screw a new cartridge in its place.

Keyless chuck changes fastest. Guided by the signs on the case, you only need to fix the upper part with your hand and rotate the lower one until you get a distinctive click.

The new product is mounted in the reverse order. it is mounted on the slots and clamped by turning the locking sleeve.