Categories How-To Guides

Mastering the Art: How to Efficiently Change Drill Bits

“Doing It Yourself” (DIY) hobbies often involve drilling into different materials, and understanding how to change drill bits is an essential skill.

To change drill bits, first switch the drill into the counter-clockwise position. Then, gently squeeze the trigger to release the bit, and finally, insert the new bit and tighten the chuck.

Mastering this not only saves time but also boosts efficiency in your projects.

Things You Should Know

Before we dive in, let’s grasp the basics of chucks: keyless, keyed, and impact drivers. Each type has its own distinct way of changing bits.

Keyless chucks allow bit changes without a key, whereas keyed chucks require a wrench or key for adjustments. Impact drivers come with unique features we’ll explore.

Do I need to replace drill bits?

Do you wonder if it’s time to replace drill bits? It’s important to periodically assess the condition of your drill bits.

If you notice significant wear, breakage, or decreased efficiency, it might be time for a replacement.

How to Change Drill Bit: Keyless Chuck

Change Drill Bit: Keyless Chuck

1. Switch the drill into the counter-clockwise position

To change a bit in a keyless chuck, turn the drill into the counter-clockwise position. This setting loosens the chuck, making bit removal a breeze.

2. Gently squeeze the trigger

A little-known tip: gently squeezing the trigger helps release residual energy, ensuring a smoother bit removal process. This step enhances safety and ease in changing bits.

3. Insert the new bit and tighten

After removing the old bit, gently insert the new one and hand-tighten the chuck. Avoid over-tightening to prevent damage to the chuck or bit.

How to Change Drill Bits with a Keyed Chuck

Change Drill Bits with a Keyed Chuck

1. Unplug the tool and fit the wrench in the chuck

Prioritize safety by unplugging the tool. Fit the wrench into the keyed chuck, aligning it with the chuck’s teeth for adjustment.

2. Twist the key to open the chuck

Turning the key will open the jaws of the chuck once the wrench has been properly inserted into the chuck. Take out the old component, and put in the new one in its place.

3. Insert the new bit and twist the chuck closed

After the new bit has been inserted into the chuck, use the wrench to close and tighten the chuck so that you have a firm grip on the bit.

How to Change Bits on an Impact Driver

Impact Driver

1. Grip the base of the chuck and pull

For impact drivers, grasp the chuck’s base and pull it forward. This action opens the chuck for easy bit removal.

2. Place the new bit in the chuck

When the chuck is open, insert the new bit and check that it is seated firmly before closing the chuck.

3. Pull the chuck forward to seat the bit

After inserting the new bit, pull the chuck forward to securely seat the bit. A properly seated bit ensures efficient operation.

Pro Tip

For a seamless bit change, maintain a clean chuck, free from debris. A well-maintained chuck ensures easy insertion and removal of bits.

Also read: How To Drill A Pilot Hole Like A Pro

Change Hammer Drill Bits

Have a hammer drill and want to switch bits? The procedure is very much like that of the standard drills. If you have a hammer drill that has a keyless chuck, changing bits requires the same steps as described above.


Congrats! You now have the know-how to effortlessly change drill bits. Always remember, safety comes first. Unplug the tool before changing bits, and handle your tools with care.

Mastering this skill will undoubtedly enhance your DIY experience and efficiency. Happy drilling!


How often should I change drill bits?

How often you change your drill bits depends on how they are used, the material they are drilling, and the quality of the bit.

When the bits become less useful, wear out, or get broken, it is time for a replacement. To keep things running at their best, worn-out or broken parts should be checked and replaced on a regular basis.

Does this work for changing bits for different brands of drills?

The process of changing drill bits often remains similar across different drill brands, especially within the same chuck type (keyless, keyed, etc.).

However, it’s advisable to refer to the specific drill manual or manufacturer guidelines for any unique features or nuances associated with a particular brand or model.

What safety measures should I consider when changing drill bits?

Always prioritize safety when changing drill bits. Ensure the drill is unplugged or the battery removed to avoid accidental activation.

Additionally, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety glasses or gloves, to safeguard against potential injuries. Properly secure the drill and handle the bits with care to prevent accidents.

How can I free a stuck bit from the chuck?

If a bit becomes stuck in the chuck, try gently squeezing the trigger while holding the chuck and wiggling the bit.

If this doesn’t work, referring to the tool’s manual for specific guidance on freeing a stuck bit is recommended.

Applying a small amount of lubricant to the chuck threads may assist in loosening the stuck bit.

Can I use any bit in an impact driver, or are there specific bits for it?

The majority of standard hex-shank bits can fit in impact drivers. But it is important to choose bits that are made to work with impact drivers to make sure they can handle the higher torque and forces that these tools produce.

Most of the time, impact-rated bits last longer and should be used with impact drivers to keep them from breaking or getting damaged during high-torque tasks.

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