Sometimes, a carpentry or masonry job would involve the use of a drill bit, and most of these times would require that you know how to change drill bit within a few seconds to keep pace with the myriad tasks at hand. Some say it takes time to learn these things, but changing a drill bit is actually easy if you know when you would have to change it.
Knowing how to change drill bit is a comparatively easy task compared to the other tasks that are often laid out before a mason or a carpenter. This includes familiarizing yourself and learning how to use power tools and drill drivers to be more efficient with the work you do.
When to Change a Drill Bit?
If you've ever watched a DIY show, then you would sometimes see the host or one of the handymen lugging around changing drill bits as he goes from one part of the project to another. You may think that it's all for a show or something to make audiences believe that they are doing something, but the changing of a drill bit serves many purposes.
Drill bits do need to be changed on a regular basis, especially if you see visible cracks and the usual signs of wear and tear. But this is more of replacing them with new ones instead of just replacing a currently attached bit with another of a different size.
The latter takes some time to master, but being able to swap bits while you work can be a worthwhile skill, and it does keep you sharp and agile. Swapping drill bits can occur when changing from concrete to wood and vice versa, or when adjusting the size of the bit upwards or downwards.
How to Change Drill Bits?
Unfortunately, changing or swapping a drill bit from the driver with another from the box is not universal per se. There are about three ways to do it depending on how your drill driver releases the bit from its mechanism.
BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE: Make sure that your drill is powered off with the power pack uninstalled and laid at the ready.
1. Changing A Keyless Drill
A keyless drill is your basic drill driver with a threaded chuck that allows you to loosen or tighten the bit into drill just by twisting it on the threads. Here are the steps on how you can change the drill bit on a keyless drill:
Step 1: Loosen Things Up. Using one hand, grasp a portion of the chuck while you grip the drill driver with the other. Twist the chuck in a counterclockwise direction to open the jaws of the driver slowly and loosen up its grip on the drill bit.
Step 2: Withdraw Your Bit. Once the chuck and jaws have loosened, pull out the drill bit and inspect it for damages before storing it. Dispose of it if it shows relevant wear and tears as it could snap while you're using it the next time.
Step 3: Insert Your Bit. Hold the new bit between your thumb and index finger as you slowly insert the smoother part of the bit into the jaws of the drill. Fully insert it, and then pull it out about a centimeter or so to give it allowance once you tighten it.
Step 4: Squeeze the Trigger. Twist the chuck on a clockwise direction as you hold the drill driver with the other hand. You can also opt to plug the drill driver back in, and then squeeze the trigger, a few short pulses at a time.
Step 5: Engage the Ratchet. This is an optional step, but if your drill has a ratcheting mechanism, then apply some extra pressure on the chuck, and twist it clockwise to lock it into place.
2. Changing a Drill Bit with a Chuck Key
Some drills would come with a chuck key whose purpose of existence is to loosen your chuck and lets you replace the bit. Keep in mind that the chuck of this kind of drill driver is a little different as it is smoother and beveled, with teeth that run perpendicular along the surface of the chuck.
A chuck key would look like an Allen wrench, but it has a cog that should line up with the teeth of the chuck. A small handle is welded on the end to provide a better grip and improve traction once you start using the key together with the chuck.
Step 1: Insert the Key. The first step in changing a drill bit using a chuck key is by inserting it on one of the holes that line up the thinner shaft of the chuck. The cogs of the key should line up with the teeth as well.
Step 2: Turn the Key. Turn the chuck key in a counterclockwise direction, and watch as the jaws of the chuck begins to open. Continue turning your key until it opens wide enough for you to slip the drill bit out.
Step 3: Pull it Off. Using your thumb and index finger, pull the bit out and inspect your drill bit for any damage or visible wear and tear. Any signs of corruption mean it's time to let the bits go into the bin.
Step 4: Push it in. Insert the new bit in while the jaw of the chuck is wide open. Hold the bit between your fingers and then turn the chuck key in a clockwise direction to tighten the chuck and grip the bit in.
3. Changing a Keyed Chuck Without A Key
Now, there comes a time, and it will happen, that you will misplace your chuck key, or maybe you've lost it in one project or another, but do not fret about not being able to change your bits without the chuck key. Here are a few steps on how you can do it without the key:
What you'll need:
- Slotted Screwdriver
- Cross Slot Screwdriver
- Your Drill
Step 1: Place your drill on an even surface.
Step 2: Insert the cross-slot screwdriver into the chuck.
Step 3: Put the slotted screwdriver into one of the teeth.
Step 4: Use the cross slot as the main winch and twist it on the surface of the slotted screwdriver to move it.
Step 5: Swap out the used drill with the new one and reverse the process to tighten it back again.
Swapping a drill bit should never be a daunting task, and there are always tools that can help you change it within a few seconds. Do remember to check the integrity of your drill bits whenever you remove them from the drill to determine if they should be replaced with new ones.