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How to Loosen a Dewalt Drill Chuck

Denise Sullivan

If you have a Dewalt drill, you will have to learn how to loosen the chuck to put in a drill bit. The method used to loosen a Dewalt chuck depends on whether the drill uses a keyless chuck or a standard keyed chuck.

You can easily loosen a Dewalt drill chuck.

If you have a keyed chuck drill and have misplaced your key, you can order a replacement from Dewalt's website or purchase one at a local hardware store.

  1. Consult the instruction manual for your Dewalt drill to find out if the chuck requires a key. Alternatively, look for a few small holes on the front of the metal collar of the chuck. If you see holes, that means you have a drill with a keyed chuck. Drills with keyless chucks have one or more knurled collars on the chuck; you grip the collar(s) to tighten or loosen the chuck. Some drills with single-collar keyless chucks have a spindle lock button on the side of the drill's motor housing; pressing and holding the button locks the spindle to facilitate tightening and loosening the chuck by hand.

  2. Insert the chuck key into the hole on the drill's collar if you have a keyed chuck (if not, skip this step and proceed to step 3). Turn the key counterclockwise until you feel the chuck loosening. Finish opening the chuck by turning it by hand.

  3. Use the spindle lock button to help release the chuck if you have a keyless chuck with this feature. Press and hold this button as you rotate the chuck collar counterclockwise by hand to loosen it. Never operate the drill motor while depressing the spindle lock button.

  4. Loosen a keyless chuck without a spindle lock by gripping each of the two chuck collars in one hand, then rotating the collars in opposing directions. If the drill has only one collar, grip the collar with one hand and grip the drill shaft (closest to the motor casing) with the other, then twist the two in opposite directions. With either type of drill, once the chuck's grip breaks free, the collar(s) should spin easily by hand to open the jaws of the chuck as needed.

  5. Tip

    Use a strong piece of twine to tether the end of your drill's chuck key to the handle to ensure that it is always handy when you are using the drill. Some newer Dewalt drills come with the key pre-attached.