How to Change a DeWALT Drill Bit

how to change a drill bit on dewalt

Even experts with trained experience on power tools struggle with putting in a bit on a DeWALT drill. It all comes down to the various builds that DeWALT offers. The drill chuck differs in shape if the tool is corded or cordless, and its key might be sized differently as well.

Don’t let these shapes and sizes confuse you, changing the bit is very easy when it comes to DeWALT drills. No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find our following guide for how to change drill bit DeWALT easy to follow with all the necessary information.

We’ve also included a step-by-step guide to assist you through this simple task, as well as a short Q&A section to clear any further queries. So, let’s dive in.


Chuck and Chuck Key — Purpose and Use

On any drilling tool, you’ll see a small hole where the drill bit emerges from. This is called the chuck, which is adjustable, and has to be loosened when changing a drill bit.

The chuck has teeth, which clamp down on differently sized drill bits and holds it in place for when the tool is powered on.

Drill bits have two ends, one which is often twisted with ridges and the other which is completely smooth with a few flat spots. The end with grooves is the essential part of the drill, which is pointed into the material. On the other hand, the smooth part is meant to go into the chuck, aligning the flats with the teeth.

Chuck keys are included with the drill itself. With DeWALT drills, you may find the key packed into a small compartment at the base of the tool. When changing drill bits, chuck keys are extremely important. They allow the jaws of the chuck to either tighten or loosen, causing the teeth to clamp down on the drill bit’s flats or release them.

Using a chuck is very simple. You just have to align the chuck key’s teeth with the teeth of the chuck itself and twist to either tighten or loosen the cylinder. To loosen the jaws, turn the key counterclockwise and to tighten it, turn it clockwise.

How to Change Drill Bit DeWALT

The process of changing a drill bit on a DeWALT power tool can be condensed into two parts – removing the bit and inserting the new bit. However, there are a few key details you should know to properly carry out this task. Here’s what you need to do –

Step 1 – Unplug/Power Off the Tool and Remove the Battery

It’s crucial that you handle sensitive metal bits such as the drill bit when the tool is not connected to a power source. Make sure the plug is detached, if your tool is cordless, then double-check if the power button is turned off. Then, remove the battery from the base of the tool.

You can remove the battery simply by sliding it off of its place below the tool. This is a key step if your drill is cordless, as removing the battery will ensure the tool will not power on even if the power button is accidentally triggered.

Step 2 – Loosen the Chuck Jaws

With gloved hands, grip the drill bit, and gently rotate the sleeve of the drill in a clockwise motion to expand the jaws of the chuck. You can take the chuck key from the base of the tool (from its compartment), and use it to loosen the jaws more.

For this, you will have to align the teeth of the chuck key with the teeth around the chuck, then turn it counterclockwise to loosen the jaws. How much you will need to loosen the jaws depends on the size of the new drill bit. If it’s a bit that is bigger in size, you will need to loosen the chuck jaws more.

Step 3 – Insert the Drill Bit

With the jaws of the chuck now loosened, the drill bit should either slip out or come out easily with a slight pull. Leave the old drill bit to the side, and take out the new one. To insert the new drill bit into the chuck, you will have to face the smooth end of the bit into the mouth of the chuck.

Be careful while doing this, as the chuck has firm teeth within it, which are meant to clamp down on the drill bit. You will notice that the drill bit itself has flat spots along its smooth end, these are where the teeth of the chuck are supposed to fit into.

So, align the flats of the drill bit with the teeth of the chuck, and carefully push the bit into place. Make sure it is completely inside, or else it may slip out once the tool is powered on.

Step 4 – Tighten the Chuck Jaws

Now that the new drill bit is in place, you have to move backwards from this step. This time, tighten the chuck jaws. Again, grip onto the drill bit, and rotate the sleeve of the drill in a counterclockwise motion. This will cause the jaws of the chuck to apply pressure to the drill bit. You might even hear a soft click indicating this.

Take the chuck key once again, and align it with the teeth around the chuck. Unlike before, turn the chuck key clockwise to tighten the jaws. Tightening the jaws can be a time-consuming process, as you will need to tighten the jaws and jiggle the drill bit with every adjustment until it fits perfectly.

Step 5 – Test it Out

Once you’re confident that the drill bit is in place, reinsert the chuck key into its compartment at the foot of the tool. Before powering on the tool, we recommend using a side handle, and adjusting it to the side of the tool to avoid injuring your hand if the drill bit falls out.

Make sure the side handle is in place and grip onto it tightly. Reinsert the battery or plug the cord. Now, power on the tool. The drill bit should be rotating smoothly without any abrupt sounds or jiggling, and it should not come loose.

Try it out on a piece of scrap lumber. If it sits firmly, you’ve successfully changed the drill bit.

If you are confused about any steps or would like further clarification on any of the details we’ve included, refer to this video tutorial for more help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can’t get the drill bit out of DeWalt drill?

Jammed drill bits can easily be removed by loosening the jaws of the drill. Make sure the tool is not connected to any electrical source, then lightly tap on the bit from all sides with a wrench. Grip onto the drill bit, and rotate the sleeve of the drill in a clockwise motion. The drill bit should come loose now.

If the drill bit is still jammed or the chuck itself is stuck, then you should consider consulting a professional or customer helpline for assistance.

How do you loosen a Dewalt chuck?

First, grip onto the drill bit and sleeve of the drill and twist in a clockwise direction. After that, take the chuck key, align its teeth with the teeth around the chuck and turn it counterclockwise. This should loosen the jaws of the chuck.

What can you use instead of a chuck key?

Anything that firmly aligns with the teeth around the chuck can be used as a chuck key. Whether it be a hex wrench or a screwdriver, you can use any tool that can be used as a fulcrum to either loosen or tighten the chuck.

Make sure it fits into the chuck key holes properly and that it can turn both clockwise and counterclockwise without slipping out of place.

How do keyless drill chucks work?

Keyless drill chucks tighten and loosen when a rotating force is applied, either manually or with a tool. The chuck collar needs to be turned counterclockwise to loosen the chuck jaws and clockwise to tighten them. They operate similarly to drills that have chuck keys, but may have a greater chance of getting jammed.

When must the chuck key be removed?

You should never leave the chuck key on the chuck. It can only be on the chuck when the tool is completely turned off, and disconnected from any power source. Otherwise, leave the chuck key in its compartment at the foot of the tool or stored somewhere safely until you need to use it for changing the bit.


That’s a wrap for our guide on how to change drill bit DeWALT. Hopefully, we were able to successfully clear any confusions you’ve had with the information we’ve gathered.

Remember to carefully read through any user manuals that might have come with your DeWALT drill before going through the steps of our How To section. Once you’re in the clear on this, you can properly change the drill bit with minimal test runs.

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