How Do You Remove a Stuck Drill Bit?

Posted on by Ruwag UK

How Do You Remove a Stuck Drill Bit?

Few things are more frustrating than getting your drill bit stuck in the middle of a project. Whether your bit is stuck in your drill or it’s gotten stuck in your material, you will need to remove it carefully to prevent damage. As tempting as it may be to try and yank it out, this can cause damage to your drill, the bit and the material you are drilling. Instead, you will need to follow a few basic pointers to remove the stuck drill bit safely.

Drill Bit Stuck? Here’s What to Do…

Make sure that stuck drill bits don’t get in the way of your project success with these helpful tips from Ruwag.

Why do bits get stuck?

Why do bits get stuck in the first place? There are a few reasons why this happens. 

One of the most common reasons is that you are using the wrong type of bit for the material you are trying to drill. Using a metal bit in wood can end up causing problems, for example. Drill bits are designed for specific purposes and materials. Bits made for drilling wood have a very different design to those made for drilling masonry, tile or metal. Although you get multi-purpose bits that can be used for a variety of materials, these are not made for every single material. This is why it is always essential to know your bits and know which one to use for your project. You will also need to use the right size bit.

Another problem has to do with the chuck, which is what holds the bit in place in the drill. It may not be lubricated properly, which means that bits are more likely to get stuck rather than easily sliding in and out of the chuck. Chucks may also be tightened too much. When this happens, the vibrations made by drilling pull the bit even tighter into the chuck. 

Now that you know why bits get stuck, let’s take a look at how you can get them unstuck.

Removing bits stuck in a drill

To remove bits that won’t come out of the drill, you will usually need to loosen the chuck. You may need to use a wrench or screwdriver to get it loose. First, try to loosen the chuck manually. If you still can’t get it off, use a wrench to carefully try and loosen the chuck. A vice grip can also be used. Use a clockwise and anti-clockwise motion to turn and loosen the chuck. You can also add a bit of lubricant along the bit to remove it if it’s still sticking. Make sure that you never put too much pressure on the chuck as this can damage the drill. Add a layer of cloth onto the chuck before placing the wrench over it to loosen. 

Older drill models may use a key system that is used to remove bits from the chuck. You will see holes in the chuck. Use the key and turn clockwise to unlock each hole. It may take a while until all holes have been unlocked. You should then be able to get the bit loose. 

Removing bits stuck in material

As we have already mentioned, the best way to prevent bits from getting stuck in material is to use the correct bits. If the bit is stuck, you have obviously already learned this lesson the hard way. Don’t panic just yet - there are a few ways you can gently get the drill out. 

First, try and use a pair of pliers to carefully grip the bit and unscrew it anti-clockwise. Hopefully, you should get the bit out of the material. If not, you can try drilling it out of the material instead. To do this, follow the steps above to remove the bit from the drill. Next, choose a bit with a larger diameter to the one that is stuck. Drill carefully on the other side of the material, close to the stuck bit. You should be able to drill out the stuck bit. Be warned, though. When you drill two bits close together there is a risk of dulling or damaging the bits. You may need to replace both bits.

Removing a broken bit

What about removing a broken bit? If a bit breaks as you are drilling, you can remove the broken bit by using pliers to grip the broken bit, then turning the chuck anti-clockwise. This will take the pressure off the bit so that you can remove it from the chuck. Remember that most drill bits are extremely sharp - especially when they are broken. Be careful not to hurt yourself when removing broken bits. 

We hope that these tips make it easier to fix those frustrating drilling mishaps. If you’re looking for a wide range of drill bits for every project, make sure that you choose bits from a trusted manufacturer such as Ruwag UK.