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How To Remove a Stuck Drill Chuck

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Broken gearboxes and sticky chuck screws can make removing a drill chuck difficult. This article explains the tricks you need to overcome these common repair setbacks.

Most drill chucks come off their drills using normal chuck removal methods, like the chuck removal steps we offer in our article, "How to Remove a Drill Chuck."

Drill With Broken Gearbox

However, drill chucks can be difficult to remove for a number reasons that require an extra trick or two to get the job done.

The steps and suggestions below explain how to remove keyless drill chucks from drills with broken gear boxes. We also explain how to remove sticky chuck screws.

See this article's repair video for a professional demonstration!

How to Separate a Chuck Collar from a Drill Chuck

Our example drill in this article came into the shop with its gearbox already broken.

In cases like these, drill chucks usually come off the drill with the arbor shaft and chuck collar still attached to the chuck. The first step to remove the chuck then is to first take its collar off.

 
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Step 1: Use a Pair of Snap Ring Pliers to Remove the Snap Ring

Picture of Use a Pair of Snap Ring Pliers to Remove the Snap Ring
Getting that snap ring out will allow the chuck collar to pop off when we press it off of the chuck.

Step 2: Press the Chuck out with a Shop Press

Picture of Press the Chuck out with a Shop Press
  • Position the drill chuck collar between clam shells for support, align a punch on the chuck's arbor shaft, and then press it out.
  • Pressing the arbor shaft will take the drill chuck with it, leaving the chuck's lower collar behind.

Step 3: How To Remove a Drill Chuck from its Arbor Shaft

Picture of How To Remove a Drill Chuck from its Arbor Shaft
With its collar removed, it's now time to separate the drill chuck from its arbor shaft.

1. Flatten the arbor shaft with a grinder and grinding wheel.

The arbor shaft must be placed into a vise in order to remove the chuck screw. The shaft will have to be made flat on at least two sides to accommodate the vise.

Be careful to avoid touching the arbor shaft while it is still hot.

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