Introduction: Magic Drill Chuck

Picture of Magic Drill Chuck

In this Workshop Hack Instructable, I'll show you one of the greatest things to do with old hard drive magnets. This is a simple hack that means you will always have somewhere to keep the chuck for your drill press and it also doubles for a place to keep your drill bits when you are swapping them out.It is super simple and does not deserve more than one page.

Step 1: Drill + Magnet = Magic Chuck Key

Picture of Drill + Magnet = Magic Chuck Key

Lets start by saying that this Instructable may not be a necessity however having done this for several years, I HATE it when I go to the local woodworking guild and find the chuck is tied onto the drill with some old wire. It just pisses me off to no end now that I have this little luxury on my three drill presses.


  1. Old hard drive or spare strong magnets
  2. Hatred of losing drill chucks
  3. Drill press....with chuck

Step 1: Get magnets from old hard drive: Instead of re-writing work that other community members have done, here is a good little Instructable showing you how to disassemble an old hard drive to get the strong-as-buggary magnets out: Computer Hard Drive Dissassembly (courtesy of nurdee1) Note: I didn't bother to remove the magnet from its mounting bracket. I just used it as it came out of the drive.

Step 2: Walk up to your drill press, open the lid and put the magnet on the inside as shown in the pictures.

Step 3: Close the lid and stick the drill chuck on the outside of the cover.

Step 4: Get beer. Open. Drink. Marvel at yourself.


attawudh (author)2017-12-13

Easy to do But big result

RussellR8 (author)attawudh2017-12-14

Definitely! Works inside the table saw for the single nut spanner and a magnetic knife strip works wonders for ring spanners.

BigAndRed made it! (author)2017-12-05

A magnet from a microwave works as well, although I have mine on top with chuck key, center punch and other bits. No problem with getting shavings collecting up there. There are microwaves on the side of the road in the annual bulk rubbish collection every year to get the magnets from. Ive also got several magnets on my lathe for various tools.

RussellR8 (author)BigAndRed2017-12-05

Outstanding. Magical, magical magnets to the rescue again.

larystoy (author)2017-12-05

Like "TonyB203" I have used this concept for the wrench for my table saw and drill press, but I guess we both are a bit dumb, because I didn't think of putting the magnet inside the press or under the table.

RussellR8 (author)larystoy2017-12-05

Only thing about between inside and outside - on the inside, the magnet needs to be a lot stronger.

RussellS8 (author)RussellR82017-12-05

Not a problem with hard drive magnets. Mine holds a hammer

Alex in NZ made it! (author)2017-11-28

This is such a simple idea! The clip for storing the chuck key on my drill was so badly placed that it annoyed me every single time I used it. Now you've solved that problem. Thank you!

RussellR8 (author)Alex in NZ2017-12-05

Too easy mate. Thats the intent of this stream of instructables - workshop hacks that make life easier.

RussellR8 (author)Alex in NZ2017-11-30

Glad to help. I had these magnets sitting around collecting dust on the front of my workbench then when I got my third drill press (table top version for $20) I dropped the chuck key and it hit and stuck to the magnet. It was my lightbulb moment.

WillF41 (author)2017-12-05

incorrect and misleading title, it is not about a magnetic drill chuck, but a magnetic drill chuck KEY holder.

RussellR8 (author)WillF412017-12-05

Thank you Will. I'll ensure my next instructable is 100%. I also have another instructable stating a 1000% increase in WiFi bandwidth - just in the interest of transparency, that increase was in my situation only and may not represent what everyone else may get.

CarlS110 (author)WillF412017-12-05

spot on

PeeDonkeyPit (author)2017-12-05

Great idea, except in my shop. I'd knock this off the press within minutes of implementing your great 'ible while moving something, and that would put me right back to the "Now where did that dagnabbit key get off to?" state of affairs. I simply put my KEY inside the head. Now, inspired by your 'ible, I'm going to add a magnet to prevent it from sliding into bad places (though, in the 20 years I've been operating in this manner, it never has).


RussellR8 (author)PeeDonkeyPit2017-12-05

I've never been keen in the idea of putting the key in where the belts are. I've found different that putting good the key toward the back on the left side is pretty good - away from buttons, levers etc.

perrybear (author)2017-12-05

Just put an old hard rive magnet on my drill press and the chuck is now firmly secure and easy to find. This is such a simple and elegant solution to a nagging problem. Thank you for sharing!

gtxmag440 (author)2017-12-05

So simple yet so useful.

tincatinca (author)2017-12-04

simplest ideas a

TonyB203 (author)2017-12-04

Great idea. I've been doing the same thing for years but I never thought of placing the magnet inside the housing.

RussellR8 (author)TonyB2032017-12-04

One big advantage of this is when the outside is covered in metal shavings/filings, you just take the magnet off and the filings fall away. You don't get filings stuck to the magnet itself. Very handy.

ClenseYourPallet (author)2017-11-28

Simple and awesome!

Thanks mate. Don't forget to +1 vote ☺

USMC-USAF-USN (author)2017-11-28

Very nice, but what you are holding is the Chuck KEY, used to tighten the Chuck. The Chuck is the part of the drill press that holds and spins the drill bit.

RussellR8 (author)USMC-USAF-USN2017-11-28

I just read back through the instructable and now you pointed it out, I have left out the word 'key' I quite a lot. Hmmm... Oh well.

RussellR8 (author)USMC-USAF-USN2017-11-28

I know that mate, it just didn't sound quite as... 'magical' when I said it. You are right though. Cheers.

mrwonton (author)2017-11-28

my mind is blown! THE MAGNET HOLDS WITHOUT GAS!!!!! love it!

RussellR8 (author)mrwonton2017-11-28

It uses Stray Resonating Neutral Current from a Zero Point Energy harvesting apparatus.

LegoSurvivor (author)2017-11-28


tytower (author)2017-11-28

But more importantly marvel at a magnet's ability to do work without an energy input .It will stay there for life without any gas or solar or anything ,derfying gravity.

RussellR8 (author)tytower2017-11-28

You speak of heresy!

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