I am thinking of getting a Milwaukee M18 fuel drill/ driver combo. The drill is insane with 750in-lbf of torque. It comes with a hand tighten chuck though. My other Milwaukee corded screwdriver has a key tighten chuck and I like how tight I can get it.

My current drill (very old 9.6v Ni-Cad drill) has a 3/8in hand-tighten chuck. When I drill through steel with this chuck it comes loose. I'm not sure if more modern hand tighten chucks like the one on the M18 are better or not.

If I do get this new drill would it be worth it to get a new chuck, or would the one it comes with be sufficient?

4 Answers 4


I have a hand-tighten chuck on my cordless (a Makita) and I've never had any issues. However most of my bits are spin-resistant (i.e. they have chamfers). I've used it with a step bit to drill 7/8" holes through stainless steel.

If that drill has a user-replaceable chuck, you could always just start with the stock one and upgrade if needed...


The drill you refer to has a single-ring chuck that is operated with one arm. Its surface is large enough so that you can have reliable grip and apply enough torque to the chuck to tighten/loosen it in all reasonable situations.

I've used a similar drill of another brand with the same chuck design - the chuck operation and reliability are just excellent. You don't need a keyed chuck instead of this one - a keyed chuck comes with risk of losing the key and with risk of injuring the hand should it slip while tightening.


Here is my two cents worth. A lot depends on the particular model and how it is used. My preference is keyless for 3/8" cordless drills and keyed for 1/2".


It is really a function of the chuck and the gearing in it. I have a 1/2" DeWalt hammer drill which will crush bits super tight. A lighter duty drill driver does not clamp down as much on the bits.

I like keyed chucks, but find little reason to stick with them when replacing a chuck on a drill. The keyless ones are usually quite adequate for the torque and applications of the tool.

Many would consider reverting to a keyed chuck a downgrade.

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