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I have a Bosch PSB 650 RE hammer drill, with a keyless chuck:

enter image description here

The chuck mechanism involves a button on top which, when pressed, allows the chuck to be tightened or released, rather than just rotating with the bit.

The other day I did some drilling with an 8mm masonry bit (in hammer mode); and after drilling - the chuck would not get release. I applied as much torque as my hand could stand, until it was quite sore from the friction against the plastic.

My question: How do I release the bit from the drill?

I'm hesitant to try pliers or a vise grip, worried I might just file down the plastic and make a bad situation worse.

Notes:

  • The chuck was not overtightened - just the usual tightness. So this related question is not quite my situation.
  • I'd rather save the drill bit than break it; and would also not want to damage the chuck jaws.
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    I used to have this drill and this is how it died. – bobflux Mar 24 at 21:34
  • Is the drill bit worth saving? If not you can apply some heat to the bit and allow convection to move the heat into the chuck. The plastic won't take a direct heat from the outside, but some internal heat might help. – Criggie Mar 24 at 23:34
  • @bobflux: So, what did you try before giving up on it? You could post a "Don't do this:" answer... – einpoklum Mar 24 at 23:48
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    @Criggie: (teary-eyed) Everyone is worth saving (sniff)... – einpoklum Mar 24 at 23:48
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    Did you get your last bullet the wrong way around? I'm in the UK and recognise this as a "Hammer Drill", not an "impact drill" – Mike Brockington Mar 25 at 16:33
31

I recently had the same issue and tried numerous solutions with no luck. In the end I purchased a strap wrench: This kind of wrench grips the object via a strap or a chain:

enter image description here

You basically put the strap around the chuck, tighten the strap and then use the wrench handle as a lever to gain more torque while trying to undo chuck. This worked extremely well.

I simply wouldn't bother with any other solution in the future.

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I've had this happen when hammer drilling as well and I put the drill in reverse and stuck the drill back in one of the holes. This was able to loosen the hammered death grip the chuck had and I could easily remove it. Although, if you do it too long it might remove the drill bit from the chuck.

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Try the following "low-intensity" method:

  • Apply WD-40 (or other similar "penetrating" lubricant?) generously to the maw of the chuck.
  • With a small hammer, gently tap different points on the chuck's surface, from different angles. Nothing that would cause a dent, just slight mechanical vibrations. Might help lube seepage.
  • Wait a while (an hour maybe?) for the lube to work its magic - but make sure the drill is in a position where it doesn't just spill out, i.e. maw facing up.
  • Now try releasing the chuck again.

This worked for me, possibly because I had not bothered to clean the chuck in any way since I had bought the drill, over a decade ago, and the mechanism might have gotten jammed with some concrete dust or what-not.

Notes:

  • I mostly followed this Youtube video.
  • Cleanliness: Make sure to drain any remaining lubricant and gently wipe the drill so not to get WD-40 over your toolbox. Also, perform the whole procedure over some paper towels or multi-page newspapers etc.
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    I'm not sure about "not bothered" to lubricate the chuck. Keyless chucks are bad enough without greasy jaws, and you'd never keep the jaws clean while lubricating the mechanism. – Chris H Mar 24 at 22:16
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    WD40 is not a lubricant and should not be used as such. – WooShell Mar 25 at 15:31
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    @WooShell You'll have to take that up with the WD-40 company, as they describe their flagship product as a protectant and lubricant. – barbecue Mar 25 at 16:25
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    @barbecue WD40 as a company sells lubricants too, but the multipurpose spray everyone refers to by that name is sold as rust remover, cleaning agent and degreaser. In that capacity, it would even remove existing (oil-based) lubrication. – WooShell Mar 25 at 16:46
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    And it's not a rust remover either. It leaves a coating (of oil) that protects against rust forming, and it helps when parts are stuck together with rust, but chemically it does nothing - it doesn't react with iron oxide, so doesn't remove it – Chris H Mar 25 at 17:01
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This might sound like a ridiculous "one simple trick..." but ...

The solution here is a strap wrench.

if you don't have a strap wrench, what do you do?

Put on a latex glove.

Note - or any similar material, "a rubber glove" in the broad sense.

It is just absolutely amazing how much gripping and indeed turning power an adult human has in the torso-arm-hand system.

However, humans are designed to be really, really slippery: we have useless traction.

If you haven't before tried your hand + simply a latex glove, in such "stuck jam-jar lid" situations, it will amaze you. Enjoy!

Note that, self-evidently, everything should be bone dry when you do this (but that applies precisely to using a strap-wrench).

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  • Now I can't try it, but - I guess this might help prevent skin soreness while applying more pressure. – einpoklum Mar 26 at 12:01
  • it's truly amazing how much extra grip/torque you can apply - give it a go! – Fattie Mar 26 at 12:08
  • The hard part may be finding an actual latex glove. It seems everyone is allergic to to latex all of a sudden, so all the gloves are being made without it. – FreeMan Mar 26 at 12:38
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    big rubber bands wrapped round several times can help too, with a tight grip – Chris H Mar 26 at 13:04
  • Rubber work gloves will do as well, and have a bit of padding so you're less likely to hurt your hands. Also they won't tear as easily as regular latex surgical or dishwashing gloves, a good pair can last decades. Just make sure you get the grippy type ones. Gardening gloves won't work, they're more slippery than bare hands. You want the kind they use to move lumber around and avoid getting splinters. (Usually found near the lumber in most hardware stores for this reason.) – Darrel Hoffman Mar 26 at 14:19
3

Had the exact same problem with a similar drill. Could not get anywhere, until I realized that front grip has a tightening mechanism. So I removed the grip from the normal use position, and used the mechanism to tighten it good around the chuck grip instead. Gave me the exact leverage I needed to open it. It's a similar solution to using the strap wrench by user79408, but don't require additional hardware.

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    Didn't that damage the chuck grip plastic? – einpoklum Mar 26 at 15:20
  • Not on my drill at least. The handle has a circular mount, so it fits the chuck grip tightly all around as opposed to a vice or anything with just a jaw, and the tightening mechanism was more than strong enough to give a proper firm mount with a good grip. Note that I said "similar drill" in my answer, I can't promise it will work out the same on that model – Remy Mar 26 at 22:53

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