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 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.


  • 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.
  • 10
    I used to have this drill and this is how it died.
    – bobflux
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 21:34
  • 6
    @Criggie: (teary-eyed) Everyone is worth saving (sniff)...
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 23:48
  • 1
    Last time this happened to me I hit it with a hammer. Fairly hard in a few different angles. It felt wrong and scary but it worked. Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 9:20
  • 2
    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"
    – MikeB
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 16:33
  • 1
    @einpoklum Yes I am suggesting just hammering it. Lubricant might help but ask yourself how the thing actually got stuck? Surely, something was a little off-centre or a little too tight… both of which are quite likely to respond to just dropping it on the floor - though clearly, that might not do the drive much good. In the last three days I've twice had bits stuck in chucks that responded to a swift whack. Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 19:29

5 Answers 5


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.


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.


Try the following "low-intensity" method:

  • Apply WD-40 (or other similar "penetrating" material?) 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. This may help WD-40 seepage.
  • Wait a while (an hour maybe?) for the WD-40 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.


  • 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.
  • 3
    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
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 22:16
  • 3
    WD40 is not a lubricant and should not be used as such.
    – WooShell
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 15:31
  • 5
    @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
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 16:25
  • 4
    @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
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 16:46
  • 4
    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
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 17:01

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).

  • Now I can't try it, but - I guess this might help prevent skin soreness while applying more pressure.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 12:01
  • it's truly amazing how much extra grip/torque you can apply - give it a go!
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 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
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 12:38
  • 3
    big rubber bands wrapped round several times can help too, with a tight grip
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 13:04
  • 1
    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.) Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 14:19

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.

  • 1
    Didn't that damage the chuck grip plastic?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 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
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 22:53

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