I have an adored drill/driver that has always struggled with some cheap bits I had from another kit. Drilling into wood goes as planned, but then when pulling the bit back out of the wood, the bit always slips out of the chuck, even when I turn the mode to reverse. I always assumed it was the cheap bits, but after I purchased a very nice set of hex bits, I am experiencing the same issue. The confusing part of the situation is that fastener bits never come out. I just compared the base of the drill vs fastener bits and the inner neck of them seem to be slightly larger on the drill bits. Could the ball bearings in the chuck not be getting a good enough bite? This is such a small issue, but it is extremely annoying. I don't think I have used the drill enough for wear.

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  • 2
    Quite possible it is made for quick release of bits, so you do not need to fight to replace/change bits. Wood probably holds bits above force to loosen, plus the force you use to lift driver from the wood.
    – crip659
    Apr 29, 2021 at 11:46
  • Does the head have a lock that you need to release to change bits, or you just pull bits out?
    – crip659
    Apr 29, 2021 at 11:56
  • Probably they are not locked properly because of some different sizes. For instance, chuck made for 1/4" but dill bit is 6 mm. Difference is 0.35mm may be significant.
    – user263983
    Apr 29, 2021 at 12:48
  • 2
    What @crip659 said. The drill bit is in the wood, and there's friction all along the side. When you pull the drill back to get the bit out, this friction is holding onto the bit and overcoming the pressure of the spring that holds the ball that holds the bit into the chuck. When you've got a driver bit in there, there's no friction at all holding the bit to the screw when you pull the bit away. I'd bet that if you grabbed that Phillips bit in your hand and had someone pull on the drill, you could probably pull it out of the chuck, just like the drill bits.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 29, 2021 at 12:57
  • @crip659 feel free to add my thoughts to your answer.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 29, 2021 at 12:57

2 Answers 2


Drills do not work in reverse

The reverse setting on the tool is for use with screws and bolts, and maybe for taps if you have a power-friendly tapping situation. It is not for use with drills.

Drills are only made to go one way, ever.

When withdrawing a drill from a hole, you are to continue running the drill in the forward direction, and pull it out of the hole while it is spinning forward. It is normal for the drill to start to bind as you pull it out. The sharpened flutes of the drill will make short work of whatever is binding it. The spiral will continue to pump material out of the hole.

If you run the drill backwards, there is no cutting edge there, and so cruft and debris tends to be plowed into the space between drill and the wall of the hole. This quickly causes the drill to bind.

With the drill binding in the hole, pulling the tool out will cause the drill to come out of the "hex" quick release in your tool. It is not designed to firmly clamp the bit, it is designed for quick release of screw bits.

The drill would behave similarly in a proper chuck, by the way, but a chuck has much more gripping power.

  • This is a good point; I never even thought to reverse the direction of a drill. Tho' CPT invariance might suggest reversing would fill the hole back in (lame Physics joke) Apr 30, 2021 at 12:56
  • @CarlWitthoft if you were to push enough sawdust back at the bit quick enough... ;)
    – FreeMan
    Apr 30, 2021 at 13:01

In the end, the drill needs its quick release chuck repaired. There is nothing I am doing wrong to set the bits or operate the drill.

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