I recently bought a Bosch PSB 500 RE power drill and already I kinda screwed up the machine.

The chuck is keyless, consisting of two parts which I'll refer to as the head and the base. You would hold the base and rotate the head relative to the base to loosen or tighten the bit.

The machine is also equipped with a grip that is located on the drill body just before the base of the chuck.

While drilling this grip slipped and caught the base, stopped it from turning, so that only the head of the chuck was turning in the grip direction.

Now the whole chuck is too tight and it seems I can't release the bit any more. Any solutions?

Edit 1

I tried wearing gloves, it didn't help. I also tried putting some WD40, but that didn't help because the bit is way too tight.

I heard that the chuck assembly can be replaced, what do you think?

  • 1
    Don't replace the chuck assembly, it can't be that desperate yet. Did you try BMitch's strap wrench suggestion? You could also use locking or groove joint pliers with a heavy cloth or rubber sheet to protect the chuck finish. Even if the finish is damaged, the chuck will still function, but you may need to always use gloves on it because the damaged surface will be too harsh for bare skin. If the drill doesn't torque enough to loosen the chuck, you may need to use two tools to get it to loosen. It will loosen with the right tools.
    – bcworkz
    Jan 19, 2013 at 20:28
  • You'd need to unscrew a screw that is accessible only when the bit is removed to replace the chuck.
    – sharptooth
    Jan 22, 2013 at 7:35
  • @sharptooth my drill machine definitly does not have a screw that is covered by the bit, maybe in other models. check my amazon link Jan 22, 2013 at 13:51
  • 1
    Strange. The typical procedure is like in this video youtube.com/watch?v=usC8unA5RiA - you loosen the chuck open wide and then unscrew a screw inside.
    – sharptooth
    Jan 22, 2013 at 14:05
  • nop I believe this is dependant on the model. mine most probably does not have this one Jan 22, 2013 at 15:49

9 Answers 9


Put the drill in reverse, firmly grip the chuck (the part you were calling the head) and gently squeeze the trigger up the point that you cannot hold on. If you hear clicking, and it doesn't torque very much, you need to turn the torque setting up to the maximum (the highest number, or the drill setting if it has one). If it still doesn't budge and you're not able to hold the chuck against the force of the drill, you may want to use something stronger than your hand to hold the chuck. A strap wrench is well designed for this task and won't damage the chuck.

  • I will try and get one of these strap wrenches and try again. I tried to use my bare hands as well as a piece of cloth to hold the chuck base and tried to turn on the drill in the release direction, but I have to admit that I'm not strong enough for that :(, so I'll try the strap wrench. many thanks Jan 22, 2013 at 13:49
  • I had no idea of strap wrenches before reading this.
    – sharptooth
    Jan 22, 2013 at 14:09
  • 3
    I've had success with channellock pliers. They usually leave marks on the chuck, but they're also more common than strap wrenches.
    – alx9r
    Jan 23, 2013 at 6:51
  • 1
    @alx9r: They won't damage the chuck if the chuck is wrapped in cloth.
    – sharptooth
    Jan 23, 2013 at 7:32
  • 1
    A less dangerous way (Especially as there's still a bit in there)is with a bench vice and pliers/wrench (so no power is used)
    – Mark W
    Aug 23, 2013 at 10:28

That happens once in a while with such chucks. Been there, loosened that. Don't worry.

When all else fails I wrap the chuck ring in cloth and use a pipe wrench. Sometimes only more torque can help. Just be sure you're turning it in the right direction.

  • Vice grips may also be used, if they're the only thing at hand. Apr 16, 2014 at 13:44
  • The pipe wrench, with about six turns of duck tape to give the wrench something to grip just helped me loosen the chuck on my B&D cordless. Jul 3, 2015 at 23:46
  • 1
    @converter42 That was waste of duct tape. You could use some dull cloth instead.
    – sharptooth
    Jul 20, 2015 at 7:10
  • @sharptooth just want you to know that nearly 8 years later this comment is still helping people. Chuck was stuck on my cordless drill. Wrapped dish towel around it, got the vice grips, and torqued it loose. Many thanks!
    – Chris S
    Dec 18, 2020 at 11:54
  • @ChrisS You're welcome.
    – sharptooth
    Dec 18, 2020 at 14:43

I tried all the suggestions I could find on the internet that worked for others, but none worked for me as my drill bit was way more stuck than theirs I guess!

What didn't work

The suggestions (and the result, so you are warned what could go wrong if you try it!):

  • hold the chuck and run the drill in reverse - I nearly burned my hand. Tried it with a thick gardening glove on, and still nearly burned my hand.
  • soak the head in WD40 to loosen the bit - nothing gained from this for me
  • hit the drill bit into the chuck as this helps release the jaws inwards - despite multiple bashes with a hammer nothing budged and the drill bit was no more loose than when I first started
  • use a strap wrench - the only way to do this was to grip around the chuck and run the drill in the opposite direction. As the drill bit was so stuck and the drill torque was so high it was the drill (rather than the chuck) that started to rotate and started moving towards drilling into my arm!

...and what did

In the end I used two strap wrenches, one at the point the chuck should be turned and one just below. With the drill battery disconnected I was practically standing on the chuck to put enough force into the strap wrenches. There was so much force the chuck distorted into an oval (and this was a high quality drill), but eventually it popped and the drill bit came free.

Incidentally I oiled the chuck afterwards as it was very stiff (despite the previous oiling) which was probably a contributing factor to how stuck the drill bit was.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

  • 1
    Happy to hear you made it without hurting yourself :) Sep 30, 2014 at 7:14
  • 1
    Hitting the drill bit with a hammer fixed my problem. I knocked on top and on all sides of the bit. The chuck practically opened with one light twist. Thanks for all the advice.
    – user38436
    Jun 14, 2015 at 16:23

My problem drill was not cordless. Away from home I had few of my usual tools to get the bit unlocked so I used the wire on the drill. I wrapped one end around the base of the chuck and the plug end around the other so that there were a couple of turns around each. The wire was round and soft and needed to be wound in the correct direction so that it tended to get tighter as I turned. It gave me grip, increasing the diameter of the piece and hence the torque achieved. It worked. I drilled on, finished the job them hit the same snag again when I tried to remove the drill bit. This time it didn't work but at least I had got the job done. I suggest this as a quick and easy first step.

  • 1
    A length of grippy/hairy rope might have been a better idea than the energised power cord of your drill.
    – Criggie
    Sep 1, 2018 at 23:04
  • 1
    @Criggie, I'm guessing the cord was unplugged prior to unscrewing in order to provide enough cord to make the wraps. I could be wrong...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 24, 2022 at 18:19

I had this problem after the first serious use of a drill I bought (judging by the resistance, I believe I was drilling into concrete). I tried using the drill in reverse and various other suggestions I saw on the internet but had no luck. What I ended up resorting to was to buy a "Draper 43863 2-Piece Soft-Grip Strap Wrench Set" from Amazon (I think there are other brands and other vendors, which may well be as good or better). It worked a treat. Given the purchase on the keyless chuck that I managed to get, I can't think I would have been able to release the drill bit otherwise. (Retrospectively, I don't think I should have bought such a powerful drill with a keyless chuck).


I have a strap wrench set but not nearby, didn't want to go buy another, and needed the drill bit changed soon. After reading this thread with several good suggestions, the only things I had on hand to try were a pair of rubber gloves--not enough alone for me either--but I also got the idea of wrapping two thick rubber bands, which I did have, around the drill chuck pieces. Combining that with the rubber gloves was enough to improve the grip so I could loosen the chuck. Worth a try before heading for the store.


First you have to remove the chuck assembly from the drill. To do this, put the drill assembly in a vice. Tighten the vice around the front of the chuck first. Turn counter-clockwise using a large pair of Channellock pliers around the large part of the chuck assembly - the bit should then come out. Put the chuck assembly back on.

  • On every drill I've looked at, the chuck is attached by a screw located behind the jaws, so can't be removed if there is a bit in place (or if the jaws are tightly closed).
    – Jules
    Oct 30, 2018 at 11:37
  • @Jules some chucks are held in on a taper
    – FreeMan
    Jan 24, 2022 at 18:20

Hold the base part of the drill chuck with your hand. Hit to the head of the drill chuck with a hammer in the direction you would turn the head to remove. You would want to hit in the direction of the rotation, so you would scrape the chuck rather than hitting it directly. Narrower headed hammers and chucks with cavities on the sides that you can catch with your hammer will work better. This method WILL damage your drill chuck cosmetically, but I have yet to face a functional problem with it.

  • 3
    Nope, this will likely damage the plastic chuck exterior big time and if you repeat that you'll likely get all the plastic stripped and the result will be really ugly and not very usable.
    – sharptooth
    Jan 22, 2013 at 10:22
  • I have to agree with sharptooth, but this is too brutal Jan 22, 2013 at 13:48
  • Driving a motor while preventing it from rotating is potentially more risky. However, I agree that using my method requires finesse.
    – palpa
    Jan 22, 2013 at 16:05
  • +1, if it's not coming lose using two channel locks, time to start hitting it with a hammer.
    – Mazura
    Sep 29, 2014 at 23:05

I purchased a new Black and Decker 7.5 volt drill (my first) and mid way my first project this happened to me. I was pretty upset that I would have to buy a strap wrench, however rummaging through my tool box looking for my slider wrench I came found some heavy duty plastic ties, and it worked. Although the chuck has some scars from the exercise.

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