How to Remove Drill Press Chuck

A drill press is one of the must-haves of a serious woodworker. To increase productivity with the drill press chuck, it is crucial to know how to use and maintain the tool.

Whether you want to remove, clean, or replace your chuck with the new part, the first step is to know how to detach it from the drill.

Whenever your chuck shaft gets bent or has worn out, it is crucial to replace it. If it accumulates dirt, making it ineffective, you also need to remove it, clean it before reinstalling it. 

A Morse taper is used for the drill press chuck to fit tightly into the drill press spindles. However, taper-fit chucks may not always be used in every drill press. In this case, we will still show you how to deal with the threaded-on chucks.

How to Remove Drill Press Chuck that is Taper-fit

Drill press chucks fit differently into their drill press as compared to other drill chucks.

This means the steps for removing this chuck from the machine will vary. Below is a guide on how to remove the drill press chuck.

Tools and supplies for the taper-fit chucks

  • Mallet 
  • Chuck removal tool
  • Open-end wrench 

Step one: Be sure of the structure of your drill press chuck

Drill press chucks come in different structures. It is crucial to understand the design and the requirements before starting the job.

For instance, some drill presses come with keyed chucks, with some having keyless chucks. This difference determines the method you will employ.

Your drill press may have threaded-on chucks. Although this is rare, it is wise to be prepared if you find one as such. If you find yours to be a taper-fit chuck, check on the next step. 

Step two: Lower the handle of the chuck.

This step is also crucial in aiding the removal of the drill press chuck. After determining the kind of drill press chuck you have, press the machine’s handle to push the quill and chuck to the furthest depth possible. Then, turn the quill knob to ensure that the mechanism stays low.

Step three: Find the spindle window and insert the chuck removal tool

In most drill presses, you can locate the spindle window within the quill’s shaft. Once you locate it, push in the chuck removal tool and go to the next step. This is a crucial process, as most people mess up at this step.

You might not see the vertical slot within the quill shaft of your drill press in some cases. The removal key might also be lacking. If this is the case with your machine, jump to step 5.

Step four: Hammer the chuck removal tool

After inserting the removal tool, it is time to use your mallet. Start hammering the removal tool lightly as you increase the pace. To avoid destroying your machine, use your hands lightly. It is the common way most professionals quickly get the chuck out of the drill press’s quill spindle. 

Keep hammering until you see the chuck fall out.

Step five: Alternatively, raise the quill and secure it

If you can’t locate the vertical slot or the removal key, you have to raise the quill. Ensure the quill gets high just below the drilling housing. Professionals recommend the drilling housing to be above the chuck collar’s top edge by about a half-inch. Immediately secure the quill in this position by tightening the quill lock.

Step six: Push the wrench to remove the chuck.

Now it is time to use your open-end wrench. Locate the quill spindle and push the mouth of your wrench into it. The quill spindle is slightly above the chuck collar. Apply some energy to push the wrench up to pry out the chuck from the quill spindle.

3 Steps to Remove Drill Press Chuck that is Threaded-on

If your drill press is cordless, chances are, it has a threaded chuck spindle. In this case, you will need different tools and steps to remove the chuck.

Follow through all the steps to get that chuck out.

Tools you will require

  • Allen wrench
  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Torx driver
  • Mallet 

Step one: Determine the mode of connection between the chuck and the spindle.

Check to see if your chuck’s jaws have a screw. Most drills have a screw that holds the chuck to the spindle to prevent it from spinning off when in use.

Some drills employ a screw with hexagonal sockets, Torx, or a flat screw. This step is crucial in determining the tool to use.

Step two: Remove the chuck screw.

Depending on the kind of drill press, you will need to have one of the following: an Allen wrench, flathead screwdriver, or a Torx driver.

Once you determine the tool, you will insert the tool and spin the tool clockwise. Note that the chuck screw has reverse threads to withstand the drill’s torque to keep the chuck and the spindle tightly connected.

If the screw is too tight to use the Allen wrench and your bare hands to spin, use a mallet. You may also need to hit the Allen wrench several times using your mallet before loosening the drill chuck from the spindle.

Step three: Remove the chuck.

In most drill presses, the chuck is tightly torqued into the spindle than most people think. It means you will need a bit more muscle power to remove the chuck after removing the screw.

To remove the chuck easily, use an Allen key and a mallet. Insert the largest Allen key your chuck can accommodate.

Remember to keep the long end hanging out. Then get your mallet and hit the end of your Allen key. Hit it to swing through until it gets loose. Then spin a few times with your hand to get the chuck out of the spindle.


The chuck is an essential component of a drill press. So it is crucial to keep it in the best state to avoid hiccups in your work.

With this easy step-by-step guide on removing drill press chuck, I believe you will do it in no time.

Ensure you check on the state of your chuck before replacing it. Sometimes, it may fail due to dirt and debris. In this case, you can thoroughly clean your chuck and blow the area around the quill spindle. 

You might be overwhelmed removing the drill press chuck for the first time, but keeping the balance is all you need. Otherwise, you won’t know how to do it unless you try it.

To every DIYer, I would recommend to follow blog to improve their DIY knowledge. Their guide is decent and informative.

Always make this guide your manual every time you want to remove your drill press chuck.

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