View Full Version : Drill Chuck Removal

04-08-2013, 12:41 PM
Anyone know how to remove a keyless chuck from a Harbor Freight cordless drill?

I can see a philips head down down in the bottom of the chuck, but I can't budge it. ...tried both RH and LH directions.
Actually the philips head looks to be formed into the chuck bottom itself, rather than a separate screw, but I'm not sure of that.

04-08-2013, 12:52 PM
Should be a LH thread on that screw, and it probably has some locktite on it. If you can break that screw loose and get it out, then the chuck will be threaded onto the spindle with a standard RH thread. The most common way to get that one loose is to clamp the short arm of the largest allen wrench that will fit in the chuck. Then whack the long arm of said allen wrench with a hammer to break it loose. At that point, it should spin right off.

04-08-2013, 01:04 PM
all the chucks a disassembled had a left hand screw. get it out. then there is a regular right hand thread in the chuck. if you cant grab the shaft, you will have to disassemble the drill and put the shaft in a vise.

what are you doing, anyways?

04-08-2013, 01:24 PM
A method to get the screw out. If you have or can get hold of an impact driver and a philips adapter that matches your screw, if it will reach into the chuck then you just put it in the screw, rotate it in the direction you want to turn and give it a sharp blow with a hammer. The advantage it it shocks the screw, applies lots of down pressure so it wont slip and gives a sharp rotation all at the same time. I have one for 1/2" drive and have used it many time to get stuck screws out of things like car door hinges etc. They are available in both 1/2" & 3/8" drive.

Mike Nash
04-08-2013, 01:25 PM
I can't speak to the thread direction as I don't remember. But for breaking the screw loose, a 3/8" air impact wrench made it look easy and I had fought with it quite awhile before trying the impact.

04-08-2013, 01:34 PM
My mind works in mysterious ways.

Upon reading about "keyless chuck found on cordless drill", my thoughts immediately turned to the famous headline:


(but I'm not sure that provides any help wrt the OP's original question)

Dr Stan
04-08-2013, 01:40 PM
Anyone know how to remove a keyless chuck from a Harbor Freight cordless drill?

I can see a philips head down down in the bottom of the chuck, but I can't budge it. ...tried both RH and LH directions.
Actually the philips head looks to be formed into the chuck bottom itself, rather than a separate screw, but I'm not sure of that.

Cutting torch? (you didn't say it had to be functional again). :rolleyes:

04-08-2013, 02:31 PM
what are you doing, anyways?

I plan to mount it on a mt#1 (that I'll probably have to make) to use in a wood lathe that I gave to my grandson.

Cuttings, this impact driver you mentioned ...I assume that's some device that's struck with a hammer, rather than pneumatic. Where would one get such a device (locally)? i.e. is that a Lowes/HD type item? ...or maybe an ol' timey hardware store?

I have an air wrench which I'd thought of, but can't think of any suitable adapters/accessories that I might have on hand to get down to the screw. I'm pretty sure my air wrench is 1/2" drive.

(added) Never mind, I found the manual impact driver description. I've never had, or used one, but was vaguely aware they existed. I have from time to time had a need for such an animal. Looks like an auto parts outlet would be a good bet.

04-08-2013, 02:48 PM
Mine is a Blue Point sold by Snap-On tools. It is a model PT-6. I have had this one for quite a long time. Like I mentioned before this one is 1/2" drive.
I believe you can get them in 3/8" drive also. Yes you just turn it in the direction you want it to rotated and strike it with a hammer.
The advantage is that it applies a downward force at the same time it rotates so you have far less chance of the driver jumping out of the screw.
I don't know where you might look for one in your area, but possibly any good seller of mechanical tools may have them.

I just Googled Impact driver. I looks like a lot of different tool manufacturers make them. Try this link

04-08-2013, 02:52 PM
Since it's a Harbor Freight drill, it's only fitting that they supply the solution:




If the Harbor Freight store isn't that handy, try a motorcycle shop. The crossheaded screws (they're JIS - not Phillips) that are used on Japanese motorcycles require one of these if you don't want to bugger up the head.


04-08-2013, 07:38 PM
I've removed a bunch of chucks from drills at the scrapyard, and all have had LH threads on that retaining screw, if there was a retaining screw.

Of course, when I went to change the chuck on my 3/8" air drill at home, the retaining screw was RH thread. Only time I've ever seen such a thing.

Some of those screws are Allen head.

I ran into one from the scrapyard that I couldn't get loose, so I destroyed the drill, chucked what was left of the output shaft in the lathe, then drilled the head off the screw.

There's always a way.

Get a drill bit with a #1MT shank, cut it off and thread it in the lathe. 3/8-24. Try to seat it well in the adaptor so the side pressure from threading doesn't cause it to pull out.

04-08-2013, 09:13 PM
That's what i was thinking also, can you not drill the head off the screw?

04-09-2013, 04:09 AM
you can also twist the screw off. i did that once, befor realising it was left hand.

04-09-2013, 12:13 PM
I haven't tried drilling out the screw, tho that did occur to me.

But I also noticed that despite several "slips" with the screwdriver the screw head shows nary a scratch, so it's obviously pretty hard.

I want to get one of the manual impact drivers. Seems I often have a need for one of those anyway.
I checked at O'Reilly's auto parts store yesterday. They had a 3/8" set for $10, but the bits with it weren't long enough and appeared too fat for this immediate need, and I couldn't find proper adapters to marry it up with a 1//4" hex PH screwdriver bit.

I'll check out HF next, and maybe Sears.