Dewalt drill with circle crossed out over the chuck to represent removal.

How to remove the chuck from a Dewalt drill (Quick and Easy!)

Are you having issues with your Dewalt drill chuck opening and closing? Is your Dewalt drill chuck dirty and need to be cleaned? Is your Dewalt drill chuck old and need to be replaced? If you answered YES to any of these, this is the place for you.

I will provide the step-by-step process of how to remove your Dewalt driver drill chuck. It is a very quick and easy process. And luckily you only need 3 tools to do this. The process we will review is for KEYLESS Dewalt driver drills.

How to remove the chuck from a Dewalt drill

To remove the chuck from a Dewalt drill first remove battery, and spin sleeve counterclockwise to widen the jaws. Then use a T20 bit to loosen screw inside chuck and insert allen wrench into the chuck. Then tighten jaws. Lastly, tap allen wrench counterclockwise with hammer to loosen and remove.

Dewalt drill with chuck labeled.

Briefly, a drills chuck is the mechanism that holds the rotating bit in place while stabilizing. This is important as the bit rotates with a lot of torque. The chuck uses jaws to hold the bit tightly in place. As with other parts of a drill, chucks can wear down, hence the need to replace. It is important to monitor your chuck, and replace when needed (most common sign is difficulty holding bit in place).

Jaws and sleeve of the chuck labeled on a Dewalt drill.

Tools you will need

Luckily, this project only requires 3 tools that you will need other then your Dewalt drill. Most of these tools you should have around your garage so hopefully you will not have to go out and buy anything.

Tools needed for project: hammer, T20 screw driver, allen wrench.

Step 1: Remove the battery

To ensure you do not accidently hit the trigger, it is much easier to remove the battery from the drill. You will not need any power from the drill during this process. So there is no need to have the battery in.

Removing battery from Dewalt drill.

Step 2: Open the jaws

Rotate the sleeve of the chuck counterclockwise (when looking at drill head on) to loosen the jaws. You will start to see the jaws get wider and wider. You want to do this until the jaws are as wide as they will go (chuck sleeve will no longer rotate).

Picture of Dewalt drill chuck with arrow pointing counterclockwise around sleeve.

Once the jaws are opened wide, you can move onto the next step.

Dewalt drill with jaws open wide and screw shown.
Screw in the back of chuck (jaws opened wide)

Step 3: Remove the screw in back of chuck

There is a small screw in the back of chuck that holds chuck in place. Note, this is a T20 screw so you can use whatever T20 bit/screw driver that you have to loosen. When changing my chuck, this screw was on very tight. I actually broke a bit the first time I attempted to loosen. I found that using some WD-40 and letting it sit for a couple minutes really helped.

Using T20 screw driver to loosen screw in chuck of Dewalt drill.
Rotate clockwise

Important to note: This is a reverse threaded screw, so you will rotate CLOCKWISE (to the right) to loosen. This is opposite of all other screws.

Chuck screw removed from Dewalt drill.

Step 4: Set gearbox to lowest setting

Once the chucks screw is removed, you want to make sure you set the drill to its lowest gear before moving on. This is very important to reduce the resistance on the gears as much as possible. If the next step is done in a higher gear it can damage the drill. My Dewalt drill had 2 settings, so I made sure my drill was set to level 1.

Dewalt drill with arrow pointing towards 1st gear.
Set gear to 1

Step 5: Place an allen wrench in chuck and tighten

Next, you want to place the allen wrench in the chuck (with the jaws still wide open). Any size allen wrench will usually work, but it is much easier to use a larger size allen wrench. I used a 3/8th allen wrench on my drill. Once the allen wrench is in the chuck, tighten the jaws by rotating the sleeve clockwise. Once the jaws are tight around the wrench (sleeve will no longer rotate) you can move on to the next step.

Allen wrench inserted to jaws of chuck on dewalt drill with arrow pointing clockwise direction.
Spin sleeve clockwise to tighten jaws with allen wrench inserted

Note: By process of elimination, I found it much easier to insert the shorter end of the wrench into the chuck to allow more leverage in the next step.

Step 6: Tap the allen wrench with hammer

Make sure this step is done with the drill on a solid sturdy surface. You want the drills chuck (with wrench inserted) overhanging the edge of the surface you are using.

Dewalt drill with allen wrench in chuck hanging off edge of table.

Using a hammer or mallet then tap the end of the allen wrench to loosen the chuck. This is a normal threaded screw, so you will want to strike in a counterclockwise direction. This may take a couple of taps to loosen. Also, start with light pressure and increase slowly if needed.

Using hammer to tap allen wrench counterclockwise in order to loosen chuck from Dewalt drill.

If this is done to forcefully or at an angle, it can damage the drill. So always start light and make sure the angle is straight down when striking. If you are having trouble it is best to contact Dewalt so you do not damage the drill.

Step 7: Finish loosening by hand

Once the chuck is loose, you can finish unscrewing it by hand. Using the allen wrench continue to rotate counterclockwise until the chuck comes free from the screw holding it in place. Once the chuck is free, you can remove the allen wrench. To do so spin the sleeve counterclockwise until the jaws release the wrench.

Dewalt drill with chuck removed.

Step 8: Put chuck back on drill

If you are replacing the old chuck with a new one, or just cleaning/inspecting the old one, it is now time to put the chuck back on your Dewalt drill. This process will be the same as the removal with just a couple steps changed/adjusted.

  • A. Place the new chuck on the screw of drill and turn clockwise to catch the thread.
  • B. Turn sleeve of drill counterclockwise so jaws are set to widest position.
  • C. Place allen wrench in jaws and tighten the sleeve (to lock jaws on wrench).
  • D. Continue to tighten chuck on drill using wrench.
  • E. Lightly tap wrench with hammer to ensure the chuck is on tight.
  • F. Turn sleeve counterclockwise to loosen jaw and remove allen wrench from chuck.
  • G. Place screw back in chuck and tighten using T20 screwdriver.
    • Remember this screw is reverse threaded so you will turn counterclockwise (to the left) to tighten.

Once the screw is tight the chuck is locked in place and you are ready to insert a bit, and start using the drill.

Dewalt drill with bit in the jaws of chuck.

If you have any issues throughout this process, I recommend reaching out to Dewalts customer service at 1-800-433-9258. Also keep in mind that all Dewalt power drills come with a 3-year limited warranty.

If you have a Dewalt keyed chuck that removal will be a little different. Below is a video that shows this process in detail.


To change the chuck on your Dewalt drill:

  • Step 1: Remove the battery
  • Step 2: Open the jaws of the chuck
  • Step 3: Remove screw in the chuck
  • Step 4: Set the gearbox to lowest setting
  • Step 5: Place allen wrench in chuck and tighten
  • Step 6: Tap the allen wrench with hammer
  • Step 7: Finish loosening chuck by hand
  • Step 8: Put new or cleaned chuck back on drill

I hope this helped you with you Dewalt drill. If so I would love to hear about it in the comments!

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hey David,

    Thanks for the tip on using a hammer to striking in a counter-clock wise direction, it saved me from entirely stripping the drill!

    1. Sometimes the jaws teethe will get out of place. You can try using a flathead screw driver on each tooth and tapping it with a small mallet/hammer. This should pop tooth back in place so you can open the jaws.

  2. Our DWD520 does not have a screw in the chuck, is there another way to remove the chuck?
    We were working with this drill the other day and it started leaking grease at the chuck. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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