You have all your tools together and are ready to start drilling holes.
After placing your DeWalt cordless drill against the mark, you press the trigger only to find that the drill won’t move.
The problem is the drill chuck.
A drill chuck that won’t open keeps the drill from working.
We have found six causes and fixes for your DeWalt cordless drill chuck that won’t open.
DeWalt Cordless Drill Chuck Won’t Open (Causes, Fixes)
1. Loose Screw
One of the reasons your cordless drill chuck won’t open could be a loose screw.
The screw feeds inside of the drill chuck.
If it becomes misaligned or loose, then it keeps the teeth from being able to move.
Without mobility, the drill can’t do its job.
Fix: Tighten The Screw
Fixing this problem is easy.
You need to find a screwdriver that matches the type of screw inside the drill chuck.
Then reach the screwdriver through the drill opening and slot the screw.
Because this particular screw is reverse-threaded, you need to turn it counterclockwise instead of clockwise to tighten it.
Turn the screw in the counterclockwise direction until it’s tight.
Once it’s tight enough, the teeth will catch and allow the drill chuck to open.
2. Check For A Keyless Chuck
Certain keyless chucks are unable to open if they’re closed.
They don’t provide a method with which to fix them.
Remove the drill chuck and inspect it to determine if you have a keyless chuck or not.
Fix: Replace The Chuck
If it is a keyless chuck and won’t open, then you need to replace the chuck.
There isn’t a method to fix it.
3. Incorrect Usage
If you’re new to using drills, then you may not understand how a drill chuck works.
Not understanding it may cause you to keep the chuck closed or make you think that it won’t open.
The drill chuck has two parts to it.
The black part is the area that you hold onto when you’re adjusting or removing the drill chuck.
The yellow part is the area that you turn to open and close the drill chuck.
If you’re holding the black part and turning the yellow part, and it still won’t open, then you may need to use extra leverage on it.
Fix: Use Channel Lock Pliers Or A Pipe Wrench
To get extra leverage and turn the yellow part of the chuck, you need to use either channel lock pliers or a pipe wrench.
Most homeowners and professionals will use channel lock pliers.
They’re able to latch onto the yellow part to provide that little bit of extra leverage you need to grip and turn it to the left.
With the extra leverage, you can turn the yellow part and open the drill chuck.
If you use your drill a lot, then it’s going to become dirty.
Sap, water, and other sticky substances can corrode the drill chuck.
Water, especially, can cause it to rust and become gummy.
As a result, the drill chuck has a difficult time opening and closing.
Fix: Spray It With WD-40
The best way to make your drill chuck no longer sticky, rusty, or gummy is to spray it with WD-40.
This spray is a lubricant.
It’s also a rust preventative and moisture displacer.
Not only can it clean out the chuck, but it can remove anything that might be gumming it up.
The WD-40 will also decrease the chance of the chuck becoming rusty in the future.
Once you spray it with WD-40, the drill chuck will open.
Use WD-40 after each use to keep the drill chuck clean and lubricated.
5. Rust On Jaws
One of the first things you should inspect on your chuck is the jaws.
If there’s even a little bit of corrosion on them, then they can fail to open.
The jaws are what clasp the chuck onto the drill bit.
If they become rusty, then they won’t open and release the bit.
Fix: Tap With A Mallet
First, you should spray the jaws with WD-40.
This can help remove some of the rust, making them stuck in the closed position.
The spray can also help prevent rust growth in the future.
Then use a wooden mallet and lightly hammer on the jaws.
By gently tapping on each jaw, you can force it to open again.
6. Slipped Grip
A few cordless drills have a grip that’s near the chuck.
When you use the drill, it can force the grip to slowly move.
Eventually, the grip will slip down to the base of the chuck.
When it slips there, it keeps the chuck from being able to turn.
As a result, the chuck won’t open.
It only spins the head of the chuck and keeps you from being able to turn it to open the jaws.
Fix: Use A Strap Wrench
A strap wrench is useful for forcing the base to turn again.
First, you’ll need to put the drill in reverse.
Then connect the strap wrench to the chuck.
Use gentle pressure on the trigger.
The power of the drill and the strap wrench will turn the chuck until it opens.
It will push the grip away from the base by forcing the chuck to open.
If you’re not seeing any results, then you’ll need to turn the torque settings to their highest on your drill.
Still, use gentle pressure on the trigger to force the strap wrench to force the chuck open.
Why Doesn’t Your DeWalt Cordless Drill Move In A Straight Spin?
Your chuck is responsible for holding the drill bit in place.
A few problems with it can keep the drill from operating in a straight line.
Instead, it wobbles and forces the screw to become embedded in a circle or off-center location rather than where you need the screw to go.
There are a few ways you can make sure your drill will screw straight.
1. Check The Insertion Of The Drill Bit
There’s a possibility that the drill bit wasn’t inserted the correct way.
Sometimes the teeth don’t align.
As a result, the bit has a slight angle to it.
You can fix that by removing the drill bit.
Then close the chuck the entire way.
Place the drill bit at the entry point to the drill chuck.
Then slowly open the drill chuck.
If it doesn’t open, then determine one of the causes above and apply its respective fix.
Once the drill chuck is open enough, the drill bit will start to push into it.
Push it at the moment that it starts to slide in and tighten it in place.
Don’t open the drill chuck any further.
By inserting the drill bit when it has only enough space to fit, you can keep the bit from moving around while you close the chuck.
It’s already snug in the chuck.
With the bit aligned, you can screw in a straight line.
2. Bent Drill Bits
Another reason the drill bit won’t screw in a straight line is that it’s bent.
The problem is that it’s easy to bend drill bits.
Any time you use your drill, you’re creating heat.
Too much heat exposure can make the drill bit start to warp inside of the drill chuck.
As you apply pressure to it by screwing something into a surface, it bends the drill bit in the process.
The more that you use the drill, the hotter the drill bit becomes, and the more likely it is to bend.
One of the first things you should do to troubleshoot this problem is to test the drill bit.
Sometimes you can tell if you have a bent drill bit simply by looking at it.
Other times, the bend may be so subtle that your eye can’t detect it.
A way to troubleshoot it is to put on other drill bits.
Try to test with different sizes.
Larger drill bits are harder to bend than smaller drill bits.
You can see if the problematic drill bit has a bend by testing it against a larger drill bit.
Screw something into a surface with a problematic drill bit and see if it made its mark.
Then replace the drill bit with a larger one and try to screw in at the mark.
If the larger drill bit hits the mark but the previous drill bit didn’t, then it’s likely that the previous drill bit has a bend.
If the larger drill bit also had a problem hitting the mark, then the problem isn’t the original drill bit.
It likely doesn’t have a bend.
In the event that the drill bit does have a bend, then you need to replace it.
3. Loose Chuck
If your drill chuck is loose, then it can also prevent your drill bit from screwing straight.
The first step to take is to remove the battery pack on the drill.
Then you’ll want to turn the Rotation Direction Sensor to the Off setting.
Look for the jaws on your drill chuck and open them.
If they’re stuck, then use one of the methods mentioned earlier to open them.
Once the jaws are open, you have access to the chuck.
You’ll need a hex key to tighten the chuck.
Turn the hex key in a clockwise direction to tighten the chuck.
To tighten it even further, use a wooden mallet and tap on the hex key in a clockwise direction.
The chuck will be tight and can hold the drill bit in place.
It won’t wobble around when you turn the drill on and use it.
4. User Error
The problem doesn’t always come from the tool.
Sometimes user error is to blame.
The good news is that you can become better at screwing in straight lines.
It takes practice.
One tip is to keep your wrist steady when you use the drill.
You may also want to use two hands to operate the drill or hold the surface to keep it from moving while you screw it in place.
Finally, you can also wear thick gloves.
Wearing gloves can give you more control over the drill.
It can help you steady your arm and keep the line straight.
Why Does Your DeWalt Cordless Drill Become Stuck?
Aside from having your drill chuck not open, you may also face another common problem with DeWalt cordless drills.
They may become stuck.
Here are a few reasons your cordless drill may be stuck.
1. Low Battery
Cordless drills use a battery pack to power them.
Because of that, their power and efficiency dwindle as the battery starts to die.
If the battery is too low, then it may not power your drill enough to get through a thick surface.
As a result, the drill slows until it can no longer move.
To prevent this from happening, you need to keep the battery powered up.
Avoid recharging your battery after every use.
That will make it die faster in the long run.
Instead, use the drill until the battery dies.
Use it on smaller jobs or on thinner surfaces that don’t require a lot of power to screw through.
Once the battery dies, you can remove the battery pack and charge it.
With a full charge, you’re free to tackle the tougher job.
It should screw through the thick surface without becoming stuck.
2. Wrong Drill Bit
Drill bits aren’t the same.
They vary in size and in the type of material that they can screw through.
You may be trying to screw through a surface with a drill that isn’t suited for it.
An example might be using a wood drill bit on a cement surface.
The drill bit won’t ever pierce through the surface.
It may become stuck or refuse to turn instead.
You can fix this problem by examining which drill bit you need to use for the particular surface.
By using the right drill bit, it can apply the right amount of spin and pressure to the surface.
It won’t become stuck in or against it.
3. Clogged Drill
You know how messy drills can become.
Screwing through materials like drywall and wood always kicks up dust and debris.
The problem is that the dust and debris can stick to the drill and clog it.
As a result, the drill won’t spin.
It’s jammed together.
One way to keep it from clogging is to keep running the drill while you pull it out of the hole.
When you pull the drill through the hole, it will naturally bring dust and debris with it.
By keeping the drill running as you pull it, the drill will push the debris and clean itself off.
You’ll also clean the hole in this way which will make it easier to drill.
Once the drill is clear of the hole, you can turn it off and clean it.
WD-40 can help remove dust and debris that is lurking deeper within the drill.
4. Low Torque
Cordless drills have multiple torque settings.
This helps preserve the battery.
You wouldn’t want to use a lot of torque for a softer or thinner material and waste the battery.
The problem is that the drill can become stuck if you’re using the wrong torque setting.
Using too low of a torque setting can cause the drill to turn slower than it needs to.
As a result, the drill becomes stuck on the surface and is unable to drill through it.
Fixing the problem is easy.
You need to find the right torque setting for the particular material you’re screwing through.
It may take a few adjustments, but you’ll find a setting that helps preserve the battery’s life and gives the drill enough power to push through the surface.
5. Stuck Chuck
A final reason your drill could be stuck is that the drill chuck won’t open.
If the chuck won’t open, then the teeth can’t catch on the bit, and the drill won’t spin.
We covered several ways on how to open a chuck that won’t open.
In most cases, you can use WD-40 to clean the chuck, then use a mallet to force the jaws of the chuck back inside of it.
When the jaws are inside of the chuck, you can open it.
This allows you to realign the bit and activate it.
There are a few different possible reasons your drill chuck won’t open.
When the chuck doesn’t open, your drill can’t operate.
Use the methods above to troubleshoot your chuck problem and fix it.