Quick-Change Chucks Groton CT
New London, CT
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm
One click in and one click out. These chucks make bit changing a snap.
by Richard Tendick
Raise your hand if you hate swapping bits and drivers in a cordless drill. I sure do. When I’m putting in screws, I’m always going back and forth, tightening and loosening that darn chuck. Hey, I’ve even gone to the extreme of buying a second drill just to avoid this hassle. There’s got to be a better, and cheaper, answer.
Let me introduce you to the new style of quick-change chuck. It’s a simple device that fits into any drill and costs less than $15. With one flick of the wrist, you can swap any hex-shank bit or driver in seconds.
I know, you’re going to say you’ve already tried one of these chucks and the bit wobbled all over. I had one of those earlier models, too, and threw it away. But quick-change chucks have changed. To research this story,
I went out and bought 12 different quick-change chucks—just about every one on the market. Two of the chucks are really terrific. They hold a bit so tightly that it hardly wiggles at all.
The two chucks I like—MLCS Insty-Lok Quick-Change Chuck and Bosch Clic-Change Chuck—make it really easy to change bits (see Sources, page 43). With these models, you only need to use one hand. Sweet!
I don’t know about you, but I like to keep one hand on my drill’s handle when I’m switching from drilling to driving. My other hand is free to pick up a bit and pop it in. The chuck’s barrel automatically snaps into position, locking the bit in place, and I’m ready to go.
To remove the bit, I just pull the barrel forward to the unlocked position. It clicks into place, and the bit’s loose. I don’t have to put the drill down, cradle it in my arm, squeeze it between my legs or go through any of the other contortions I had to do with other quick-change chucks that generally required two hands to use.
Bits and Drivers
Any bit or driver with a 1/4-in. hex shank can fit into a quick-change chuck, including twist bits, spade bits, countersink combination bits, self-centering bits, magnetic tip holders and nut drivers.
Twist bits for quick-change chucks come in two different styles. In the one-piece bit (about $4 each), the shank is hex-shaped rather than round. (One advantage of a hex shank is that the bit isn’t free to rotate in the chuck and develop nasty burrs.)
A fancier type involves a regular round-shank drill bit fitting into a router-like collet that has a hex shank. If you break or dull a bit, you stick a new one in the collet. Each collet costs about $3, without the bit. Collets are available for many standard diameters but, unfortunately, not in every 1/64-in. increment.
The collet-type is slightly more expensive than a one-piece bit, but it’s my favorite. I figure it’ll pay for itself do...