The keyless drill chuck is an important labor and time-saving device. It is used to connect different bits to drills and make them easier to change quickly. There are several tools that have similar connections, like lathes, but hold the work pieces rather than the bits. Using a key to tighten the collet that holds the bit in place gives the machinist better control over how secure the bit is. The chuck is a crucial safety issue and is essential to proper use of the tool. Whether it is keyed or otherwise, is less important than how well the chuck works.
The chuck is a key element when it comes to toolholding. There are various configurations, but the basic design is to have a clamp that can be tightened by twisting an outer metal ring around a shank that squeezes the clamp together. Machinists have to make sure the bit is in the collet and oriented properly so it will turn with out wobbling. A bit that is out of alignment will not drill holes and can be a major safety hazard. The variety of chucks is impressive and those without keys are usually tightened by hand. Some are self-tightening and are automatic, while others take advantage of unique features, like a vacuum behind the bit to hold it firmly. Those with a key look like gears that can be use to crank the collet tight. The handle on the key offers a mechanical advantage so it will be tighter than can be done by hand.
The first of the adjustable accessories was from the jacobs chuck company and it took advantage of a key and a toothed sleeve. This solved the immediate concern of trying to make an adjustment with a wrench and only one hand. It came about during the industrial revolution and made many machining processes more efficient.
Some of these devices have shoulders that taper, which gives them a better area to work with if they need to be removed. Everyone that plans on doing any woodworking, construction, or work in a shop will have to be familiar with a variety of chucks and how they work. They are essential to machinist tools, drill presses, and corded and cordless drills. This is a simple solution, that can be used in a variety of ways, to make a lot of jobs easier. Understanding the differences in each of the styles is essential information for those who work with power tools.