How to Remove a Broken Drill Bit | 3 safest tricks

Long drilling project like home improving, metalworking, woodworking are stressful. It means the chances of breaking down the drill bit is maximum. If you don’t know how to remove a broken drill bit from metal, wood or anything, it will damage your project and make a frustrating session. Luckily you can continue the job since we have got your back.

The drill bit can break down no matter how professional you are. If it gets break down even after being careful then what do to? Fortunately, some surprising things to do to deal with the worse situation. You can use locking pliers to pull out the broken drill bit or you can use Screw Extractor to drilling out the broken bit. Despite you can follow alternative ways to remove a broken drill bit, even without damaging the surface!

In short, our expert team made a short but effective list of cost-efficient and user-friendly ways that will allow you to drilling out broken drill bit within a short time. So choose your most preferred method to complete the project.

Safest way to Remove a Broken Drill Bit

In this section, we will discuss several effective methods so you can deal with the task in the most suitable way.

Remove a broken drill bit with locking pliers: Without damaging the project you must how to remove a broken drill bit safely. Before apply to lock pliers, check that how much drill bit is sticking out. If they’re sticking out a small amount of broken drill bit, it will be quite hard to pull it out since you won’t get enough grips.

Clean the exposed drill bit: The drill bit can cause some oil, WD40, or other lubrication from either the factory or previous jobs. These substances can reduce friction on the oil drill resulting in locking pliers won’t able to grasp the bill effectively.

Use a rag or clean cloth to wipe down the exposed drill bit surface. Remove built-up gunk if you find any, even still if its needs extra pressure.

Exposing more of the bit: If there is a lack of opportunity for locking pliers to hold the drill bit and you are working on soft material like wood, then you can use a screwdriver, or chisel to dig around the broken bit. Since, it will create a rough surface, so apply it as a final idea.

Attach the locking pliers: Locking pliers are adjustable. So set it based on the item to ensure forceful lock. Open up the locking pliers to adjust it. You might find a screw at the end point of one of the legs. Adjust it until you find a little opener than the broken drill bit.

Unscrew the broken drill bit: Most of the drill bits are threaded curved in a clockwise direction. So turning them counterclockwise with locking pliers will help unscrew from any of the material they are stuck in. to unscrew the stubborn broken bits, you can add some tapping fluid, but apply it once you have locked the bit with pliers.

Pro tips: don’t try to yank the broken drill bit out of any material, as it can cause cracks.

How to remove a Broken Drill Bit using a Screw Extractor

Screw extractors are from aggressive drill bits that are also known as left-handed drill bits. This appliance is effective on drilled material and where you cant remove a broken drill bit using pliers. Despite Screw extractors, you will need the following tools to complete the process:

  • Safety goggles
  • Hammer
  • Diamond file
  • Drill
  • Tapping fluid
  • Center punch with a tip
  • Wrench
  • Diamond or carbide drill bit

Prepare the bit to be drilled: Safety comes first, so before starting the process wear your safety goggles. Drill bit usually breaks with rough edges. So it will be good to begin with a smooth surface. Use a diamond rasp to even out the surface all around the end of the bit. Now Align a center punch with the middle of the broken bit hit it using a hammer. The intention is to make a divot needed so that you can drill into the broken bit.

Drill a pilot hole: Take a tougher drill bit with a smaller diameter than the affected drill bit. Now attach it top drill, at this time you can add some cutting or tapping fluid to the new bit. Now line up the drilling bit with the divot and try to straight the tip down throughout the broken bit.

Start slowly then speed up to drill into the broken bit. Drill a hole between 1/8″ – 1/4” or otherwise deeper hole may creak down the previously broken bit resulting in harder to remove.

Remove the broken drill bit: Set the screw extractor into the hole and twist counterclockwise using reasonable hand pressure. If you find a hardly turning point, use a correct size wrench to keep continue. You can completely unscrew the broken drill bit using the screw extractor, or use locking pliers at the middle to finish the rest.

Alternate methods to remove a broken drill bit

It’s an all-in-one method that is effective on almost all elements including metal, concrete, hard aluminium, steel, brick, wood, stone, bamboo and cast iron drill bit.

Loosen the broken bit

Firstly blow air into the hole using canned air or a blower. It will help loosen the broken bit. Clean up the dust or dirt around the drill bit if there has any.

Pull the drill bit that is not sticking out

If the broken bit is over the surface and easily reachable, then grab it using a nose needle pliers or locking pliers. Then turn the broken bit counterclockwise and give a little pull at the same time. Ultimately you will have the broken drill bit in your hand.

Drill into the bit

If the Needle Nose pliers can reach the broken bit then drill the bit using a slightly larger diameter drill. Continue drill until the bit reaches the end of the broken bit.

Remove the broken drill bit

Remove the broken bit

Now blow the air into the hole using a blower or canned air to clean the dust. Now hold the end of the broken bit with a Needle Nose Pliers and twist it counterclockwise rotation. While twisting the broken bit try to pull slowly and you will have the broken bit out of the hole.

Carbide End Mill method to remove a broken drill bit

If you have an opportunity to use a milling device, then you can easily remove a broken drill bit using it. But, it is highly recommended to use a CNC mill, as there are plenty of rigid. Even you can pull the broken bit in a manual mill.

You will be succeeded using an SFM of about 400 for a carbide end mill on an HSS tap and feeding with the hand wheel at .0001″ graduations slowly and carefully.

Maintain the same principle for a manual mill.  Pay attention to tool deflection, and keep everything as rigid and short as you can. Then Keep an eye out for chunks of the tap remove. You can feed down slightly to check for any pieces that can be tapped out with a cold chisel. if you don’t remove them, these will break off, while the tool is inside the hole and it can break the end mill.

How to prevent breaking bit while drilling?

Following some technique will let you save the drill bit:

  • Thin drill bits can break easily the thick bits. So drill carefully while using a thinner drill bit.
  • Before start drilling, use some cutting oil. It will not only allow to drill hole easily but keep the drill bit from snapping off even while drilling on tough material. Plus, it will keep the drill from getting overheated. Diamond drill bits don’t need oil.
  • While installing the drill bit, slide the bit as high as possible. It will ensure firm position and proper tension in the drill.
  • Don’t push with much pressure since it can damage the drill bit. Besides, it will be a good idea to tighten the chuck before start drilling.
  • Change the drill bit regularly to prevent snapping. Following the statistics around 5800 injuries are caused every year because of the power drill.
  • Slowly start drilling the intro surface and then gradually increase the speed. Drilling into hard material with high speed at starting point can cause slipping off.

FAQs on How to Remove a Broken Drill Bit

How to remove a broken carbide drill bit?

Tap the same diameter soft metal into drilled hole powerfully and unscrew the broken carbide drill bit with pliers. The intention is the soft material will fit into the voids and help unscrew the bit.

How to remove a broken drill bit from brick?

Simply makes some hole near the broken bit in the brick. Now extract the broken drill bit using pliers. The hole that you created earlier can be filled easily to reshape the brick.

How to remove a small drill bit that stuck in metal?

 Use a welding machine to weld a metal rod at the top of the small drill bit maintaining a 90-degree angle. Then twist the drill bit in reverse using the welded rod as a lever. At this time you can punch a couple of times on the end point of the drill bit to loosen it.

How to prevent overheating of a drill bit?

Leave the drill for some time after using it. Use the compatible drill bit at the proper speed. Working slowly but gently can take a bit of time but ensure long-lasting service. Besides, push the drill gently while drilling to keep it from getting overheats.

Why drill bits are break down?

The drill bit can break due to flexing the bit, pushing the drill bit with pressure, cheaply made drill bit, and not clearing out the chips

Final words

There is nothing more frustrating than a broken drill bit that is stuck in wood, metal, or any other surface. Thankfully you can deal with this annoying situation since now you how to remove a broken drill bit effectively.

Luckily you have plenty of ways with step by step guide that will make the job easier for your and allow you to apply based on your resource. So whichever idea you will follow, will be succeeded. But don’t forget to wear safety gear even there is a low risk of an accident.

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Sam Morgan is a professional interior designer and part time content writer of Machine Handyman. He is a lifelong tools enthusiast and loves accessories of all shapes and sizes! He always research on different types of improvement tools like drill, air compressor, saw, nail gun, screw gun, grinder, cutting tools etc. Sam works hard on his project and try to find out which machine or tool will get him perfect results.

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