Keeping Drill Bits from Slipping (How To Guide) 2022 DrillingAdvisor

Depending on the type of drill bit, bit slippage is bound to happen at some point. Drill bits and chucks wear out with time. Alternatively, the bits may be slippery because of the surface material. However, this is not a reason to slow down your productivity, precision, and efficiency.

First, you need to be specific about the drill bit you need for your job. For example, if you are working on metal, have some strong and long-lasting drill bits for metal and not just any regular bits. On the other hand, maintain your bits such that they do not wear out their cutting edges and dull soon.

Here are some causes of bit wandering.

Causes of Bit Slippage

To ensure drilling efficiency, you need to watch out for any signs of bit slippage. It may be from the way your bit holds or due to the drill bit structure and cutting points. Look out for the following causes of this problem.

1. Unfitting or lose drill chucks

When your drill chuck becomes loose, the screws may not hold the bit as you desire. This may lead to slight shifts as you start the drilling process. You may need to tighten or replace them with the right chuck.

2. Oil accumulation in the drill chuck

Although you need to oil your chuck to avoid bit seizing, cleaning is also necessary after some time. Failure to clean makes it greasy, which in time affects drill bit stability.

3. Rounded chisel edge

The chisel point of a drill bit wears out with frequency of use. When these points are rounded, unless you introduce a pilot hole, the bits tend to walk.

4. Large diameter drill bits

The surface area of a large diameter bit may not dent or create a hole immediately depending on the material’s surface. However, you may use a smaller drill bit or a center punch to introduce a small hole then drill later with the larger bit.

Step drill bits are also great for making holes of varying diameters.

So, how do you prevent drill bit slipping? One way to do it is to address your drill chuck issues. However, you may want to try securing your bits properly during the working process. On that note, we have a few recommendations on how to prevent drill bit sleeping. Let’s dive in.

How to Avoid Drill Bit Slipping

High precision drilling for commercial purposes requires lots of patience and the right tools to make one or several holes in a single swipe. That means you may need to invest in tools that will safely secure your drill and bits in place to quicken the process. Here are some measures to prevent drill bit slipping.

Use of drill jigs

These tools provide channels and clamps to hold your drill bit tucked in a drill while making accurate hole targets. You may not need square scribes, gauges, and set squares because the jigs make the job faster and efficient.

Drill presses

Drill presses have clamping mechanisms on their adjustable tables and provide high precision than hand drills. You can control the feeding rates and avoid bit slippage at the same time.

Templates/Drill guides

You can introduce a masking tape or putty around the drilling area. Within the putty, you can then start drilling from a 45-degree angle before you revert to the straight drilling angle. Templates make location easy and improve drilling precision.

Shank types

Some drill bit shanks hold tightly in the chucks. Hex shanks provide a grip on the chucks that prevents bit walking. Besides, tri-flat shanks are also a perfect choice and hold within the chucks better than round shanks.

Hand-made jigs for drill sharpening

While sharpening your drill bits on a grinder or with a while, you need a strong attachment to avoid any shifts that may alter the cutting angles. Instead of holding the bit in your hand, a simple hand-made jig should prevent bit slippage.


Drill bit slipping should not interfere with your working speed and productivity. Investing in high-precision tools not only makes your work easier but also reduces the effort and pressure on your drill bit while maximizing productivity.  Check out our various methods to stop drill bit slipping so that the next time you will fix the problem without biting your nails.

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