How To Remove A Broken Drill Bit

A lot of people have used a drill for the basic things but when faced with the problem of how to remove a broken drill bit things can get tricky. The fact is how you approach the problem depends on what material it is stuck in among other things.

There is no single approach that works for every situation. How to remove a broken drill bit from metal changes if it is stuck in the wood while you’re drilling a tree for example. It can be frustrating when you are in the middle of doing some DIY or work, but it is not impossible to fix. So here are a few things you can consider so you can get that broken drill bit out and get back to what you are working on!

Attempt one – pulling it out the right way

The first thing a lot of us do when the bit breaks are to reach in with our fingers and try to pull it out. But that is not how to remove a broken drill bit. First of all, it usually hurts to try and secondly the drill bit is going to be oily. The lower part of all bits is kept lubricated for smooth turns using cutting oil and so that cutting oil makes the bit slippery and hard to get any grip on. Rather than using your bare hands, use a clean cloth that gives you a better grip on the bit. It depends on the surface the bit is stuck in though, if you are stuck in wood it is easier to wiggle out, as the wood is softer.

Attempt two – using some locking pliers

A good pair of locking pliers is a great basic tool kit to have in the home for a number of purposes and this is just one of the jobs they might be able to handle for you. When you need to remove a broken drill bit pliers along with something like a chisel may be what works for you, especially if the bit is stuck in metal. As you do with the cloth just grip the end of the bit and try pulling it out like that. If there is not enough room to clamp on to the bit the chisel can be used to clear enough space to give you that space. Pull it out giving the pliers a counterclockwise twisting motion to ease it out.

Attempt three – using a broken drill bit extractor

This is a more technical method of drill bit removal for when the cloth and the pliers do not work. You will need more tools this way so make sure you have locking pliers, chisel, center punch, hammer, extractor bits, countersink drill bit and a drill. When looking at how to remove a broken drill bit this method does work. Steps for you to then take are as below;

  • Flatten the broken edge on the drill bit using the chisel until the broken edge is flat and smooth.
  • Use your center punch to put a divot into that edge you just smoothed out so you can then use a drill on it. The hammer can help you get that divot, using it on the center punch. You need to get a divot for the next drilling step.
  • Using a countersink drill with a smaller drill bit than the one that is stuck, put a hole into the broken drill bit where that divot was placed.
  • Now put in the broken drill bit extractor making sure you place the coned part inside the hole. Use the hammer to get it right in there so it is in tight.
  • Use your locking pliers now to grab and pull the bit turning counterclockwise and slowly getting the drill bit loosened enough to come out.


There are a number of tricks you can find for removing or drilling out a broken drill bit and the above are three of the more common ways people try. Whether you are stuck in metal or wood will affect how easy the process is, and it may mean you need to have patience as you work on the bit to remove it!


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