The Two-Part Solution

My hammerdrill has a chuck that’s used when replacing the bit. In fact, it’s basically impossible to replace the bit without the chuck. So, rather than thinking of the chuck as an accessory for the hammerdrill, it’s better to think of the hammerdrill as a two-part tool: the drill itself, and the chuck, without which the entire tool would basically be useless.

Because it’s small, used less frequently than drill and not attached to it, the chuck has a tendency to wander away whenever I’m using the drill itself. Just a couple of days ago I moped around the house looking for the chuck, which turned out to have been camouflaged sitting on top of a black box of nails.

Here are some solutions that the designers could have implemented:

  • design the drill to not need a chuck.
  • attach the chuck to the drill or its power cord by some sort of chain, like the ones they used to use to keep you from stealing pens at the bank (back in the days when people actually physically walked into banks).
  • make the drill have a long, C-shaped channel into which the chuck could be inserted when not in use.
  • drill a hole in the shaft of the chuck, so that I can tie the chuck to a toolbox or perhaps wear it as a pendant on a silver chain around my neck.
  • build a strong magnet into the side of the drill, powerful enough to hold the chuck in place.
  • make the chuck 4-feet long and purple with sparkles on it, so that it would be the only giant, purple, sparkly thing at the average work site.

(Essentially, these recommendations fall into one or more of three categories: Eliminate the chuck. Make the chuck harder to lose. Or, make a lost chuck easier to find.)

DeWalt is a good brand of tool and I wouldn’t mind if every power tool I owned was one of theirs. I’m certain there’s some good reason why the good people at DeWalt decided to make the chuck an entirely separate (easily misplaced, difficult-to-find, …) piece from the drill itself, but for the life of me I can’t think of what it possibly could be. (Maybe they assumed that, if every power tool came with a standard-sized chuck, the average toolowner would have a half-dozen of the things lying around, so at least one would always be handy.)

At the very least, they could give away a free roll of duct tape with each of their drills, so that people could solve this problem themselves.

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