Something has gone amiss with the chuck on my ageing budget SDS drill (Ferm
FBH620 from Screwfix many moons ago): tools no longer twist-and-lock.
I've seen fixes online but the prospect of dismantling the chuck doesn't
really appeal. A quick test has revealed that the tool still works
perfectly well as a chisel (which has always been my main need) except for
the inconvenient fact that the bit keeps falling out.
Is there any reason why I shouldn't take my most-often-used chisel bit and
simply stick it in the chuck? A spot of Araldite or even superglue on the
very end ought to hold it, oughtn't it?
True, but that would leave me no worse off than I am now and until it
happened I'd have a useable SDS chisel.
I did have a quick search but didn't find anything available. And actually,
with comparable brand new drills available from around £50 I think I'd
probably prefer to go down that route.
Thanks for the thoughts.
I'd imagine a hard adhesive would transmit the hammer blows for a second
or so and a flexible adhesive would hold for longer but cushion the
hammer blows so i feel you are pissing into the wind with this idea.
Are you sure this is not caused by a buildup of dried grease and/or
cementatious matter from drilling? May be worth giving the chuck a good
rinse in solvent, followed by your preferred oil spray. May also need to
poke in the hole with a brush and/or jiggle any SDS bit around in the
chuck to help clear it.
I did try that in a half-hearted sort of way; I'll have another go. But the
fact that the non-locking happened suddenly and that up to then the
twist-and-lock had felt extremely smooth and positive does make me think
that something's broken or possibly misplaced. I believe that one or more
spring-loaded ball bearings are involved, is that right?
The thing about a SDS chuck is that it does *not* have a rigid grip on
the bit. It retains it, and stops it rotating relative the the chuck,
but it must allow it to slide in and out a bit for the hammer action to
The sliding hammer inside the drill smacks the back of the bit - which
accelerates it forward, and the chuck lets it slide - but catches it
before it is actually ejected from the machine. If you fix the bit to
the chuck it won't work, and you can't fix it to the hammer either (it
only needs to contact the bit on the forward stroke).
So in short, you need to fix or replace the chuck, or treat yourself to
a new drill... (and a 2kg class Makita or similar will be a complete
revelation after the Ferm!)
IME In several ways... (although this may depend on which Ferm you have
- the early ones were very crude - the later ones slightly less so)
Firstly its lighter to hold and probably a better ergonomic design - so
less fatigue using it.
It will have a chuck that allows you to rotate a chisel bit to an
orientation of your choice and then lock it in that position. So
chiselling a straight cut is much easier, and you can also do it in any
direction while holding the drill at an comfortable angle. (many of the
cheapies allow a bit to wander in rotation when in roto stop mode)
It will have a better speed control, allowing you to chisel very gently
to start with if you need - say delicate cutting through a plaster skim
coat while edging round where you want to cut a socket back box recess.
It will run much cleaner - you just need the occasional spot of grease
on the shank of a bit (say once every twenty bit swaps), there is no
reservoir that needs refilling, and it won't gob grease over what you
are working on when it gets hot.
Other than that you get a nice long (12' - 16') rubber flex, and a motor
rated for continuous use.
Thanks for that.
I've had the Ferm for a few years but I certainly wouldn't describe it as
being in any way crude, so perhaps I was lucky and missed the earliest
The locking-orientation chuck sounds like a good refinement but since most
of the use I have for the tool is demolition than channel-cutting I think
it's something I can live without. And while the Ferm is certainly weighty
I've not found that a particular inconvenience.
The speed control does sound desirable though, as do the other improvements.
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