What is spindle lock?

 
     
     
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 Chuck with a drill bit for a cordless drill driver with a spindle lock 

Most cordless drill drivers have a feature called spindle lock. When spindle lock is selected, the motor’s spindle is locked and so the chuck and screwdriver or drill bit cannot turn.

 
     
   

Automatic and manual spindle lock

 
 Hand holding a cordless drill driver with the finger off the speed control trigger 

Most cordless drill drivers have automatic spindle lock, which means that the chuck and bit are automatically locked when the speed control trigger is released.

 

Other models require you to manually activate spindle lock, usually by sliding the forward/reverse switch into the central position. This will lock the drill OFF.

 
     
   

When to use spindle lock

 
 A screw driven tightly into a piece of wood 

Loosening or tightening screws

Sometimes, it can be hard to start removing a screw using a cordless drill driver if its very tight. The tool can slip out of the screw head or may not have enough power to start
removing it.

 
     
 A loose screw in a piece of wood 

With spindle lock you can use the cordless drill driver like a manual screwdriver, controlling the pressure on the screw and the speed at which you loosen it.

 

Spindle lock can also be used to finish off the tightening of a screw, so that you don't drive it too far into the surface of the material.

 
     
 Inserting a drill bit into a cordless drill driver with a spindle lock 

Inserting or removing bits

Selecting spindle lock allows you to insert or remove screwdriver or drill bits without worrying about the chuck rotating and causing injury.

 
     
 Wonkee Donkee says Ensure that the cordless drill driver does have spindle lock before using it like a manual one, otherwise you may force the motor to turn backwards and could damage the tool" 
     
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