Chuck key for Craftsman drill press

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Forum topic by robdew posted 12-30-2008 06:33 PM 17245 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 3736 days

12-30-2008 06:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

I have an older 1/2 HP Craftsman floor model drill press and need a chuck key. None of the ones at the big box stores (nor even Sears store) are big enough.

Is there a way to determine what size of key I need?

Ordering Sears Parts replacement for $25 is out of the question. I can get a whole new chuck with key for that price.

8 replies so far

View lew's profile


12099 posts in 3777 days

#1 posted 12-30-2008 07:30 PM

Do you have a local machine shop? They may have an extra one or a place to order one.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Planeman's profile


97 posts in 3599 days

#2 posted 12-30-2008 07:59 PM

American chucks have standard sizes of chuck keys. There is one available. I would recommend McMaster-Carr ( and search for “chuck key” to find the right page.

Try to get as much information off of your drill press chuck as you can – make, model number, capacity of chuck (1/2 ” most likely) and TELEPHONE McMaster-Carr using their 800 no. Someone on the other end can most likely match you up with the right one. If all else fails, ask if you can purchase the most likely best fits and then return the ones that won’t fit. They might charge you a small re-stocking charge for the return keys but you will finally be able to use your drill press.


-- Always remember half of the people in this country are below average.

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3736 days

#3 posted 12-30-2008 09:05 PM

I think I can answer all these questions:

I cannot find chuck size on the chuck itself.
I do not have a northern tool store locally and have been to most of the local retailers. None of them have keys that fit.

A machine shop may have the key, but I would still need to know what size of key to have. I really would like to avoid removing the chuck and taking it somewhere.

I am sure McMaster-Carr has it but their shipping costs are secret.

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3800 days

#4 posted 12-31-2008 01:14 AM

Try Ace Hardware or Harbor Freight or I’m guessing a 5/16” pilot. Buy several and take back what doesn’t fit.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3736 days

#5 posted 12-31-2008 05:20 PM

Sorry to be such a downer, but I already own every chuck key harbor freight sells, and I’ve been to all the local retailers.

The pilot is definitely at least 1/4”. The OEM had a spring assist on it.

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3736 days

#6 posted 01-16-2009 06:39 PM

FWIW, I was able to find a key digging through poorly labeled bins at the hardware store. It’s a “K3” key.

View stifwood's profile


1 post in 2830 days

#7 posted 09-18-2010 02:17 AM

Ok everyone I have your answer to the mystic craftsman chuck key.
Go to any Grainger’s and ask for the following part number

It is the right one and a perfect fit. TRUST ME I JUST DID THIS!


View Hockley's profile


1 post in 1985 days

#8 posted 01-10-2013 01:49 AM

Have a Craftsman drill press model 113 24560, probably 45 years old. I lost the chuck key and just purchased a new one at Grainger’s. #3L986 works great. Thanks for the advice!

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