Chuck key for Craftsman drill press

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Forum topic by robdew posted 2031 days ago 9350 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View robdew's profile


84 posts in 2311 days

2031 days ago

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


9938 posts in 2352 days

#1 posted 2031 days ago

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 2174 days

#2 posted 2031 days ago

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


84 posts in 2311 days

#3 posted 2031 days ago

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 2375 days

#4 posted 2031 days ago

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


84 posts in 2311 days

#5 posted 2030 days ago

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


84 posts in 2311 days

#6 posted 2014 days ago

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 1405 days

#7 posted 1405 days ago

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 560 days

#8 posted 560 days ago

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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