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Barring support for older tools why are keyed chucks still manufactured? Hopefully not just in my own ignorance but I view keyless chucks as just a useful equivalent without being tethered to the need for a key.

A recent question I asked had a link to http://www.jacobschuck.com/ which hosts this image on their main page:

pictures of a keyed and a keyless chuck

They both look beautifully manufactured but why bother getting a keyed chuck? Is it a matter of what the tool supports? Seems unlikely, to me, since I would have expected both chucks to be similar in design, in that respect, to be attachable to the same tools.

Either save me from my ignorance or enlighten me as to what I am missing by favoring keyless?

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Keyed chucks still get a better grip on any bit. I'm willing to use keyless on my portable drill -- though mine will take a key too, and there are times when I use it. I wouldn't trust keyless on a drill press.

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Hmm. Ok. I have never seen a keyless chuck on drill press I suppose. And in theory a keyed chuck wont become loose during operation. – Matt Feb 24 at 13:16
Also hammer drills for masonry -- my decent cordless has hammer and a keyless chuck and needs frequent tightening. It would be even worse if I didn't have flats on my masonry bits. – Chris H Feb 24 at 16:59
@ChrisH my Bosch hammer drill has a keyed chuck and still loosens up from time to time with masonry bits, especially on the larger ones. If you are consistently drilling holes in concrete, a drill with a SDS chuck will be much better. They are designed to never loosen up. – Jason Hutchinson Feb 24 at 17:35
@JasonHutchinson my Bosch mains/keyed hammer drill loosens infrequently compared to my Hitachi cordless/keyless on masonry. The Bosch stays in its press because between the cordless and my (rarely used) SDS I don't need it handheld. The SDS is too much for mortar and aerated block, so I use the cordless there, but it's great for brick/concrete. – Chris H Feb 24 at 17:40
Ever try one of those cheap black and decker keyless chucks? Anything harder than drywall, and the bit slips. Utter junk, and injured me as well when a spade bit came loose and was ejected at speed from the cheap chuck. I don't trust anything but keyed chucks now. Have a Milwaukee corder 1/2" chuck drill now that's lasted 6 years with no issues or injuries, and happy to have it. – DevNull Feb 25 at 4:32

As @keshlam pointed out. My drill presses both have keyed chucks and it allows much greater torque to put a stronger clamp on the bit.

This is really important for larger bits when you get over 1 1/2" say for keyhole saws or large Forstner bits. There can be a lot of resistance and I don't think most keyless chucks can do the job. Even there I've had a keyhole come loose.

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+1 for the larger bits. No way I'd trust a large Forstner bit to a keyless chuck with the torques involved. – grfrazee Feb 24 at 14:50
Lately, I have been seeing recommendations to tighten all three holes in the chuck, especially for the high torque applications. – Ast Pace Feb 24 at 23:28
@AstPace I've always done that, each hole seems to give a different leverage point and can tighten a little more. – bowlturner Feb 25 at 0:45

Self-tightening keyless chuck have similar clamping capabilities as keyed chucks, but the price premium on those types of chucks are significant.

For example from the Jacobs site linked, the cheapest 1/2inch self-tightening keyless chucks are $185.

Other than cost, one disadvantage of the keyless self-tightening chucks is that after some extreme high torque drilling, you might need a wrench to unscrew the chuck.

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My cheapie light-duty drill press, which cost less than a good cordless drill, has not only a keyed chuck but a much larger one at that. The key is scaled up in all ways relative to the hand-drill's.

My corded drill also has a keyed chuck just like my father's did 40 years ago. Maybe that's cheaper? Maybe people using a corded drill now are wanting unlimited power, higher reliability, and unquestioning grip on the bit or exotic thingie being chucked.

I also note that the keyed chuck is smaller around, and can fit in tight places where the keyless chuck does not, like drilling half an inch from a wall or post.

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I also note that the keyed chuck is smaller around.... I've more than once been stymied by the beefy keyless chuck on my power drill. Highly annoying. – hBy2Py Feb 25 at 3:41

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