How to Reverse a Drill

Drills are versatile tools that are used in many different projects. However, sometimes they stop working how you want them to, especially regarding the rotation.

How to Reverse a Drill

When you want the drill to spin in reverse, and it doesn’t, it can be frustrating. But don’t worry because we have some quick fixes for common issues. In this blog post, we will discuss the different methods how to reverse a drill and get it working smoothly again.

Can You Reverse a Drill?

When it comes to using power tools, it’s important to know how to operate and handle them properly. One question that many people have is whether or not you can reverse a drill. Well, the answer is yes – most drills have a switch that allows you to change the direction of rotation.

This is useful if you need to remove a screw or bolt that’s stuck or if you want to back out a drill bit that’s become lodged in a material. But it’s important to remember that reversing the drill can cause the bit to loosen, so it’s important to keep a firm grip on the tool and use caution when using this feature.

With proper use and care, you can effectively reverse the direction of your drill and tackle a variety of DIY projects with ease.

Why Should You Reverse a Drill?

Have you ever wondered why you should reverse a drill? While it may seem like an unnecessary step, it can actually be very beneficial. One reason to reverse a drill is to help remove screws or bolts that are stuck or have become stripped.

By reversing the drill, the screw or bolt can loosen and be easily removed. Additionally, reversing a drill can help to prevent over-drilling or damage to the material you are working with.

This is particularly important when working with delicate materials such as wood or plastic. By taking the extra step to reverse the drill, you can save yourself time, headaches, and potentially costly mistakes.

How to Reverse a Drill: Quick Fixes for Common Issues

1. Check the Switch

Drills Stop Spinning in Reverse

One of the most common reasons why drills stop spinning in reverse is that the switch is not working properly. Check the switch to make sure it is switched in the right direction. If the switch is not labeled, check the drill’s manual to determine which direction is forward and which is reverse. Simply switching the direction of the switch could be all that is needed.

2. Change the Rotation of the Brush

The brush is an essential component of the drill, responsible for rotating it. If it rotates in the opposite direction or is damaged, it can cause issues with the drill’s rotation. Remove the drill’s cover and examine the brush’s rotation to address this. If it’s rotating in the wrong direction, reverse the connections or replace the brush. This trick should do the trick.

3. Adjust the Reverse Lever

Another common problem that can cause your drill to stop spinning in reverse is an issue with the reverse lever. This lever is in charge of switching the drill’s direction. Carefully check the lever to make sure it is not damaged or has become loose. If it has, adjust it carefully to ensure it properly puts the drill in reverse.

4. Reverse the Polarity

If all else fails, you can try to reverse the motor’s polarity. This is not always an easy task, and you need to ensure you have the right tools to do it properly. Before attempting this procedure, disconnect the drill’s power supply.

After this, you should reverse the wires connected to the motor. Reconnect the power supply and test the drill. If you reverse the polarity correctly, the drill should spin in reverse.

5. Clean the Brushes and Commutator

Sometimes, dirt or dust can build up on the brushes and commutator in your drill, causing it to stop spinning in reverse. To prevent this, clean the brushes and commutator thoroughly with a soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt. Once done, reassemble the drill and test it again.

6. Replace the Motor

If the motor in your drill has stopped working, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Disconnect the power source before attempting this procedure, and ensure you use a compatible replacement motor for your drill. Once installed, ensure all components are secure and reconnect the power supply. Test the drill to see if it is spinning in reverse.

Drill Has Stopped Working

7. Seek Professional Help

If none of these steps work, you should consider seeking professional help. Drills are complex machines, and if the issue is not addressed correctly, it could cause further damage to the drill or be dangerous to you. A professional can look at your drill and determine what needs to be done.

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to reverse a drill. When dealing with drills, safety should always be your top priority. If any steps don’t work for you, consider seeking professional help.

5 Considerations Things When You Need to Reverse a Drill

1. The Size of the Drill Bit

When trying to reverse a drill, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the drill bit. If the drill bit is too small, it may not be able to generate enough power to reverse the drill. Additionally, if the drill bit is too large, it may cause the drill to become stuck in the material you are drilling into.

2. The Type of Material You Are Drilling Into

Another thing to consider when trying to reverse a drill is the type of material you are drilling into. If you are drilling into a soft material, such as wood, it will be much easier to reverse the drill than if you are drilling into a harder material, such as metal.

3. The Direction of the Drill Bit

When trying to reverse a drill, it is also important to consider the direction of the drill bit. If the drill bit is pointing in the wrong direction, it will be much more difficult to reverse the drill. Additionally, if the drill bit is pointing in the right direction but is not lined up correctly with the hole that you are trying to drill, it will also be more difficult to reverse the drill.

4. The Speed of The Drill

The speed of the drill is also an important consideration when you are trying to reverse a drill. If the drill is moving too slowly, it may not have enough power to actually reverse the direction of the drill bit. However, if the drill is moving too quickly, it may cause the drill bit to become stuck in the material that you are drilling into.

If the Drill is Moving Too Slowly

5. The Power of The Drill

Last but not least, when you are trying to reverse a drill, you need to consider how much power your particular drill has. If your drill does not have enough power, it will be very difficult to actually reverse-direction of the drill bit. However, if your drill has enough power, it should be relatively easy to reverse the direction of the drill bit.

By following these five considerations when attempting to reverse a drill, you should be able to do so without any problems. Be sure to always use safety precautions when operating power tools, and remember that reversing a drill can be dangerous if not done correctly.

Benefits of Reverse a Drill

Reverse a drill is a crucial tool for anyone who wants to make their job or personal projects easier to manage. In various types and sizes, reverse drills have numerous benefits that make them indispensable to DIY enthusiasts, tradespeople, and homeowners alike. One of the most significant advantages of a reverse drill is its ability to remove screws and bolts efficiently.

With this tool, you no longer struggle with stubborn screws that refuse to come out; instead, you can easily reverse drill and remove them in seconds. Additionally, reverse drills are perfect for situations where you need to change things quickly.

Unlike traditional drills, which can get stuck, a reverse drill safely removes screws and fasteners without breaking any materials. Overall, investing in a reverse drill can make your life easier and help you tackle more projects easily.

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Reverse a Drill

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or an experienced handyman, using a drill is a common task. However, despite its simplicity, reversing the drill can sometimes cause confusion and errors. One common mistake people make when trying to reverse a drill is forgetting to adjust the direction switch first.

Failure to do this may result in the drill getting stuck, or, worse still, the drill may forcibly unscrew a tightly tightened screw, causing damage. Another mistake people often make is to force the drill too hard, especially if they’re trying to remove a stubborn screw.

Force the Drill Too Hard

While it’s essential to apply pressure, excessive force can damage the drill and make it difficult to reverse. To get the reversing right, it’s critical to read the drill’s manual, practice patience, and work carefully for a flawless and efficient reversal.


Reversing a drill can be simple if you know what you are doing. The most common reasons for a drill not spinning in reverse include a wrong switch position, damaged brush rotation, a malfunctioning reverse lever, and incorrect motor polarity.

However, if you are uncomfortable doing any of these processes or the issue persists, consulting a professional is your best bet to get your drill to work flawlessly again.

By following these tips, you’ll be prepared when your drill won’t reverse, and you’ll have the knowledge to quickly fix it. Thanks for reading our post about how to reverse a drill.

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Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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