Hot Topics: Got a Drill Bit Stuck in Your Wall?

drill bit going into wood stud

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We all make mistakes when we're attempting DIY projects. Even professionals make poor decisions that can mess up your project or further damage your home.

If you or someone you've asked to work on your home has made the major mistake of getting a drill bit stuck in your wall, you want to know your options for moving forward. Do you take it out or do you patch it up and forget about it?

Original Post: Spade Drill Bit Stuck Inside Wall

SCRealtor Member

I'm typically a DIYer, but I was busy and hired a handyman to do a few things around my house. That included installing a flat screen TV over the fireplace. He was supposed to hide the wires behind the wall. When drilling a hole for the wires to go through a stud, he got his spade drill bit stuck. He tried to loosen it, but being inside the wall it's a bit difficult to get to. He was supposed to return to fix it and do a couple of other things, but he's disappeared. I guess it isn't worth the money or retrieval of his drill bit and extender to deal with the problem he's created.

So, I'm stuck with a drill bit stuck in my wall. Any thoughts on how to loosen it? Using a flash light, I can see it through the hole drilled in the wall. He had been trying to force it loose with a small metal pipe and a hammer and didn't appear to be having any luck. Are there any slender gripping tools that I might be able to use to pull it out or some other method that I can try?


Highlights from the Thread

XSleeper Member

If it has a hex head on it, you might be able to put another extension or a driver bit on the end and use a drill on it. Either way, can't you just leave it there?

joecaption Member

Got a picture so we can see what your seeing?

May need to clean out the hole around the bit to get rid of the wood chips. A flat bladed screwdriver to loosen them and a shop vac to suck them out. Then vice grips on the shaft and two screw drivers to pry it out.

Handyone Forum Topic Moderator

X has the right idea. Most of the time it's much harder to remove the spade bit versus pushing it through using a drill. Unfortunately, you might need a right angle drill or flexible attachment to a drill. Spade bits tend to get stuck. It helps to have them up to full speed before applying gradual pressure and wiggling the bit a little to avoid binding.

Abandoning the bit and drilling a new hole might be your best bet.

bmgreene Member

I'm assuming the bit was being used to drill through the stud parallel to the faces of the wall? It doesn't make a lot of sense to have drilled into the face of the wall like that just to run wires into the wall since that should be done next to a stud anyway (most professional looking way would be to run wiring inside the wall with boxes/outlet plates mounted at various points for the different connections).

If the bit is stuck into the stud parallel to the wall surface, there is always the option to leave it in there, it's not likely to cause any real trouble. It may be possible to grab the back end of it with a long pair of needle-nose vise grips and try to wiggle it loose.

If it's sticking out of the face of the wall and has a hex-end on the shaft, you might try an impact driver to back it out (then ask the handyman what his plan was that involved drilling into the wall that way).

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

If I couldn't work it loose with vise grips, I'd bend it over or whatever needs to be done to make it depressed into the wall, patch the wall, paint it and forget it.

amt782 Member

First of all, you need an electric drill. Like someone mentioned earlier, you may also need an angle attachment to get into the tight space between the studs and grab the end of the spade bit properly- I got mine from home depot and i think it was like $22.

This attachment is more than likely the key to removing the bit or successfully continuing to drill the hole because whether you are trying to back it out or drill further you need to first get a secure connection between the end of the bit and the drill. When you're working at weird or tight angles the only way to really do this is with attachment mentioned.

Hammering it out from either side is not your best option. The "wood-cutter blades" on the bit have embedded themselves into the wood by eating through it, and when you are half way in, you will do damage by removing it in this fashion.

Don't hire this handyman again. If he can't use a drill correctly to drill a hole, I would be scared to see his attempt at anything else.

Original Post