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How to Adjust a Makita Drill Clutch

Updated February 21, 2017

Makita is a manufacturer of a variety of power tools, including circular saws, routers and sanders. Among the most popular Makita tools is its line of corded and cordless power drills. Many of these drills have an adjustable clutch that allows the operator to control the amount of torque that will be applied to a screw. This is particularly useful when driving screws flush into a surface. If the drill would normally sink the head beneath the surface, having the clutch set to the correct position would stop the screw from being driven too deeply.

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  1. Insert a Phillips screw bit into the drill's chuck. Set the drill's direction switch to forward. Hold the chuck with one hand and pull the trigger with the other hand to tighten the clutch around the screw bit.

  2. Rotate the clutch located just behind the drill chuck to the No. 5 position. There are typically 16 numbered positions on the clutch, and the current setting is indicated by the pointer on the top of the drill.

  3. Drive a screw with the drill into a scrap piece of wood. When the clutch begins to slip, remove your finger from the trigger.

  4. Inspect the head of the screw that you drove into the wood. If the head of the screw is above the surface of the wood, rotate the clutch to the No. 7 position and drive the screw a little deeper. Again, when the clutch slips, remove your finger from the trigger.

  5. Continue trying different clutch settings and driving the screw until the head is flush with the surface of the wood. To double-check the clutch setting, drive a second screw into the wood, checking to see that the drill stops driving the screw when the head is flush with the surface.

  6. Tip

    To give the drill more torque, rotate the clutch to a higher number. For less torque, rotate the clutch to a lower number.


    When using a power drill, be sure to protect your eyes with a pair of safety glasses.

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Things You'll Need

  • Makita drill with clutch
  • Phillips screw bit
  • Wood screws

About the Author

Chris Baylor has been writing about various topics, focusing primarily on woodworking, since 2006. You can see his work in publications such as "Consumer's Digest," where he wrote the 2009 Best Buys for Power Tools and the 2013 Best Buys for Pressure Washers.

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