A drill bit assembly is provided for releasably retaining a polycrystalline diamond compact drill bit cutter. Two adjacent cavities formed in a drill bit body house, respectively, the disc-shaped drill bit cutter and a wedge-shaped cutter lock element with a removable fastener. The cutter lock element engages one flat surface of the cutter to retain the cutter in its cavity. The drill bit assembly thus enables the cutter to be locked against axial and/or rotational movement while still providing for easy removal of a worn or damaged cutter. The ability to adjust and replace cutters in the field reduces the effect of wear, helps maintains performance and improves drilling efficiency.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract Number DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and Sandia National Laboratories.