A drill bit loader for loading a tapered shank of a drill bit into a similarly tapered recess in the end of a drill spindle. The spindle has a transverse slot at the inner end of the recess. The end of the tapered shank of the drill bit has a transverse tang adapted to engage in the slot so that the drill bit will be rotated by the spindle. The loader is in the form of a cylinder adapted to receive the drill bit with the shank projecting out of the outer end of the cylinder. Retainer pins prevent rotation of the drill bit in the cylinder. The spindle is lowered to extend the shank of the drill bit into the recess in the spindle and the spindle is rotated to align the slot in the spindle with the tang on the shank. A spring unit in the cylinder is compressed by the drill bit during its entry into the recess of the spindle and resiliently drives the tang into the slot in the spindle when the tang and slot are aligned.