How to Sharpen Drill Bits?

How to sharpen drill bits

If the drill bit produces an annoying sound every time, it might need sharpening. If you don’t have time to run to the store to replace a broken, dull, and chipped drill bit, Then by sharpening the cutting edge, you can save money and time.

Is it worth sharpening drill bits?

Sharpening your drill bit makes it work better and faster. You can do your jobs more efficiently and better. Sharpening your drill bit makes it more accurate.

Method to sharpen a drill bit using a bench grinder

Material required.

  • Safety goggles
  • Bench grinder
  • Work gloves.


Check your drill bits; you aim to remove enough metal to obtain a sharp edge. Bench grinders usually have two grinding wheels, one fine and one coarse. If more bits are ruined, start with a coarse grinding wheel; otherwise, begin with a fine grinding wheel.


Put on your goggles and turn on the bench grinder. Hold the drill bit firmly and hold the cutting edge parallel to the front of the grinding wheel. Move the bit slowly and carefully until it contacts the wheel. Keep it straight and held at the factory angle of 60 degrees; do not turn or rotate it.


Hold the bit against the wheel for four to five seconds at this angle. Remember that you should not wear down the bit and grind the dull surface. Grind the heel, where tips meet the twisted shaft, to achieve the ideal angle, not the edge.


Pause for four seconds of grinding and dip the drill bit into the cool ice water to coot metal. Heat will cause the drill bit to wear and tear faster. When a bit is cool to touch, inspect that it is honed on the side where you work.


To facilitate the drill bit’s ability to bore straight holes, aim for a 60-degree angle and an angle and point of the same width on both sides of the drill bit. For sharpening, some people choose to sharpen a little on each side, keep the drill bit in their controlling hand, and rotate it 180 degrees after a few seconds of grinding.


Now, do a test if you get the same width sharpening and drill tip meeting in a nicely honed point. Hold the tip against a piece of scrap wood perpendicularly and twist it with your hands. With little pressure, your drill bit can start making holes. If this does not happen, examine the tip and return for grinding.


Once you get the desired result, then start drilling. Now it should bite the wood better with a little pressure.

Method to sharpen a drill bit using sharpening tools

One of the most affordable ways to sharpen your drill bits is with a drill-powered drill bit sharpener. They require a little caution while using them. It required a few minutes to set up. You can utilize it whenever you are far away from your workplace.

In some conditions, you can slide the bit in water or spray it with a squeezable bottle to cool it while sharpening it because of its design. It also provides sharpness to your drill bits, which will last a long time. Some are uneasy about operating since the drill bit should be positioned properly and firmly for good sharpening results. It will help you maintain a smooth end to your bit. It will take a long time to grind through the worn bits. 

One disadvantage with this sharpener is the limit on the size of bits it can control. Most of them can sharpen bits almost a half-inch in diameter. Plus, the tool can be boring because you need to hold it strongly and place it accurately for good results. Although you cannot change the sharpening wheel because the cost of changing the product is almost as high as the cost of buying a new wheel,

Tips to keep your drill bit sharp

  1. Maintain a cutting edge with the following practices when you are a master at sharpening drill bits.
  2. Pull out the drill bit and blow off chips or flakes of wood for every inch or so you drill. Because these chips will get packed into the bit’s flutes, becoming so hot. The hotter drill bit dulled faster and required sharpening more frequently.
  3. Make a habit of stopping and cooling the process, especially for hardwood drilling. Keep a container of cold water near and dip the drill for a few seconds.
  4. Keep two sets of drill bits.

Some tips that are helpful to sharpen the drill bits safely

Drilling takes longer when the drill bit’s cutting blades are damaged due to frequent usage. The drill holes could not be precise anymore, which might lead to errors. The following are some excellent tips for securely sharpening drill bits.

Wear your gloves to do the job

Gloves are a good thing to safeguard your hands while doing work. Try to avoid touching the grinder with your hands. Take care of yourself during your project.

Safety precautions

Take safety precautions before you start your work because sharpening a drill bit can cause the metal to fly in the air. To prevent injuries or accidents, it is best to wear eye protection.

Prevent Overheating

The drilling takes a long time when a drill bit’s blades are worn out from more use. Excellent tips for safely sharpening drill bits include properly sharpening the drill bit and proceeding slowly. 

By pressing the bit against the bottom of the wheel, the cutter can come into contact with the sloped side. This should be nearly equal to 60 degrees for most bits. 

Never let your grinder come in contact with the tip of the bit. You should turn the bit in a clockwise direction slowly. 

To prevent it from getting too hot, take it out of the water after a few seconds and put it back in.

Sharpening drill bits with a metal file will help you avoid some accidents

When your drill bit is satisfactory, you should use a metal file to end your job. This will keep it from getting sharper. Place the bit in a vice or clamp and use a metal file to keep it sharp. You should not hold the file flat. To avoid making a mistake, make sure to move slowly and carefully.

Test your drill to avoid some mistakes

You should check how sharp the drill bit is often. To do this, you can put your finger on your drill bit. If the drill bit is sharp, you should not use the grinder anymore. You should also look at the angle of your drill bit. It is good to utilize a protractor to ensure its angle is 60 degrees. Errors can be prevented by checking the process after some time.


Drill bits mostly get broken or chipped after some time and due to frequent use. You may have difficulty drilling through some of the softest materials without a sharp edge. Fortunately, you do not have to buy a new bit every time your old one wears out. You can make it better again to do your work better with some effort; otherwise, it may become a waste for you. So you should not waste your money buying expensive drill bits.

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