Best method of sharpening drill bits

Drill bits are essential tools for any DIYer or professional, as they are used for drilling holes in various materials. However, over time, drill bits can become dull and lose their effectiveness. In order to maintain their cutting edge and extend their lifespan, it is important to sharpen them regularly.

There are several methods available for sharpening drill bits, each with its own pros and cons. One of the most common methods is using a bench grinder. This tool allows you to remove the dull surface of the bit and shape it into a sharp point. However, it requires some skill and experience to achieve the desired results, as overheating the bit can cause it to lose its hardness and become brittle.

Another popular method is using a drill bit sharpening jig. This tool provides a controlled angle and guide to help you sharpen the bit accurately. It is especially useful for beginners, as it reduces the risk of mistakes. However, it requires purchasing an additional tool and may not be as versatile as other methods.

Understanding the Importance of Sharp Drill Bits

Drill bits are essential tools for many applications, from woodworking to metalworking. One of the most important factors in achieving efficient and accurate drilling is the sharpness of the drill bit. Sharp drill bits can significantly impact the speed, quality, and safety of the drilling process. It is crucial to understand the importance of keeping drill bits sharp to maximize their effectiveness.

Enhanced Speed and Efficiency: Sharp drill bits are capable of cutting through materials with ease, reducing the time required for drilling. Dull drill bits, on the other hand, tend to overheat and take longer to penetrate the surface, resulting in slower overall progress. By maintaining a sharp cutting edge, drill bits can efficiently remove material and complete the drilling task in a shorter time frame.

Improved Drilling Quality: When drill bits are sharp, they produce cleaner and more precise holes. Dull drill bits can cause the material to splinter, resulting in rough edges and causing potential damage to the workpiece. By using sharp drill bits, the risk of creating inaccurate or deformed holes is significantly reduced, leading to higher-quality drilling results.

Enhanced Safety: Working with sharp drill bits is safer than using dull ones. Sharp drill bits require less pressure to penetrate materials, reducing the chances of the bit slipping or the tool being pushed off course. Dull drill bits, on the other hand, require more force, increasing the likelihood of accidents or injuries. Keeping drill bits sharp minimizes the risk of accidents and ensures a safer working environment.

In conclusion, having sharp drill bits is crucial for achieving optimal drilling performance. Sharp drill bits enhance speed and efficiency, improve drilling quality, and enhance safety. It is essential to regularly check and sharpen drill bits to maintain their effectiveness and extend their lifespan.

Traditional sharpening methods for drill bits

Drill bits are essential tools for any DIY enthusiast or professional. However, with regular use, drill bits can become dull and less effective. To maintain the performance of drill bits, they need to be sharpened regularly. There are several traditional methods that have been used for generations to sharpen drill bits.

Hand filing

Hand filing is one of the oldest and most common methods of sharpening drill bits. It involves using a file to manually shape and sharpen the cutting edge of the drill bit. This method requires a steady hand and precision to achieve the desired sharpness. Hand filing is often used for large and heavy-duty drill bits, as it allows for more control and accuracy during the sharpening process.

Grinding wheel

Another traditional method of sharpening drill bits is using a grinding wheel. A grinding wheel is a wheel-shaped tool with abrasive particles on its surface. The drill bit is held against the grinding wheel, and the rotating motion of the wheel gradually sharpens the cutting edge of the bit. This method is best suited for smaller drill bits, as it offers a fast and efficient way to restore their sharpness.

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Bench grinder

A bench grinder is a versatile tool that can be used for various sharpening tasks, including drill bits. It consists of a motor-driven grinding wheel mounted on a bench or table. To sharpen a drill bit on a bench grinder, the bit is held against the spinning grinding wheel at the correct angle. The high-speed rotation of the wheel quickly removes the dull metal and reshapes the cutting edge of the drill bit.

Honing stones

Honing stones, also known as sharpening stones or oilstones, can be used to sharpen drill bits. They are flat or cylindrical stones made from abrasive materials and are used to remove small amounts of metal from the drill bit’s cutting edge. Honing stones are often used in conjunction with lubricating oil to ensure smooth sharpening and prevent overheating of the bit. This traditional method requires patience and skill to achieve optimal sharpness.

While modern sharpening methods have been developed, traditional methods still have their place in the drill bit sharpening process. Whether it’s hand filing, using a grinding wheel, a bench grinder, or honing stones, these methods offer effective ways to maintain the sharpness and performance of drill bits.

The benefits of using a drill bit sharpening machine

When it comes to the task of sharpening drill bits, using a drill bit sharpening machine offers several significant benefits. These machines are designed specifically for this purpose, making the sharpening process quick and efficient.

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1. Consistent results: One of the main advantages of using a drill bit sharpening machine is that it provides consistent results. The machine is programmed or calibrated to sharpen the drill bits to specific angles and dimensions, ensuring that each bit is sharpened uniformly. This consistency in sharpening results in improved performance and better drilling outcomes.

2. Time-saving: Sharpening drill bits manually can be a time-consuming and tedious task. On the other hand, using a drill bit sharpening machine can significantly reduce the time and effort required to sharpen multiple bits. These machines are designed to automate the sharpening process, allowing you to sharpen multiple drill bits quickly and efficiently.

3. Extended tool life: A properly sharpened drill bit can have a significantly longer tool life compared to a dull or improperly sharpened one. By using a drill bit sharpening machine, you can ensure that your drill bits are sharpened correctly, which helps prolong their lifespan. This not only saves you money by reducing the frequency of purchasing new bits but also improves the overall performance of your drilling operations.

4. Precision and accuracy: Drill bit sharpening machines are designed to sharpen drill bits with precision and accuracy. These machines utilize the correct angles and grinding techniques to ensure that the cutting edges of the drill bits are sharpened properly. This precision sharpening results in improved drilling performance and reduces the risk of bit breakage or poor drilling outcomes.

In conclusion, using a drill bit sharpening machine offers several benefits, including consistent sharpening results, time-saving, extended tool life, and precision sharpening. Investing in a drill bit sharpening machine can be a wise decision for those who frequently use drill bits and want to ensure optimal performance and longevity of their tools.

Step-by-step guide to sharpening drill bits by hand

Sharpening drill bits by hand is a useful skill to have, especially if you regularly use drills and want to save time and money by avoiding frequent trips to the hardware store. While there are many tools available for sharpening drill bits, this guide will focus on the manual method, using simple tools that can be found in most workshops.

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Step 1: Inspect the drill bit

Before you begin sharpening, carefully inspect the drill bit for any damage or excessive wear. Look for chips, cracks, or rounded cutting edges. If the bit is in poor condition, it may need to be replaced rather than sharpened.

Step 2: Secure the drill bit

Find a suitable clamp or vise to securely hold the drill bit during the sharpening process. Make sure the bit is held firmly in place and does not move or wobble.

Step 3: Determine the correct angle

Most drill bits have a standard angle of 118 degrees, but it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or use a protractor to confirm the angle. This will ensure that the bit is properly sharpened and will perform optimally.

Step 4: Use a sharpening stone

With the drill bit securely clamped and the correct angle determined, gently swipe the cutting edges against a sharpening stone. Move the bit in a circular motion to evenly sharpen each cutting edge. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can result in overheating and damage to the bit.

Step 5: Check the sharpness

After sharpening, carefully inspect the cutting edges of the drill bit to ensure that they are sharp and clean. If any burrs or nicks are present, use a fine-grit sandpaper or honing stone to remove them. Once the bit is sharp and free of imperfections, it is ready to be used.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can effectively sharpen drill bits by hand, extending their lifespan and ensuring efficient performance. Remember to take your time and work carefully to achieve the best results.

5 Best method of sharpening drill bits

Euronovità EN-220094 Stone for Sharpener Grinding Wheel for Drill, Light Blue


  • Grinding wheel diameter (mm): 50
  • Support connection (in): 1/4"
  • Sharpening wheel for scissors, knives and anything else with 1/4 inch drill holder

Tool Sharpening Kit All-in-1 | Fits Any Power Drill

as of May 27, 2024 6:20 pm


  • Keep tools in tip-top condition (and save £££s buying new ones) with this 3-piece garden sharpening kit.
  • The silicon carbide abrasive head restores precision sharpness to secateurs, pruners and loppers; for shears and scissors, the long-life Tungsten Carbide sharpening block re-grinds both shear or scissor blades at the same time, at the correct angle; the double-sided corundum grinding wheel restores edges on spades, hoes, axes and lawn mowers. Fits any power drill.
  • All-in-1 kit includes sharpeners for: Secateurs, pruners and loppers – silicone carbide abrasive head puts back precision sharpness – recommended by the National Rose Society
  • Shears and Scissors – long-life Tungsten carbide sharpening block re-grinds both blades at the same time, at the correct angle – recommended by ‘Amateur Gardening’ magazine.
  • Rotary mowers and garden tools – double-sided corundum grinding wheel restores edges on spades, hoes, axes and lawn mowers. Fits any power drill.

Draper 98518 230V Drill Bit Sharpener, 80W

9 new from £63.24
Free shipping
as of May 27, 2024 6:20 pm


  • Sharpens points to a 118° angle
  • Suitable for 3–13mm drill bits
  • For use with most drill bits – HSS titanium, cobalt, carbon steel and split point bits
  • Bench mounting
  • Draper 24 months parts and labour warranty

DHinkyoung Diamond Drill Bit Sharpener Resistant Drill Bit Sharpening Tools Sharpener with Wrench Wear Electric Drill Sharpener Sharp Drill Grinding Machine for High Hardness Sharpener Diamond


  • 【Material】The drill bit sharpener is made of high-quality material, which is high hardness, rustproof, solid and durable.
  • 【Package and Size】You will get a drill bit sharpener and a wrench. The size of the drill bit sharpener is 6.69in/17cm and the wrench is 2.75in/7cm, light weight and compact size, easy to carry.
  • 【Advantage】Good sharpening effect, saving much effort, self-centering point, do not need assistant center drilling or center punching. Use this drill bit sharpening tool with your power drill to keep bits sharp and ready for use.
  • 【Design】The drill bit sharpener is ergonomic design, with simple structure, you can carry this portable drill bit sharpener in your truck toolbox so that you can use in a critical juncture.
  • 【Application】This drill bit sharpening tool is mainly used for grinding iron drills, that the drilling operation becomes simpler and more efficient.
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15 Pcs Chainsaw Sharpener High Hardness Diamond Chain Saw Sharpener Tool Titanium Plated Burr Stone Chainsaw Sharpening Kit for Electric Chain Saw Jewelry Stone Wood (5/32'', 3/16'', 7/32'')

as of May 27, 2024 6:20 pm


  • 【Great Value Set】You will receive 15 pcs chainsaw sharpeners. There are 3 sizes, 5 pieces of each size. Sufficient quantity and rich size meet your needs of use and replacement in daily life.
  • 【3 Sizes】These chainsaw sharpeners come in 3 sizes, the sharpening head diameters are 5/32" (4.0mm), 3/16" (4.8mm), 7/32" (5.5mm). The length is 4.5cm/1.8inch. Suitable for your different needs.
  • 【High-quality Material】The chain saw blade sharpener is made of high-quality titanium-plated emery abrasive, which is high hardness and wear-resistant, uniform and fine, lightweight and durable.
  • 【Easy to Use】The chainsaw chain sharpener kit can be polished without removing the chain, complete the sharpening work in minutes, save time and effort, help you improve your work efficiency.
  • 【Widely Applicable】The chain saw sharpener tool can be widely used for grinding and carving metal, jade, ceramic, glass, wood and other workpieces. It is a practical and good helper for your work.

Question and answer:

What tools do I need for sharpening drill bits by hand?

You will need a bench grinder, a drill bit sharpening gauge, a grinding wheel dresser, and a set of safety goggles.

How do I check if a drill bit needs sharpening?

You can use a drill bit sharpening gauge to check for wear on the cutting edge. If the angle is not sharp and the cutting edge is dull, then it needs sharpening.

What is the first step in sharpening a drill bit by hand?

The first step is to put on your safety goggles to protect your eyes from any flying debris. Safety should always be the top priority.

How do I prepare the grinding wheel for sharpening?

You need to dress the grinding wheel to remove any buildup of metal particles. Use a grinding wheel dresser to do this. Simply move the dresser across the surface of the spinning wheel to remove the debris.

What is the technique for sharpening the drill bit?

Hold the drill bit at a 59-degree angle to the grinding wheel. Rotate the bit clockwise against the wheel, making sure to keep the bit at the same angle and not applying too much pressure. Repeat this process until the tip of the drill bit is sharp.

What tools do I need to sharpen drill bits by hand?

To sharpen drill bits by hand, you will need the following tools: a bench grinder, a drill bit sharpening jig or guide, a file or honing stone, safety goggles, and a coolant or lubricant.


To conclude, sharpening drill bits by hand is a straightforward process that can help prolong the lifespan and effectiveness of your tools. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can sharpen your drill bits with ease and achieve accurate and efficient drilling results. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear and handling the tools with care. Regularly maintaining and sharpening your drill bits will not only save you time and money but also ensure that your drilling projects are completed with precision and ease. So, grab your drill bits and get ready to give them a new lease of life!

Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

Meet Harrison Clayton, a distinguished author and home remodeling enthusiast whose expertise in the realm of renovation is second to none. With a passion for transforming houses into inviting homes, Harrison's writing at brings a breath of fresh inspiration to the world of home improvement. Whether you're looking to revamp a small corner of your abode or embark on a complete home transformation, Harrison's articles provide the essential expertise and creative flair to turn your visions into reality. So, dive into the captivating world of home remodeling with Harrison Clayton and unlock the full potential of your living space with every word he writes.

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