How to Sharpen Drill Bits | Step by Step Guide


Drills are a must item in any toolbox. Where sharp drill bits are comfortable and fun to use, on the other hand working with dull bits is risky and foolish. It can break while you are working and the broken piece can hit your eye. So, if you have a flat bit, you should sharpen them immediately by following the steps.

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1. Determine your drill bits

Determine your bits if they are sharp or dull headed. You can check it by comparing the bit with a new sharp bit. It is important to determine the edge because broken and sharp bits are treated differently.

2. Pick a Sharpening Tool

An excellent sharpening tool is crucial to get a crisp and shiny sharpness. A drill doctor is expensive but a very useful tool to sharpen the bits. If you can do it by your hand, you won’t need extra tools.

Note: If you think of doing it with your hand, wear a thick pair of gloves to protect yourself.

3. Perfect the angle

Be careful with the angle. Holding the bit at a perfect 59-degree angle is important. Don’t forget to tighten the thumb nut. Otherwise, you won’t find your desired sharpness.

To sharpen them with your hand, hold the bit carefully with the shank which is angled off into the left side approximately 59 degrees. While the bit contact to the grinding wheel, move the bit with shank further left & downward while rotating and twisting the bit clockwise.

Note: You don’t need to use any tool to determine the angle. The clamps have 59 degrees angle labeled on them.

4. The Edge

There is a small tip of the tool where the drill bit’s flutes can rest against it. The tip is adjustable so that you can fit the flutes edges against it by raising and lowering the tip.

5. Adjust the overhang

Try to keep the height of the bit coming out from the tool similar to the radius of the drill bit’s horizontal circular area.

6. Angle and width of the edge

After adjusting the overhang, you should check the Chisel Edge of the bits. It cannot be too wide or too narrow.

If it is wider than it should be, the drill bit’s tip will become flat. Flat bits are difficult to make a hole on any surface. If the overhang is too narrow, you will find difficulty sharpening the bits.

Note: If the tip is flat somehow, you should spend extra time for them in the grinding wheel.

7. Standard Cutting Edge Angle

An Ideal edge should be the possible shortest but appropriate to pierce a hole. Not more or less. It should be enough to run between the lowest points on the valleys of the fluting.

8. Clamp the drill bit into the tool

Once you set the overhang, clamp the bit into the tool. Make sure it is tight enough so that it won’t fall from it.

Note: If the nuts are loose, tight them with a plus.

9. Set the tool as long as you want the length of the bit

Adjust the sharpening guide according to your desired length for the bit. Loosen the nut which is colored metal or steel and then adjust the black colored nut. It will keep the end tail and end of the bit movable.

10. Align the bit’s height

Adjust the bit’s height and align it against the grinding wheel. The drill bit’s tip should remain even with the motor shaft’s center. Perfect alignment is crucial for excellent sharpness.

11. Attach the tool to the table

Set up the tool firmly on the table. It shouldn’t move while the bit is being sharpened. But remember that the bit would not stay too close to the grinding wheel otherwise it will be hard to sharpen because it gets scorching if stays too close to the wheel. Being too hot, you may lose additional material from the bit. Just make the bit touch the grinding tool.

Note: Don’t use glue. Even Superglue won’t work to keep the tool still in the table.

12. Start grinding

Initiate the motor once everything is set. Move the rear of your sharpening guide from left to right.

Note: Never underestimate the safety precautions. Grinding wheel is very dangerous to work with, so If you are doing it with your hand, look where your fingers are moving around the wheel.

13. Rotate the drill bit one-half turn

Keep swinging the bit through the guide till the tip is beyond the grinding wheel. Do a one-half turn & repeat until the half of the bit is sharpened.

Once the half of the tip sharpened correctly, you can start the other half. But don’t forget to turn off the wheel before you start the other half. The flutes should rest on the tip of the guide.

Turn off the motor and remove the bit. Check if the Chisel Edge is narrow enough. If it is not, continue the process until you get your desired edge. Adjust the overhang again if you need.

14. Make sure the finishing of the Bit

This is how the cutting edge should look like. There should not be any worn left. Make sure the rounded chisel edges are gone. You can check it by casting glints of light in the cutting edges. Edges should be crisp and sharp.

Bottom Lines

The article covers all those things that you should consider while sharpening the drill bits. Following those will make it easy to get the job done. So, proceed accordingly, and if you still find any issue regarding this, you can check the following video for a better understanding

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