How to Sharpen a Drill Bit? – 09 Methods With Images

When the drill bit point angle is dull, it should be sharpened. Mostly, metal drill bits and wood drill bits should be sharpened regularly, but masonry drill bits need to sharpen rarely. You should sharpen a drill bit when the chip size is less than 2mm. This is common for wood and metal drill bits.

When you sharpen a drill bit, you need a few tools. A vise, sharpener and angle gauge are the essential tools that you should have. Sharperners can be a file, grinder, sandstone, or any specifically manufactured sharpening machine. When you sharpen the drill bit, you need to makesure the point angle. Using a drill bit gauge, you can measure the point angle. Using a vice, you can tightly fix the drill bit during the sharpening process.

You can sharpen a drill bit using a hand, file, bench grinder, stones, sharpening machines, DIY sharpener and many more. I have listed out these 09 methods and steps you can follow when you sharpen any drill bit.

1. Sharpen Drill Bit by Hand

Sharpening a drill by hand can be challenging because it is important to grind the correct angle.

You can use a jig to grind your drill bit to the proper angle. If you don’t have a jig, you can sharpen the drill bit using your hand with adequate practice.

You can follow the below 08 steps for resharpening a drill bit by hand. You will need a drill bit angle chart to determine the drill bit angle that you need.

  1. You slide a drill bit into the jig to sharpen it.
  2. So that the end of the drill is slightly overhanging the edge. Make sure the drill bit fits snugly into the slot. It should fit directly into the center groove on your jig.
  3. Then, place the tip of the drill near the grinding wheel. But please don’t press the drill bit tip against the grinding wheel until the grinding wheel is turned on
  4. Sharpen the drill bit tip using a bench grinder or a rotary tool with a grinding attachment.
  5. Move the drill bit back and forth across the grinding wheel while maintaining a 60-degree angle.
  6. Maintain the wheel’s motion in the same plane as the drill bit’s cutting edge.
  7. If you have a lot of grinding to do, dip the tip of the drill in water every minute or so to ensure it stays cool.
  8. Continue grinding your drill bit until the edges are even.
Jig use to sharpen the drill bit
Jig is used to sharpen the drill bit. The jig helps to keep the drill bit angle 60 degrees.

2. Sharpen Drill Bit with a File

When you sharpen a drill bit with a file, you need these tools such as a file, vice, and a drill bit angle gauge.

This process also has 07 steps. Let’s check about the process.

  1. Wipe out all debris or dust on the drill bit before you start sharpening it with a file.
  2. The drill bit should then be secured in a table vice so that you may file it while keeping it steady. If you don’t have a table vice or clamp, you can make do by firmly grasping the bit’s base.
  3. Since the bit has two blades on each side, you need to pay attention to the type of file you are using.
  4. A regular triangular small file should be used for long brad point drill bits.
  5. A mill file should be used for a spade bit.
  6. After sharpening, check the angle of the tip with a protractor or angle gauge.
  7. Using the filing tool, repeatedly run it down the edges of the bit until it starts to sharpen.
drill bit sharpeing files
Files are used to sharpen drill bits by hand

3. Sharpen Drill Bit with an Angle Grinder

Re-sharpening a drill bit using an angle grinder can quickly and effectively get your bit back in good shape. You can take the following actions:

Then Follow the below 07 steps

  1. Hold the drill bit firmly and the cutting edge parallel to the grinding wheel’s front.
  2. Slowly, carefully, move the bit forward until it engages the wheel.
  3. Simply hold it upright and at the original factory angle of 60 degrees without turning or twisting it.
  4. If you have a lot of grinding to do, dip the drill’s tip in water after a few seconds or so to ensure it stays cool.
  5. Continue grinding your drill bit until the edges are even.
  6. When satisfied with the point on the first side, turn the drill 180 degrees and follow the same process as above for the opposite side of the nozzle. To ensure even sharpening, one can gradually sharpen both sides by holding the drill bit in one’s dominant hand and rotating it 180 degrees after grinding every few seconds.
  7. Check the bit with a test run. Even with light pressure, a well-sharpened drill should create the beginning of a hole. If not, recheck the tip and sharpen again, angled to 60 degrees at the point with equal width on both sides.
Angle grinder for drill bit sharpening
An angle grinder can be used to sharpen the drill bits. You may need additional support or a method to hold the drill bit at 60 degree angle.

4. Sharpen Drill Bit with Sharpener

In addition to the above, you can use various methods and tools to sharpen drill bits. Another option is to use a drill bit sharpener. A drill bit sharpener is a tool specially designed for sharpening drill bits. It consists of a small motor, a grinding wheel and a guide to hold the bit. The following steps should be followed to sharpen a drill with a sharpener.

Drill doctor DD750X drill bit sharpener
Drill Doctor DD750X is the most popular drill bit sharpener

Drill doctor DD750X drill bit sharpener is one of the best products you can use as a drill bit sharpener.

Details of the product:

  • Grinding Material: Carbide
  • Shank type: Straight
  • Cutting angle string: 1150 – 1400
  • Main two steps of the sharpening procedure according to the manufacturer;
    • Align – Align ensures the precise geometry and measures amount to be removed.
    • Sharpening
    • Options step; Split the point
Drill doctor sharpening video guide

5. Sharpen Drill Bit with Bench Grinder

Using a bench grinder to sharpen a drill bit is a popular and efficient technique. The bit must be handled carefully and with considerable skill, so taking the right precautions is crucial.

You can follow these 07 steps when sharpen drill bit using a bench grinder.

  1. To match the angle of the bit you wish to sharpen, adjust the angle of the grinder’s tool rest. The bit will be more evenly ground as a result of this.
  2. With a drill bit holder or a set of pliers, firmly hold the bit in place.
  3. Turn on the grinder contact with the grinding wheel with the bit’s tip.
  4. To prevent overheating, use a mild touch and rotate the bit back and forth.
  5. The bit should be ground until a fresh, sharp edge replaces the old one. Avoid grinding away too much material, as this can reduce the bit’s lifespan.
  6. Check the angle of the freshly sharpened edge after switching off the grinder. Adjust the tool rest and go through the grinding procedure again if it’s uneven.
  7. Drilling a hole in a waste material will allow you to test the newly sharpened bit. The sharpening procedure was effective if the drill operated smoothly and accurately.
bench grinder for drill bit sharpening
A bench grinder can be used to sharpen the drill bits

6. Sharpen Drill Bit with Stone

This method of drill bit re-sharpening can be done easily and with minimum accidents at home. The ideal material for the stone would be silicon carbide or aluminum oxide, both of which are tough and long-lasting.

You can follow these 06 steps when you resharpen the drill bit using stone.

  1. Choose the proper stone: Choose a sharpening stone with the proper size as your drill bit.
  2. Add a tiny quantity of lubricant to the sharpening stone, such as honing oil or water, to aid in accomplishing a smooth sharpening and prevent the bit from overheating.
  3. Hold the drill bit at the proper angle- Which for a common twist bit is typically around 590. You might utilize a drill bit guide to maintain the proper angle.
  4. Sharpen the drill bit by placing it against the sharpening stone and rotating it in a circle back and forth. Lightly press the bit while avoiding overheating it.
  5. Continue the re-sharpening process until the bit’s whole cutting edge has been honed.
  6. Clean the drill bit to remove any metal shavings or debris from the sharpening process.
Sharpening stone for drill bits
Sharpening stone can be used for drill bit sharpening.

7. Sharpen Drill Bit with Home-Made Sharpener

Here mentioned how to make a jig with your limited resources at home.
Homemade drill bit sharpener

If you don’t have a jig, follow the procedure below to make a jig quickly.

  1. Take any durable piece of scrap wood you have around. It should be about a foot long and about four inches wide.
  2. An angle of 118 degrees is ideal for drill bits. For that, you need to create a 590 angle on your jig. Measure and mark your wood before cutting it.
  3. Cut the slot along the mark and check the slot size with your drill bit.

You can follow these 06 steps using a homemade sharpener when you resharpen the drill bit.

  1. Check the tip of your drill bit. Under that, check the chisel, landings, and edges of the drill bit.
  2. After that, hold your drill bit on your homemade jig.
  3. Hold the drill bit firmly and the cutting edge parallel to the front of the re-sharpening tool.
  4. Dip the drill’s tip in water after a few seconds or so to ensure it stays cool. Continue the process with your drill bit until the edges are even.
  5. Turn the drill 1800 and follow the same process as above for the opposite side of the nozzle.
  6. Check the bit with a test run. If not, recheck the tip and sharpen it again.

8. Sharpen Drill Bit With A Dremel

Dremel is the rotary tool. It can also be used for carving, engraving, routing, grinding, cleaning, polishing, cutting, sanding, and sharpening. It is a very useful tool for home use.

There are a few steps to follow to re-sharpen a dull drill bit using Dremel.

  1. Clamp your bit down firmly in a bench vise, and then use the Dremel to progressively remove the debris from the leading edge of the bit.
  2. After you have a clean, sharp cutting tip, keep grinding. Make sure to apply this on both sides of your bit as well.
  3. Verify the drill bit is sharp. If you detect any wobbling, squealing, or jagged edges, you must to go back to the Dremel to round them up. It should be simple to drill and give you a smooth hole.
Dremel for drill bit sharpening
Dremel with sharpening tools

9. Sharpen Drill Bit with Belt Sander

While using a belt sander to sharpen drill bits might be quick and simple, it does need some expertise and practice to do it successfully. The steps have to follow after choosing the re-sharpening tool.

  1. Cut the landing,
  2. Shape the chisel,
  3. Shape the landing of the drill bit.
  4. Combining cutting, shaping and rotating is very important while sharpening to make the perfect cut on the drill face.
  5. To sharpen the other lip, repeat the previous process a few times while turning the drill bit 180 degrees in your hand.
  6. Cool the drill bit after every few seconds during the drilling process.
Sharpen drill bit with a belt sander

Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.