How To Sharpen Drill Bits? [The Easiest Way]

If you often make goods or do DIY projects around the home that require drilling holes, a drill sharpener is a great purchase. It has high-speed steel (HSS), a solid and durable material. Still, it is susceptible to frequent wear and tears while performing its job. 

When it comes to drilling bits, many people don’t realize that they need frequent sharpening. Sharp drill bits need less effort to do the same task as dull ones. Sharpening the drill bits with a file can help keep expensive power equipment in good working order.

Any handyman may benefit significantly from learning how to properly sharpen dull and worn drill bits by doing it himself. In this article, I will discuss how to sharpen drill bits and other tips so that you can use this for a more extended period.

6 Steps Should Follow To Sharpen Drill Bits: Most Effective Way

When the drill gets dull, don’t press it harder into the material. There is a chance of harming yourself. Sharpening bits is easy, but it takes a lot of practice to get good at it. The below steps will be effective in doing it easily. 

Step-1: Examine The Parts

Check the worn parts. If you want a sharper edge, remove just a tiny amount of metal at a time. There are two grinding wheels on many bench grinders, coarse and fine.

It is best to start with the coarse wheel and work your way up to the finer one if the bits are severely damaged. Otherwise, start with the finer wheel and work your way up to the rougher one.

Step-2: Prepare The Bit

Turn on the bench grinder and put on your goggles. When using a drill bit with a firm grip, ensure that the cutting edge is parallel to the grinding wheel. You must move the bit slowly and cautiously until it comes into contact with the wheel’s spokes. Keep it straight and at the manufacturing angle of 60 degrees. Do not turn or twist it.

Step-3: Correctly Hold The Bit

Keeping the bit at an angle for no more than four or five seconds is essential. You aim to remove the dull surface, not wear out the bit. To get the optimal angle, concentrate on grinding the heel of the bit, where the tip meets the twisting shaft rather than the edge. If the angle is not steep enough, the drill bit will not bore smoothly.

Step-4: Cool The Bit And Rotate It

After grinding for four to five seconds, the drill bit in cold water to cool the metal. When it’s cool enough, check whether the side just sharpened is sharp enough.

As soon as you’re pleased with the point on one side, flip the drill bit 180 degrees and repeat this operation on the other side. Aim for a 60-degree angle and point on both sides of the drill bit that is the same width to guarantee straight holes.

Step-5: Continue Grinding And Check For Sharpening

Once the drill tip hits a nicely polished point and both edges are sharp and the same width, give the drill bit a test run. Twist the bit by hand, keeping the tip perpendicular to a scrap piece of wood. A well-sharpened drill bit should be able to start a hole even with this modest pressure. The point should have a 60-degree slope, with equal widths on both sides.

Step-6: Test Drill Bit And Finish The Process

Once you’re satisfied with the bit’s sharpness, put it in the drill, get a piece of scrap wood, and get to work drilling. Using minimum pressure, you should be able to get the drill bit into the wood and hurl wood chips as it emerges. With that, the job is done.

Mistakes Need To Be Avoid While Sharpening Drill Bits:

Drilling is a skill that requires practice. One wrong step and the consequences will be dangerous. That’s why I have listed the most frequent drilling mistakes below to prevent them.

  • Misusing The Hammer Setting

Hammer setting enhances drill versatility. If misused, it might harm the bit or drill. Before activating the hammer setting, consider knowing the project’s details.

Using the hammer function will simplify the procedure and give better outcomes. And if you use the hammer option on wood, the drill might cause complications. There’s a chance of damaging the bit and tool. Drilling wood or steel using the hammer function leaves a messy hole. So it is better to avoid it.

  • Not Applying Lubricant

Drilling through a material generates heat. You can create a lot of heat in a short period. As a result, overheating is critical to avoid. Lubricate it constantly, so the drilling operation runs as smoothly as possible.

  • Not Knowing Speed

Drilling may be a frustrating experience for beginners. They’re continuously looking for speedier drilling techniques. It makes the speed settings go up when it’s not necessary. However, this is the incorrect strategy since it might lead to drill bit breakage. 

A drill’s speed decreases when used in a more complicated application. Even though it takes a little longer, the result is better.

  • Covering Vent Holes

It doesn’t matter whether a battery or electricity powers the drill; it has a motor. An electric motor powers the drill bit, allowing it to spin at a high rate of speed. The engine heats up when the tool is used, which is quite natural. Because of this, manufacturers include ventilation holes. So the motor can operate at a stable temperature.

However, covering the vent holes will damage the drill and require a costly motor replacement. Find the vent holes on the drill by taking a look at them. Depending on the job, you must alter the drill. However, always avoid covering the vent openings in any situation.

  • Not Clean Regularly

Regular cleaning is essential to get the most out of a device. When it comes to drills, this is an excellent guideline to follow. All over the place, from the workbench’s surface to the floor and even in the drill.

Cleaning the drill after each use is a must. That includes cleaning the bit, the chuck, the ventilation holes, and any other places where the residue is visible. Doing so ensures that the gadget will last long and provide consistent outcomes.

  • Reversing The Drill Bit

The drill undoubtedly has a reverse function, so if you need to remove a jammed screw, activate the drill before drilling through the application. 

Do not let it fall out of your grasp while working. When prepared to drill a hole in a material, rotate the conventional drills to the right side of the body. They’ll go in the other direction if you use the reverse feature on a drill. Before drilling, double-check that everything is in order.

5 Useful Tips To Sharpen Drill Bits Safely:

Drilling takes longer when the cutting blades of the drill bit wear down from repeated use. It’s possible that the drill holes are no longer accurate and constant, which might lead to mishaps. The following are some valuable tips to sharpen drill bits safely:

Tip-1: Getting Ready To Sharpen Drill Bits

Before starting, take safety precautions because sharpening a drill bit will send metal flying through the air. It’s best to wear eye protection to avoid getting hurt or making mistakes.

Tip-2: Wear Gloves

You can protect your hands with leather gloves. When needed, our team at Brazos needs to hold the drill bit in place with a vice or a sharpening jig. If you don’t have this, you can use a pair of pliers. Keep your hands away from the grinder as much as possible.

Tip-3: Avoid Overheating

The grinder must go slowly to sharpen the drill bit the right way. The side with the slope can touch the cutter by putting the bit against the bottom of the wheel. For most bits, this should be close to 60 degrees. The grinder shouldn’t touch the end of the bit.

You have to slowly turn the bit in a clockwise direction, taking it out of the water every few seconds to put it back in. This will keep the bit from getting too hot.

Tip-4: Test The Drill To Avoid Errors

Check how sharp the drill bit is every so often. You can do this by putting your finger on the drill bit. If it’s sharp, you won’t need to use the grinder anymore. You will also have to look at the angle of the drill bit.

It’s best to use a protractor to ensure that the bit’s angle is still 60 degrees. Mistakes can be avoided by checking this part of the process at regular intervals.

Tip-5: Avoid Accidents By Sharpening Drill Bits With A Metal File.

Once the drill bit is pretty sharp, then you have to finish the job with a metal file. This will keep the bit from getting too sharp. Put the bit in a vice or clamp, and sharpen it with a metal file. Don’t hold the file flat. Make sure to do this slowly and carefully to avoid making a mistake.

Related Questions:

Is There An Easy Way To Sharpen Drill Bits?

A drill bit sharpener, belt sander, or bench grinder is among the best ways to sharpen drill bits. Sharpening drill bits by hand is possible but much more difficult and time-consuming.

A file can be used to sharpen drill bits if a grinder isn’t available. Drill bits should be sharpened at 60 degrees with a file. With a vice or tight grip, run it down the edges.

Is It Possible To Sharpen Drill Bits With Your Hands? 

The bench grinder or belt sander can be an option for sharpening drill bits with the hand.  All you have to do is put the bits on the sharpener at the right angle. The bit needs to be put on the tool.  Tilted 45 degrees away from the tip.  And then turned counterclockwise to round off the landing.

After sharpening the drill bits by hand, don’t forget to put the drill in water to keep it cool. Continue to grind the drill bit until it has an even surface around it. Then grab a piece of scrap wood and begin drilling as soon as you’re satisfied with the sharpness of the bit. The drill bit should “snap” into the wood and throw wood chips as soon as it enters.

Angle Grinder Sharpening: How Does It Work?

To sharpen the Angle grinder, check the bits that need to be sharpened. Then hold the drill bit in and push it against the hole. Start the grinder while wearing safety glasses. Then move the bit carefully to the disc. Keep it straight and at an angle of 60 degrees.

Grind the heel of the bit at the junction of the shaft and tip to get the right angle. After 4 to 5 seconds of grinding, cool the bit in cold water. Then repeat the grinding and cooling process on both sides. Test the drill bit when it has a sharp tip and even edges. After you’re pleased with the bit’s sharpness, install it in the drill and start drilling scrap wood. 

What Angle Is Used To Sharpen Drill Bits?

Most drill bits have angled at 118 degrees or 135 degrees. The 118-degree bit has a smaller chisel and a steeper, more pointed profile than the 120-degree bit.

Drilling into softer materials, such as wood, often requires a bit with a cutting angle of 118 degrees or more. If utilized for this purpose, the greater cutting angle will also lead it to dull more rapidly.

Using a 135-degree bit for more stiff materials is common because it is easy to drill many holes in a single piece of material.

How Do You Sharpen A Drill Bit Without A Bench Grinder?

If you want to sharpen drill bits without a bench grinder, you can use a file to sharpen drill bits, which will take a few minutes. You can use a table vise to hold the drill bit in place. It will still work if you don’t have one, but it will be hard to hold.

Then put the file at a 60-degree angle on one of the blades. Blades flank the tip of the bit on each side. After sharpening, remove any remaining metal burrs by sliding a file up. And put one or two drops of machine oil on the drill bit and rub it in.

How Do You Know If A Drill Bit Is Dull? 

When a drill bit cannot cut through solid materials, that’s the sign of a dull drill bit. It happens when the drill operates at high speed, which causes a lot of friction, overheating, and dulling of the drill bit.

And when operating the drill with just one speed, there’s a chance of damaging all drill bits and making it dull. Use a drill with a variable speed setting. As small drill bits need to go slower than big drill bits. Regularly sharpening is important to keep the drills functioning at their peak performance. 

How Do You Keep A Metal Drill Bit Sharp?

It’s essential to sharpen metal drill bits to keep them in working order. Sharp drill bits need less effort to do the same task as dull ones, much as knives and axes. Then, sharpen the bit by placing it in a vice or clamp.

Use an angle to hold the file. A dull drill bit will eventually wear out the drill, rather than the other way around. Sharpening drill bits with a file can help keep the expensive power equipment in good working order.

And avoid over-sharpening the drill bit, wait until it’s sharp enough to complete the task. Be careful to go slowly and meticulously to avoid making any blunders.

Why Should Drill Bits Be Sharpened?

A drill sharpener is often a good purchase when drilling holes for crafts or DIY projects. It makes drilling easier and more efficient. If you have a sharpener for drill bits, you do not need to buy new ones. Sharpening the bits is a simple way to improve accuracy.

With a drill sharpener, you can reuse dull drill bits. This saves money and time. Dull drills are more prone to shatter under pressure, making their use riskier. You can sharpen it in minutes using a drill bit sharpener.

Final Words:

Drilling is more efficient and effective with a sharp drill bit. After prolonged use, bits eventually dull, break, or chip. As a result, drilling through even the softest materials will be difficult if the bit does not have a sharp edge. And it’s not difficult to learn how to sharpen the drill bit

It’s going to take some time and effort to become good at it. Drill bits’ lifespan can be significantly extended by those who learn this technique.

About Sam Maxi

Leave a Comment