If you have ever made holes into any material like wood, metal, or aluminum, you surely have come across the small, cylindrical solid metal tube called drill bits.
The sharpness of the edge and the overall strength of the bits are critical for the machine’s drilling performance. They have a rotational mechanism that powers these bits to cut while requiring that the edges be sharp enough to tackle hard materials.
But how do you sharpen them? Of course, it has to be a sharpener that does its job right. But how do you find the perfect sharpener for your drill bits from so many choices available today?
Well, the Drillly team is here to help you with that. We spent countless hours researching and testing these essential woodworking tools and then compiled a top 7 list based on our user experience.
We strongly believe that this list with a buyer’s guide will help you make an informed buying decision that will serve you for years. So, read on and find out the right match for your home workshop!
We Played With These Drill Bit Sharpeners to Find Out the Winner
01 Drill Doctor 500X (Our Top Choice)
Drill Doctor 500x is designed to offer you satisfaction when sharpening your blunt drill bits. You will appreciate the seemingly effortless sharpening process available with this machine.
It will interest you that this machine is made with the most durable materials to enhance its lifespan and reliability. In its construction is a replaceable diamond wheel that maintains its shape no matter the time of usage. The excellent design of this model helps to keep the bits cool during operation and prevents it from losing its form to heat.
Also, the Drill Doctor 500x is highly versatile. It can accommodate bits that range from 3/32 – ½ inch irrespective of their depth marking units. Also, it can work on several bit types like high-speed steel, cobalt, masonry, tin-coated, and bits with split points for metal works. It is rated as a professional choice because of its extreme reliability and precision.
It is easy to set the bits and start your operation without the involvement of technicalities. All you need to do is align the bit and lock it in place. Then turn the chuck evenly based on the size of the bit to sharpen it.
You will appreciate how the jaws hold your bits fixed and securely when you’re sharpening and the protective ability of the jaw guide which prevents the twisting of small-sized bits.
We also liked the back-cut experience with this device which allows you to give extra narrower cuts to your bits which makes it produce a faster and easier drill. Also, the push stop design used in the drill point helps to keep the bit points from over-splitting.
Another point that is worth mentioning is that the Drill Doctor 500x features a die-cast angle shuttle and high-quality metal split-point port, which uses a permanent magnet motor that powers the machine consistently irrespective of the speed and load.
- Weight: 3.45 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 5.8 x 11.8 inches
- Color: Gray
- Material: Carbide
- Setpoint angles: 118/135 degrees
- Bit size: 3/32 – ½ inch
- Warranty: 3 years
- Has a very durable construction
- Can handle a variety of drill bit types
- Suitable for a range of bit sizes
- The wheel is made of diamond which makes it long-lasting
- Has a sturdy motor and base
- Very easy to use
- The back-cut sharpening operation produces drill bits that work fast with accuracy
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- The back angles may not be cut correctly sometimes
- You need to use the machine a bit more to understand its mechanics
Drill Doctor 500x is a professional product because of its ability to handle various bit sizes, types, and materials. It delivers an accurate and fast cutting while protecting the bit point from losing its strength. It relies on its permanent magnet motor that operates consistently despite the speed or the size of the bits.
This model features a diamond wheel that remains unchanged over time. Also, the wheel can handle about 200 sessions before it can be replaced. Finally, the process of setting and sharpening bits is almost effortless.
02 Drill Doctor 750X (Also Great)
With Drill Doctor 750x you can help you to save money as you sharpen and reuse your blunt drill bits. It is designed to save you from the difficulty often experienced when sharpening your drill bits by hand. It comes handy when you want to sharpen drill bit sizes from 3/32 to ¾ inch.
This model is designed for the professional user that intends to use an accurate and perfectly sharpened drill bit. You will appreciate the extent of its versatility and flexibility as it can handle just any metal type drill bit.
It will interest you that 750x can handle the standard bits, broken and the titanium-coated bits, unlike other products that cannot handle broken bits. Also, the ease at which you can set up and start sharpening your bits on this machine is highly commendable. The front chuck gives you a quick tight and you can adjust the cutting angles based on your need. It is a very powerful electric tool but is also very easy to use.
One feature we cannot fail to mention is the secure alignment system which is perfected by the long jaws and jaw guides that help you maintain a precise bit sharpening process while protecting your tools from damage.
Also, the sharpening wheel is made from a replaceable diamond material which maintains its shape and forms for over 200 times of sharpening. It is one of the most efficient and reliable small drill bits available today.
Drill Doctor 750x comes with a shell case that makes it easy to move from one place to another. Also, this case not only provides housing for your machine but offers storage space for two chucks, small drill bits, and other accessories.
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Dimensions: 13.8 x 5.8 x 3.8 inches
- Color: gray/black
- Chuck size: 3/32 – ¾ inch
- Grit rating: 180
- Warranty: 3 years
- Highly versatile and portable
- The wheel can be replaced easily
- Can fix broken bits
- The motor runs at a consistent speed despite the load
- Made from durable materials
- Mastering its mode of operation can be difficult
The Drill Doctor 750x is a reliable machine that deserves your attention. Its quality build not only guarantees your safety during operation but allows you to obtain finer and accurate results. It has an excellent versatility which enables it to handle all types and sizes of drill bits.
You will enjoy the ease at which the diamond wheel can be replaced. Also, the adjustable chuck allows you to fix the bits based on your need.
03 Drill Doctor DD350X 350X (Our Budget Choice)
Drill Doctor 350x has a reputation for its ability to handle different types and sizes of bits more than other models in its production line. It can cut standard bits, masonry, tin-coated steel bits, cobalt, and carbide bits. Moreover, it comes with a very compact design which makes it the envy of its competitors.
Still, on the design, this model can be carried or positioned anywhere in the workshop without having to worry about space due to its lightweight and small size. It is among the lightest products on the market.
It can accommodate 3/32-to-½-inch drill bits. This flexibility in chuck size allows it to handle a variety of bits. However, it is equally effective for small-sized drill bits.
Now let’s talk about its chuck alignment. Drill Doctor 350x is designed to work without the alignment ports which make the whole process easier and faster. The alignment and sharpening steps are to secure the bits and make even half turns on the chuck to an angle of 118-degree at most. The setup and operational procedures are not much tiring.
Another feature worth mentioning is that this model is equipped with V-blocks jaws that do not only hold the bits firmly in place but prevents the jaws from twisting. Besides, it comes with a replaceable diamond wheel that can withstand heat and abrasion for a long time.
- Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 4 x 7 x 5 inches
- Chuck size: 3/32 – ½ inch
- Material: Carbide, High-Speed Steel, Cobalt
- Measurement: metric
- Color: Multi
- Warranty: 3 years
- Lightweight and compact in size
- Can be used easily
- Can accommodate more drill bit sizes
- The motor runs very efficiently
- Can sharpen different bit types
- Has a very durable construction and design
- Has a limited sharpening angle
- Cannot perform the back-stop sharpening operation
Drill Doctor 350x is one of the smallest and lightweight products on the market that comes with a cheap price tag. It is recommended for persons who may experience difficulties in using bigger or advanced models. Its V-block jaw helps keep the bits in position and prevents the jaw bits from twisting.
Just like other models from Drill Doctor, it comes with a replaceable industrial-strength diamond wheel which is long-lasting and helps you to save money while renewing your old and worn bits.
04 Tormek Ultimate Plus TBP805 T8 (Our Multipurpose Pick)
This is a great choice in terms of flexibility and functionality. It can work on all types and sizes of bits. It is not just an ordinary machine but can be used for all industrial sharpening applications.
You will find in it six jigs that can perform sharpening operations on chisels, carving tools, lathe turning tools and drill bits. One of the most interesting things about this model is that it allows you to set the angles based on the size and material of the drill bit.
It is built with the most durable materials to withstand heat from excessive friction during the operation. To maintain its heat balance, it is coming with a cool water mechanism which helps to reduce the effect of heat while prolonging its life.
The jig lineup which is designed to accommodate all tools helps to hold the work pieces in place while the hard grinding wheel does the sharpening with speed and accuracy. Also, you can have more control over the process as the unparalleled jigs allow you to set and maintain the cutting angles with ease.
Equipped with a grinding and honing wheel, this model is multipurpose indeed. Also, it comes with a seven-year warranty among other accessories.
Also included in the kit is the drill bit attachment that helps you to operate it on your drill bits to the 4-facet point level. Another good thing is that the manufacturer has presented great documentation to make the learning curve easier for beginners.
- Weight: 80 pounds
- Dimensions: 30 x 28 x 28 inches
- Material: metal
- Color: blue
- Grit: 220 – 1000
- Chuck diameter: 8 – 5/8 x 1- 7/32 inches
- Water-cooling mechanism helps prolong its life
- Can sharpen any drill bit irrespective of size or material
- Comes with drill bit attachments
- Allows you to control the sharpening operation by setting it to your desired angle
- Very powerful and reliable
- Good at heat absorption
- Not suitable for light operations
- Too large and too heavy
This is a commercial tool designed to handle anything. The six jigs allow it to work on chisels, carving tools, lathe turning tools, and drill bits. This industrial drill bit sharpener is designed to simplify your grinding operations while enjoying speed and precision at all times. If you handle a large volume of work regularly, this one will definitely become your favorite in no time.
05 Drill Doctor Dd750X
This is another outstanding product from Drill Doctor which will help you to enjoy a smooth and accurate operation. It is very affordable despite its amazing features. It can handle different types of drill bits like high-speed steel, cobalt, and concrete.
Another interesting feature is its capacity to handle bit sizes from 3/32 to ¾ inch which enables it to handle bits within this range with speed and precision. In addition, it allows you to customize the angle by adjusting it from 115 to 140 degrees.
You will appreciate the additional sharpening effect of the back-cut split point bit sharpening mechanism, enabling your drill bits to penetrate the workpiece with speed and accuracy. Interestingly, this is ideal for home and professional use.
Still, on the design, it comes with an industrial-strength wheel sharpener. This is among the best grinding stones that come with any drill bit sharpening machine because of its high grit rating of 180. This implies it can handle any bit material comfortably with precision and speed.
In addition, the process of wheel replacement is very easy; all you do is take it out and insert a new one. You will appreciate that the wheel will handle up to 200 operations before it can be replaced.
The condition of a drill bit is always important for any metal or woodworker. While many users opt for the accessible path of buying a new set of drills to replace the old one, getting a reliable device like Drill Dr 750x can help you save some money and time.
However, one of the features that we want you to consider is its swooping 3-year warranty. This should give you the understanding that this machine is designed to maintain its performance and functionality for a long time. But it cannot sharpen forstner or spade bits.
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 5 x 8 x 4.5 inches
- Size: full size
- Color: gray/black
- Material: carbide, cobalt, high-speed steel
- Measurement system: metric
- Chuck size: 3/32 – ¾ inches
- Adjustable angles: 115 – 140 degrees
- Can be used with multiple drill bit types
- Back-cut split point enhances the performance of the bits
- Push-to-stop function helps keep the bits from over-splitting
- Equipped with an adjustable material take-off
- Comes with a long-lasting warranty
- Understand its settings takes time
- The directions could be confusing sometimes
If you are interested in buying a versatile yet a compact electric sharpening tool, then this is the product for you. It comes with adjustable chucks that can accept various bit sizes. We also like the optional back-cut split-point mechanism which helps to improve the bit’s efficiency.
This product is designed with the most durable materials which allow it to perform satisfying operations for a long time without the need for the replacement of the wheel.
Other Drill Doctor models that you might check out: Journeyman 400, Drill Doctor 250, Drill Doctor XPK, XPC, 500SP, 750SP, Handyman 250
06 DAREX V390 Drill Bit Sharpener
The DAREX V390 is an excellent choice if you are interested in buying a machine that can perform some of the perfect sharpening tasks on your drill bits within a few seconds. It features a Borazon wheel which works well with all cobalt drill bits.
It is interesting that you can replace the Borazon wheel with a diamond wheel to enhance its capability to handle other drill bit types.
Still, on the design, the DAREX V390 comes with an adjustable split-point that does not only enhance your comfortability during its operation but helps to improve its functionality. It is designed for both home use and more integrated or performance-driven applications. It works fast and efficiently on the most common drill bits at your disposal.
You will appreciate its simple 3-step operation that ensures that your bits receive the thorough treatment needed for its smooth drilling operations.
In addition, we also liked its extensive range of adjustable angles from 118 to 140 degrees which allows you to get the job done with ease.
Budget is one of the most important considerations when you’re buying such a machine, and DAREX V390 is among the most recommended electrically powered machines in this category based on its price-to-quality ratio.
Both new and professional users can try this product because of its surprising ease of use and its ability to do its job with precision.
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Dimensions: 17.4 x 15.4 x 12.3 inches
- Angle range: 118 – 140 degrees
- Wheel grit: 180
- Wheel diameter: 3 inches
- Maximum Speed: 3450RPM
- Power: 1/3HP
- Amperage: 4.5A
- Volt: 115V
- Bit size: 1/8 – ¾ inches
- Ideal for home use
- Comes with a 3-step sharpening system
- Borazon wheel can be replaced with a diamond to accommodate more bit types
- Point-split feature allows it to sharpen with more precision
- Adjustable angle allows you to operate the machine with comfort
- Can be operated with ease
- Cannot be used for heavy-duty operations
- The Borazon wheel that comes with can only be used with cobalt or HSS bits
The DAREX V390 is ideal for light operations from 35 to 50 drills a week. It comes with a Borazon wheel that can sharpen both HSS and cobalt drill bits with precision. We liked the fact that the manufacturers have created the option for replacing the Borazon wheel with a more powerful and long-lasting diamond wheel that can handle carbide bits successfully. Although mainly recommended for home use, professional users can also give it a try. Darex is also known for its M3, M4, M5, and SP2500 precision models.
07 Woodstock D4144
Woodstock D4144 took a spot on this shortlist because of its unique features. It is somehow different in construction and functionality from other products we have reviewed so far. It is a workbench machine but designed to satisfy you in both performance and durability.
It will interest you that this machine is constructed to be used with any top class benchtop grinder for maximum performance. This implies that it can only be used in conjunction with a drill press or other electrical sharpening devices.
Still, on the design, it comes with adjustable point angles that allow you to operate with comfort, speed, and accuracy. Your safety is of optimum importance as it is designed with safety standards to ensure that you have a hitch-free operation.
Another point that is worth mentioning is that Woodstock D4144 can handle various bit sizes from 1/8 to ¾ inches with speed and accuracy. In addition, this model can be stored or transported easily as it weighs just 1.37 pounds and has dimensions of 8.7 x 5.3 x 2 inches.
The warranty of this product should be one of the things that should interest you as it comes with a 1-year warranty which is a confirmation of its durability and reliability. Also, it does not come with batteries nor does it require its use.
We also liked the ease at which this product can be installed and operated. This product is unlike others that require you to work with it for some time before you can master its mode of operation. Here, Woodstock D4144 can be mastered and operated easily after the second attempt in most cases.
This is the right choice for you if you’re interested in using your bench grinder to sharpen your drill bits.
- Weight: 1.37 pounds
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.3 x 2 inches
- Bit size: 1/8 – ¾ inches
- Angle: 41 – 88 degrees
- Warranty: 1-year
- Has a very low weight
- Can be used by left-handed people
- Can be mounted on benchtops easily
- Small size construction allows it to be stored or carried easily
- It is very durable
- Cannot be used without a bench grinder
- Has a tendency to wobble
The Woodstock D4144 is designed to be used with a tabletop grinder or other sharpening machines. It is compact and lightweight. In addition to its 1-year warranty, it is designed with graded materials to enhance its durability.
We liked its extreme ease of installation and operation. Also, the angle adjustments offer excellent service by allowing you to align it accurately and comfortably with your tabletop grinder. Finally, it is a worthy product for you if your interest is to sharpen your drill bits with the aid of a benchtop drill press.
Drill Bit Sharpener Buying Guide: What to Look For
Following the considerations that experts believe are what make a drill bit sharpener great. As we’ve made efforts to make this your drill bit sharpener guide, you may make these considerations carefully to get help with the choice.
1. Size & Weight
A good drill sharpener handles drill bits of all varieties and is adjustable for the variable sizes. Also, it shouldn’t be too large or too heavy for your workspace.
The construction of the sharpener determines how you will feel working with it. To determine the level of flexibility and comfort you’ll derive, you should consider the material used for making the bits and the sharpener wheel.
Bits made of cobalt or high-speed steel and used to tackle plastic, wood, or soft steel can be sharpened with standard wheels of almost all varieties. Aim for getting a grit of 100 or higher as the higher grit runs more abrasively.
With brittle, carbide bits, your sharpener requires a diamond wheel. But don’t worry if yours doesn’t have it. You can always opt for an aftermarket upgrade. Regardless of the sharpener you have, you have to be careful when working on drill bits with titanium or similar coating.
These devices come in two distinct styles, such as automatic and handheld models. Automatic sharpeners come with various settings for adjustment. As a result, you can sharpen the bits comfortably and accurately without having to use a firm grip and a steady hand. Handheld versions are the basic type that should be attached to a drill press for the operation.
4. Drill Bit Size & Material
Drill bits are made from cast iron, titanium, steel, and other strong alloys. If such a sharpener is made from a less solid material then it will not be able to cut or sharpen the bits effectively. Also, if the size is larger than the sharpener or much smaller then there will be difficulty working with it. Make sure that your tool can handle bits of most sizes and materials.
Your preferred model should be able to handle the operation with efficiency. If you are to use it with a drill press, its construction and design should match with the targeted drill. Also, it should be able to sharpen the bits efficiently irrespective of the size or material.
6. Speed & Accuracy
You should examine the different speeds and accuracy ratings to enjoy a sharpener that comes with a good speed and accuracy rating. There should be consistency in the speed and it should be able to withstand friction and heat. These machines are way faster than traditional paper drill bit sharpeners.
A sharpener that allows you to have more control of the speed and precision level is usually the most preferred. Although many prefer a two-step operation, a three-step process could also help achieve the desired results. Also, a wide-angle range will certainly result in more accurate and better quality sharpening.
The higher number of sizes and types of drill bits that your device can handle; the better it can be compared to other choices. The goal is to pick something that helps you sharpen different types of drill bits with versatile functions and usability.
8. Ease of Use
To get your sharpener easy to operate, you may need to adjust its angle by inserting the bit and allowing the machine to take over. High-quality drill bit sharpeners will come with adjustability and modern control units. This is what you would want on most occasions. They are versatile and cover all sorts of bits, units, and brad points including those of an auger. You may use the instructions of a standard drill bit sharpener manual to ensure the perfect use of the machine.
Sure, you want to avoid annoying and unwanted noise that might leave you disgusted while getting the bits shiny and sharp. Those that produce some kind of sound but are not so noisy are what might attract your interest.
10. Grinding Stone
The quality of its grinding stone will determine its lifespan and you have learned (from the above discussion) a higher grit delivers the more abrasive power.
The duration may vary depending on the manufacturer. However, as a rule, you should consider buying products with at least a one-year warranty. The longer the warranty period; the better it is for you.
A top-quality device does not always have to be expensive. These tools are available at variable price ranges, starting from as little as $40 and running as high as a few thousand bucks. So, make a choice that fits all your expectations without exceeding your budget.
Why Use a Drill Bit Sharpener
A drill bit sharpener is a tool or machine that you can use to renew your blunt or worn drill bits. It makes more sense if you can reshape your drill bits instead of throwing it away or buying a new one.
It is common for you to buy some drill bits of various sizes but end up only using a few of them. There’ll always be ones that will be left unused.
The frequently used sizes may become worn or blunt at some point, often a way faster than the ones used less frequently. Some persons will prefer buying another set of bits to getting them sharpened with a machine. However, some may still go asking if a drill bit sharpener works. Well, my answer is here.
Over the years of association with woodworking tools, we’ve learned that having a sharpener is an economical way to get the peak performance off the bits.
If you are like me who uses drill bits frequently, then you will find our review very useful in making the right buying choice.
Care & Maintenance
Knowing how to care and maintain your machine will not only prolong its lifespan but will ensure that you enjoy a fast and accurate operation anytime.
- When you find that the machine is getting hotter, leave it for cooling. Wipe it with a piece of soft and moist cloth
- When the sharpener is running, you should save your fingers from entering any of the machine’s openings
- Once the device is on, don’t try to use your finger or any tool to make changes to its interior parts
- If you experience any wobbling with the machine, all you need do is put a piece of soft cloth below the tool for a better balance
- Make sure your machine has shield protection to keep it from harm and never try to sharpen a pencil or knife or anything else with it
- Finally, your sharpener should have a capacity sack
A Word from Drillly
If you are a craftsman or a drill hobbyist, then you should be interested in getting a reliable and feature-rich drill bit sharpener. A blunt or worn drill bit will make your work slow, inaccurate, and discouraging. You can save money by purchasing such a tool to handle your old bits rather than buying a new set of bits. If you’d like to save more, you can try a homemade one with DIY techniques.
We feel it necessary to mention that our shortlist does not contain products from reputable manufacturers like Dewalt, Sierra Tool, PlasPlugs, Powerfix, VINtek, Makita, Bosch, Martek, Harbor Freight, or Dremel. This does not mean that those are of poor quality and the only reason they are not listed here is because they were not good enough to compete with these seven choices. Maybe we could pick some of those models if this drill bit sharpener review consisted of 20 or 30 picks instead of just seven.
There are many such products on the market, but it is our responsibility to provide you with options that can suit your preference based on the fundamental factors we have highlighted in this review. So, you should keep these factors in mind when shopping for drill bit sharpeners. Get Drill Doctor 500x if you want fast and accurate cutting while Tormek Sharpening System TBP805 can be your ultimate choice for your metal or wood store.