Drillly is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


How to Sharpen Drill Bits? – 5 Different Ways Explained

how to sharpen drill bits
Written by Brent Butterworth
Last Update: May 8, 2023

Have you ever tried to drill a wooden or steel object and noticed that the bits aren’t swirling as they used to do? Some of your bits may not be operational anymore and they may be spreading plume of smoke and high screeching squeaky sounds while you are using them. If you don’t have a drill bit sharpener around, don’t worry. Here, we are going to show you how to sharpen drill bits using 5 different methods.

Should You Try to Sharpen Drill Bits on Your Own?

Whether you are a woodworker, a carpenter or a plumber, you must be familiar with drill bits more than any tools you regularly use at work. After a certain period of time, those drill bits get older and you may think about replacing them. But this will cost you money while there is the option to do it yourself at your workshop.

There must be a bench grinder at your garage or workshop that might come in handy now. But in case you do not own any sharpening tool, you may have to find replacements so keep your project’s working flow consistent.

How to Sharpen Drill Bits- A Beginners Guide

How to Sharpen Drill Bits

You may be surprised to know that you can actually do the sharpening with several ways. However, we will share the most widely used methods that you can do easily:

  1. Diamond File
  2. Bench Grinder
  3. Angle Grinder
  4. Dremel Sharpening Station
  5. Drill Doctor

1. Using Diamond Files:

Diamond files are used to sharpen a range of objects. Well, you can also use them for drill bits. Just follow the steps below:

  • Place the dull drill bit securely on a sturdy bench vice
  • Move it along the surface of the file
  • Glide it carefully in the course of the relief
  • Repeat the process on every side of the drill bit land to get a sharp tip

2. Using a Bench Grinder:

The bench grinder is a handy tool that’s also commonly used to sharpen drill bits. However, many machinists prefer to sharpen drill bits by hand since a belt sander is somewhat costly that they cannot afford. Below we have discussed how to sharpen drill bits on a bench grinder.

  • First, switch the machine on and stand at a safe distance from the wheel
  • Place the bit land against the grinder or belt keeping the bit at 60° angle
  • Clip the land from one side and put pressure on the bench grinder
  • Create a small chisel angle by moving the left hand to the right side
  • Cut, shape, and rotate by moving the hands to sharpen the bit flawlessly
  • Rotate your drill bit at a 180-degree angle to sharpen up the rest of the drill bit

Sharpening drill bits by using Bench Grinder

3. Using an Angle Grinder:

An angle grinder is one of the most convenient tools to sharpen drill bits. Here, you need to have a jig to make the task easier. Make the woodworking jig as per the drill’s point angle that you would like to sharpen. For instance, if there is a 135-degree point angle, mark this block with a 67.5-degree line with the base. Then drill the hole inside the block alongside the line. As a result, when you’ll put a drill bit in the hole, the land will completely get aligned with that block surface, allowing you to do your sharpening correctly.

Now do the following:

  • Fix the jig in your bench vice keeping the drill bit in it. Now hold the bit with one hand and press it against that hole while holding the angle grinder with your other hand. The land of the drill bit must be parallel to the surface of the wooden block.
  • Now turn your grinder on and press the land against the bit to sharpen it. Then rotate the bit 180 degrees and do the same on the other side.
  • Finally, take the bit off the jig. Then firmly press the bit against the bench vice and hone the reliefs on both sides.

Using angle grinder to sharpening drill bits

4. Using the Dremel Sharpening Station:

The Dremel Sharpening Station is an exquisite tool to sharpen your drill bit. This will surely make your work easier if you know how to sharpen a drill bit with a Dremel. But keep in mind that this tool can sharpen bits that are ?” to 7/64” in size.

  • Place the Dremel on a table firmly so it doesn’t move while you work
  • Take the drill bit guide and install it to the Dremel motor unit
  • Take the bit holder out from the sharpening station guide and place the drill bit to the holder
  • Push the V block downward in resistance to the holder when pushing the drill bit upward, then turn it gently to keep at a matching angle
  • Switch on the Dremel and place the holder to the firm sharpening block while holding this block and the bit altogether
  • Flip the bit at 180 degree and do the same as step 5. Stop sharpening when there is no grinding sound

5. Using the Drill Doctor:

The Drill Doctor sharpener enables you to sharpen your drill bit without mastering the sharpening. The specific models consist of few different steps. Using split doctor, you will know the faster way on how to sharpen drill bits. Find the basic procedure for work below.

  • Turn the machine on and keep the Drill Doctor white line of the chuck into correct position with elevated cam pin then place the chuck to the dedicated sharpening port
  • The white lines will help you keep the track of the turns.
  • Later, you need to turn the chuck clockwise from white line to white line and iterate the steps until the grinding doesn’t make any sound.

To conclude, drill bits come in diverse sizes with different angle points. Though they have high resistance to heat and fragile issues, they still become dull and require sharpening on a regular basis. Now that you know how to sharpen drill bits yourself, you can easily do this at your workshop.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

Leave a Comment