While cutting with your drill bit, are you getting fragmented chips? Is it taking too much time? Is the quality of the drill hole is getting poor? If the answers are yes, then now it is a good time for you to find out how to sharpen a drill bit. Because, with an excellent sharped drill bit, the chips should be long and spiral, cutting time should be less and the surface finish of your workpiece should be wonderful.
We talked in detail about how to find the best drill bits and tried to make an useful list in different post. You can check them please.
Is It Worth Sharpening Your Drill Bit with all the Effort and Cost You have to Give?
Well, the answer is YES and NO. If you are a handyman and you need to use your drill bit more frequently, then buying new bits every time will be costly. Also, what will you do with all those old bits? You might have a bench grinder already in your workplace and that is just what you need to sharpen your drill bits with knowing only a few steps. Also, you can buy a Dremel sharpening station or a drill doctor to perform the task which makes the sharpening easy even to a non-technical fellow. So, YES, sharpening your drill bit is worthy for you.
But if you use your drill bits very occasionally, and you don’t have sharpening apparatus; it is better for you rather buying a new set than wasting time and money to sharpen the old ones. So, in this case, NO is your answer.
Safety First: Use safety glasses, gloves (in case of using file), use water to cool down the bit while sharpening.
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit
There are multiple options by which you can sharpen your drill bit. Among them, most popular options are using-
- Diamond File
- Belt Sander or Bench Grinder
- Angle Grinder
- Dremel sharpening station
- Drill Doctor
Understand the drill bit cutting edge
Before starting to sharpen a drill bit this important to understand the types of the drill bit and the cutting edge, cutting angle and so on. Decide how you will sharpen your drill bit according to your plan. Before you begin, you must identify few terms like point angle, land, relief areas, chisel angle etc. That is needed in order to sharpen. Because a simple wrong sharp edge can totally result in a disaster in your workpiece and damage your cutting efficiency.
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit Using Diamond File
Typical files would not be able to cut the drill bit as the file and the drill bit are usually made of the same material, so you will obviously need a diamond file to sharpen your drill bit. This is how you sharpen your drill bit very easily:
- Hold the drill bit firmly on a bench vice.
- Slide along the file on the land of the bit.
- Also, slide along the relief. You can do it together by guiding the file making the filing motion little curvy.
- Do this on each side of the land to get the perfect tip.
This option is suitable for really smaller drill bits because their surface area of the land is very small. In the big bits, you might not get a flatland unless practicing hard.
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit Using Belt Sander or a Bench Grinder
Simply using a belt sander or a bench grinder, you can always sharpen your drill bit by hand on your own. As the typical fixtures or machines are very costly and cannot provide factory like excellent sharpening, there are so many machinists who prefer to do it by hand all by themselves.
Here is how you sharpen your drill bit
- Set the guards of your sharpening machine 1/8″ away from the wheel or belt as a safe distance to do the work. Turn the machine ON. Hold the drill bit with both of your hands using the right hand as a guide and left hand as a feeder. Now place the land of the bit against the belt or grinder holding the bit at a 60-degree angle to the face of the sander or grinder.
- Cut the land of one side by giving a feed with the left hand and applying pressure on the grinder.
- Move your left hand towards the right to create chisel angle which should be 45 degrees from the lip.
- Slowly moving your hands, try to combine the cutting, shaping and rotating at the same time to get a flawless sharped bit.
- Repeat above steps by rotating the drill bit 180 degree to sharpen the other lip as well.
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit Using Angle Grinder
If you have an angle grinder, you can use it as an effective sharpening device. The only thing you need is a Jig made from scrap wood piece to make your task easier.
This is how you do it:
- Make the Jig:
You have to make the Jig according to the point angle of the drill which you want to sharpen. Say, the point angle is 135 degree, so mark the block with a line of 67.5 degrees with its base and drill a hole into the block along the line. In this way, when you put your drill bit in this hole, the land will be aligned with the block surface completely and will allow you to sharpen correctly.
Fix your Jig in a bench vice with your drill bit in it. Hold the drill bit with your hand pressing it against the hole while with another hand you will hold your angle grinder. In this position, the land of the bit should be parallel to the wooden block surface.
- Sharpening cutting edge:
Switch ON your grinder and sharpen the land just pressing it against the bit. Do it on the other side rotating the bit 180 degree.
- Sharpening relief:
Now, remove the bit from the Jig and press it against your bench vice firmly and sharpen the reliefs of both sides. This might be little tricky cause you will need to pay complete attention and be very swift.
It is easier to do on the bigger bits rather than the smaller ones because the bigger ones have a large surface of the land. Also, do not forget to use a new flat disc on your grinder before doing the job.
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit Using Dremel Sharpening Station
This is an excellent tool used for sharpening a drill bit which is as big as 3/8″ to as small as 7/64″ in size.
Steps are as followed:
- Secure the Dremel to a table so that it won’t move during operation.
- Install the drill bit guide (which is a different part) onto the motor unit.
- Remove the bit holder from the guide and insert your drill bit into the holder.
- Turn the knob of the holder clockwise and loosely tighten the holder so that the drill bit still can move freely.
- Now put the bit holder into the alignment block of the drill bit guide to set the angle. Press the V block down against the holder while pushing the bit upward and rotate gently to match the angle. Just when the drill bit and V block slide upward to the depth pin, your depth has been set and you can now fully tighten the knob of the holder.
- Turn the Dremel on and insert the holder into the sharpening block. Grip the sharpening block and bit holder together firmly as well as rotate the guide from right to left and vice versa. You will know that sharpening is done when the grinding sound stops.
- Flip 180 degree and repeat step f.
- Turn off the Dremel and get back to work with your newly sharpened drill bit!
How to Sharpen a Drill Bit Using Drill Doctor
Drill doctor is a magic device that allows you to sharpen your drill bit without being a drill master. It is also said the best drill bit sharpener in the market. You just follow some quick steps and voila! Your bit is as good as new. As there are multiple models of Drill doctor available in the market, there is a slight difference in some steps. That’s why you will find specific descriptions under single step which are eligible for specific models. Here is how it works:
Insert the drill bit into the chuck, allowing 1/2″ of the bit so that it sticks out of the chuck.
- Model 350X:
Snug the chuck, rotate the bit until the flute hits the chuck jaws. Keeping the power off, set the depth by pushing the chuck into the sharpening port for exact cutting. Let the bit slide back in the chuck if necessary.
Model 750X: Set Material Take-Off to ensure the sharpening of your bit more/less aggressively.
Model 500X: Set your desired point angle of the drill bit.
Model XP: No action is required.
- Model 350X:
No action is required.
Model 750X, 500X, XP: Now open the clamp arms to insert the chuck into the alignment port. Then release the clamp arms and ensure that bit clamp arms hold your drill bit at narrowest width.
- All Models: Tighten the chuck completely to ensure the setup.
Turn the power ON of the machine aligning the white line on the chuck with raised cam pin and insert the chuck into sharpening port. The purpose of the white line is to provide you a sign so that you can keep track of how many turns you are working and helps you to do the task properly without any confusion. Rotate the chuck clockwise white line to white line and repeat this until you hear no more grinding noise.
- Split (optional):
Model 350X: There are no options for split points in this model.
Model 750X, 500X, XP: Keeping the drill bit secured in the chuck, remove only the grit tube. Now, align the white line on the chuck with the other white line which is on the split port. Plunge the chuck into the split port. You have to remove the chuck and repeat this step for the other side.
Voila! Your drill bit ready to drill some holes!!!
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Sharpening a drill bit is quite challenging especially for the newbies, but a bit study on how to sharpen a drill bit will help you to achieve the confidence to do this job in a proper way. Hope this post helped you a lot.