Sharpening your own drill bits is a great way to extend their life and to get much better value out of purchases you’ve already made. Of course, to do that you need a drill bit sharpener.
It’s not always easy to tell when you’re getting a good deal when shopping online. Manufacturers aren’t known for creating straightforward and easy to understand product listings, which can make figuring out if you’re getting a steal or a bust a difficult task.
We think that well-informed consumers make great choices, so we’ve done the hard work for you, sorting through the different models on the market to produce this list of reviews of the best drill bit sharpeners of 2019. We also created a buyer’s guide so that you can learn everything you need to know about drill bit sharpeners before you buy.
|Drill Doctor DD500x|
(Best for the Money)
|Drill Doctor DD350X||2 lbs||4.2/5|
The Drill Doctor DD500x is a great choice for anyone who wants to bring new life to their drill bits. This model supports bits from 3/32 to 1/2-inches in size, which gives you some flexibility in what bits you can sharpen. It can also sharpen masonry drill bits, which makes it a versatile machine, and increases the value dramatically. You can also use to create or remove a split point on a drill bit, which means you can turn your drill bits into the ones that you wish you had, instead of the ones that you bought.
It comes with a 3-year warranty, which means the company stands by its product, and it means that you’re protected if something were to break. If you burn through a lot of drill bits, you’ll save a ton of money over time by investing in this model, which means you’ll use it a lot, which means you’ll be extra-glad that you have that great warranty. While it does top out at 1/2-inches in drill bit size, there’s still a ton of upside to this drill bit sharpener, and it’s a good investment that saves you money on drill bits in the long run.
The Woodstock D4144 is our choice for best for the money. Right off the bat, you’ll notice how inexpensive it is, which makes it a great deal under certain circumstances. This model is designed to hold bits at the appropriate angles up against a grinding wheel or belt grinder, which you’ll have to provide yourself. If you don’t own one of those, this model’s value goes down dramatically. However, if you already own one of those grinders, you can get really good value out of this purchase.
This model supports bits from 1/8 to 3/4-inches in size, which is a nice size range, and it also has presets to create countersink, 49, 59, 68, or 88-degree angles on your drill bits, which gives you a lot of flexibility. However, the instructions that come with this model are poor, so if you don’t know how to sharpen drill bits already, you’re going to have to do further research to figure out how to do it. Overall, this model is great value if you know who to sharpen drill bits and if you already own a bench grinder.
The Drill Doctor DD350X is a good choice if you’re looking for something inexpensive and if you don’t own a bench or disc grinder. The price is easily the best thing about this unit. While you don’t get as many sharpening options as you do with the other Drill Doctor on this list, this model is sufficient for basic sharpening needs. It comes with an option to buy it in frustration-free packaging, which is worth the price. You also don’t have to do as much alignment regarding angle as you do with the previous model, which is nice.
However, this tool does that some practice to learn. The ultimate quality of your bits is dependent on how well you use this machine, and it’s not a “set it to go and forget” kind of setup. You have to manipulate it a bit during operation to get the best results, which makes you something of an artisan. Consequently, the quality is inconsistent, especially at the beginning when you’re learning to use the machine. Overall, this model is not expensive, so it’s a great choice if you need something cheap and don’t own a grinding wheel.
We hope that our reviews have already taught you some things about drill bit sharpeners. If you want a fuller understanding of drill bit sharpeners, be sure to check out this buyer’s guide, which is loaded full of good general information about the products in this category. Once you read it, you should know everything you need to know before you buy, which makes it a great primer for beginners, and a good refresher course for people who haven’t shopped for a drill bit sharpener in a long time and are just now returning to the market.
The most important thing to consider when shopping for a drill bit sharpener is its ease of use. If it’s a pain the butt to use, you’re probably not going to use it that often, given how easy it is to go out and buy new drill bits. So, the easier the process is, the more money you’ll save because you’ll be more willing to spend the time to put a new point on an old drill bit.
Some factors that contribute to ease of use include whether you need to provide a belt or disc grinder. The cheapest model on our list holds bits in place, but it doesn’t sharpen them on its own, so you have to provide a grinder. The best models for this process would be a belt or disc grinder, so if you have one of those already, you can get a really good deal with that model.
If it grinds the bits internally, then you’re already in good shape on that front. Keep in mind that the devices that grind internally require a power source, so they’re not the sort of thing that you can easily take out into the field.
Another thing you should consider is the number of angles and points that you’re going to want to create on your drill bits. Different bits come with different angles, and that means you may need different equipment to create the same angles on them unless you’re okay with sharpening them to a different angle.
The most common angle is 118-degrees, because it works well in all materials, and doesn’t wander or dig in. However, it’s not going be the optimum angle for any material, so if you work exclusively with certain materials, then you may want to invest in a machine that can cut those angles.
You may also want to invest in a model that can create split points or take split points off of a dull bit that has them. Different cuts in different materials benefit or suffer from the presence of a split point on the bit, so if you get a model of bit sharpener that can create or destroy them, you can start custom-crafting bits to the task at hand, which is a valuable opportunity.
The first thing you should consider before buying a drill bit sharpener is the kind of bits that you own. If you’re only going to be sharpening bits to 118-degrees, then there’s no reason to buy a sharpener that has more options than that. However, if you have a wide variety of dull or soon-to-be dull bits, then you’ll want to spend a bit more to invest in a model that can cut a variety of angles.
Likewise, if you use bits with split points, you’re going to want to invest in a model that can create them, which typically costs a bit more than your standard bit sharpener. However, as long as you know what your needs are, and you invest in a high-quality drill bit sharpener, you should have no problem getting good value as long as you get a model that covers all of your needs.
The Drill Doctor DD500x is the best overall choice for someone looking for a bit sharpener, due to its range of bits, ability to create or remove split points, and its ability to sharpen masonry bits. The Woodstock D4144 is our choice for best for the money, as it comes at a great price, works with many bit sizes, and can grind multiple angles into your bits, though you get the best value out of this model if you already own a grinder. The Drill Doctor DD350X is a good option if you need an inexpensive model and don’t own a bench grinder, though it does take some time to learn, which drops it to the bottom of our list.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you think through what you’re looking for in a drill bit sharpener. Using that information, you should be able to find the model that meets your budget and that you’ll love using.