How to Sharpen Drill Bits (5 Different Methods)
Has your drill bit been producing annoying shrieking noises every time you put it to work? Are you having a hard time drilling through wood and soft-metal? If you answered yes to either question, then your bit might need some sharpening.
You don’t have to run to the store every time to replace a dull, broken, or chipped drill bit. By sharpening the cutting edges, you can save yourself time and money. Although it might take some practice, you can achieve something close to a factory sharpen using any of the five DIY methods listed below. But let’s first outline the procedure.
Steps for Sharpening Drill Bits
When the drill becomes dull, resist the urge to push it harder against the material. Apart from damaging the bits, you risk injuring yourself. The procedure for sharpening bits is fairly simple, but it needs regular practice to perfect. Always wear safety goggles before you start. And avoid wearing gloves since they can get snagged on the grinding wheel, taking your hand along with them.
1. Examine the Dull Bit
Different bits will not wear out the same way. By examining them, you can tell how much of the metal you need to remove to keep the edge sharp. That will determine whether you need a course or fine grinding wheel.
2. Pick your Tool of Choice
Most sharpening tools are expensive, and you may not have the luxury of choice. However, most tools will work just fine provided you follow the correct procedure. If you have to choose among several tools, consider factors such as the type of grinding wheel (coarse or fine), ease of use, and the type of drill bit.
3. Hold the Bit Correctly
Hold the bit at a 60-degree angle against the grinding wheel using your dominant hand for guidance and the other for feeding. Since your hands will be too close to the grinding wheel, take care not to slice them.
4. Cut the Landing
Slightly raise your left hand while still pressing the bit against the wheel for no longer than 5 seconds. Remember, the objective is not to wear down the bit but to grind through the dull surface.
5. Cut the Chisel
To create a chisel angle, move your left hand to the right. The angle should be 45 degrees from the lip.
6. Shape the Landing
Rotate or roll the bit counterclockwise to create a rounded landing. A well-rounded landing will provide the lip with more support.
7. Rotate the Bit
Rotate the bit 180 degrees and repeat the previous three steps. That will ensure you sharpen the other lip too.
Repeat the steps a couple of times to achieve maximum results. If the lips of the drill are not symmetrical, keep rotating the sides to ensure you don’t favor one over the other. Once you achieve this symmetry, your drill is ready for use.
Five Different Sharpening Methods
Now that you are familiar with the procedure, you might want to know what options you have when it comes to sharpening your drill bits. The following are some of them.
Drill bits are bound to get dull, broken, or chipped with time. Without a sharp edge, you will have a hard time drilling through even the softest of materials. Luckily, you don’t have to buy a new bit every time it wears out. You can now breathe new life into old and worn out bits that you would have otherwise thrown away. You no longer have to waste your money buying expensive replacements.
Featured image credit: stokpic, Pixabay
- Steps for Sharpening Drill Bits
- Five Different Sharpening Methods