How to Use a Drill Bit Sharpener

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How to Use a Drill Bit Sharpener

Tools have been around for thousands of years, and they require frequent cleaning and maintenance to ensure they work properly. Drill bits in particular become dull over time and are less effective for working on projects around the house or in the shop. Consumers who use drill bits should check them occasionally for dull edges, and sharpen the bits as necessary. Before attempting to use a drill bit sharpener, shoppers should understand when to sharpen and the basic ways of doing so.  


Knowing When to Sharpen

The first noticeable sign that a drill bit requires sharpening is the need for more pressure than normal when drilling a hole. The drill bit will also create excessive heat as it struggles to drill with dull edges. Understanding the design of common types of drill bits and their purposes can help users recognise when a drill bit is too dull.


Drill Bit



Brad point (dowel)

Has a small point at the tip

Has spurs on either side

Wide range of lengths and sizes

Cuts clean, straight holes


Spiraling shaft comes to a fine, threaded point

Carbon steel

Cuts deep, precise holes

Wood spade or paddle

Paddle-shaped blade leads to a pointed tip

Sizes marked on the paddles

Cuts large, wide holes

Metal high-speed steel (HSS)

Black in colour

May contain cobalt

May be titanium coated

Cuts clean, straight holes while resisting high temperatures


Spiraling shaft leads to a tip often made of extra-hardened material

Tip may be a different colour

Cuts into masonry surfaces


Using drill bits as the manufacturer recommends is the best way to maintain the quality of the bits and prevent rapid dulling. It is also important to store drill bits properly and only use them for their intended purposes.


Using Drill Bit Sharpeners

If users notice that the edges of their drill bits are dull, they can sharpen them with a drill bit sharpener. Although there are several commercial drill bit sharpeners available, the use of a bench grinder yields the same results without the added expense. Users should always wear safety goggles and work gloves to protect themselves when using such tools.

Cleaning the Drill Bit

Before beginning the sharpening process, clean any excess dirt, grime, or dust from the drill bit. This can be achieved by simply wiping the bit with a water-dampened rag. This step is especially important for masonry and wood bits because they accumulate more dust and debris during use.

Using a Drill Doctor

Drill Doctor produces popular sharpeners, such as the 500X and 750X, that have the capability to sharpen drill bits hundreds of times. To use a Drill Doctor, first align the bit in the chuck and the alignment port to ensure precise geometry. Push the alignment button in to open the clamp arms, and place the chuck inside for alignment. Once everything is properly aligned, place the bit into the Drill Doctor sharpening point and turn it clockwise several times. If necessary, use the knob on the right side to adjust the point angle to a standard or flat degree marking.

Using a Bench Grinder

Many home workshops already have a bench grinder that can be used for sharpening drill bits. After setting up a 6- or 8-inch grinder, simply use a drill bit tool or jig to keep the drill in place while pressing it against the grinder. If skilled with handling tools, some consumers may opt to hold the bit in their hand while sharpening it. The bit is held at a 60-degree angle against the wheel and rolled softly clockwise to feed it against the wheel. Light but steady pressure should be applied, and it is important to pause frequently to allow the bit to cool.

Testing the Drill Bit

Once satisfied with the sharpening of the bit, test it by drilling a hole into a piece of scrap metal. The bit can also be tested by holding the tip against scrap wood and turning it clockwise to see if it begins making a hole. Finally, visually inspect the bit to ensure the edges are sharp and the same width before storing it away for later use.


How to Buy Drill Bit Sharpening Tools on eBay

When you are ready to buy what you need to sharpen drill bits at home, you can find all the necessary supplies on eBay. Use the search box located on any eBay page to type in phrases such as "drill bit sharpener" or "bench grinder". You can then filter the results by a specific brand of drill bit sharpener, price range, or condition. Do not hesitate to contact sellers with any questions you may have so that you can buy with confidence.

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