How To

How To Sharpen A Drill Bit

Tools are essential for any job, and you must have the right tool for the right job. Just like having the right tool, keeping them in top condition is also very important. The same is the case with drill bits; it takes more power to drill even a simple hole when they get dull.

Dull drill bits push the drill to work harder, and ultimately it breaks the brill bits. This might seem like a typical problem with all power tools, but it can result in personal injury.  

Before you go buying new drill bits from a hardware store, try to fix them yourself. All you need is a set of the right tools for removing broken bolts and some patience, to get the job done.

It is very simple and easy to sharpen a drill bit at home with minimal effort. Follow this guide, and you can sharpen your drill bits in no time at all.

Is Sharpening A Dull Drill Bit Worth The Effort?

Sharp drill bits are very important for effective drill work. Not only does it provide the desired work, but it also takes less time and is more energy-efficient. As an artisan, it is important to keep your tools in top condition.

The choice should be obvious when buying new drill bits instead of sharpening the old ones. Buying a new drill bit can be expensive and is impractical. On the other hand, sharing a drill bit might seem like a dumb thing, but it is actually the right thing to do.  

Sharpening a drill bit at home is very easy and can be done with just a little effort. Instead of buying new drill bits each time the old one gets dull, learn to sharpen the old one. If you are among the few people who like to save money, then this guide is for you.

Also, read Power Tools Market Demand By 5.1% CAGR Between 2021-2031

Why Is It Important To Have A Sharp Drill Bit?

As you might know, the edge of the drill bit is divided into two parts: a cutting edge and a relief area. As the name suggests, the cutting edge cuts through the material. A dull cutting edge will take longer to cut through the material; not only that, the cut will not be clean as well.

The longer it takes for the drill to cut through the material, the more strain is placed on the drill bit as well as the drill. The increased stress on the drill bit ultimately breaks it, which can cause an accident as well as personal injury. 

Keeping the cutting edge of the drill bit sharp is very important if you want to have clean holes as well as an enjoyable Drilling experience.

Things Required To Sharpen A Drill Bit:

If you are not well versed in sharpening your one drill bit, you might be wondering that it might require a lot of things. You will be surprised to know that all you need are things you might already have in your home. 

Here we have mentioned all the things you will need to sharpen a drill bit at home.

  • A dull drill bit.
  • A Belt sander. OR
  • A bench grinder.
  • Gloves.
  • Goggles.

The goggles and gloves are for protection and are optional. If you are confident in your ability to use a grinder, then you might as well skip it, but you can never be too careful.

How To Sharpen A Drill Bit:

Sharpening a drill bit is very easy and can be done in a few simple steps. Here we have provided you with the step-by-step process of sharpening a drill bit.

Examine The Drill Bit:

When sharpening a drill bit, keep in mind that only remove what needs to be removed and sharpen the rest. You can attach two types of wheels to a bench grinder: fine and coarse wheel. Examine the drill bit and determine what actions you should take with it. 

If the drill bit is in very bad condition, start the sharpening process with a coarse wheel and then move on to a fine grain wheel. If the drill bit is not that worn out, then use the fine wheel grinder. 

Start The Sharpening Process:

  • First thing first, put your safety equipment on to avoid any accident. Now firmly grip the drill bit and make sure that you are holding the cutting edge of the drill bit at 60 degrees angle. After that, start to move the drill bit towards the wheel slowly. 
  • Once the drill bit is in contact with the wheel, keep it straight and do not rotate the bit. 
  • After the bit is in contact with the wheel, hold it in contact for about 4 to 5 seconds. The only thing we are doing right now is to grind the dull cutting edge and not to wear the bit down. For achieving the recommended angle, make sure to grind the heel of the drill bit and not the edge. (if the angle is not kept at the right angle, the bit will not drill smoothly).
  • After 4 to 5 seconds, remove the drill bit from the grinder and quickly place it in cold water. If you keep the drill bit in contact with the wheel, it will become too hot and will also wear the drill down. 

After the drill bit has cooled down, check if the bit has been properly sharpened or not. If not, repeat the same process a 2nd time.

  • When the first side of the bit is properly sharpened, turn it around and use the same process for the other side. Make sure that you are keeping the drill bit at a 60 degrees angle. 

Keep in mind that both sides of the drill bit should be of the same width; otherwise, the hole will not be straight. Some professionals sharpen a little on both sides simultaneously to attain equal sharpness.  

  • Once you are sure that the drill bit has been sharpened as well as both the sides are of equal width, take a piece of wood and try out the drill bit on it. Gently press the drill bit and rotate it; even the slightest twist should start to bore through the wood.

If the drill bit is not performing as expected, take the bit to the grinder again and redo all the previously listed steps. Do not be discouraged if you do not attain the ideal sharpness a few times; it is all part of learning. 

  • Once you have tested that the drill bit is perfectly sharpened, grab a drill and attach the bit to it. Now take some spare wood and drill a few test holes. The drill should bore through with the least pressure and leave a perfectly straight hole.

Some Tips For Keeping Your Drill Bits In Good Health

Assuming you have just sharpened the drill bit and want to maintain the smooth experience of the bit, then follow these few key steps to keep it in good health.

  • After drilling a few inches pull the drill bit out and remove off chips of wood or any wood flakes. If these chips are not removed, they cause the drill to get hot as more and more chips get packed together. 

(The higher the temperature of the bit rises, the quicker it will become dull. )

  • After drilling for some time, turn off the drill and let it cool down for a little while. You can also use water to cool down the drill if you do not want to wait. This technique especially comes in handy when drilling through hardwood.

Dip the drill in cold water for a few seconds after drilling a few inches.

  • The last thing that you can do is keep two drill bit sets. Many professionals use the new and sharper drill bit to start the hole and then switch to a used drill bit. This allows them to keep the sharper drill bit sharpener for longer.
  • Another thing that greatly improves a drill bit’s health and keeps it sharp is keeping the bit clean. Once you have used the drill bit properly, clean it before putting it away.

Frequently Asked Questions:

QUESTION 1: How can you tell a drill bit is sharpened?

ANSWER: The easiest method of checking a drill bit’s sharpener is by holding the drill bit on your nail and spinning it with moderate strength. If the drill bit starts to cut into your nail, then it is sharp. 

QUESTION 2: What is the most common angle for drilling holes?

ANSWER: The most common angles for drilling holes are 135 and 118 degrees. The only difference between the two angles is the shape. 


Knowing how to work with one’s tools and fix them if they do not work properly is very crucial for an artisan. A drill bit can easily get blunt and won’t work if you do not care for it properly. 

It is very easy to buy a new drill bit if you can afford them but even if you can afford them, re-sharpening the old drill bit is very easy. Places like Drillingnerd provide a detailed guide on everything that you need to know about drills. We have mentioned all the necessary steps that you need to perform in order to sharpen a drill bit easily.

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This