Table of Contents
- View The Best Drill Bit Sharpeners Below
- 1. Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener
- 2. DAREX Drill Bit Sharpener
- 3. General Tools 825 Drill Grinding Attachment
- 4. Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener
- 5. Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener
- 6. GLOGLOW 3Pcs/Set Drill Bit Drill Sharpener Tools
- 7. MXBAOHENG MR-20G Drill Bits Sharpener
- 8. Drill Bit Sharpener Tormek DBS-22
- Drill Bit Sharpeners Buyer’s Guide
Eventually, even the best drill bits, whether they are high-speed steel bits, masonry bits, or even carbide bits will dull with use. When this happens, you have two choices for keeping your drill working well and safely: replace the bits or find a way to sharpen your drill bits. If you use your drill regularly, investing in a high-quality drill bit sharpener is a way to make sure your bits are well sharpened and ready to use that will save you money in the long run.
Which is better, an automatic drill bit sharpener like the famed Drill Doctor models or a simple adjustable clamp that uses your grinding wheel? Let’s break down the different bit sharpener options to find the best one for you.
View The Best Drill Bit Sharpeners Below
1. Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener
The Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener is one of the best drill sharpener models for professionals and serious DIYers. It is designed to sharpen many different types of drill bits, including masonry, cobalt, high-speed steel, and TiN-coated bits. It allows for customized point angles from 115 degrees to 140 degrees while also giving you the ability to create a split bit for faster penetration and reduced wandering.
Also, from 3/32-inch bits to 3/4-inch bits, the range of bit sizes this sharpener from Drill Doctor can handle is tough to beat.
+ Can convert standard bits to split bits
+ Custom point angle settings
+ Huge range of size settings available
+ Made in the USA
+ Backed by a 3-year warranty
Why We Like It – The capability of sharpening a wider than usual range of bit sizes and types, easy to use controls, and a 3-year warranty makes one of the best drill bit sharpeners for serious DIY enthusiasts.
2. DAREX Drill Bit Sharpener
This automatic drill bit sharpener from DAREX makes our premium pick due to its versatility in an easy to use machine. The ability to add a diamond sharpening wheel in addition to the Borazon wheel included expands your bit sharpening options from standard masonry bits and cobalt bits to tough carbide drill bits.
It is designed for sharpening bits from 1/8 to 3/4 inches, and it can be set for either a conic or split point. Also, custom set the point angle from 118 to 140 degrees.
+ Sharpen drill bits from 1/8 to 3/4
+ Custom point angle settings
+ Able to sharpen both standard conic and split point
+ Includes Borazon sharpening wheel
+ Diamond sharpening option available
Why We Like It – With a range of settings suitable for most applications and the option of adding a diamond sharpening option, the DAREX V-390 Drill Sharpener is one of the best drill bit sharpeners for professional workshops.
3. General Tools 825 Drill Grinding Attachment
Here is a budget-friendly drill bit sharpening option for those who already own a bench grinder. When attached, this device clamps your drill bits in place and holds them at the correct angle for sharpening, helping you make sure you have the correct placement for hand sharpening.
It has preset marks for standard angles, but it is adjustable for a custom match for almost any bit. Also, the head pivots to make it simple and easy to sharpen both sides of the bit.
+ Adjustable to match nearly any bit
+ Pivoting head allows for simple sharpening on both sides
+ Preset marks for standard angles
+ Works with your existing bench grinder or surface grinder
Why We Like It – If you already own a bench grinder, this attachment from General Tools can assist you in making drill bit sharpening using your grinder easy while ensuring good results.
4. Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener
If our top pick piqued your interest, but you are wary due to the price tag, the Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener may be a better fit for your workshop. While still offering the quality Drill Doctor drill bit sharpeners are known for, the Drill Doctor DD350X has a more narrowed range of bits it can sharpen, which lowers the price point without sacrificing quality.
Sharpens standard bit sizes from 3/32 to 1/2-inch.
+ Sharpens a wide range of standard drill bit sizes
+ Diamond sharpening wheel
+ Cooling design maintains bit tempering
+ Made in the USA
+ Backed by a 3-year warranty
Why We Like It – The Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener is one of the best drill bit sharpeners for those who want the precision of the 750X but do not need the level of versatility that model offers. This “stripped down” model works just as well for standard sizes and is easier on the budget.
5. Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener
Sometimes the extra bells and whistles are unnecessary and unwanted, and that is the case for some who already have a bench grinder and simply want something to assist with hitting the correct angles during sharpening. The Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener is an economic way to use your bench grinder to also sharpen your drill bits. It comes with markings for common bit point angles, but it is also fully adjustable to create a custom match for virtually any bit. It attaches directly to your bench grinder for convenient use, and it comes with instructions included to get you sharpening in no time at all.
It works best with drill bits sized 1/8-inch to 3/4-inch quickly and with precision.
+ Fully adjustable
+ Preset for standard angles
+ Attaches to your bench grinder
Why We Like It – The Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener is a compact, easy to use, and budget-friendly tool to utilize your existing bench grinder to sharpen drill bits.
6. GLOGLOW 3Pcs/Set Drill Bit Drill Sharpener Tools
One potential downside to sharpening your drill bits is the chance of small errors adding up over time. The best action to take in preventing this is to invest in a set of gauges and double-check your work each time you sharpen them, whether you use a sharpening wheel or automatic sharpener.
These stainless steel gauges have measures for checking almost every bit type, and they even come in a handy travel case to keep them at hand and ready to use.
+ Constructed of stainless steel for superb durability
+ 3 piece set provides measures for most drill bits
+ Comes with a carrying case
Why We Like It – What good does sharpening your drill bits do if they no longer hold the proper dimensions and angles for effective use afterward? This set of three drill bit angle gauges is designed to assist you to make sure your bits are sharpened correctly each time to maintain your drill bits for years to come.
7. MXBAOHENG MR-20G Drill Bits Sharpener
If you need a drill bit sharpener a step above those designed for DIY enthusiasts, this may be the best drill sharpening tool for your workshop or business. Designed to tackle a wide range of drill bits with speed, efficiency, and uniform results, the MXBAOHENG MR-20G Drill Bits Sharpener is an ideal fit for professional workshops, construction companies, and renovation companies.
Even the bit’s point size may be adjusted for improved precision and prolonged life. Also, the sharpener is covered by a 1-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
+ Designed for high-speed steel and carbide bits
+ Sharpens bits between 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch in diameter
+ Capable of matching any angle from 90 to 135 degrees
+ Backed by a 1-year limited warranty
Why We Like It – The MXBAOHENG MR-20G Drill Bits Sharpener is a heavy-duty means of sharpening a lot of drill bits in various sizes quickly and is best suited for busy workshops and professional applications.
8. Drill Bit Sharpener Tormek DBS-22
If you are looking for a means of sharpening your drill bits but would also love to find a way to maintain all of your edged tools in a single product, this jig by Tormek may be the best bit sharpener for you. The jig is designed to handle a wide range of bit sizes and point angles. Plus, it can be adjusted to sharpen other tools.
+ Four facet grind produces shaper bits
+ Versatile jig can be used to sharpen multiple tools
+ Sharpens bits between 1/8-inch to 7/8-inch in diameter
+ Capable of matching any angle from 90 to 150 degrees
+ Backed by a 1-year guarantee
Why We Like It – Tormek’s DBS-22 Drill Bit Sharpening Jig attachment is a drill bit sharpener best suited for busy workshops in possession of a grinding wheel. This multiuse jig not only sharpens bits effectively, but it is an excellent way to maintain the condition of all your edged tools.
Drill Bit Sharpeners Buyer’s Guide
Is it worth sharpening drill bits?
When it comes to tools designed to cut, bore, or otherwise reshape materials, a sharp tool is both easier and safer to use than a dull one. If you want your mower to continue trimming your lawn well, you must maintain and sharpen your blades regularly. The same is true of the knives in your kitchen. While sharpening drill bits may be a bit more complicated than renewing the blade on your favorite kitchen knife, it is also just as necessary for getting continued safe and efficient use from your drill and bits.
Why though? Any blade or ground edge will dull with use. This is as true for drill bits as it is for any knife, blade, or trimmer, and any dulled blade will require more force to be put behind it to finish the job. As you put more force onto your drill within use, you increase the chances of the bit breaking, a prospect capable of ending in a nasty accidental injury.
While one may simply replace a set of bits as they dull, this can become costly fast, especially for those who use their drill on a regular basis. Having a drill sharpener in your workshop arsenal will allow you to get the most out of all of your drill bits and save you a considerable amount over the years. In short, investing in the best drill bit sharpener to suit your needs is an investment toward consistently getting the best from your drill and collection of bits for as long as possible.
What should I look for to find the best drill bit sharpener?
There is no hard and fast rule for what makes the best drill bit sharpener because the needs of a workshop will vary based on size, how often the bits are used, what materials they are used on, and what types of drill bits are in regular use. However, we can help you narrow down the drill bit sharpeners to place on your research list by walking you through key differences and which types will work best for what conditions.
The first factor to consider is size, not only of the sharpener itself but for the drill bits it is designed to sharpen. Drill sharpeners are available in a vast range of sizes from small handheld models to huge drill bit sharpeners designed for industrial uses. We have kept our list of the best drill bit sharpener models narrowed to the small to mid-sized range since this is what the majority of our readers will find of most use.
The majority of commercial bit sharpener models available are designed for bits ranging from 1/16″ to 1/4″ since these are the size bits needed for most household uses. Some drill bit sharpener models offer the ability to handle all the way up to 1/2″ bits as well, though they are less common. If you need smaller or larger bits than these often enough where a sharpener is a worthwhile investment over simply purchasing a new bit, you will need to look into investing in one of the more specialized sharpeners.
Next, consider the material of the sharpening surface. Sharpening a drill bit or any other edge surface requires the removal of material from the edge, so in order for a sharpener to be effective, it must be composed of a harder substance than the one it is sharpening. Most drill bit sharpener models are designed to tackle standard bits sold for home do-it-yourself uses. These drill bits are composed of cobalt or high-speed steel, and these bits may be sufficiently sharpened with an abrasive of 100 grit or higher.
Note: Unlike sandpaper, the higher the grit number, the more abrasive when dealing with drill bit sharpener options.
Carbide drill bits are a bit different. Titanium carbide is much tougher than the metal used to make most drill bits as well as also being more brittle. If you use this kind of bit enough to need a sharpener for them, you will want to invest in a drill bit sharpener that either comes with a diamond sharpening option or has the ability to be upgraded to include one.
There are a few different types of drill bit sharpeners to look through when considering the best sharpener to use for your bits. There are simplistic models designed to hold the bit at the correct angle and make use of your existing bench grinder for the actual sharpening process. Others use the drill itself to power their sharpening wheel. However, the majority of dedicated drill bit sharpener models are automatic. You set the included adjustments to fit the bit that is being sharpened, and it handles the rest with the aid of you holding the bit at the correct angle.
Note: If the bits you use are coated, sharpening them will remove part or all of the coating.
How can I sharpen my drill bits?
Thanks to modern engineering, you have a few different ways available to sharpen your drill bits today. There are a few great automatic drill bit sharpeners available today. These often employ an electric motor to run the grinding wheel and an adjustment system designed for easy operation whenever you need to sharpen certain kinds of bits. There are manual models with a bit more of a learning curve to begin using properly to maintain the correct sharpening angle. There are also basic systems designed to grip and hold the bit at the proper angle and allow you to use a bench grinder to renew the edge of your bits.
You want to take the bit materials you have on hand when researching sharpeners to ensure the one you pick has the features needed for the best results possible. After all, steel drill bits have different requirements to sharpen than cobalt or carbide bits, and using a sharpening system designed for bits you do not employ can affect how effective and durable your results turn out.
Yet, perhaps you are looking for a way to manually sharpen your bits using a grinding wheel already in your possession without the need for purchasing another tool, even one specifically designed to prevent user error for such tasks. This is the most cost-effective method for one who already owns a sharpening wheel, but it is one of the more difficult means of accomplishing the task as well. Nevertheless, it is something you can attempt with little risk if you already have the needed tools, so we have included the instructions. Just be aware, there is a fair chance the first few bits you attempt to sharpen this way may need to be replaced, so it is advised to use your lower quality bits for practice first.
Before heading out to your bench grinder, take a couple of minutes to ensure your safety throughout the process. Slag and metal shavings in the eyes cause nasty injuries, so make sure you have safety goggles. Work gloves are also a good idea if you can maintain a strong grip on the bit while using them. Yet, a couple of metal splinters are easier to remove without a problem than the potential injury caused by losing your grip on the bit in the midst of sharpening. So, use your best judgment regarding whether or not to wear work gloves.
You will be well served by also grabbing a glass of cold water. The friction of using a grinding wheel of any kind creates a fair amount of heat, after all, and a hot bit will lose more material faster than a cold one. Plus, having a means of cooling the drill bit between sharpening rounds will help maintain the bit’s tempering as well and thus help retain its durability over the long run.
Take a few moments to study the bits you plan to sharpen before starting up the wheel. The goal of sharpening a bit does not necessarily mean you need to remove a lot of material. In fact, the smaller the amount of material removed the better to prolong the life of your bits. So unless the bit is horribly damaged, a fine grit grinding wheel is the best tool for the job. This will allow you to create a new sharp edge without removing too much material and drastically reducing the life of the bit in question.
Put on your safety goggles before starting the wheel. Do the same with your work gloves if you are certain you will be able to keep a firm hold on the bit while sharpening.
If you have a set of gauges on hand, check the starting gauge and measurement of your bit and write it down for future reference. Keep these gauges close at hand to check your work as you inspect the sharpened bits later.
Start the wheel and hold the bit’s cutting edge parallel to the wheel without touching it yet. Once you are certain you have the correct alignment, move the bit toward the wheel while being careful to maintain the angle. Allow the bit to touch the grinding wheel at this angle for a maximum of five seconds without turning or rotating the bit in any way. You only need to remove a very small amount of material to resharpen the cutting edge, so this short time is ideal to remove enough without going overboard and wasting precious material.
Use the cold water you brought out to the workshop to cool the bit. Again, you are working with a small blade of relatively thin material and a great deal of friction. It takes no time at all for a significant amount of heat to build up, and this in turn will soften the metal considerably. Taking a moment to cool the bit between passes will prevent the removal of more material than you want as well as bending or warping of the point that can have the opposite effect of the sharpening desired.
Inspect the side you sharpened to see if it is well-honed or if it needs another pass on the wheel. If it looks good, you may rotate the bit 180 degrees and repeat the process on the opposite side. Make sure to cool the bits between each four or five-second pass on the grinding wheel.
Try to maintain the same angle and point on both sides. This helps ensure the drill will bore consistent and straight holes in the future. If you have gauges to inspect your work, use them now to double-check yourself. If you do not, aiming for a 60-degree angle measurable with any basic protractor is a good and usable baseline for most drill bits to maintain good results.
You can test your sharpening results using a piece of scrap wood. Merely holding properly sharpened bits perpendicular to a piece of wood and twisting should result in the beginning of an opening. If it does not, return to the wheel and continue sharpening.
Further extend the life of your drill bits by getting into a few good habits between sharpening sessions. Both during the sharpening process and while drilling, excess heat is never your bits’ friend. Heat will reduce the effectiveness of your grinding wheel in sharpening them, and heat build-up during drilling will hasten the dulling process as well. Therefore, to make the most of your bits and help them last as long as possible, take every opportunity to reduce the amount of heat produced and retained while working.
Remember the cup of cold water employed during the sharpening process? It can be useful here as well. Stop drilling periodically and cool the bit in use completely before returning to work. Keep a clean, dry cloth on hand for fast drying to protect your drill. This may add a few minutes to your work overall, but it can add months to the life of your bits.
Additionally, stopping every few inches to pull back and clear wood chips and dust also plays a key role in reducing heat production while working. The more frequently you do this, the longer you can go between stopping altogether to water cool your bits. These chips and dust act as insulators trapping heat generated by the friction of boring through the wood, so the longer you go without removing them, the more heat builds up. Additionally, the momentary reprieve from drilling and introduction of cooler air serves to cool the hole being drilled as well.
If you have already purchased a new set, do not discard your old ones. Some craftspeople have found success in further extending the life of their sets by switching out between the newer, sharper set and the old, dull one. Simply using the new, sharp set to start your holes and then swapping to the older set for the majority of the “grunt work” will lower the wear and tear overall.
Can you sharpen carbide drill bits?
Yes, you can sharpen carbide drill bits, but it is a tad more difficult than sharpening other types of drill bits. In order to put a new edge on your carbide drill bits, you will need to use a diamond sharpening wheel. However, before you head out looking for a drill bit sharpener specifically to sharpen your carbide drill bits, you need to ask yourself if doing so also fits your budget well now and in years to come.
The lure of carbide drill bits is based upon their durability, but said durability also comes with a larger price tag than more standard bits. Likewise, a sharpener with a wheel capable of sharpening a carbide drill bit will typically cost more than a more standard tool to sharpen bits. In order for such a purchase to have any sort of return on investment, you must use your carbide drill bits often enough to make sharpening them more cost-effective than simply replacing them.
Will Drill Doctor Sharpener sharpen cobalt bits?
Yes, the four main Drill Doctor Drill Bit Sharpener models will sharpen cobalt bits in addition to a range of other bits. They will also effectively sharpen masonry, TiN-coated, high-speed steel, black oxide, and carbide bits.
In fact, the main differences between different Drill Doctor bit sharpener models lay in the different settings and adjustments of which they are capable. The 350X drill bit sharpener has the smallest range of bit sizes it can sharpen, and it is unable to be adjusted for chisel or relief angle.
The XP model has a similar range, but it is capable of adjusting chisel and relief angles as well as creating or restoring split points. The 500X adds a 135-degree twist bit point angle capability. The 750X model further stretches the twist bit point angle capability over the other models while also allowing you to adjust how much material is taken off as well.
Let’s Get Straight to the Point.
You have a few different options available to make sure your drill bits remain sharp and well ready to use at any time. Among the best drill bit sharpener options are stands designed to hold the bit in place so your existing bench grinding wheel can also sharpen a drill bit in addition to its common uses. If your workshop does not boast a bench grinder, there are several automatic drill bit sharpener models designed to tackle most masonry bits as well as high-speed steel bits or cobalt bits.
When researching different drill bit sharpeners, look for ones with the correct sharpening wheel material and grits to handle the bits you use. Ensure the drill bit sharpener can be adjusted to fit the size drill bits and the point angles you use most often while being easy to use and sized for your workshop and budget.