How to Sharpen a Drill bit: Step By Step Guide

How Can You Know If Your Drill is Dull or not?

Before approaching to the Step 1 of the cutting process, there is a Step 0. Check out whether your drill bit dull enough to reshape and resharpen or not.

They way of recognizing a dull drill bit is, it will be having a glint on light on the cutting edge between the couple of flutes. If such lighting glint appears, it means the cutting edge has become uneven and it needs some resharpening on quick basis.

How to Sharpening a Drill Bit at Home

Based on drill bit types, there is a number of variation of cutting or sharpening tools. But for now, we are going to consider the most common variant of drill bits- the twist drill bits. And to sharpen it up, we would be using a device called Bench Grinder. Other types of tools that can be used is a Belt Sander.

Get your dull drill bit and a Bench Grinder and start with these simple steps-

Step 1: Get to Know the Drill Bit in Your Hands

If you’re a professional workshop person, then it’s okay. But in case you are sharpening a drill bit for the first time, there it’s important that you know every bit of technical aspects of your drill bit.

We can define a drill bit with three main parts- The Lip, the Land and the Chisel.

Lip is the part of bit that does the actual job of cutting. In case of twist drills, both of the lips are placed symmetrically to perform an equal cutting.

How to Sharpening a Drill Bit at Home

Land is the part of a drill bit that follows up the lip. The Land is supposed to be at a proper angle that leaves some clearances between the lip and the job that you are working on.

Chisel is the line of a drill bit that is created at the intersection point of the land of both sides. It smears the wood or metal that the lip cuts. It doesn’t take part in the cutting job directly. Yet, it carries very importance.

Step 2: Prepare the Drill Bit for Sharpening

Now as you have enough of ideas on the drill bit. Let’s prepare it for putting under the sharpening machine. Take a flat file and run it across the drill bit and rub on the cutting edge and the landings. Make sure your fingers don’t slip off and cost you some skin.

Step 3: Take the Drill Bit Close to Cutting Device

Now it’s time to hold and take the bit close to the cutting device. Take a comfortable position of your hands while you’re holding it to the machine. If you’re using a belt sander, then maintain an angle of 60 degrees between the bit and the belt sander.

In case you’re using a bench grinder, the take the bit into touch of the rotating wheel. Try your best to keep the drill bit straight and parallel to the ground. Remember, you are not going to duplicate the factory made cutting edge. Instead, you are creating a new one.

Also Read: Drill Hog 29 Pc Drill Bit Set review

Step 4: Keep Working on Different Parts of the Cutting Edge

Maintain the proper angle and keep sharpening the bit to its cutting edge. After a few moments, the drill bit is supposed to be hot due to friction of metals. Keep a little pot of oil or lubricant so that the heat doesn’t’ bother your hands.

Work on both of the edges consecutively. Make sure that both of the edges are of equal width, if so happens, then the two edges will create a meeting point on the center of the bit.

Step 5: Check the Sharpened Drill Bit in Action

Now it’s try to check how good drill sharpener you had been yet. Take the sharpened bit to a piece of wood and gently rotate it to pierce. If you see the drill bit to start making holes, then the job is done quite professionally.


The process seems to be quite easy, even for people who haven’t’ done it before. But still, there are some safety precaution that are needed to be maintained.

Here is the list:

  • Don’t take your hands too close to the sharpening machine.
  • Don’t wear gloves that can get caught into the rotating sharpening device.
  • Be accurate with the position and angel of hands.
  • Wear safety googles for further security.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What should be the cutting angle of a drill bit?

Answer: As you know, there are two sides of a bit, each one having their own center of axis. When you are cutting a drill bit, maintain an angle of 60 degrees

2. What is the usual point angle of drill bits?

Answer: If we talk about twist drill bits, which are the most common ones in the market, then the point angle becomes 118 degrees. This angle works great for metal, wood, plastic and almost all other usual materials.

3. How can I check if my drill had been sharpened properly?

Answer: After the sharpening job, take the bit to a soft piece of wood and try manually piercing it with the bit. If you see the bit to start making a hole, then it’s all good.

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