How To Sharpen Drill Bits By Hand?


Maybe you have tried to drill something lately and found out that your drill bits aren’t cutting normal. It could be a clear signal that your bits are wrong because you can’t even get passed through wood or soft metals again without creating a plume of smoke and high shrieking squeaks.

However, before heading over to the hardware stores to purchase a brand new set of drill bits, you can try these simple techniques first as it might just be saving you lots of time and money.

How To Sharpen Drill Bits By Hand Employing Some Basic Techniques?

Some particular kinds, such as Concrete Drill Bits, are quite vulnerable to providing the perfect result except if you keep their sharpness in check. The post will cover simple and basic guide which are easy, even for a novice to implement efficiently. Keep reading!

Required Materials

Get a belt sander or you can equally get a bench grinder (getting any of it would suffice)

A chipped drill bits or a dull one

A Note of Warning!

Because this guide involves the use of your hands, hence, clearly your hands will be dangerously exposed to harmful sharpening devices. Thus it would help if you considered wearing proper protective gloves. More often than not, though, there are several skin loss episodes due to gloves trapped in these devices. And so, it’s best to be as cautious and careful as possible when skipping the gloves. But it would help if you put on a pair of protective goggles. Essentially, the whole approach here is to remain as conscious as you can.

Get Your Drill Bits Ready!

It’s possible to find burrs on the drill bits, especially on shank areas. These are the areas that you need to file. Knowing the process of sharpening your drill bit using a hand file will be beneficial here. Nevertheless, be careful since the bits could slip into your fingers. And it could cause those rough burrs to put a scar into your skin.

You’ll need to use a belt sander or a bench grinder for the task. The guards on these devices must be 1/8 inches away from the portion of the wheel or belt. This will help to avoid being caught in guard.

Essential To Practice the Hold

Before you start, you want to be in a very comfortable spot. Ensure your hand is against the support of the machine. Now keep the drill bit in both hands. It would help if you held the bit to the belt sander’s face, making a 60-degree angle. The landing needs to be directed against the belt; keep it that way.

Now you’re going to learn some motions to shift this bit around the belt. And that is going to result in the outcome. You want to use your left hand for all tasks when performing these movements. The right hand should remain steady and stationary while one piece of work is left. Nevertheless, use your right-hand fingers to direct.

Cut, Shape and Rotate Simultaneously

While lifting your left hand to cut landing, apply some pressure on the sharpening device. Then allow your left-hand move towards the right to create a chiseled angle. Te chisel has to make a 45 – degree angle from the lip; keep on the movement till then. You would want to shift the bit in the counter-clockwise direction to end up with a rounded landing. This is going to have better lip support.

You would now have to deal with all the motion rolling, shaping and cutting, to make the perfect cut on the surface of the drill. Do this repeatedly and ensure the drill bit is rolled to about 180 degrees within your range.

You’re going to be able to ensure that the other lip stays sharpen. Just a tiny heating on the surface of your drill bit is pretty natural. So occasionally you can put the bit into a bowl containing cold water. When the water gets too hot, ensure that it is changed. If you don’t, the temperature could spoil the integrity of the material.


To get the entire process right, all you have to do is keep repeating and practicing with patience. Moreso, try to make the “stop and cool – off” thing a habit when using hardwood. Doing that will help you to avoid dullness.