How To Sharpen A Drill Bit: 7 Steps To Sharpen Like New

If you want to learn how to sharpen a drill bit, you are in the right place. Sharpening drill bits is an essential skill that can come in handy for your DIY projects. Not only that, but it is also a necessary skill for technicians who use drill bits in their projects.

With this skill, there will be no need for you to hire someone to sharpen your drill bits. Keeping your drill bits sharp makes your work easier because you’ll not have to spend a lot of energy. To sharpen your drill bit, follow the steps described below.

Drill bit sharpening tools —

  • Work Gloves.
  • Safety goggles (for eye protection).
  • Drill bit sharpening machine (Bench grinder)
  • Scrap wood.
  • A container with ice-cold water

Wearing gloves is optional. If you find that it impairs your ability to hold the drill bit safely, you can do away with it.  All the other items listed above are necessary.

Caution –  
You need to hold the drill bit firmly while grinding. Otherwise, it may slip and causes an accident.

How to sharpen a drill bit with a grinder —

STEP 1 — Check Your dull bit

Sharpening a drill bit involves removing just enough metal to get a sharp edge. Removing too little metal will not sharpen it while removing too much metal will make it wear out faster.

That’s why you need to examine your drill bit to decide how much metal you need to remove. Bench grinders come with two grinding wheels, one fine, and the other coarse wheel. The coarse wheel removes bigger pieces of metal, and it’s the one you need to start with when dealing with highly ravaged drill bits.

After you are through with the coarse wheel, you can switch to the fine wheel for a smooth finish. If your bit is not much ravaged, you can use the fine grinding wheel.

STEP 2 — Safety Goggles

Before you start grinding your drill bit you need to know how to sharpen a drill bit with a grinder. For this first, Put on the safety goggles. Next, turn on the grinder. Hold the drill bit firmly, ensuring that its cutting edge lies parallel to the front of the wheel.

Move the bit carefully and slowly towards the grinding wheel until they become into contact. Don’t rotate the drill bit. Try to keep it straight and hold it such that you maintain an angle of 60 degrees, which is the factory angle.

STEP 3 — Maintain 60 Degree Angle

The drill sharpening angle should be 60 degrees for not more than five seconds. Should remain in contact with the wheel, the aim is to grind away the dull surface, so if you let it stay longer, it may get worn out.

Your aim should be to grind the heel of your drill bit, where the twisted shaft meets the tip so you can achieve a good angle. Don’t grind the edge.

STEP 4 — Grind and Pause

You should be grinding and pausing after every five seconds or less. This is necessary to give the metal some time to cool down; otherwise, it can become too hot for you to hold. When the bit is too hot, it may wear out faster, thereby shortening its effective lifespan.

You can use the ice-cold water to cool the drill bit. After dipping it in cold water, check to see whether it’s honed adequately on the side you just worked on. If not, you can continue grinding until you are satisfied.

STEP 5 — Turn Bit to 180 Degrees

Once you complete the first side, you can turn the bit through 180 degrees to grind the other side. Use the same process of grinding, pausing, and cooling with ice-cold water. Remember to aim for the 60-degree angle to ensure the bit will drill straight holes.

Some people prefer to work on both sides of the bit, sharpening a little on each side to ensure balanced sharpening. After grinding one side for a few seconds, they flip over to the other side. You can do that, or grind one side entirely before flipping to the other side. Always remember to cool the bit after every grinding process.

YouTube Video Credit: Thomas Foxhttps:

STEP 6 — Test

Once both sides of the drill bit meet at a point and both edges are of the same width, give the drill bit some test. Hold its tip perpendicularly against a piece of wood, then twist it by hand. Just use a little pressure and see if it can drill a hole.

If it cannot drill a hole, you must return to the grinding wheel. Don’t get tired. You may have to return to the grinding wheel several times before you achieve the perfect sharpness. While at the grinding wheel, always try to maintain the 60-degree angle and equal with grinding on both sides. Keep testing the drill bit after grinding.

STEP 7 — Insert Into Drill Machine

Once the drill bit gets sharp enough, insert it into your drill machine. Ensure it is held firmly in position before you can use it. When it is sharp enough, it should be able to drill holes in pieces of wood without you having to apply much pressure.

Top Tips for Keeping Your Drill Bits Sharp For Long

  • The sharpening process is tiresome, that’s why you need to strive to keep your drill bits sharp for a long. Here are some useful tips for keeping the drill bits sharp longer.
  • Clear the chips off as you drill.
  • When drilling hardwood, have a cup of water nearby to cool the bit.
  • Start holes using a like-new or new drill bits. You can switch to a re-sharpened bit once the hole is started.
  • Avoid overheating.
  • Use the Stop-and-cool technique when grinding.
  • Keep two sets of drill bits.


Now that you’ve learned how to sharpen a drill bit, you need to practice what you’ve learned. Hiring someone to do the sharpening costs money, and that’s what you need to avoid. It takes a lot of time and practice to get a perfect grind, so don’t give up. It pays in the long run.

Relevant Resources

Hello. You've come to the right place if you want to learn more about power drills and how to make your home improvement projects go quicker and easier. I'm Jacob P., the founder and content writer of Anyone who needs assistance with a project or has a query about how something works (or doesn't) can count on me to share my expertise.