How to Use A Drill Bit Sharpener

by Joost | Updated on:  August 2, 2018

Have you recently tried to drill through something and noticed that your bits are not cutting as they used to cut? Maybe some of the bits are in terrible condition.

This makes it impossible to drill through soft metals and wood without creating high shrieking squeaks and a plume of smoke.

Well, before dashing to the nearby hardware to get yourself a box of new drill bits, try the following sharpening procedures.

1. Connecting to a Drill

1. Ensure that the jaws mounted on the drill chuck are tight and fully closed. You should always use a drill with 43mm collar and a 13mm (1/2 inch) chuck.

2. Fit the drill bit sharpener onto the drill.

3. You should loosen the wingnuts to enable the outer tube slide over the chuck.

4. You should set the outer tube to grip the drill’s collar and not the chuck. The drill should be connected to the drill bit sharpener by friction only.

2. Properly sharpened bits

You should know that your bits are properly sharpened after identifying the following characteristics.• A sharp point at the center of the bit.• Two equal and sharp cutting edges.• Two trailing edges positioned slightly lower than the cutting edges.

How to Use Drill Bit Sharpener

1.You should connect the drill and the drill bit sharpener then clamp the drill into a vice holding the sharpener in an upright position.

2.Connect the drill to the main supply.

3.Place a single drill bit into the appropriate hole. Note that some drill bit sharpeners are not suitable for sharpening masonry bits.

4.Pull the trigger mounted on your drill. For better sharpening, exert a considerable downward pressure onto the bit while making back and forth rotations of about 20 degrees. While inside the drill bit sharpener, you must keep the bit in motion.

5.After approximately 5 to 10 seconds of sharpening, you should remove the drill bit to reduce damages. 

Sharpening hints

• Overheating is experienced whenever the tip of the bit starts turning blue. In this case, you should reduce the amount of sharpening time and the exerted pressure. It is advisable to cool the bit with water between the sharpening cycles regularly.

• In the case whereby one edge becomes more extended than the other, it is advisable to sharpen the longer side to attain the required length.

• You should use a bench grinder to rough broken bits into shape. This is because sharpening broken bits rather than blunt bits takes much time to attain their original shapes.

• Always ensure that both sides of the drill bit are exerted to the same amounts of time and pressure while sharpening.

6. Repeat the above steps whenever necessary.

General safety rules while using a drill bit sharpener

1. Always keep the working area clean. Cluttered working environments invites injuries. You should also ensure that the working area is well lit.

2. Never use powered tools in poorly lit, wet, or in damp locations. Do not expose powered machines to the rain. You should never use electrical powered devices in areas with flammable liquids or gases.

3. Keep children away from the working area. You should never admit children or even in-experienced personnel in the working area. Never let them handle extension cables, tools, and or machines.

4. Properly store idle equipment. You should always lock tools in dry locations to inhibit rusting and reaching by children.

5. Never force the tool. The drill bit sharpener is designed to operate more safely at the intended rate.

6. Dress properly. Never wear loose clothing and jewelry that can be caught up in moving parts and cause injuries.

7. Always use hand and eye protection. You should wear approved safety goggles and gloves to protect you from injuries.

8. Always stay alert. Using common sense and always watching whatever you are doing is ideal for perfect operations. Never use a tool while tired.

9. Check damaged parts. You should always inspect any tools for damages and access whether they can operate properly and perform the intended function.

10. Replacement accessories and parts. Use only identical replacements while servicing. Using different parts for replacements voids warrants. Only use accessories which are compatible with the tool.

11. Never operate a tool under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not work a machine if in doubts.

12. Keep away from liquids. The drill bit sharpener is designed for dry sharpening operations only.

13. Heat produced while sharpening. Both the sharpening head and the bits being sharpened becomes hot. You should always be careful when handling hot parts; allow the drill bit tips to cool off before storage.


1. Detach the drill bit sharpener from the drill.2. Remove the head assembly by removing the two screws holding it in place.3. Detach the wheel assembly. You should ensure that the underneath spring stays intact. 4. Turn the adjustment cylinder in a clockwise direction to unscrew it from the adjustment cylinder.5. Remove the washer.6. Remove the worn-out grinding wheel by popping out the wheelbase.7. Push the new grinding wheel onto the wheelbase, then replace the washer and return the adjustment cylinder by screwing. 8. Replace the wheel assembly onto the drill bit sharpener. You should make sure that the outer flats of the drive spindle line up with the central units of the adjustment cylinder.9. You should then replace the head assembly and its screws.

Cleaning of Drill Bit Sharpener

Always keep the surface of your drill bit sharpener free of grease, dirt, and grit. Use non-toxic solvents or soapy water to clean the surface. Never use petroleum-based solvents.

Troubleshooting of Drill Bit Sharpener

If the grinding wheel does not rotate, but the drill motor is in operation, ensure that the outer flats of the spindle are in line with the adjustment cylinder’s inner units as described on point 8 above.

Final Verdict

We can conclude and note,using a Drill Bit sharpener is never a hard nut to crack. For smooth operations and performance, you should adhere to the set safety rules and regulations.

The machine works perfectly well with the correct spare parts recommended by manufacturers. Employing the correct operational procedures, maintenance, cleaning, and troubleshooting practices guarantees you a better experience while sharpening bits.