How to Sharpen Drill Bits for metal | Drill Sharpening

For the constructive at heart or the new to construction, today we will be discussing drill bits, more specifically the metal variety. I would like to welcome all the Do it yourself-ers as nothing is more pleasurable than being able to figure out tools and home improvements on your own. But then again when you really think about it, drilling through metal sheets ought not to be of the typical DIY variety. Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with drill bit sharpening and would like to learn how to sharpen them step by step then you are in the right place. If you are looking for a refresher fret not thyself we welcome you as well.


These particular bits are regarded as high-speed steel (HSS). They are easily identifiable by their black color. These drill bits have to be incredibly durable, because let’s face the facts, if they are expected to drill through metal or concrete they would have to be pretty sturdy. Metal drill bits can be of the more expensive variety when they contain cobalt or if it so happens that they are coated in titanium. Though they can drill through plastic and wood alike it is best for their longevity if you do reserve them for their true purpose. Being able to sharpen your drill bit is a skill worth developing as it could save you so much as opposed to going out and purchasing a new drill bit after it has worn out.

Drill bit for metal / Drill Sharpening

There are several ways to sharpen a metal drill bit and there are several tools that one may employ to do so. Here I will list each method and we will delve a little into each.

Usage of a Standard Bench Grinder (BG)

A bench grinder refers to a grinding machine that, well, sits atop a bench. It is a grinding machine that is used to drive abrasive wheels and can be used to grind a wide variety of tools. Today we will be discussing how this machine aids in the sharpening of the metal drill bit.


Now I recall speaking to the DIY folk earlier, and if in fact you are one then this machine will be rather familiar to you. The Standard BG comes with two wheels that are used for sharpening; one is generally coarse and the other is fine. When using this machine, the majority of the sharpening can be done with the coarse wheel whilst the fine wheel can be used as a finishing tool. Due to the accessibility of a BG dipping the bit in water on occasion would be a good technique to employ as it will be kept cool if the bit was in fact incredibly worn.

1) Put on safety gear

2) Ensure that the bit is kept at roughly a 0� vertical 59�horizontal angle- try to keep the cutting edge at the most forward so as to keep the bit symmetrical.

3) Place directly on the abrasive wheel. Turn the bit clockwise to ensure that the material behind the cutting edge is removed.

4) Repeat on either side occasionally dipping bit in water to keep it cool.

Drill Doctor Bit Sharpener

This machine though pricey is the perfect alternative to sharpening your metal drill if it is that you do not have access to a bench grinder or merely wish not to use it. This machine is excellent for precision drilling, as such it makes the cuts and sharpens precisely. This method though is a pretty pricey route to trod. Also, due to the fact that it merely has a single purpose, you may not want to venture out on that spending limb.

Drill Powered Bit Sharpening Tool (DPBST)

An incredibly inexpensive tool, the DPBST, is small and compact allowing for ease of use and making it incredibly portable. With the use of this tool, it is easy for even a beginner to handle as it is easily accessible. The downfall is that most bits need to remain at a certain angle and due to its free form that may be a bit difficult to maintain.

Diamond File

This method does not utilise any electricity, nor does it require any set up. The down fall is that it is an incredibly tedious and time-consuming procedure. Also, most filing methods that do not have power tools need a greater level of attentiveness.

Drill Sharpening specifically drill bits for metal

In all your sharpening of drill bits, the take away folks is to keep the bit symmetrical. Sharpening your own drill bits save time, and save you money. There are several methods that can be employed be they powered or otherwise. Ensure that you reserve your metal drill bits solely for that purpose as they last longer.

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