You *can* sharpen drill bits by hand

Page 1 of 2  
Had to drill out a steel rivet and all of my little bits were as sharp as bowling balls. Go buy some junk bits at the Borg?, nah, let me try to sharpen one first.
Started at the lip and ground by twisting and raising the bit against the wheel. Took a few tries to get a reasonable looking tip and tried it out. To my surprise the bit easily cut through the steel rivet. I could probably get the hang of it if I practiced a little but now I know a bit doesn't need to be thrown out I will probably add the Drill Doctor to my wish list for the up coming silly season. (by the time I really get it right all of my bits could only drill 1/2" deep holes)
Any reccomendations as to model number DD or a similar product from the group?
Are there any sharpeners in the homeowner/hobbyist market that can sharpen my yet to be purchased brad-points?
BTW, if you want a very detailed post on how to sharpen bits by hand read Bill's post here:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/b6025809b706a05/843dd74693eeb605?lnk=st&q=#843dd74693eeb605
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

All the research I've done, and I've searched, says that it's possible but it's so difficult and time consuming that you're better off throwing away the old bit and buying a new one. Or converting the old bit over to standard if you'd prefer to recycle.
I plan to take advantage of Woodcraft's sale and spend 30 bucks on a box 'o bits, and see how long it takes to go through 'em. http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid 268&homepagedeal=true
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:10:53 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

Good point. Why spend $50+ on a Drill Doctor? Why spend the time to sharpen bits when you can be making sawdust? I can understand sharpening a bit in an emergency situation. I guess a Dremmel tool would be helpful with bit sharpening. But, like router bits, it makes sense to just replace them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The "Drill Doctor" company makes or did make many models of drill bit sharpeners, including some that go for a thousand dollars and more. The current occasional-use models go for somewhere between about $50 and $150 right now in many catalogs (see below). They really work pretty well. They now come with a DVD showing how to use them. It is important to watch it.
3 models in homeowners price range, with current Sears prices: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/s_10153_12605_Tools_Power+Tool+Accessories_Drill+Doctor+%26+Drill+Attachments?viewItems &pageNum=2
This is the real basic model: DD350X 3/32 to 1/2 $49
These sharpen a much wider range of bits and with several pointing options: DD500X 3/32 to 1/2 $116 Get this one if you don't need to sharpen bits larger than 1/2"
Otherwise, get this one: DD750X, 3/32" to 3/4" $143
Note that they don't sharpen bits smaller than 3/32". If you use a lot of the smaller bits, its better to simply toss and rebuy.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------------
RayV wrote: <snip>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/b6025809b706a05/843dd74693eeb605?lnk=st&q=#843dd74693eeb605
The biggest problem I have with the Drill Doctor is that it is not yet available for wood working bits IIRC. I want one that will sharpen brad point bits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The Darex 3000 will sharpen brad-point bits (with optional attachments) http://www.darex.com/main/content/view/49/82 /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Nice, but for that money, I can buy a 40' container of bits from China.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RE: Subject
$50 buys a lot of drill bits, especially 1/4" and smaller.
Makes if very difficult to justify a Drill Doctor.
Hand sharpening drill bits is like learning to ride a bicycle.
Learning is a total PITA, but once you learn, you don't forget.
Try finding a shop course offered by an adult ed program thru local high school to learn this skill.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 6 Nov 2007 09:26:02 -0800, "Lew Hodgett"

Priced 'em lately? 1/4" brad point (DeWalt - what Lowes had) - $4.
Renata

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Renata wrote:

Woodcraft will sell you 170 bits for 30 bucks right now, sizes 1/16-3/8, multiples of each size.
Not premium quality, but they work fine. I tend to lose or break the smaller sizes before I wear them out anyway.

--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My only complaint is the set only goes up to 3/8 so I had to spend the ten bucks for a half-inch bit. :-)
At the rate I have to drill holes, I don't think I'll need another drill bit till about 2015. I'm following this thread out of curiosity now. There's other sharpening skills I consider more important to attain. Hand saws, for instance. My father-in-law left a Disston backsaw behind, and it appears someone was very cruel to it after he passed away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Renata" wrote >

Naw, I use my carbide forstners for 1/4, 3/8 & 1/2<G>
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RayV wrote:

At $3198 SRP it's hardly cost effective for any but high-volume users and those that need special profiles.
--
--
--John
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/b6025809b706a05/843dd74693eeb605?lnk=st&q=#843dd74693eeb605
Ray,
It may be difficult for some to justify an approximate $75 plus expense for sharpening drill bits when some are dirt cheap (and last about as long) or that as you discovered - you can sharpen them by hand. But neither of those reasons negates the opportunity to purchase a new tool...
I have the XP version I purchased about two years ago from Lowes when they had a sale - just about this time of the year as I recall. Obviously, I've sharpened every bit I own plus my brothers, brothers-in-law and a few friends. It works like a champ and I certainly feel it's more than paid for itself in convenience (primarily) and the cost of purchasing new drill bits.
I've been doing some remodeling that involved drilling holes in cement floors and blocks for lag anchors. A 1/2" masonry bit goes for $10 (and up) and dulls rather quickly when drilling through rock aggregate. I had to sharpen the masonry bits I was using several times - especially the 1/2" bits. Easily saved $30 just on that project in drill bits.
The big advantage is it's dead simple to use but yes, you can screw up a point if you don't follow the directions - meaning you didn't read the instructions first.
My advice is to purchase the model that will do up to 1/2" diameter shanks because one of these days - you will be wishing you could sharpen a drill bit that size. The cost is not that much for the potential savings.
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've got the mod 400 Drill Dr. that I got from Rockler around Christmas last year on sale for 69.00. It came with the extra holder so that I can sharpen up to .750 bits. I think it paid for itself in the first hour or so after I got home sharpening a whole drawer full of dull bits. It will do both regular and split point bits.
Dick
--
RHN Custom Billiard Cues
Building fine cues for real pool players at
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
on 11/6/2007 9:58 AM RayV said the following:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/b6025809b706a05/843dd74693eeb605?lnk=st&q=#843dd74693eeb605
I was a machinist in the Navy. We had to hand sharpen bits all the time. I still know the procedure, but the practice is lacking. :-)
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you want the practice, many of us would be happy to let you work on our dull bits. I'd even spring for a beef and potato dinner. (That's uh, a burger and fries.)
Puckdropper
--
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gee, it only takes a little practice. I've been doing it for 40 years. Use magnifiers, a fine wheel and a place to prop your hand. Stare at the end of a new bit for a minute and then make the old one look like that. Once you get it you got it for good. Yer not makin a freakin clock, are you? It don't have to be perfect to get a good hole. Old-time craftmen did not throw their bits away because it was "cheaper" to buy new ones. Might as well throw the dog away because he starts to limp a little. Cheaper to get a "new" one?
willimx

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If I hadn't spent the better part of an day trying to make the old one look like the new one and failing miserably, I'd be embarrassed. Took me a few years to figure out there were a few things I just couldn't catch on to, and sharpening a brad point bit is one of 'em. I can do ordinary bits. I can do chain saw blades, chisels, plane blades, axes, and I'm getting better at hand saws and gouges. But I've tried every which way to sharpen a brad point bit, and it's never any better than when I started. Just can't seem to get it right. I'm not worried about it any more, it's just one of those things.
Would you like me to start sending you my dull ones? I don't use them enough to make more than a few every couple years, but I could send them to you instead of either tossing them or grinding them into specialized picks and drills.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Brad points, I'd do with a diamond rod, working at the spurs and not the center point to keep from moving it off center.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.