I have a pile of dull drill bits, that don't bite anymore. At one time
there was an add on TV for some sharpening device. I'm always skeptical of
TV adds for gadget, but...
Is it practical to sharpen drill bits? Where would I look for that? It's
not something that comes up in a conversation very often.
Maybe I've bought cheap bits, but how you what's good v. just expensive.
They all have some line about carbide etc., but for me they never last.
These are for metal, under 1/2 dia.
Well, Rich, I'll get back to you.
I have about 300 drill bits, and I would estimate that probably half are
I used to work conventions, and bought a Drill Doctor 750. The cherry on
the machine is yet to be broken.
Yes, I think that sharpening bits can be a good thing. And, as drill bits
can cost as much as ten cents at a yard sale, the potential for having a
full index of sharp bits is pretty good.
That is, for people who actually take the time to sharpen them. My father
was a flight engineer on bombers in WW2. He could take a three by one inch
stone and sharpen any drill bit in a very short time.
For me, I have all the modern technology, and I still have a drawer full of
Like I say, I'll get back to you.
Well, you have 275 more than I do :-) It took me 20 years to get them all
dull. Had to drill out some old rusted bolts on a car and some of the new
bits I had would not even touch the bolt.
Now I all my bits are dull, but I did get those bolts out.
There are some on e-bay of that model. I assume this unit uses some
grinding stones. Wonder if they are replacable, if I were to get a used
sharpener. I can't see getting a new one, as I don't drill all that much.
Have not even considered it - but it you have a sharpener, it would be a
I worked in the tool crib for 25+ years and we tried various and
expensive machines to sharpen bits and we always went back to doing it
by hand. It is much faster and easy to do when you get the hang of it. I
could sharpen bits that would drill to within .005 of the drill
diameter. Like I say all it takes is practice. Go to the library and get
a book that shows the characteristics of a drill bit. Buy a cheap
protracter ( for measuring the angles ) and if you have a grinder you
are all set.
There are a number of automatic drill sharpeners. "Drill Doctor" is one.
And a lot more: http://www.toolstorecentral.com/sharpeners,c42290,1.html
If you have a grinder you can buy a fixture to hold the drill at the proper
angle. The smaller the bit, the harder it is to sharpen...
I have one of those jigs that holds the bit at the proper angle which you
use in conjunction with a grinding wheel. Invariably I grind them into
oblivion. Then I got a Black and Decker automatic bit sharpener. You just
insert the bit and push a button, and it automatically grinds it into
oblivion. I must admit it does take a lot less effort to destroy a bit with
the B &D. If you find something affordable that works, please post it
I've a friend that restores cars. He has hundreds of bits & when one
gets dull he tosses it aside.
He has a drill doctor & I believe paid over $100 for it.
It will sharpen masony, metal & wood bits.
For him it was worth it. He loves it.
For many, it might be cheaper to simply replace the bits.
Sharpening them by hand isn't that hard. I'm sure there has to be a tutorial
online. There is a drill sharpening scale you can buy to help you get
started. After an hour you should be sharpening them like a champ. Once you
get good at it, you can put different angles on them depending on the
material you're cutting.
Have not even thought it was possible to do it by hand. I have a bench
grinder that does not get much use, maybe I'll destroy one for practice.
Will also look for a tutorial, although someone has already posted a few
hints in this Group.
Possible, but difficult to get the angle exact on both flutes. Most people
ruin them. Some simple guides are available at low cost.
I sharpen mine now that we have a Drill Doctor at work. I cannot justify
buying one myself. They cost about $100 and for that money, I can buy a LOT
Here's the best tutorial on drill sharpening by hand that I've seen.
I've been hand sharpening on a bench grinder for about 50 years now, and
once you learn how, it's a snap.
My search last night did not find that FAQ, yours did.
This is a case for picture (moving) is worth a thousand words. I read the
FAQ and will try, but still hard to visulize exactly the describe motions.
A little compressed movie would be ideal. I'd even recorde it, if I had an
With the right grit stone on a grinder you can manually master the
trick of sharpening in a short time. Here is just a tip of how and
practice makes perfect. (1) Grind the cutting edge at the proper angle
for type of drill.. You'll get to where you can eyeball this. (2) Be
sure that the cutting edge is higher than fluke behind,, but only
micro in amount. in order that edge cuts. Keep cutting edges on even
plane as possible. Go to it practice makes perfection.
Automatics do work but hand held works just as good.
It has been said one thousand times before, but I shall say it one more
"A two year old kid could do it with twenty years of practice."
Remember when you were learning to roller skate?
Now that you know how, how would you describe it to a newbie?
Don't really know but doesn't all steel contain carbon? Does that
make it carbide?
I think what you need to drill steel is high speed steel. It's
labeled HSS on the shank if the shank is big enough.
If you can't get high speed steel, get low speed steel, put it in your
car, and try to go over 70 MPH. That ought to do it.
But seriously, can't you just break off the last quarter inch and get
a new point. Or am I thinking of Scotch tape?
So, that's what it means :-) I have some with HSS stamped on it.
Which begs another question, that I should have asked up front. For
drilling out an old bolt (my most frequent use for steel drilling), what
speed is best. Fast 2000RPM, or low in the 100's?
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