How To Sharpen A Drill Bit With A File – The Easiest Way

How to Sharpen a Drill Bit with a File

Drill bits, like knives, are bladed instruments. While the blades are tiny, they are critical to the drill and must be kept sharp. A dull drill bit forces the training to work harder, causing the motor to wear down and eroding the value of your investment in a high-quality power tool.

Sharpening drill bits with a file demands skill but is a simple process that takes only a few minutes.

A pointed drill bit speeds up and simplifies the job. Using files instead of sharpeners or power equipment saves money and time.

If you hear screeching or have trouble drilling through, it’s time to sharpen your drill bits. While many power equipment can do this, understanding how to sharpen drill bits with a file can save you money and prevent damage to screw bits.

This post will briefly explain how to sharpen drill bits by hand with a file. We also cover several important points to help you sharpen safely, accurately, and efficiently.

Drill Bit Sharpening Tools

  • A file
  • A dull drill bit
  • A rag
  • Some clamp

6 Steps to Sharpen Drill Bits with a file

Step 1: Arrange The Tools

First, you must get all of the necessary instruments to sharpen the drill bits.

  • A drill bit that has become dull or blunt as a result of repeated use
  • A tool for filing by hand.
  • Acquire a fury for cleaning.
  • A clamp designed to secure the drill bit to a table.

Step 2: Think about safety.

  • A wise practice is to keep in mind the safety concerns when filing drill bits.
  • Purchase safety eyewear to prevent file dust from penetrating your eyes.
  • Utilize industrial-grade gloves to ensure a secure grip on the file tool without causing injury to your hands.

Step 3: Drill Bit Cleaning

  • Always begin by cleaning drill bits and removing any dirt or debris.
  • Some debris will inevitably be retained when you use the bit to drill holes.
  • As a result, before beginning the sharpening process, wipe the drill bit with a wet rag.

Step 4: Drill Bit Gripping

  • Arrange the drill bit on a table and secure it in place with a clamp.
  • Additionally, you can decide to hold the drill bit in one hand. However, this is an inconvenient method of snatching the bit, as it will interfere with your filing strategy.

Step 5: Using A File Over A Drill Bit

  • A filing tool is readily available at any hardware store. For the drill & brad-point bit, you may opt to use an auger file. Furthermore, you must file the spade bit with a mill file.
  • Placing the file over the drill bit’s blades is a critical step. As a result, consider angling the file at a 60-degree angle to one of the drill bit’s edges.
  • Each edge of the tip over the drill bit has two blades.
  • Around six to eight times, file down the edge. Each lip above the drill bit should have a curved filing action.
  • Rep on the opposite side of the drill bit with the same method.

Step 6: Finishing The Process & Filing The Metal Burrs

  • You must file away all metal burrs from drill bits.
  • Draw the filing tool up and begin filing the sharpened sections’ underside region.
  • Additionally, you should apply one or two drops of machine oil to the drill bit. You can use the one already in your family without having to purchase a new one.
  • Oil the drill bit to level off the edges after filing.

You are now ready to conduct a drill bit test on any surface. This way, you’ll know whether the sharp edges are suitable for drilling or not.

Read More: Why Does My Drill Spark

Sharpen using Diamond Files

Sharpen using Diamond Files

While some good old-fashioned elbow grease is an excellent substitute for the battery-powered sharpening procedure, one expert recommends a diamond file honing wood-boring bits with a pilot screw.

On pilot screw drill bits, you can use the conventional sharpening procedure, but the diamond file method is the safest and most reliable option. Although it is a more time-consuming process, this manual sharpening method will preserve the bit and prevent damage.

Additionally, you may use diamond files to sharpen any drill bit to maximize its brilliance at a lower cost.

Check Also: How To Drill In Cast Iron

Why Should You Sharpen a Drill Bit using a File?

Compared to other ways for sharpening drill bits, the file method does not require AC or battery power, making it simple to apply.

All that is required is a little elbow grease. Additionally, utilizing the diamond file may make the procedure more cost-effective and practical, especially when there is no associated electricity expenditure.

A drill bit with a pilot screw, on the other hand, should be sharpened differently since utilizing a diamond needle file may be more convenient.

When opposed to using a power tool, the hand filing approach may require additional time for sharpening twisted bits. In this instance, you should be aware.

How to quickly sharpen drill bits with a grinder. Sharpening the drill bit with a file will minimize screw damage.

Therefore, understanding how to sharpen drill bits using a file is advantageous because it enables you to prepare the drill bit for your job at any moment.

Angle Chart for Drill Points in Various Metals

While harder materials require a greater point angle, softer materials require a sharper angle.

Metals MaterialPoint angleHelix angleLip Relief or Clearance angle
Aluminum90 to 135 deg32 to 4812 to 26 deg
Plastics and Wood60 to 90 deg0 to 2012 to 26 deg
Cast iron90 to 118 deg24 to 327 to 20 deg
Mild steel118 to 135 deg24 to 327 to 24 deg
Stainless steel118 to 135 deg24 to 327 to 24 deg
Plastics and Wood60 to 90 deg0 to 2012 to 26 deg
Brass and Bronze90 to 118 deg0 to 2012 to 26 deg


How to Use a Dremel to Sharpen Drill Bits

How to Use a Dremel to Sharpen Drill Bits

Dremels are an indispensable tool in the toolbox of any do-it-yourselfer. Not only can this tool be used for drilling and grinding, but it can also be used as a sharpener.

Before you begin sharpening your dull drill bit, put on safety eyewear to protect your eyes from metal.

Now, secure the drill bit firmly in place using a bench vise and scrape away debris from the leading edge of the bit with the Dremel.

Continue grinding until both sides of the drill bit have a sharp cutting edge. Drill a hole into wood or a stud to assess the sharpness.

You are finished if you believe it is simpler to drill and locate a smooth hole. On the other hand, if you discover any screeching, wobbling, or jagged edges, you must repeat the operation to round them up.

How to Sharpen Drill Bits Long Term

To begin, always use fluid to keep the drill bit quiet and lubricated when drilling into metal.

They were overheating caused the drill bit’s hardness and sharpness to deteriorate.

Alternatively, you can use some motor oil such as CRC, WD40 spray, or saliva. Avoid drilling continuously; take a break and let the drill cool.

You will benefit from a somewhat sharper drill for an extended period by following this procedure.

Finally, a small spray of WD40 will prevent the drill bit from rusting.

Sharpening Drill Bits: A Few Simple Tips

The primary goal of sharpening a drill bit is to facilitate and expedite home improvement projects.

Therefore, why not take note of some practical recommendations for making the sharpening procedure safer and more effective?

The most critical suggestion is to wear protective clothing, mainly to guard against flying particles.

Additionally, avoid over-sharpening the drill bit. This renders the drill bit useless and may need a new one. It is preferable if the drill bit is sharpened frequently.

Additionally, ensure that the bit’s cutting edge is appropriately oriented to remain perpendicular to the shanks. Uneven bits are detrimental to creating a smooth hole.

( FAQ ) About How to Sharpen a Drill Bit With a File?

Which angle is the greatest for sharpening a drill bit?

A point angle of between 118 and 120 degrees is considered for a do-it-yourself enthusiast.

The reality is that a reasonably sharp drill bit is preferable to a dull drill bit.

Additionally, you should maintain a 55-degree angle between the chisel edge and the primary cutting edge.

Can a file be used to sharpen twist drills?

You can use the hand-filling method to sharpen a twist drill bit. However, it is a lengthy process in comparison to employing the powerful. The advantage is that you will minimize the danger of injuring the screw.

Which drill sharpener is the best?

Among the Best Drill Bit Sharpeners of 2021 are the following:

  • Tormek DBS-22 Sharpening Jig
  • Drill Doctor 500X
  • Tormek T-8 Water Cooled Precision Sharpening System
  • Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener
  • Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener

Final Thinking

Drill bits are bound to get dull, broken, or chipped with time. Without a sharp edge, you will have a hard time drilling through even the softest of materials.

Luckily, you don’t have to buy a new bit every time it wears out. You can now breathe new life into old and worn-out bits that you would have otherwise thrown away. You no longer have to waste your money buying expensive replacements.

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