8 Best Drill Bit Sharpeners
Instead of throwing out your dull drill bits, use one of these handy drill bit sharpeners to keep them ready for work.
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Buying a Drill Bit Sharpener
High-quality drill bits aren’t cheap. And once they become dull, they’re ineffective and more likely to “walk” around and damage your workpiece.
Luckily, a good drill bit sharpener can not only get them back in shape, but reinvigorate bits that snapped in half during aggressive use.
If you do a lot of drilling, a drill bit sharpener a smart buy. It saves you time, because you won’t waste minutes struggling to drive a dull bit through your workpiece. And it saves you money, because you aren’t throwing out dull bits all the time.
There are more types of drill bit sharpeners than you might think. Some are more useful than others, depending on your specific bits and experience level. Make sure you’re choosing the best one for you. Here’s what to look for:
- Type of sharpener: There are two types, a dedicated sharpener or a basic bench grinder. Dedicated sharpeners are specifically made for drill bits, and they’re easy to set up and use. Bench grinder drill bit sharpeners are made for general tool grinding; they’re not as intuitive and take more practice to use correctly. Bench grinders have much more room for user error, and I wouldn’t recommend them for inexperienced DIYers.
- Drill bit size: Make sure your sharpener can adjust to all the bits in your collection, or at least the ones you use most frequently. Most sharpeners can handle most commonly used bits. But once you get into larger bits — anything more than 1/2-inch — pay close attention to the maximum capacity of your sharpener.
- Drill bit material: Materials and finishes vary, so make sure the sharpener you choose can effectively work with your bits. For carbide bits, make sure your sharpener features the appropriate diamond grinding element.
- Drill bit type: Wood and metal bits use different angled tips, so your sharpener needs to adjust to handle both. The most common angle of general-use bits is 118 degrees, so your sharpener should accommodate those. Split-point bits require a specialized sharpener to create their tips.
Best Professional-Style Drill Bit Sharpener
It’s not the cheapest option on our list, but if you’re looking for a sharpener that can accept a wide range of bits, the Drill Doctor 750X is a great choice.
Unlike other sharpeners that offer one or two angles, you can customize this sharpener to create to any angle from 115 to 140 degrees. The 750X is large enough to accept bits up to 3/4-in., and it can create or sharpen split-point bits.
Best Drill Bit Sharpener for Beginners
If you’re a DIYer beginner and you don’t need a high-end drill bit sharpener, consider the affordable Drill Doctor 350X. Despite the low price, it features a diamond wheel and is simple to use. This drill bit sharpener can only create 118-degree angles, though, so keep that in mind if you need to work with 135-degree bits.
Most Versatile Drill Bit Sharpener
For versatility, it’s hard to beat the Drill Doctor X2 with its dual-speed motor. In addition to the dedicated bit sharpening port, this sharpener includes separate guides for sharpening knives, scissors and other edged tools. To sharpen drill bits, insert the bit into the chuck, press it directly into the sharpening port and start sharpening!
Best Overall Drill Bit Sharpener
The Drill Doctor 500X is our best overall choice, regardless of your skill level, for its mid-range price and the variety of bits it accepts.
This sharpener handles pretty much any material, including carbide, black oxide and high-speed steel, and it can create split-point tips. It doesn’t offer the impressive angle ranges of the Drill Doctor 750X, but you can create the all-important 118- and 135-degree angles.
Best Single-Speed Bench Grinder
This affordable Wen BG4276 bench grinder provides two grinding wheels for a fraction of the cost of similar options. A large, adjustable work light ensures you have a clear view of your workpiece. With 60-grit and 36-grit wheels, you can sharpen lots of tools well as drill bits.
Note: The included wheels lack the diamonds required for effective carbide bit sharpening.
Best Compact Bench Grinder
This six-inch DeWalt DW756 has the power to tackle various sharpening tasks, including drill bits. Safety guards reduce the chances of dangerous flying debris and sparks, and the adjustable tool rests make it easy to securely position whatever you’re sharpening. With its extremely durable cast iron body, this small but mighty tool can handle heavy use.
General Tools 825 Drill Grinding Attachment
If you plan on sharpening bits with a bench grinder, this General Tools 825 Attachment, when securely mounted to your benchtop, can give you clean points and accurate angles.
Instead of holding the bits in your hand, this attachment holds them for you. Its straightforward adjustment settings make it easy to select the angle, although it’s not ideal for use with bits smaller than 1/8-inch.
Best Cheap, Portable Drill Bit Sharpener
If you can’t afford or don’t need any of the sharpeners above, this CZS Drill Bit Sharpener might be for you. It’s powered by your drill and doesn’t require an electrical outlet, so it’s convenient for off-site projects with limited electricity. It’s not as accurate as a dedicated or bench grinder drill bit sharpener, but in a pinch it’s certainly better than nothing.