Drill bits are cutting tools that serve a basic function of removing material and creating holes, almost always of circular cross section. Drill bits, along with drills are an essential part of any handyman’s toolkit and for a good reason too. They are absolutely vital in the completion of various tasks. Therefore, it is also absolutely essential that your drill and drill bits are in the best condition possible at all times.
Drill bits come in different sizes as various jobs require varying types and sizes. It is important to know which one you need for the job you are trying to complete. Other than having the right size, it is highly important that your drill bit has the right sharpness otherwise, it will not cut through materials as they did before.
Having to buy drill bits over and over again as soon as they start to become dull can be expensive for you in the long run. Learning how to sharpen your drills and using a drill sharpener can be a fruitful investment for you. It can most definitely save you a lot of money as you will no longer need to buy drill bits as frequently.
While sharpening your drill bits on your own can save you a lot of money, it can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. Therefore, it is highly important to know the proper method to use a drill sharpener in order to prevent injuries. This article will provide you with the necessary steps you need to take while sharpening your bits in a safe and effective manner. If you follow the instructions to the dot, you are less likely to hurt yourself in any way.
- Top 10 Drill Bit Sharpeners
- Different Types of Drill Bits
- Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Top 10 Drill Bit Sharpeners
Different Types of Drill Bits
There are many different types of drill bits out there and it is extremely important to know about all the various types so that you know the many requirements of each type of drill bit along with their unique purposes.
Brad Point (Dowel) Bits for Wood
These types of drill bits are the most common wood types and they can be distinguished by their small point at the tip of the bit. The spurs on each side are used to create clean cuts and straight holes. They can be used on all types of woods and are also available in a various sizes.
Auger Drill Bits
These carbon steel bits can be sharpened easily and are best for drilling holes in harder surfaces. These types of drill bits can be used to cut deep and large holes in whatever material you are working on at that time.
Wood Spade or Paddle Bits
These drill bits have a unique shape which allows the user to create much wider holes in the surface and their sizes are always written on the tool’s face. The shape of the bit is pointed from the tip and then it has a paddle shape under the pointed tip which is used to make the holes wider.
Metal Drill Bits
You can easily distinguish metal drill bits from other types due to its dark black color. These drill bits are known as high speed steel bits. They are designed to be used on metal work however, they will work adequately on wood and plastic surfaces too. They are also available with titanium coating and the more durable ones may contain cobalt. However, opting for these types will usually cost you more.
Specialty Woodworking Bits
These types of bit have three forms that are each used for a separate purpose. Countersink bit, plug cutter and hinge cutter are all used in different situations. The first one can be used to enlarge the hole it creates the second one is used to cut wooden plugs. The last one has a tungsten-carbide tip which is used to cut holes for kitchen cabinet door hinges.
Masonry Drill Bits
These drill bits shaft may be a different color than the tip of the bit and this can be because of the hardened coating. These drill bits can be used to make holes in masonry surfaces. The shaft spirals up to a tip and the shaft is often composed of an extra-hardened material which is what makes it possible for these bits to makes holes in masonry surfaces.
SDS bits are used to fit an SDS chuck mechanism. These are unique tools that are specifically designed for multiple purposes. The shafts drilling part is normal but chuck has a fluted appearances.
While there are many other types of drill bits available, these are the most commonly used and having them should be able to get you to do just about any drilling task that you require. Sometimes, when you need to use it a as a screw driver your drill could need further attachments to hold the bits in place and for this purpose, there are specialty bits that can be inserted into the chuck.
The standard holder works to hold the bits in place while in some cases, the bit holders have a quick release mechanism which works in such a way that it makes it easier for you to change your bits quickly.
Flat head screwdriver bits
While some bits are made in such a way that you can directly insert them into the chuck but that is not the case for most bits and for this purpose most need to be placed in a bit holder. These bits are designed to be with slot headed screws.
Why you need drill bit sharpeners
When your drill bit loses its sharpness and starts to dull down, rather than buying new bits, it is cost effective if you sharpen your drill bits own your own. Buying a drill bit sharpener can be expensive. Experts and professionals can even sharpen their bits by hand. However, you should not attempt to do so at an amateur stage.
In order to sharpen a bit by hand, you must first hold the bit with the shank angled off to the left at about 59 degrees. Next, you need to keep it in constant contact with the grinding wheel while you simultaneously move the shank farther left and downward while twisting it clockwise. This process is not an easy one and a small error could become extremely dangerous. The process needs to be done with extreme precision or it might not make a huge difference.
Therefore, some people find it too much of a hassle, while others just can’t get the hang of it and that’s why people buy drill bit sharpeners. Drill bit sharpeners are less dangerous and remove most of the risks that are included in sharpening your bit by hand.
Distinguishing between a sharp and dull bit
The very first step is to be able to distinguish between a sharp bit and a dull one. The most basic way to tell that your bit is not as sharp as it required to be is, when the bit does not cut through the materials with the same ease anymore. However, another way to distinguish between a dull and sharp bit is that if the bit has gotten dull, then you should be able to notice a slight glint on the cutting edge between the two flutes. However, a newly sharpened one will be visibly smooth with no glint.
Different bit sharpeners have different ways of sharpening the bits and the steps and instructions vary from machine to machine.
Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews
Drill Doctor DD750X Drill Bit Sharpener
This drill doctor DD750X drill bit sharpener is designed, manufactured, and assembled in the United States. This product is comparatively expensive even when compared to other drill doctors. It is a high speed sharpener that can be used on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bits. It has the ability to sharpen drill bits of sizes 3/32 to ¾ inches, Furthermore, it can also twist the bits to create and remove split points.
It has adjustable point angles from 115 degrees to 140 degrees. It is a corded electric drill bit sharpener and provides you with a voltage of about 120 volts. These features make the drill bit sharpener have additional power and sharpens the drill bits smoothly and quickly. The cord is about 72 inches long. It allows you to reach sockets that may be further away and is more convenient for the user.
Moreover, this tool has a warranty of about 3 years. You can keep your mind at ease that you will not face many problems while using this product since the manufacturer is willing to stand by this machine.
- Easy to use
- Easy replacement of the diamond wheel
- 3 year warranty
- Quick and smooth sharpening of the drill bits
- 72 inch long cord
- Relatively lighter
- relatively expensive
- the diamond wheel leaves a relatively rough surface on the drill
How to use
Knowing the proper method required while sharpening your drill bits according to the model you are using is extremely essential. Trying to sharpen your drills without any previous knowledge about the steps that you are required to take is extremely dangerous and can be inconvenient for you.
The drill doctor DD750X will help you sharpen bits of all sizes from 3/32- to 3/4-inch even if they are English, metric or letter gauge bits. With the use of the drill doctor DD750X you can sharpen your bits easily and quickly all you have to do is first align the bits against the stop and making sure it is adjusted in position firmly. For the next step, you will need to turn your bits around an even number of turns depending on the bit size. The long jaws and the jaw guides both work together by one firmly holding the bit and the other eliminates the chances of the jaws twisting on smaller bits.
Simply doing this will sharpen your drill bits however the drill doctor DD750X comes with a feature that further gives you the choice of turning your bit into a back cut split point which will allow your bit to have an extra chiseled point.
The drill doctor DD750X also comes with an additional feature of push to stop. This button can be used to prevent the drill doctor from over splitting drill bit point.
Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener
The drill doctor DD350X is one of the relatively cost effective models however, they are still expensive to a certain degree. Sharpening your drill using other tools might seem like a good option but the comfort and convenient sharpening of bits this model provides you with is a worth investing into. This model can be used to sharpen a variety of drill bit types whether they are steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bit.
This product is designed and assembled in the United States. With this model you can sharpen different sizes of the drill bits that can range from3/32 to ½ standard twist bit. The set point angle for this device is 118 degree and is certified frustration free. This drill bit uses about 120 volts of electrical power so you can imagine the power the machine is able to produce. Furthermore, the product comes with a 3 year warranty so you can rest assured that investing into the drill doctor DD350X will not be a waste of your money.
- suitable for a wide range of bit sizes from 3/32 to ½ standard twist bits
- 3 year warrant
- 120 volts produces a lot of power to give you quick and clean sharpening of the bits
- Works on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and TiN-coated drill bits.
- Relatively cost effective
- Relatively lighter
- Plastic material
- Setting the right depth of the cut can be a little tricky
- It can be a little tricky to set up
How to Use
The drill doctor DD350X as just as easy to use as the other drill doctor models with its advanced features. The drill doctor DD350X offers on chuck alignment this simplifies the sharpening process as it removes the need of an alignment process. It is because of its relative ease and compact size that this model is the perfect choice for your home workshop!
All you have to do while sharpening your bits with this model is to secure the bit and then continue to turn it at half-length an even number of times doing this will help you achieve the perfect 118 degree angle. Now as you continue to sharpen your drill bits, this device has V-block jaws that work to hold the bit in place. It ensures that there is no need for you to worry about jaw twisting even while you’re working with smaller drill bits.
Drill Doctor 500X 3/32-Inch to 1/2-Inch Drill Bit Sharpener
While this drill doctor is expensive but it is still an investment that you will not regret. Moreover, if your nature of work requires that you use drills frequently, then your bits will lose their sharpness relatively quicker and you will need to sharpen or replace them frequently. The drill bit doctor not only makes sharpening your drill bits easier but also in the long run, saves you money since you will not have to buy drill bits as frequently anymore.
This is a high speed sharpener which can be used on steel, masonry, carbide, cobalt, and tin-coated drill bits. This unique machine can be used in removing as well as creating split points in your bits. It can sharpen 3/32 inch to ½ inch bits which means that it is god for sharpening various sizes of bits. The set point angle of this device is 118 degrees or 135 degrees. This machine is designed, engineered and assembled in the US.
This tool relies on an additional features such as metal split-point port, and a die-cast point angle shuttle for better durability. Furthermore, this machine uses a permanent magnet motor which helps this machine in producing constant power regardless of the load and the speed. It is designed in such a way that the drill bit will not heat up and lose its tempering while you are sharpening it. The drill doctor 500X has makes use of an industrial diamond sharpening wheel which will not change shape period of time. The wheel will last for about 200 times worth of sharpening and it is easy for the users to replace too.
How to use
When you consider using hands for sharpening of drill bits, the process is not only a tiresome and difficult but it is also highly dangerous. You should not put yourself at risk while working the Drill Doctor 500X realizes that your safety is important. Therefore, it does most of the work for you!
With the Drill Doctor 500X you can sharpen your drill bit in just 3 easy steps. Firstly you need to align your bit by positioning it alongside the stop. The next step is to make sure that it is locked in place. Then to begin sharpening your blade, you need to make turns in even numbers which can vary as per the bit size. While you are sharpening your bit the long jaws ensure that the bit is held in place firmly while the short guides are used to eliminate the chances of having the jaw twisted.
The alignment system guarantees that the geometry of your drill bit isn’t effected and doesn’t damage your tool in any way. Lastly, once the sharpening of bit is done with, the product gives you an extra option that gives you the chance making your bit into a back cut spilt point bit. This will give the bit an additional chiseled point which allows your drill bit the ability to penetrate the materials much faster and with greater precision.
Furthermore, this device has an additional push to stop bottom which you can press to avoid additional splitting of the drill bit point.
There are other methods to sharpen your drill bits but using the proper tool will save you from a lot of hassle and will be advantageous for you in the longer run. Trying out different methods that are not tested can be quite dangerous as well. However, if you feel that you can handle that risk and are on a budget, it is not a bad option for you. Just keep in mind the necessary precautionary measures and speak with an expert, if possible.
This article has provided you with all the necessary information you will need to equip yourself with the right type of tool. You will be able to make better use out of your bits. Furthermore, your bits are bound to last longer when they are used for the task they are designed for and not on other materials. All the aforementioned information will be highly useful for your future needs. You can now pick out the perfect drill bit sharpener for your gardening needs..