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How to Sharpen Carbide Drill Bits

Kevin McDermott

When drill bits get dull, the easiest solution is usually to just replace them. But for larger, more expensive bits, it may be worth a few minutes of your time to go ahead and sharpen the bit yourself. This is easily done by gently moving the ridges of the bit against a spinning grinding wheel. If your bit is carbide, you will need to make sure you use a diamond-surface grinding wheel to affect the hard metal.

Sharpen Carbide Drill Bits
  1. Put on safety goggles and canvas gloves. The goggles protect your eyes from sparks and debris. The gloves protect against accidentally pushing your fingers against the wheel and against burning yourself if the bit gets hot.

  2. Turn on your grinding wheel. Hold the side of the drill bit next to the broad side of the wheel, so the bit is parallel to it.

  3. Holding the bottom of the bit, press the side of the bit lightly against the side of the spinning wheel.

  4. Turn the bit clockwise while moving it downward on the wheel. Make sure the surface of the wheel is coming in contact with the cutting ridge of the blade. You will be able to distinguish the parts of the bit that have been sharpened by the brighter shine on the metal. If you feel the bit getting hot, lift it from the wheel until it cools.

  5. After you have sharpened the ridges of the bit, touch any angles at the tip to the wheel to smooth them out and sharpen the edges. Take care to press only the flat side of each angle to the wheel, and not the point.