Have you ever been excited to get started on a DIY project only to find that your drill bit is dull and unable to do what you need it to?
Then you have to go all the way out to a DIY store to find the right bit again, spend a bunch of money to get a high-quality bit, and by the time you get back home, all motivation to get on with your project is gone.
If this has ever happened to you, then you know how frustrating it can be to have to hold back on your projects or struggle with them for longer than you should need to because your drill bits are dull.
Well luckily, there’s a solution!
Did you know that you can get drill bit sharpeners? If you’re on this article, you probably did, but would you know how to find the best one? What makes a good drill bit, and how much should they cost?
Don’t worry, this article will cover all the basics that you need to know, including the 5 best drill bit sharpeners on the market. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about these time-saving devices.
What You Need to Know
Like I said, there’s a bit more detail than you might expect that goes into choosing the right drill bit sharpener. But that’s what we’re going to get into now:
Type Of Sharpener
Strictly speaking, there are two different types of drill bit sharpener available on the market. These are a dedicated sharpener, or a bench grinder.
The dedicated grinders are specifically made for drill bits, are a lot more user-friendly, and they’re pretty intuitive to use.
Bench grinders on the other hand are used for general tool grinding. They’re more bang for your buck as you can grind all of your tools, however they have a much larger margin for error, and are not particularly intuitive.
If you’re an old hat and like to have versatile tools, aim for a bench grinder. If you’re still pretty new and inexperienced in the world of DIY, get a dedicated drill bit sharpener.
Drill Bit Size
You want to make sure that you’ve got a sharpener that can be adjusted, because, as you know, there are a lot of different sizes of drill bit, and you want to make sure that you can accommodate all of them.
The majority of sharpeners are going to be able to handle most commonly used bits, however, if you find that you use larger bits more often (typically anything bigger than ½-inch is considered large) then you’ll need to make sure that you’re paying close attention to the capacity.
Drill Bit Material
Knowing that kind of materials and finishes are used within your favorite drill bits is important, as some sharpeners won’t be optimized for every type of material.
If you have carbide bits, for example, you’ll have to make sure that you get a sharpener with diamond-grinding elements, or you’ll be out of luck.
Drill Bit Type
Are your drill bits used for drilling metals or wood?
This changes the kind of angle used in your bit, so you want to make sure that you’ve got a sharpener that can work with both. If you’ve got split-point bits, you’ll have to get a specialized sharpening tool to accommodate this.
You can either use a plug-in electric sharpener, or a drill-powered sharpening tool (which could either be electric or battery powered). Plug-in drills are generally more powerful, but due to this and how quick they work, it’s easy to get it wrong or misalign the attachment.
Drill powered are great on the fly, but they’re not super accurate. There’s still the chance that things will be misaligned so you will probably have to practice a bit to make sure that you get it right. However, they’re great in a pinch and easier to travel with.
5 Best Drill Bit Sharpeners
In this section of the article, we will be discussing the top 5 best drill bit sharpeners on the market, ranging from the best professional to the best value for money, and everything in between.
Best Overall – Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener
Across the board, Drill Doctors are the Mercedes of Drill Bit Sharpeners. And by far the best of their range is the 750X. The price sits around mid-range, but it is of a professional quality that is hard to beat.
If you’re looking for an electric bench top drill sharpener that will breathe new life into your old and worn drill bits, then you need to get your hands on this machine.
The Drill Doctor 750X is adjustable to any angle between 115 and 140 degrees, making it great for a drill bit with pretty much any angle. It is even able to create split bits, making your drill bits able to make even more accurate holes.
This drill bit can manage drill bits as small as 3/32-inches, and all the way up to ¾-inches. That kind of versatility is hard to find anywhere else. It even comes with a diamond wheel, so your carbide bits can be sharpened as well.
My one negative is that, if this is your first time using a drill bit sharpener like this then you’re probably going to struggle.
I definitely recommend having a few cheap drill bits to practice on for a little while first before you start using your fancy bits, because it can take a little while to perfect.
The split point feature is particularly difficult to get right, especially if you’re a newbie to DIY. However, once you’ve figured it out, it’s very much worth the time to figure out how to use it properly.
Honestly, this sharpener is well worth the steep price tag.
- Very versatile range of bits that it can sharpen
- Repairs the edges on a broken bit
- Requires a lot of practice to understand
- Not particularly intuitive
Best For Beginners – Drill Doctor 350X
Like I said, Drill Doctor is a well-renowned brand for drill bits, so it’s not surprising that they’re going to show up on this list a few times.
If you’re still a beginner when it comes to DIY and doesn’t feel like you need a high-end drill bit sharpened, but would still like to invest in some hardware that will improve the longevity of your drill bits, then the affordable Drill Doctor 350X could be just what you’re looking for.
We like the fact that this sharpening tool is pretty cheap, but still comes with a diamond wheel, so if you spent all of your money on nice drill bits, you can still look after them with a decent sharpener.
The biggest downside to this drill bit is that it is only able to sharpen at a 118-degree angle, so you’ll need to know what angle your drill bits are before you try to use them with this sharpener.
- Low price tag
- Still features a diamond wheel
- Limited versatility
- Not as accurate as higher end models
Best Single-Speed Bench Grinder – Wen BG4276 Bench Grinder
We’re not all just about dedicated sharpening tools here, so here is a great, versatile bench grinder. The Wen BG4267 gives you two grinding wheels for just a fraction of the cost. In fact, this grinder is actually surprisingly affordable.
There’s a big light that is easily adjustable so you can clearly see what it is that you’re working on. You can sharpen all kinds of tools with this grinder, as well as drill bits.
There is a 60-grit wheel, and a 36-grit wheel, depending on the material used in your tools. However, it should be noted that neither of these belts have the diamonds required for them to sharpen carbide bits.
So if you have the super-durable carbide bits, you’ll have to find another way to sharpen them.
As mentioned previously, you do need to have a steady hand and a decent knowledge of DIY-ing in order to use these grinders effectively, so you might have to practice before you try to sharpen your fancy drill bits.
- Power, adjustable work light
- Two grinding wheels
- Cannot sharpen carbide
- Not as accurate as dedicated sharpeners
Best Compact Bench Grinder – DeWalt DW756
If you have limited work bench space but still want to be able to sharpen your tools when you need them, then you need the sic-inch DeWalt DC756 in your life. It has the power to sharpen all of your tools, with safety guards to protect you from any dangerous debris or sparks.
You can easily secure whatever it is that you need to sharpen in place, and trust that this small but mighty tool will be able to handle whatever you throw at it. (caution: don’t actually try to throw anything at it, that will probably end poorly.)
The cast iron body means that it is super durable, and will last a long time, so you’ll more than make your money back in saved drill bits and screwdrivers over its life.
Again, this grinder does require a lot of precision and safety in order to use it properly. Don’t just rush into it – see if you can maybe get a demonstration at your local hardware store before you purchase a grinder.
- Small but incredibly powerful
- Requires hardware knowledge and a lot of precautions
Cheapest & Most Portable – CZS Drill Bit Sharpener
Not everyone can afford the high-end models. Not everyone needs the high-end models. If your DIY experience doesn’t go any further than putting up a set of shelves or a curtain rod, then you probably don’t need to get the most expensive or accurate models.
In that case, you can definitely make do with the CZS drill bit sharpener. It’s not particularly pretty, and it’s dirt cheap (you can get a two-pack for $10). However, it should do you in a pinch if you really don’t want to have to keep replacing your drill bits.
This portable drill bit can sharpen bits with a width between 2-12.5mm, which is pretty good all in all.
The most exciting part is that this simple little tool is powered by your drill, and also has the diamond required to sharpen carbide.
If you don’t need your sharpening to be perfect, then this is absolutely the sharpening tool for you.
- Dirt cheap
- Can sharpen carbide
- Not very accurate
- Not particularly powerful
- Doesn’t have a massive range
What Drill Sharpener Is Right For You?
So, you’ve seen a bit of the range that drill sharpeners can come in, but how do you know which one is going to be right for you?
Here is a dedicated buyer’s guide to drill bit sharpeners to hopefully take the stress out of figuring out the make and style that you need.
If you want to go with notable brands, then you’re going to want to stick with Drill Doctor. They appeared on this list a couple of times, but we could have easily filled the whole list with just this brand.
If you can’t tell by the name, they specialize in drills, drill bits, and making sure that you get the best out of the drill bits that you already have.
Their sharpening tools are dedicated sharpeners, have a great range of accuracy, and are incredibly versatile. If you want to look after your drill bits the best way, you go with Drill Doctor.
However, other great brands include DeWalt Wen, and Woodstock (the latter is absent from this list but has easily made the cut if it was a top 10).
And for budget options for very basic quality, you can’t go wrong with CZS.
A drill bit sharpener can become dull over time by sharpening drill bits regularly – ironically. One day they’re going to have to make a drill-bit-sharpener sharpener.
If your sharpening tool becomes dull, using it to try to sharpen more drill bits won’t be possible. In the majority of cases, you can even end up damaging your drill bit sharpener or completely ruining your drill bits.
In order to be sure that this does not happen with your drill sharpener, you have to buy a durable one. By durable, we mean built with high-density metals! Cast aluminum or silicon carbide are both very durable.
As well as this, the overall construction is also crucial as power tools vibrate and this could mean it can fall apart if not constructed well.
Before you buy a tool like a drill bit sharpener, you’ll need to really think about what you’re going to be using it for and how accurate you need it to be.
If you often work on intricate furniture or DIY, then you’re going to need a dedicated sharpener that will keep your bits in pristine condition.
However, if you’re only going to use it every so often to keep the drill bits that came with your drill sharp for sorting out IKEA furniture or hanging picture frames up, then you can definitely get away with something on the budget side.
If you need something powerful and accurate, you should go for a high-end, dedicated sharpener that can keep your angles in check.
If you work with a large variety of tools, then you could probably do with a bench top grinder.
And finally, if you are only an occasional DIY-er, then you can probably stick with the cheaper, more portable, drill-powered options.
Yes, it’s definitely easier to just go to the hardware store and buy a new pack of drill bits. However, in the long run, this is going to cost you so much money, particularly if you get the fancy, high-end drill bits.
On the other hand, you could splash out and get a cool drill bit sharpener and find peace in the noisy ritual that is sharpening your tools.
Drill bit sharpeners can take your old, worn out, under-performing drill bits and make them seem brand new again.
The high-end models will work really well in keeping your angles the same and having pinpoint accuracy. The lower end models won’t be as accurate but they work pretty well in a pinch with a bit of practice.
If you have any questions or want to have a demonstration before you use something like this, then you should talk to whoever works at your local hardware store or Lowes, because they will always be able to help you figure out how to use these machines.
Good luck finding your perfect drill bit sharpener, enjoy the new lease of life that your drill bits will be experiencing!
Jake is a tool guy – think Tim Allen from Home Improvement but with a much drier sense of humor. He lives in the great state of Ohio and plays the guitar on his downtime. He also spends his time writing on all things tools and DIY-related as this is his passion.