If you find yourself a regular at your local home improvement store replacing old drill bits, consider reviving them with a drill bit sharpening tool.
These tools are safer than trying to sharpen your drill bits by hand and can save you a lot of time, money, and the frustration of having to replenish your supply so often.
To find the best drill bit sharpener, you should first consider the benefits of using one and your personal needs. Here are some benefits to owning your own drill bit grinder:
- Safety – Especially if you are looking for something for your business, you need to make sure you are compliant and keeping yourself and your workers safe. A powered drill bit sharpener can keep Workers’ Compensation claims down.
- Quality – A dull drill bit will not cut as accurately as a sharp one, which will diminish the quality of your project. Having easy access to sharp drill bits will help you plow through projects quickly and with professional results, whether around the house or for a client.
- Cost –While the initial cost of a drill bit sharpening tool may be more than you expected, expect long-term savings in most cases. This is one of those tools that will easily pay for itself.
Our 7 Favorite Drill Bit Sharpeners
|Product||Angle||Bit Size (Min)||MAX Bit Size (Max)||Made In|
|Drill Doctor 750X||115° to 140°||3/32"||3/4"||USA|
|Darex XT3000||118° to 150°||1/8"||13/16"||USA|
|Tormek DBS-22||90° to 150°||1/8"||7/8"||Sweden|
|Drill Doctor 500X||118° or 135°||3/32"||1/2"||USA|
|Drill Doctor 350X||118°||3/32"||1/2"||USA|
|General Tools 825||n/a||1/8"||3/4"||Taiwan|
Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews
Made in the USA (Oregon), it features adjustable angle positioning from 115 to 140 degrees and is professionally designed to sharpen a dull drill bit from 3/32 inches to 3/4 inches in diameter.
This durable tool is made to provide perfectly aligned cutting edges to many types of drill bits including high-speed steel (HSS), carbide, masonry, or cobalt drill bits for your cordless drill or hammer drill.
The 750X is an accurate yet easy-to-use drill bit sharpening tool that will extend your bit’s life in three simple steps. You’ll save time and money.
Keep in mind that this tool is suitable for up to 200 sharpens, but the body is made of plastic. Like other sharpeners, it has a tougher time with really small drill bits. Also, if you plan on using it at high speeds, the motor may wear out more quickly.
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The Darex XT3000 drill bit sharpening system is a durable, made in the USA professional-grade tool that will save you from continuously ordering new drill bits. Unlike typical sharpeners made for home use, the Darex can sharpen dozens of bits each day with same speed and precision one after another.
This is arguably the best industrial drill bit sharpener on the market today and provides accurate grinding for almost any type of drill bit (with optional attachments).
The cutting angle can be adjusted from 118 to 150 degrees and it’s able to handle sizes anywhere from 3mm (1/8″) to 21mm (13/16″).
The XT3000 comes standard with two Borazon wheels for HSS and cobalt bits and optional diamond wheel for carbide bits along with attachments for larger bits (up to 1-3/16″), counter-sink, brad point, and step drill. The machine itself comes with a 12-month parts and labor warranty to help protect your investment.
If you’re a hobbyist or looking for something for infrequent home use, the XT3000 is overkill and you should consider a Drill Doctor. But for commercial or industrial use, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better sharpener for the money.
If you are familiar with or already own one of Tormek’s excellent sharpening systems, this drill bit sharpening jig attachment is a no brainer. The DBS-22 drill bit attachment is designed to be seamlessly incorporated with the Tormek system.
This Swedish-made drill bit sharpening tool allows you to sharpen bits to four facet points for more precise results, making less heat when working. The optimal clearance angle works to easily adjust to suit different angles depending on the bit material and size.
Using the Tormek DBS-22, you can sharpen drill bits from 1/8 to 7/8 inches with 90 to 150 degree point angles. The jig is very well made and will stand up to years of use.
While it’s a little more difficult to set up, the results speak for themselves. You’ll get precise cuts on both sides of the bit at the same time.
A few users have found that the block holding the bit tends to move, and the cross-slide is not as secure as it should be, which can affect precise cuts. But others reported this not being the case.
As mentioned earlier, a Tormek sharpening system, such as the popular T4 water-cooled model, is required for use. While the setup isn’t as cheap as a standalone bit sharpener, you’ll have the ability to quickly sharpen almost any tool at your disposal whether it be an axe or chainsaw chain.
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Another good product by Drill Doctor, the 500X is sandwiched between the excellent 750X and the budget friendly 350X. Super easy to use, the 500X works quickly to sharpen a dull drill bit from 3/32″ up to 1/2″ in size and with either a 118 or 135 degree point angle.
Its lightweight design makes it portable and easy to take with you to any job site or around your house. Get more use from your drill bits, including high-speed steel, standard twist, cobalt, carbide, and tin-coated bits.
This one-piece system makes it easy for beginners or professionals to get it working as soon as possible. The durable 500X sharpens bits in under a minute and comes with a manual Push to Stop design to prevent over-splitting the bit point.
Be careful where you use the 500X as it heats up quickly with repeated use. If you plan on using this drill bit sharpener often, make sure to consider that it may need replacing after 200 uses.
Like all Drill Doctor sharpeners, it’s designed, engineered, and assembled right here in the United States. It also comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty to address defects or problems that may come up.
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Also part of the Drill Doctor family, the DD350X is a good drill bit sharpener for the hobbyist or home DIYer. The diamond sharpening wheel keeps its shape throughout many uses and keeps bits cool, so they do not warp while sharpening.
While it can handle the same bit sizes (3/32″ to 1/2″) as the larger 500X, the 350X is limited to sharpening standard twist and masonry bits to a 118 degree angle.
This updated design now comes with a front-loading chuck for more natural alignment and sharpening function. Be sure to set your drill bit evenly between the alignment fingers for best use.
The 350X is an excellent investment for the garage. Be sure to keep this close to an outlet or plug it into an extension cord since its power cord is only six feet long (shorter than similar models).
Because the outside shield material is plastic and not very durable, this sharpener is intended more for infrequent sharpening. However, you can purchase with confidence as the 350X comes with Drill Doctor’s three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
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The Tacklife multifunctional sharpening tool works to sharpen drill bits (7/64″ to 1/2″) along with other tools such as knives, axes, and scissors. It’s a convenient and safe option to sharpen many different types of tools and tool sizes to avoid having to sharpen by hand or prematurely replace the tools.
This six-speed machine gives you the flexibility to sharpen your tools at their optimal speed. You will find that this grinder works well for most household tools. If you find that your drill bit just needs a quick polish to remove dust, you can utilize Tacklife’s polishing function.
The diamond grinding wheel for hard materials will sharpen most drill bits (not carbide) and chisels. The corundum grinding wheel sharpeners softer materials such as those on knives, scissors, and saws.
If you have a small garage bench or are otherwise limited for space, this may not be the best sharpener for you as it is one of the largest on this list.
Overall the Tacklife grinder is approximately 43″ x 6″ x 3″, but as already mentioned, it’s an all-in-one sharpener allowing it to handle a variety of tasks. Some of the parts, like the flex shaft, can be challenging to install.
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Made to attach directly to a bench grinder you likely already have, the General Tools drill bit sharpening attachment is a good, inexpensive option for bits 1/8″ to 3/4″ in diameter.
Get restored performance from your drill bit long after its projected use. This grinding attachment extends the life of your drill bit by sharpening back to factory standards.
The uniquely-designed pivoting neck allows you to grind both sides of the drill bit more effectively than similar low budget models.
The General Tools 825 grinder is perfect for workplace environments because it is OSHA, ANSI, and UL compliant making it a safer alternative than hand sharpening or other tools that are on the market.
The biggest negative with this product is actually in its instruction manual which look like a poor photocopy. Some users may find it difficult to properly install or understand this unit.
However, there is an online version of the manual and plenty of YouTube and independent tutorials to better help you set this attachment up and use it to its fullest potential.
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Depending on what types of drill bits you have, look for a versatile solution that can grind many different sizes. Some drill bit sharpeners also come with attachments for different sizes and materials of drill bits.
You also want to consider how you will use it. If you plan on using it often, an industrial-strength sharpener with a diamond wheel will last you a long time and give you as close to manufacturer standard approved drill bits.
If you are still unsure about drill bit sharpeners consider these frequently asked questions.
How Does a Drill Bit Sharpener Work?
Powered drill bit sharpeners are the best way to sharpen drill bits. They make quick work out of something that would take a long time to do by hand and save you money from always having to purchase new drill bits.
You can set your drill bit sharpener at different point angles to grind down your dull drill bit and extend its use.
Do You NEED a Drill Bit Sharpener?
Like with other cutting tools, drill bits can become dull. Old, used up drill bits will not give you the clean, accurate holes when working. Similar to a dull knife, a dull bit can also be a safety hazard due to increased odds of slipping.
But one of the best reasons for owning a good quality drill bit sharpener is that it will save you trips to the store to keep your project moving along.
Standalone Sharpener vs. Jig or All-in-One Sharpener – Which is Better?
If you have particular needs and don’t anticipate needing a variety of sharpening tools, you may be better off with a standalone sharpening tool. A dedicated unit can be less expensive if you are a hobbyist or looking for something for yourself.
If you are looking for something that works with an interchangeable system or need to sharpen a range of other tools, consider an all-in-one sharpening unit.
Can You Sharpen Drill Bits By Hand?
Technically, yes. But we wouldn’t recommend it. You can try sharpening your drill bits by hand using a bench grinder or belt sander but you likely won’t approach the precise cuts that a dedicated bit sharpener can provide.
When sharpening by hand, you need to wear safety glasses and protective clothing because flakes of metal can fly off into the air. You must also be mindful of your hand placement, so you don’t catch your finger on grinding wheel or sanding belt.