Are you tired of replacing worn drill bits? Even the toughest cobalt bits eventually dull.
With a sharpener, you may avoid the need to toss your old bits. The only problem is choosing the best drill bit sharpener.
Sharpeners come in a wide range of designs and styles. Some include their own grinding stone, while others require a separate grinder. You can also find devices capable of sharpening almost any bit and less expensive models intended for weak alloys.
Which one should you get? That may depend on the type of bits you need to sharpen and your budget.
To help you find the right option, here are the top five drill bit sharpeners.
Side by Side Comparison of the Best Drill Bit Sharpeners
Best Drill Bit Sharpener of October, 2019
Drill Doctor 750X – Best Overall Sharpener and Most Versatile Solution
With the Drill Doctor 750X, you receive a versatile desktop drill bit sharpener. It comes equipped with a keyless chuck and grinding wheel housed inside a durable plastic shell.
After plugging the device into the wall, you add a bit to the chuck and insert it into the machine.
The Drill Doctor 750X is a corded unit, requiring access to a 115V power source, such as a wall outlet or generator. It features a heavy-duty shell with a wide base and three separate ports. Each of the ports accepts the removable chuck, giving you three functions for keeping your bits in top shape.
The first port sharpens the bits and the second port aligns the bits for straighter drilling. The third port allows you to add a split-point to a bit.
The split-point tip helps eliminate walking, keeping the tip centered as you cut into the material. With this design, the drill bit has three grooves at the tip that lift debris away, helping the drill penetrate faster.
The grinding wheel is inside the case. When it starts to wear, you simply open the Drill Doctor 750X and replace it.
It comes with a standard diamond-coated grinding wheel. These wheels typically offer about 200 or so uses before needing replacement.
Besides the standard 180-grit grinding wheel, Drill Doctor sells a 100-grit diamond wheel. The 100-grit wheel provides the coarseness needed for sharpening masonry bits.
Accepted Drill Bits
Unlike most of the other drill bit sharpeners, the Drill Doctor 750X accepts thicker 3/4-inch standard twist bits along with bits coated with heavier metals, such as carbide or titanium. To sharpen reverse twist drill bits, Drill Doctor sells a left-hand chuck.
Are there any drawbacks to using the Drill Doctor 750X? The price is the one issue with this machine. It costs more compared to the other recommendations, but you also get more. It sharpens, aligns, and adds split-point tips.
Drill Doctor also backs the machine against defects with its three-year warranty. If it stops working due to issues with design or manufacturing, the Drill Doctor will replace the product.
In the end, the Drill Doctor 750X offers versatility and dependability. It is a durable device suited for use in professional settings or your home workshop.
Drill Doctor 500X Drill Bit Sharpener – Best Combination of Value and Performance
The Drill Doctor 500X is a step down from the 750X model. As with the previous option, the 500X is a stand-alone sharpener with its own chuck and grinding wheel.
It also comes with a three-year warranty and a variety of optional accessories, including sharpening wheels and a carrying case. The main difference is the smaller chuck, accepting up to 1/2-inch drill bits.
The device sits on your workbench and uses a push-to-stop system to help prevent over-splitting. It also requires a standard 115V AC power source, keeping you connected to a wall or a generator. This is rarely an issue unless you need to sharpen your bits at a mobile worksite without access to additional power.
It includes the same three ports found on the 750X. With the Drill Doctor 500X, you can sharpen, align, or add split-point tips.
Accepted Drill Bits
The Drill Doctor 500X works with almost any standard twist bit, including high-speed steel, cobalt, carbide, titanium coated, and masonry bits. It also includes the adjustable angle needed for sharpening 118-degree or 135-degree points.
The Drill Doctor 750X and 500X both allow you to sharpen all the dull or broken bits you own. With the 500X, the chuck accepts bits up to 1/2-inch in diameter. To sharpen 3/4-inch bits, you need to purchase the optional large-bit chuck.
Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener – Best Drill Sharpener for Using a Vertical Grinder
With the Woodstock D4144, you have an adjustable vice for holding a drill bit while you sharpen it against a vertical wheel bench grinder.
It does not include any special features or accessories, just a spot to hold your bit while you sharpen it. Thanks to the basic design, it is also one of the more affordable choices.
The Woodstock D4144 is a simple sharpener. The device includes a small mounting plate for securing it to a workbench or table.
Above the plate is an adjustable vice that holds the drill bit in place. This feature allows you to sharpen a wide variety of drill-point angles, from 92-degrees to 150-degrees.
Without any electronic components, you do not need to worry about it malfunctioning. It includes metal parts, from the mounting plate to the bolts that you adjust to secure the bit.
Accepted Drill Bits
The various screws and bolts on the vice allow the Woodstock D4144 sharpener to accept a range of standard twist. The diameter range covers sizes from 1/8-inch to 3/4-inch.
As you need to use a grinder with it, you can set it up on the left side, allowing you to sharpen reverse twist bits.
What type of metals can it sharpen? This depends on the grinding wheel you use. Technically, the Woodstock D4144 can sharpen any type of bit if it fits in the vice.
When setting up the sharpener, use caution, as the mounting plate, and other metal parts are prone to cracking or splitting.
Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener – Best Budget Standalone Sharpener
The Drill Doctor DD350X works for standard drill bits, including the most common bits used for working with wood and light metals.
It resembles the previous Drill Doctor models, with a compact case that holds the drill chuck and grinding wheel.
The DD350X also comes with a replaceable industrial-strength diamond sharpening wheel. However, it does not have the alignment port found on the Drill Doctor 750X or 500X.
While it does not have an alignment port, the design eliminates the need for one. This simplifies the sharpening process. You just add the bit to the chuck and insert it in the machine. After a few half-turns, it locks in place.
The sides of the device include air vents, helping to disperse heat as you sharpen your bits. The ventilation keeps the bits from overheating, reducing the risk of ruining the tip.
Accepted Drill Bits
The Drill Doctor DD350X should sharpen any of your standard bits in your home workshop. While it does not have a setting for 135-degree-angle tips, it does work with the typical 118-degree angle.
Due to the slightly less powerful motor in the DD350X, it does not work for carbide-tipped, titanium-tipped, or masonry bits.
The Drill Doctor DD350X includes many of the features that help make Drill Doctor a trusted brand, including a durable, easy-to-operate design.
Ansblue Diamond Drill Bit Sharpening Tool – Best Handheld Drill Bit Sharpener
The Ansblue Diamond Drill Bit Sharpening Tool is a handheld tool that you use to sharpen drill bits with an electric drill or electric screwdriver. At one end of the tool is a small grinding wheel with a hexagonal handle.
How does it work? The base of the tool holds the drill bit, positioning the point near the wheel.
You then attach an electric screwdriver or drill to the hexagonal handle. When you turn on the electric screwdriver or drill, it spins the grinding wheel, sharpening the drill bit.
Ansblue makes this handheld sharpener from ABS plastic. It does not have any mechanical or electronic components to break down, reducing the chances of needing to replace the tool.
At the top of the tool is a compartment that holds the grinding wheel. It uses a brown corundum grinding wheel. Compared to the diamond wheels included in the other sharpeners, the corundum material wears quicker.
Accepted Drill Bits
With the Ansblue handheld tool, you can sharpen most common carbon steel and high-speed steel drill bits. This includes bits often used for drilling into wood, fiberglass, and soft metals.
The Ansblue Drill Bit Sharpening Tool does not grind at multiple angles or work with tough metals, such as masonry bits or titanium-tipped bits.
This is the most basic design. You essentially receive a plastic tool that holds a bit and a grinding wheel, requiring a separate drill or electric screwdriver to turn the wheel.
Best Drill Bit Sharpeners – Buying Guide
So, how do you choose the right drill bit sharpener? Finding the right option depends on your needs. Start by considering the following details:
- The style of the sharpener
- The drill bit point angle range
- The drill bit diameter range
- The drill bit material
- Your budget
Review these features as you think about the intended use of the sharpener, including where you plan to use it and the types of bits you plan to sharpen.
Comparing Styles of Drill Bit Sharpeners
No matter which option you choose, a grinding wheel shaves pieces of metal from the bit, sharpening the point. However, not all sharpeners include their own grinder.
For example, the Woodstock D4144 is basically a vice for holding the bits. You position it on your workbench next to a vertical wheel bench grinder.
The Ansblue Diamond Drill Bit Sharpening Tool includes its own compact grinding wheel, but you need to use a drill to rotate the wheel.
With any of the Drill Doctor Sharpeners, you get a stand-alone device. These sharpeners work without needing any other tools. You insert the bit into a chuck and place it in the sharpener containing the sharpening wheel.
What Type of Drill Bits Do You Need to Sharpen?
Before buying a drill bit sharpener, make sure it can accept the types of bits that you need to sharpen. Pay attention to these compatibility features:
- The diameter of the drill bit
- Drill point angle
- Type of metal
Drill Bit Diameter
The sharpeners either use chucks or vices to secure the drill bit, but the opening only allows for a specific diameter range. The standard diameter range is 3/32-inch to 1/2-inch. This should help you sharpen almost any bit in your kit.
What about thicker drill bits? If you have bits with diameters greater than 1/2-inch, a couple of the sharpeners listed above should work. The Drill Doctor 750X and the Woodstock D4144 accept drill bits up to 3/4-inch. However, you can also purchase a large-bit chuck for the Drill Doctor 500X.
Bit Tip Angle
You may also want to think about the angle of the drill point. Most standard twist bits have a 118-degree angle at the tip, but some of the thicker bits featuring harder metals, such as masonry bits, have a 135-degree angle.
If you have bits with the larger angle, the Drill Doctor 750X and 500X both have the setting you need. With the Woodstock sharpener, you have the option to select from a variety of angles.
Type of Metal
The next consideration is the type of metal used for the drill bit. The most common options include:
- Carbon steel
- High-speed steel (HSS)
- Masonry bits
Some metals are softer compared to others, requiring less power to sharpen. Weaker alloys include carbon steel and high-speed steel, which are also the most commonly used metals for drill bits.
The Ansblue Diamond Drill Bit Sharpening Tool features a brown corundum grinding wheel. These wheels only work well for carbon steel bits commonly used for woodworking. Using it on a harder alloy may chip the bit or ruin the grinding wheel.
The Drill Doctor DD350X also only supports the weaker metals, due to its weaker motor. For sharpening harder metals, you need the power of the Drill Doctor 750X or 500X. With the Woodstock Sharpener, the vertical wheel bench grinder determines the types of metals you can sharpen.
Drill bit sharpeners save you the hassle of needing to constantly replace your bits. Whether you have a home workshop or a professional business, these tools prolong the life of your drill bits, if you choose the right sharpener.
The Drill Doctor sharpeners simplify the sharpening process. You simply add the bit to the chuck and insert the chuck into a port on the device. With the 750X and 500X sharpeners from Drill Doctor, you also get an alignment port and a port for adding split-point tips.
If these devices provide more features than you need or exceed your budget, consider the Woodstock D4144 Sharpener and the Ansblue Sharpening Tool. The Woodstock sharpener requires a separate grinding wheel while the Ansblue tool requires an electric screwdriver or drill.
Rounding out the list is the Drill Doctor 350X, providing the best budget choice. It is easy to operate and comes with a three-year warranty, as with the other Drill Doctor sharpeners. However, it costs less and does not include the port for adding split-point tips.
You now have five great choices, but remember to consider the types of bits that need sharpening and the style of the sharpener.