Tool users should know the right application as well as the maintenance of the tool. It increases the longevity of the tool and reduces your cost.
Drill bits are a multipurpose tool that gets dull by several usages. Though you can replace the old and dull drill bits with the new one you can use the previous drill bits for a long time by sharpening the drill bits with drill bit sharpener.
Drill bit sharpener takes a little time to sharpen the dull drill bits but it saves your money. Today we will discuss the important tips for sharpening drill bits. You can sharpen your drill bits quickly and easily if you follow these effective tips for sharpening drill bits.
10 Effective Tips for Sharpening Drill Bits
You need bench grinder or belt sander for sharpening the dull drill bits. You also need to wear some safety gears for safety purpose which include:
- The container of Ice Cold Water
Caution: Sometimes people wear hand gloves but wearing hand gloves is risky in this case because they can get caught into the sharpening device and pull you in.
1: Know Your Drill Bit Well
It is very important to know your drill bit well before you start working on it. A drill bit has many features but for sharpening purpose 3 features are most important and these features include- lip, land, and chisel. So, let me give you a clear idea about these 3 important features-
Lip: Lip is the place where the actual cutting is done. Twist bits are the most commonly used drill bits and it has a pair of lips. Both lips should sharpen equally. If one lip is sharpened bigger than the other then most of the cutting will be performed on one side of the drill bit.
Land: landing is the part that follows the lip and it provides support to the sharp edge. The landing needs to be angled in such a way so that it leave clearance between the part of drilling and the lip.
Chisel: It is not a true chisel. When the landing from both sides of the twist drill intersects chisel is created. When you turn the drill and force down into the workpiece the chisel slurs the wood or metal. That is why the chisel portion should be kept small.
2: Examine the Dull Bits Properly
Before start sharpening, you should examine your drill bits properly. Your drill bits may get chipped or may get dull.
If the landing force behind the drill bits cannot support the forces exerted by the drilling operation the drill bits get chipped. On the other hand, if the chisel is having trouble smearing the material to the lip or the lip is rolling over it is dull.
3: Choose the Sharpening Machine
You can choose a bench grinder or a belt sander for sharpening the drill bits. Some bench grinders have a pair of grinding wheels – one is coarse and another is a fine wheel.
If your bits are ravaged we will recommend you to start sharpening with the coarse wheel and then switch to the finer wheel for final processing. On the other hand, if your bits are not in a very bad condition you can start with the finer wheel.
Also, there are some cool drill bit sharpener available, you also could check them too.
Caution: Before starting the operation make it sure that the guards on your chosen machine are less than 1/8″ away from the belt or wheel; otherwise your bit may get caught between the guards.
4: Wear Your Goggles
Wear your goggles and turn on the machine. Holding the drill bits firmly keep the cutting edge parallel to the front of the grinding wheel carefully and slowly move the bit until it comes in contact with the wheel.
Do not do the mistake of turning or rotating the wheel. Simply held it at an angle of 60 degrees and start cutting the edge precisely.
5: Do Not Remove More Metal than the Necessity
Your goal is to remove only enough metal to get a sharpened edge. If you remove more than this the bit will wear down. So, do not hold the bit against the wheel for not more than 4 to 5 seconds.
6: Dip the Drill Bit into Ice Water
After 4 to 5 seconds give a pause and dip the hot drill bit into icy water. If you do not do so, the drill bit will become hotter and wear down faster which will reduce the effective life of the drill bit.
When it becomes cold, inspect it properly to check whether the side you have just worked is honed to a good point or not. If you are satisfied with the first side to turn the drill bit at a 180-degree angle and repeat the same steps you have just performed i.e. grinding and cooling.
7: Give a Test Run
If both edges are sharpened at the same width give a test run by holding the tip of the bit at the perpendicular position against a piece of scrap wood and twist the bit by hand.
If the bit is sharpened well it will start creating a hole even with light pressure. If you notice that your bit cannot start creating a hole, it means the bit is not sharpened well. So, again repeat the previous process and eventually, it will come to your expected position.
8: Pull Out the Flakes or Chips
It is a good practice to pull out the flakes or chips for every inch you drill. If you do not do so, your bit will become hot by getting packed into the chips which will reduce the longevity of it.
9: Make a Habit of Stop and Cool Technique
After every few inches of drilling dip the hot drill into cold water. This habit will increase the life expectancy of the sharp tip of your drill bit, otherwise, it will get dull soon and you have to sharpen it frequently.
10: Keep Two Complete Sets of Drill Bits
It is a good practice to use one set of drill bits to start a hole and to use another set for completing the hole. This practice will let you use the sharpened drill bit for a long time.
Sharpening drill bits with drill bit sharpener do not take much time and it is easier too. You can use the same drill bit for a long time by sharpening it from time to time and your money will be saved too.
After sharpening the drill bits if you follow the habit of keeping it in sharp condition for a long time you do not have to sharp frequently. These habits that are written in tip 8 to 10 will also save you time.
But you should be cautious always so that you do not have to experience any injury during sharpening the drill bits. So do not do any negligence in taking the safety measures.