How to sharpen a steel drill bit

Drill sharpening

Fig 1            Plan view

The upper most edge of the drill in contact  with the sharpening wheel should be horizontal!.

Start by placing the drill against the wheel at the angle (60 degrees) shown in fig 1. Then angle the end of the drill bit that fits in your drill down towards your feet so that it is about 20 degrees 

The idea is to end up with the leading (cutting) edge higher up than the trailing edge. See the slope underneath the line that’s indicating he “Land “in the drawing below.

drill cutting angle


The first thing to remember before you attempt to sharpen anything is to wear a good clean pair of goggles or glasses!  You won’t be too pleased if the only thing you achieve is an afternoon down at the local A&E having a piece of grit removed from your eye.”  Believe me!  I’ve been there and got the the T shirt” 

The easiest way to get good results is to use a good quality sharpening wheel that is uniform in profile. Ie, not all grooved in the side.

Don’t rush in and get all the angles wrong as most people do.

See fig 1 below which is a drawing looking directly down onto the drill bit which is in contact with the sharpening wheel. (Note the approx angle that the drill bit is held at in relation to the sharpening wheel).

Don’t rush in.. Take it slowly and grind off a small amount from each cutting side of the drill.

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