Think of all the punishment your drill bits get during their lifetime. Is it any wonder that they dull and need sharpening? Drill bit sharpeners are the answer.
The best drill bit sharpeners can revitalize your blunt drill bits and get them cutting like new.
We take a look at 10 drill bit sharpeners to see which is the best and explain the merits of each one.
- Easy to use
- Great for beginners
- Long service life
- Versatile sharpening
- Simplicity of use
- Sharpens 0.094 to 0.75 in bits
- Value for money
- Magnetic scraper
- Simple to operate
- Achieves118° tip angle
- Includes instructional DVD
- Can replicate angles
- Simple design
- 5 angles to choose from
- Stable base
- All-round sharpening tool
- 3-step sharpening
- Borazon wheel
- Budget-friendly price
- Ideal for novices
- Portable tool
- Versatile tool
- 3 grades of abrasiveness
- 12-volt option
Do I Need a Drill Bit Sharpener?
Your drill is only as effective as your drill bit, so if you want to get the best out of your tool, you should keep your drill bits sharp. If you frequently drill into tough material, you need to keep your drill bits in tip-top condition.
There are also financial implications to sharpening as opposed to buying new drill bits each time. Drill bits can be expensive, especially if you insist on the best brands, so over time, the collective cost of replacing dull bits can be high.
Sharpening your old bit and bringing it back to a useful life is a lot cheaper, and we think it is more satisfying. Having a sharp drill bit also affects the quality of your work, because using a shoddy tool means risking a poor quality result.
The benefits of using a drill bit sharpener far outweigh doing the task by hand. For one, there is the speed element. Drill bit sharpeners are quicker. Then there is the convenience factor. Why spend longer achieving a lesser result, when a drill bit sharpener ensures perfection every time.
How Do Drill Bit Sharpeners Work?
Essentially, a drill bit sharpener is a portable grinder encased in a device that lets you set the angles and the amount of material you want to remove. It is an easy way to eliminate all the guesswork and enable novices to achieve perfect results every time.
Using the most popular brand as an example, the Drill Doctor is so easy to use. The drill bit is inserted into a jig, which is then inserted into the drill bit sharpener. Next, the jig and the sharpener are aligned by lining up the white markers.
This tells you that the drill bit is locked in the correct position and it is aligned with the setting markers. You then need to select the amount of material to remove and set the angle. Turn on the machine and allow it to run for 15 seconds. Stop, turn the bit over and repeat the procedure.
At the end of this process, you will have a sharp and highly effective drill bit.
What Is the Best Angle to Sharpen a Drill Bit?
The best angle to sharpen a drill bit is between 55 and 60 degrees. That’s the angle of the chisel edge in relation to the cutting edge. This ensures you get clean, straight holes.
What to Look for in a Drill Bit Sharpener
Make sure the size of the sharpener fits the space available. The last thing you need is a large sharpener taking up all the bench space in your workshop when that space could be better utilized.
Also, the sharpener’s size determines the weight, and no one wants to lug an oversized and overweight drill bit sharpener around.
Also, check out what size drill bits the sharpener accommodates. The Drill Doctor 350X has a smaller size range compared to the 750X.
Look for a drill bit sharpener that uses cast aluminum or silicon carbide as part of its makeup. These two elements are incredibly durable and help to prolong the life of your sharpener. If you can get a sharpener with a borazon grinding wheel, even better. Borazon is one of the hardest substances in existence.
Sharpeners are either manual or electric. The plugin varieties are far more common, but you are limited to working near a power socket. This is ideal if you work out of a dedicated space with electrical sockets, but if you are working in a location where you have no such luxuries, go for a manual sharpener.
Whichever you choose, there is no right or wrong answer, just your opinion, and that’s all that counts.
Why settle at just having sharp drill bits? Why not get a tool that sharpens other implements too. Knives, shears, scissors, these all require constant maintenance to keep them sharp. By getting a multifunctional sharpener, you are getting value for money.
You should also consider the types of drill bits the device sharpens. You should aim for a one that grinds cobalt, HSS and titanium drill bits.
The Best Drill Bit Sharpeners of 2022
Drill bit sharpeners range in price, and it is difficult to know that you are getting value for money. We review 10 of the best to help you make up your mind.
1. Drill Doctor 500X Drill Bit Sharpener
Best Automatic Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill Doctor features heavily in this review because they make the most user-friendly sharpeners available. This is the 500X model, which means it has a shorter size and angle range, but it should still cater to most of your bit sharpening needs.
The size of the bits it can accommodate ranges from 0.094 inches to 0.50 inches, and the set point angles span 118 and 135 degrees. The other great thing about Drill Doctors is they cut split-point tips that have less walkabout and speed up the drilling process.
Easy to Use
Slot the bit in the jig, attach the jig to the sharpener and set the amount of material you want shaved off. Then set it to operate for 15 seconds and repeat the process on the other side of the bit. It is that simple!
You don’t have to take out a second mortgage for this sharpener, making it a great addition to any DIY enthusiasts workshop.
Great for Beginners
If you are starting out on your DIY journey, this is a great sharpener to buy thanks to its simplicity. You don’t need years of experience to use this tool to get excellent results.
Although this is supposed to have a 180-grit sander, it leaves a rough finish on the surface of the drill bit.
It will get your drill bits sharp, but don’t expect the same results as hand-sharpened bits. The difference between this tool and the experts doing it is the same as fast food versus a gourmet meal, in terms of quality.
|Dimensions (inches)||13.75 x 5.75 x 11.75|
|Angles||118 and 135 degrees|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.094 to 0.50|
2. Tormek DBS-22 Sharpening Jig
Best Drill Bit Sharpening Jig
If you are spending a lot of money on a drill bit sharpener, you want it to be accurate and precise. This Tormek jig utilizes a 4-facet point sharpening action to increase the lifespan of the drill bit. This symmetrical grind allows the bit to be self-centering and eliminates the need for pilot holes or punches.
It sharpens all point angles between 90 and 150 degrees, and the optimal clearance angle can be adjusted from 7, 9, 11 and 14 degrees.
This jig removes every element of guesswork and delivers precise results time and again.
Tormek claims that once your drill bit is sharpened using their jig, it increases the useful life of the bit by up to 4 times that of standard new drill bits.
This jig can handle drill bits ranging from 0.125 inches to 0.875 inches, and you can set the grind angle clearance at 7, 9, 11 and 14 degrees.
This is not a cheap jig. It costs more than some of the featured drill bit sharpeners, and this is only the jig, not the sharpener itself.
Some may not see the need to acquire knowledge and skill as a bad thing, but the whole point of a drill sharpener is that it does it all for you and requires little to no expertise.
|Dimensions (inches)||14 x 7 x 3|
|Angles||90 and 150 degrees|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.125 to 0.875|
3. Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener
Best Professional Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill Doctor is the most popular drill sharpener by a mile. This sharpener makes it almost idiot-proof when it comes to great results. It sharpens many types of drill bits from cobalt bits and masonry to high-speed steel.
What sets this unit apart is the simplicity of use, and yet you can still set custom point angles from 115 to 140 degrees. It handles drill bits from 0.094 inches up to 0.75 inches, and you can set the amount of material you want to remove.
Simplicity of Use
This sharpener is so simple to use. Follow the instructions, and you will have sharp drill bits in no time at all.
The amount of drill bits this sharpener accommodates is incredible. It tackles a variety of materials, and the sizes range from 0.094 inches to 0.75 inches.
For such an easy to use tool, the price for this unit makes it excellent value for money. It is almost half the cost of the Tormek jig.
Build Quality Issues
Some people have reported that the quality of the sharpener is on the cheaper side. Also, there seems to be a lot of flex in the unit indicating less expensive materials have been used.
Good but Not Great
What we mean is that unlike using a bench grinder and taking care and attention with the finish, this delivers a sharp bit, but lacks the finesse and care that manually sharpening brings.
|Dimensions (inches)||5 x 8 x 4.5|
|Angles||115 and 140 degrees|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.094 to 0.75|
4. Tormek T-8 Water Cooled Precision Sharpening System
Best Premium Drill Bit Sharpener
Okay, so the first thing you will notice about this sharpener is that it is expensive. If you want to own this tool, expect to pay over 7 times what the Drill Doctor 500X costs. And the second thing is that this unit is only available in North America.
Besides that, you get various jigs for angles and flat edges, a honing solution for mirror-like finishes and two grindstone wheels that have a grit range of 220 to 1,000 for professional results.
Being able to adjust the angle and depth of the cut in minute degrees means that you can attain a perfect finish.
No matter how hard you work the Tormek, it will never overheat, and your drill bits will achieve a sharper edge without the danger of heat damage.
The magnetic scraper collects the metal particles as you sharpen. This has the double advantage of removing them from the grinding wheel where damage may occur, and it makes it easy to keep the water trough clean.
This is a device that is better suited to a professional setting, given the price. It is unlikely to find its way into the workshop of a DIY enthusiast.
Unlike some sharpeners, this Tormek requires a degree of knowledge and skill to use it effectively. This, again, makes it a suitable tool for the more experienced among us.
|Dimensions (inches)||15 x 11.5 x 15|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||Universal|
5. Drill Doctor DD350X Drill Bit Sharpener
Best Value Drill Bit Sharpener
This is the smallest in the Drill Doctor range, and it has the least angle capacity at just 118 degrees. It can handle drill bits from 0.094 inches to 0.50 inches, and it is simplicity itself to operate.
Insert the drill bit and turn the chuck an even number of half-turns, and you will achieve a perfect 118-degree tip angle. It sharpens cobalt, high-speed steel and masonry drill bits. This device could be the answer to sharpening all those dull drill bits you have collected over the years.
With zero training, and in seconds, you can achieve a sharp drill bit that will perform again and again.
This sharpener is so cheap. It costs a fraction of the Tormek jig, and you could buy 2 of these for the price of the Drill Doctor 750X.
To make sure that you understand how this sharpener works, Drill Doctor even supplies it with an instructional DVD.
If you have drill bits with 118-degree tips, this is an ideal tool. However, this is the only angle you can achieve, so it limits its uses.
Build Quality Issues
Some people have reported that they had issues with the motor burning out. Also, the components feel cheaply made.
|Dimensions (inches)||12.5 x 4.5 x 6.75|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.094 to 0.50|
6. Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener
Best Drill Bit Sharpener Tool
This tool works in conjunction with your bench grinder. You position it beside the grinder, and it clamps the drill bit at the desired angle.
You get 5 angles to choose from, starting with 41 degrees and ending with 88 degrees.
It handles drill bits from 0.125 inches to 0.75 inches, so it has the scope to tackle almost any size bit, and the great thing about this tool is you can set the angle for repeat sharpening time and again.
Set and Forget
Once you have the desired angle set up, you can replicate it time and again, meaning you can sharpen your drill bits in bulk batches.
The design of this tool is simple, which means that there is not much that can malfunction. With so few moving parts, it should last for years.
This almost won the budget category. It is such a great price! Admittedly, it is an attachment, used in conjunction with a grinder, but it does increase your accuracy and speed.
Bench Grinder Required
For this to work, you need to buy a bench grinder, which means you increase the costs significantly.
To use this effectively, you need a degree of skill, especially since it does not come with any instructions.
While the tool is safe to use, you cannot use it with the grinder if the safety guard is attached. Removing the safety guard increases the risk of sustaining an injury.
|Dimensions (inches)||7.8 x 5.2 x 1.9|
|Angles||5 angle settings|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.0125 to 0.50|
7. Sealey Multi-Purpose Bench Sharpener
Best Multi-Purpose Drill Bit Sharpener
If you are looking for a multi-purpose sharpener that can accommodate HSS drill bits, chisels, straight-edged knives, and other sharp implements, this could be the best choice. It has a drill bit station, a plane and a chisel station and a knife and scissors station.
For all-round practicality, this Sealey sharpener is hard to beat. This model mounts to your benchtop for stability, but you can use it as a portable multi-purpose sharpener in other parts of the house.
For ease of use and practicality, this is a handy machine.
With 3 separate slots for various tools, this sharpener is super-practical to use. There are no fiddly settings to worry about, and the markings are clearly displayed.
Easy to Use
This sharpener is so self-explanatory, a novice could operate it and achieve satisfactory results.
Hard to Beat Price
The price is one of the most attractive things about this product. As an all-round sharpening tool, it’s pretty hard to beat.
HSS Drill Bits Only
It only sharpens high-speed drill bits, so if you are looking for a sharpener that caters to cobalt and titanium drill bits, look elsewhere.
Good but Not Great
It sharpens your drill bits well, but it isn’t as accurate as the Drill Doctor or the others featured on the list. It isn’t a dedicated drill bit sharpener, and it caters to a general use audience.
|Dimensions (inches)||7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.118 to 1.89|
8. Darex V390 Drill Bit Sharpener
Best Industrial Drill Bit Sharpener
If you are using your drill bits a lot and need something that can handle a bulk sharpening, this could be the answer. This Darex is robust enough to sharpen up to 2,000 drill bits with one abrasive wheel. That’s a lot of drill bits!
It is substantial in size and would grace the workbenches of job shops and fabrication shops. It has a drill bit size range of 0.125 inches to 0.75 inches, so it sharpens most of the sizes you will need, and thanks to the easy 3-step sharpening system, you get renewed drill bits in under a minute.
Imagine having the capacity to sharpen up to 50 drill bits every week. This Darex can deliver so many sharpened bits that it is a firm favorite with professionals.
It couldn’t be simpler. In 3 easy steps and just under a minute, you will have a sharp split-point drill bit that is as good as new.
Borazon is one of the hardest substances known, which is one of the reasons why you get so many sharpened drill bits from this Darex.
You will need to spend a lot to get this sharpener. The cost dwarfs everything else on the list, which is why you are likely to find this in an industrial setting rather than the home.
Weighs 25 lbs
While the solid feel of the Darex does instill confidence that it is a quality item, at 25 pounds, you wouldn’t want to carry this around too often.
|Dimensions (inches)||17.4 x 15.4 x 12.3|
|Angles||118 and 140 degrees|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.125 inches to 0.75 inches|
9. CZS Portable Drill Bit Sharpener
Best Budget Drill Bit Sharpener
Aside from the price, which is why we chose this sharpener as the budget model, it is worth noting the size and portability of this tool. Also, the size range doesn’t suffer for the price because this device handles bits ranging from 0.089 inches to 0.50 inches.
It only sharpens iron-based drill bits, so it won’t be suitable for cobalt or HSS bits, but for the price, something has to give. And the good news is that you get 2 sharpeners in for the bargain.
This sharpener is so competitively priced, it’s a no brainer that this should be part of your toolkit.
Ideal for Novices
If you are a beginner and want a sharpener that is easy to use and won’t break the bank, this is the ideal tool.
This is a portable tool, and because it requires no power, you can take it anywhere. All you need is a drill to power the grinding stone.
This tool is not as precise as other sharpeners on the list, but it was never going to be for the price.
Build Quality Issues
It isn’t the most expensively made tool on the list. The parts feel cheap.
This device only sharpens iron-based drill bits. So, that’s a large chunk of popular drill bits that you can’t sharpen. If you have cobalt, titanium or HSS bits, forget it.
|Dimensions (inches)||7.3 x 3.1 x 0.75|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||0.089 to 0.50|
|Manual/electric||Manual (requires a power drill)|
10. Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener
Best Multipurpose Drill Bit Sharpener
This is an all-rounder when it comes to sharpening. While it sharpens edge tools like drill bits, it also sharpens knives, scissors and garden shears. It comes with 3 abrasive belts of varying coarseness. It has a coarse 80-grit belt, a medium 220-grit and a fine 6,000 grit for that smooth finish.
Since it is a belt sander, you can hone your drill bits to whatever angle you want. It also has a precision sharpening guide for repeatable results every time. It can also run from a 12V power inverter to operate it from your RV or truck.
This is a versatile tool that offers the homeowner a multitude of sharpening possibilities. Not only does it work with drill bits, but you can sharpen knives, scissors and a whole host of other items.
3 Grades of Abrasiveness
The coarsest grade strips the most material from the drill bit, while the medium and fine grades help to polish the bit to a professional standard.
If you like to take your workshop on the road, this tool is ideal. It runs on a 12V inverter that makes it possible to operate from an RV or truck.
With all grindstone and belt sanders, sharpening drill bits requires a degree of skill and knowledge to get the best results.
This is a general sharpener rather than a dedicated drill bit sharpener. It’s the reason why we chose it as the best home sharpener.
|Dimensions (inches)||5 x 9 x 5|
|Drill bit sizes (inches)||Universal|
|Product||Best||Weight||Dimensions||Angles||Drill bit sizes||Manual/electric||Warranty|
|Drill Doctor 500X||Automatic||4.8 lbs||13.75 x 5.75 x 11.75″||118 & 135°||0.094 to 0.50″||Electric||3-year|
|Tormek DBS-22 Sharpening Jig||Sharpening Jig||16 lbs||14 x 7 x 3″||90 & 150°||0.125 to 0.875″||Manual||1-year|
|Drill Doctor 750X Drill Bit Sharpener||Professional||4.1 lbs||5 x 8 x 4.5″||115 & 140°||0.094 to 0.75″||Electric||3-year|
|Tormek T-8 Water Cooled Precision||Premium||39.9 lbs||15 x 11.5 x 15″||Infinite||Universal||Electric||7-year|
|Drill Doctor DD350X||Value For Money||2.29 lbs||12.5 x 4.5 x 6.75″||118°||0.094 to 0.50″||Electric||3-year|
|Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener||Sharpener Tool||1.37 lbs||7.8 x 5.2 x 1.9″||5 angles||0.0125 to 0.50″||Manual||1-year|
|Sealey Multi-Purpose Bench Sharpener||Multi-Purpose||4.07 lbs||7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87″||N/A||0.118 to 1.89″||Electric||1-year|
|Darex V390 Drill Bit Sharpener||Industrial||25 lbs||17.4 x 15.4 x 12.3″||118/ 140°||0.125 to 0.75″||Electric||1-year|
|CZS Portable Drill Bit Sharpener||Budget Pick||9.6 oz||7.3 x 3.1 x 0.75″||60 deg||0.089 to 0.50″||Manual||Money-back guarantee|
|Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener||Multipurpose||3 lbs||5 x 9 x 5″||Infinite||Universal||Electric||1-year limited|
You cannot put a price on having sharp drill bits. It speeds up the task, gives you a better result, and delivers a safer experience while drilling. Why wouldn’t you want the sharpest drill bits you could get? No one wants a car with 3 wheels, and likewise, no one wants a drill bit that doesn’t drill.
Invest in a drill bit sharpener and save yourself a lot of hassle and money in the long run.