How to Sharpen a Drill Bit With a File

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Drill bits are bladed tools, just like knives. While those blades might be tiny, they are still essential to the drill and need to be kept sharp. A dull drill bit makes the drill work harder, wearing out its motor and degrading your investment in a quality power tool. Sharpening drill bits with a file requires nimble fingers, but otherwise is an easy task requiring only a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Old rags
  • Table vise (optional)
  • Mill file or augur file
  • Household machine oil
  • Wipe away any debris, dust or grime that is on the drill bit with a wet rag.

  • Clamp the drill bit in a table vise. If you don't have one, holding it with a firm grip in your hand will be a bit more awkward, but workable.

  • Place the file on one of the blades at a 60 degree angle. There are two blades on either side of the bit's point. Use an auger file for a brad-point and auger bit, and a mill file for a spade bit. Run the file down the edge six to eight times. Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the bit.

  • File off any metal burrs by drawing the file one time up and across the underside of the areas you sharpened in the previous step.

  • Apply a drop or two of household machine oil and rub it into the drill bit.

References

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