Best Drill Bit Sharpeners: Improve Your Drill's Performance
Keep your tools in prime condition with these top-rated drill bit sharpeners.
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON June 25, 2021
Good drill bits are expensive, but best can dull over time. To get the most out of a good bit, a sharpener is required so that bit can regain a cutting edge. Instead of going through several bits a year when working continually, you can keep a single bit working for years with help from a bit sharpener. The cost equation works out in the sharpener’s favor pretty quickly, and essentially any professional who drills regularly will get a lot of use and savings out of a good drill bit sharpener.
Instead of trekking to the store every few months to get yet another suitable bit, just keep your bits sharpened and they’ll never slow you down. You’ve invested in quality drill bits. It only makes sense to find a sharpener of the same caliber. To help you track down the best drill bit sharpeners on the market, we’ve broken down the top selections. Let’s investigate the options and learn some helpful facts about these important tools.
A powerful attachment that lets you sharpen all your drill bits, this tool is both user-friendly and precise.
- Sturdy base prevents movement while you sharpen
- Knobs are easy to turn and provide the necessary level of resistance
- May be difficult to hold steadily at certain angles
Tough grinder attachments to quickly sharpen drill bits. It comes with six sharpening stones for lasting benefits.
- Sufficient supply to sharpen bits for long periods
- Safe design to work with
- Stone material grinds drill bits efficiently
- Includes only the grinding stones, not the device itself
- Works best when used with another tool
An electric, high-powered sharpener that can restore sharp edges on drill bits and other tools with adjustable angles and a tough grinding mechanism.
- Features an adjustable angle that can be set from 15 to 50 degrees
- Works on various sizes of drill bits as well as scissors, knives, and more
- Uses a 110-volt electrical outlet for power
- Isn’t designed for portability. Requires an electrical outlet to operate
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Drill Bit Sharpeners
- Efficient sharpening. A drill bit sharpener works quickly, getting sharp edges back onto bits of all different sizes in very little time. You won’t have to wait to have your bits sharpened – one of these devices can get the job done in seconds or minutes, depending on its process.
- Improved drill performance. With a drill bit sharpener, you no longer have to struggle to get drilling tasks accomplished. You can easily drill in screws and other fasteners, all without stripping or damaging them in the process. With fresh, precisely sharp edges, sharpened drill bits work more efficiently and without worry.
- Convenience. Tired of having to buy new bits every time they become dull? You’ll no longer have to waste time shopping around for replacements. A drill bit sharpener gives you extra convenience, as you can sharpen at home, on the go, or anywhere you discover you’re working with a dull bit. It’ll save you time and effort.
- Cut costs. In addition to saving the time spent shopping for new bits, a sharpener will also save you money. You won’t have the expense of purchasing replacement bits — instead, you can continue to reuse your current bits, giving them a refresh via sharpening as they grow dull with use.
- Portability. You’ll enjoy great portability with most drill bit sharpeners. Whether electric or powered by your own drill, these tools are typically compact and lightweight in size so they can be taken right to any worksite. Some are slim enough to fit in your tool box, on a tool belt, or even in a pocket. You’ll never have to work with dull bits thanks to this.
- Versatility. Some drill bit sharpeners can actually sharpen more than just bits alone. Depending on the sharpener you choose, you might be able to sharpen other cutting tools, scissors, knives, and more with a single device. That’s both convenient and impressively versatile.
Types of Drill Bit Sharpeners
Drill-Powered or Manual
One of the most common kinds of drill bit sharpeners you’ll come across is a drill-powered sharpener, or a manual sharpener. These devices are slim and typically made out of plastic or nylon material. They require an electric drill to operate; with your drill, you’ll spin the grinding or sharpening wheel to get an even and newly sharp edge on your bits. These kinds of manual sharpeners are wonderfully portable, but they can be limited in their power since they rely on your drill to get the job done.
Electric drill bit sharpeners are the more powerful choice — and they’re also more capable. These kinds of sharpeners plug into an electrical outlet, and they come in a variety of different forms. Some are designed solely for drill bits of all different sizes; others can sharpen bits as well as cutting tools. With a built-in motor, these sharpeners work quickly, efficiently, and evenly. All you have to do is plug in the sharpener and insert drill bits into the designed slots. Some bit sharpeners will allow you to adjust the angle to get even more precision.
Multi-Purpose or Multifunctional
If you want a drill bit sharpener that can do more, a multi-purpose or multifunctional model will be the perfect fit. There are a variety of electric drill bit sharpeners that can tackle all kinds of sharpening. They tend to be larger in size, and they include different slots so they can sharpen multiple types of tools or sharp edges. Like any other electric sharpeners, these devices work quickly to create precise bit edges that’ll improve your drilling.
Founded in the 1930s by a World War I veteran, General Tools prides itself on creating precision equipment for all workshop needs. One of its most-favored offerings for drill bits is the General Tools 825 Drill Grinding Attachment.
An international retailer of woodworking tools, Woodstock has many quality sharpening devices. Since 1989, this business has crafted equipment that’s retailed through third-party merchants. A top offering is the Woodstock D4144 Drill Sharpener.
Beginning operations in 1973 in Oregon, Darex put all of its focus into crafting sharpening equipment. Its leading brands include Drill Doctor and Work Sharp, both with diverse selections of sharpening equipment like the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener.
Drill Bit Sharpener Pricing
- Under $20: For this range, you’re likely to find either a manual sharpener or the attachment stone as a standalone item. These sharpeners tend to be long-lasting, though they require more effort to use.
- Between $30 and $50: In this category, you’ll find both manual and powered sharpeners. Usually, they’re of reasonable to high quality and work efficiently while drawing minimal power.
- $50 and up: Options in this price range are all motorized and can be expected to have multiple functions. Sharpeners in this range tend to be quite heavy-duty and tout quality performance.
There’s one big decision you have to make when you’re choosing a drill bit sharpener: drill-powered (manual) or electric. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the one that’s best for your needs simply depends on how you’ll want to use your sharpener. While electric models require an outlet and a cord, manual models can be held in your hand and used with a drill you already have. The power source can shape how much voltage your sharpener operates with and how quickly it gets to work.
The best drill bit sharpeners are those that can hold up to plenty of use over time. To be durable enough to support frequent sharpening, you’ll want to choose one that features a tough grinding wheel. Those that are nicely abrasive and high in hardness can handle different drill bits made from different materials — and they can also last quite a while. Corundum is a hardy material that works efficiently and lasts well.
Adjustability and Placement
Choosing an adjustable drill bit sharpener is important because it shapes your bit placement. Many sharpeners allow you to either move the abrasive grinding surface or change the placement angle so you can accurately and precisely get the sharp edge you need. Adjustable angles give you more control over the final result via the bit placement, and they can help you get better sharpening without much effort on your part.
- Stability. You want a sharpener that’s easy to control both when it’s on and off. If it’s a handheld unit, consider the quality of the grip. Does it offer enough traction? For tabletop selections, make sure the base is sturdy and it isn’t top-heavy. This way, you can use it as easily as possible.
- Elbow Grease. Another thing that’s worth noting is how much effort it requires. Sure, even the manual options aren’t too hard to use, but powered selections limit the amount of energy you have to spend. Typically, the two options are reasonably close in price and last almost equally as long.
- Compatibility. Make sure the unit is compatible with your drill bits, both in size and quality. Opt for an abrasive material that fits with the quality of your drill bits. Standard options used for construction and woodworking are generally compatible with both belt and stone-type abrasive materials.
- Durability. Whenever you buy a tool, you want to make sure it will last as long as possible. Consider the design and motor of the powered selections. This will dictate both its effectiveness and the likelihood of it burning out. Opt for a reasonable RPM to err on the safe side. Also, think about how long the abrasive material will last.
- Maintenance. Worth a thought is the amount of upkeep that your machine will require. Is it prone to damage? Will you need to frequently replace the belt or stone? Does it have extensive cleaning needs that may be inconvenient? All of these considerations speak to the overall user-friendliness of the sharpener.
- Storage. Especially if your stones come separately from the sharpener, they’re subject to wear and tear. The material can get scraped away by surrounding pieces (not to mention it scratching surfaces). Opt for something more compact, since it usually doesn’t impact function but improves its ease of storage.
- Other Features. Some drill bit sharpeners also work on other tools. By choosing something with multiple functions, you can save both money and storage space. Some sharpeners work on everything from lawn-care equipment to screw extractors to kitchen knives.
Best Drill Bit Sharpeners Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Clean the drill bit before you sharpen it. By making sure it’s clean and dry first, you can get a more effective sharpness with less debris.
- Wear gloves when you sharpen the drill bits. This improves your grip on the bit and the machine, and protects your hands from injury.
- Be sure the abrasive surface matches the material of your drill bits. Cobalt bits are compatible with most sharpeners.
- Keep the sharpener in a dry environment to prevent rust and corrosion. Store it away from delicate surfaces to avoid unwanted scratches.
- Maintain it properly by cleaning the surface and unplugging it in between uses. This prevents damage to the motor and internal circuitry.
- Check the quality of the abrasive surface before you start sharpening. It can damage the bit if the grinder is too dull.
- Slow and steady wins the race of sharpening. A gentler approach does the job more effectively.
Q: Where can I get a drill bit sharpened?
Some hardware stores offer drill bit sharpening as a service. As personal sharpeners grow more popular, however, these services get more challenging to find. You can approach your local retailer, get new bits, or opt for a sharpener if you use drills often.
Q: What is the best way to sharpen drill bits?
The best way to sharpen your drill bits depends on how much time you have and how many bits you need to sharpen. If you need to sharpen several bits, it’s usually easier to use a power sharpener. This limits strain and gets the job done more quickly.
Q: How do you sharpen a drill bit without a grinder?
You will always need an abrasive surface. It can be a belt, a stone, or a standard sharpener. It’s the friction between the grit and the drill bit surface that leaves it sharp. So if you don’t have a grinder, simply use another abrasive material.
Now that you’re familiar with the ins and outs of drill bit sharpeners, you can make your pick. Both the General Tools 825 Drill Grinding Attachment and the HOMOO Art Portable Drill Bit Grinder are solid picks. There’s an option for everyone.