Resharpening bits

What’s the current wisdom on sharpening bits? Is DIY possible or is the only option to send them out?

DIY is possible, but it does take a little practice. The “Drill Doctor” does a really good job of sharpening drill bits.

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Are you talking about standard twist bit drill bits or carbide endmills? Carbide endmills can only be sharpened by professionals with fancy grinding wheels. It’s pretty inexpensive, I got quotes for around $4-7 per endmill depending on size and geometry.

It’s a great idea, the problems being:

  • doing it oneself requires special tooling/fixtures and skill
  • having it affordably done by a company requires a minimum quantity which it is hard for a hobbyist to realize

If the endmills are actually broken, one can recycle carbide at a decent rate — but again, w/ a minimum quantity which is difficult for a hobbyist to accumulate.

Standard endmills. I see plenty of videos online about sharpening contour carbide router bits, which several say can be done successfully with a 600 diamond stone/hone. Nothing about straight or spiral bits though. I only have about a half dozen so I guess I’ll experiment and see what happens. Since I don’t cut anything other than wood and don’t need very high precision, I can’t really do much more damage than set off the smoke detectors.

When I first starting investigating this, I search on router bits instead of endmills. Now that I’ve search on endmills I recognize that I have not the time, skill or equipment to do this. This isn’t something that can be done with a diamond hone, I see.

Right, that’s why I recommend to find a local sharpening service or even one that you can mail a dozen or more to so they can sharpen them and send them back.

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