Why You Should Sharpen Your Drill Bits
Like most cutting tools, drill bits dull over time. Whether it’s from prolonged use or a demanding project, it doesn’t take long before a bit needs to be sharpened. A dull drill bit can cost you time and money, not to mention the potential for injury. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why you should keep your drill bits sharp after every job.
Drill Bit Basics
It’s important to understand how a drill bit works before you sharpen one. A bit cuts through material using a point angle. A steep point angle is used on soft materials, while hard materials require a flatter angle. For example, standard bits come equipped with a 118 degree point while bits manufactured for harder materials come with a 135 degree angle.
A drill bit uses its chisel point to pass through material. As the chisel point bores through the object, cutting lips transfer chips through flutes in the bit, discharging excess material away from the hole. The sharp edge reams the hole to the proper size, depending on the type of bit used.
Damaged Tools and Materials
Drill bits wear down the moment they start cutting. Wear occurs at several locations on the bit, but is usually concentrated on the cutting lips. A drill bit can also wear down at the chisel point, which can deform under the intense heat and pressure of drilling. Wherever the dulling occurs, excessive wear creates more heat and happens at an accelerated rate.