Everyone can sharpen drill bits with this jig | FREE PLANS

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When you think of sharpening drills, it seems like a job for experienced people. That is the reason I have not dared to sharpen drill bits myself, until now.

Thanks to this homemade drill bit sharpening jig for bench grinder that I made, this will change from now on. Now I have found that, with this jig to sharpen drill bits, sharpening drill bits is actually super easy and anyone can do it.

With the free drill sharpening jig plans and the step-by-step guide in this article, you too can make this jig for your workshop.

Make this jig to sharpen drill bits, experience how easy it is to sharpen your drills yourself, and from now on always drill with razor-sharp drills.

On top of that, you can save money by not having to buy new drills all the time.

Table of Contents

Is it worth sharpening drill bits?

Absolutely YES! In fact, there are a few reasons you should start sharpen your drill bits yourself. 

  • With a sharp drill bit, you will need less force to drill holes.
  • A sharpened drill bit will leave cleaner holes
  • with a sharp drill bit, you will drill more accurate
  • A sharp drill is less likely to grip the workpiece, making it safer to work.
  • You can save a lot of money on new drill bits

Watch the video here

Before we start building

To prepare you for building this jig to sharpen drill bits, I have made a few handy lists.

In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.

* Safety is always your own responsibility!

Safety first! protect yourself!

Materials I used for this jig to sharpen drill bits

(power)Tools I used for this tool to sharpen drill bits

Building this jig to sharpen drill bits

Step 1 | Bench grinder bottom plate

For this jig to sharpen drill bits, I started by making the bottom plate that is mounted under the bench grinder.
This bottom plate will also serve as a connection between the jig and bench grinder.
The place where there are holes in the foot of the bench grinder has been traced on this bottom plate.
Also, I determined 2 points in the bottom plate so that the jig can easily be connected to this bottom plate later.

To connect the jig to sharpen drill bits to the bottom plate, I will use homemade knobs with an M8 threaded rod.

You can read more about it later in this article.

To allow the threaded rod of the knobs to connect to the bottom plate, I have provided 2 threaded inserts.

Step 2 | The base of the jig

Because it is best to always have the jig to sharpen drill bits as close to the grinding wheel as possible, I wanted the jig to slide forward or backward. That’s why I made a slot in the connection plate, so it can move freely over the bolts that connect the jig to the bottom plate.

To make that slot, I have used my palm router.

The bolts I used are 8 mm in diameter, and to make it easy to slide the jig back and forth, I made this slot with a 10 mm straight cutting router bit.

Once that was done, it was time to make the sides of the jigs. These are triangular, with flattened top and front.

To make two identical pieces, I attached two pieces of plywood together with double-sided tape before cutting them to size.

After cutting the two other parts to connect the sides to each other, I could start assembling.

To connect all parts together I have used wood glue and brad nails.

I use the brad nails to temporarily hold the parts in place while the wood glue can to dry. This gives me the opportunity to continue working immediately.


If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.

To be able to tilt the table of this jig to sharpen drill bits I made 2 parts that have the shape of a quarter circle.

Thanks to the router circle cutting jig I made earlier, I was able to cut a semicircle out of the plywood.

I cut this semicircle in half, after which I attached the two pieces of quarter circles to each other with double-sided tape.
This allowed me to trim these two parts so that they are exactly the image of each other.
I deliberately made the angle slightly smaller than 90° so that these parts wouldn’t protrude too far at the back when the table needs to be tilted to the maximum when sharpen drill bits at 25 degrees.

By drawing a radius from the tip of the quarter circle to the outside of the circle, I was able to determine a point where I could place a screw.
This screw serves as a pivot point to be able to tilt the table of the jig.
After having drilled a pilot hole at this location, these two pieces of quarter circles could be attached to the jig.

I used an elongated piece of plywood to attach to the top of these quarter circles. Again, I did this with wood glue and brad nails.

This part will later serve as a kind of rail over which the table can be slid laterally.

At this point, I drilled the holes at the different angles that the table should tilt to sharpen drill bits.

To sharpen drill bits, you need two different angles:
The cutting part of a drill bit should be sharpened at an angle of about 12 degrees. If you search for this, some say that the angle should be smaller (10 degrees), others say it should be bigger (14 degrees).
Behind the cutting part, the surface of the drill should go slightly up. That is why I made a second angle of 25 degrees.

Step 3 | sliding top of the jig

The top part of the jig is a movable part that slides over the table.
To make this I took a piece of plywood to which I attached two long strips of wood at the bottom. When it was finished, it fitted perfectly over the table.

Not only the angle of the cutting part is important, but the angle of the head of the drill must also be correct when sharpen drill bits.

To always keep the same angle while sharpening, I made a kind of guide that can also be adjusted depending on the angle you need.
In 6 mm MDF, I made a triangular part, which I fixed to the top part of the mold with a screw.

The most common angles for the head of the drill are 118 degrees and 135 degrees.
So I marked these measurements on the jig and drilled a small hole, so I can secure this part with a button, more on that later.

To place this part at the correct angle, all you need to do is to divide the number of the corner you want by two and make a mark on that corner. As you can see in the picture below, I made a mark here for drill bits to be sharpened at an angle of 118 degrees (118 / 2 = 59).

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Step 4 | Clamping block

You can use this jig perfectly by sliding the drill along the guide, but to have a better grip when I want to sharpen drill bits, I made this block in which a drill can be clamped.

This block has a hole bigger than the largest drill bit I want to grind. The largest drill bit I want to sharpen is 12 mm, so I made an opening with a 14 mm Forstner drill bit.

At the top, I drilled a smaller hole perpendicular to the hole where the drills fit. Then, I screwed a threaded insert into that hole. That threaded insert allows that a bolt can be placed in this, to be able to clamp the drill in place.

Step 5 | 2 Types of homemade knobs

For this jig to sharpen drill bits, I made two kinds of homemade buttons.

The largest type of buttons I made with a jig I made earlier. You can read more details, and download the free drill sharpening jig plans to make this jig yourself on my blog how to make cheap wooden knobs cheap and quickly quick and easy.

The second type of knob, which I used to secure the jig at the correct angle, is much smaller.
To make these I took a dowel, sawed it in half, and drilled a hole in the center of the dowel.
Then I took a nail and fixed it into that hole with epoxy glue.
Once the epoxy glue was dry, I was able to slightly rounding the tip of the knob. By doing this, the knob slides easily into the drilled holes of the jig.

How to sharpen drill bits using this homemade drill bit sharpening jig

Once you’ve built this homemade drill bit sharpening jig for bench grinder, sharpening drill bits is a super easy job.

Below, I will explain step  by step how to sharpen drill bits with your new DIY drill bit sharpening jig.

Position the table of the jig at a 12-degree angle.
Now insert a drill into the clamping block and make sure the cut of the drill is horizontal.
Adjust the angle to sharpen the drill to 118 degrees or 135 degrees (most drills have an angle of 118 degrees)
Now let the drill just slide along the grinding wheel and check regularly whether you were able to sufficiently sharpen the drill.
Then turn the drill 180 degrees and repeat the entire process.
Make sure that both sides of the drill are equal, the point of the drill must be perfectly centered.

Once you have sharpened the cutting side of the drill, you can reset the angle of the table to 25 degrees.
This allows you to update the back of the drill.
Repeat all steps like you did when sharpening the drill.

Check regularly that the width of the cutting sides is always the same.

When you are finished sharpening your drill, it should look like the picture below.


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