Sharpening router bits?

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 04-06-2011 03:46 PM 3295 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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464 posts in 2486 days

04-06-2011 03:46 PM

Is there a way to sharpen router bits? I have noticed that some of my bits are starting to burn when I cut which means they are getting dull. Is there a way to sharpen a rabbit bit and a roundover bit?


9 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2112 days

#1 posted 04-06-2011 04:09 PM

I’ve used a thin diamond file and card to sharpen bits that I didn’t really care if I ruined. It worked, but they weren’t very high quality to begin with. I’m looking forward to the responses to this good question.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2073 days

#2 posted 04-07-2011 02:29 AM

I use a very fine diamond card file to hone my router bits all the time. Just use a lubricant and take the same number of passes on each flute of the bit to keep things in balance.

I use this method for router bits and CNC bits (except spiral and mortise compression). Adds another week of life before I finally break down and send it to my sharpening company.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3184 days

#3 posted 04-07-2011 02:39 AM

I would try to clean them first. Makes a big difference.
- JJ

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2094 days

#4 posted 04-07-2011 05:28 AM

Good advice to clean them. I have used the diamond file and also used a ceramic stick. They both worked moderately. the round stick works on an inside radius. This was used to get me by until I had to go buy a new bit. My experience is to go get a new bit and toss the old one. I don’t get real expensive bits though. That would make a difference. What I am doing is about like throw away 7” blade for a portable saw. If I had something expensive I might be able to send them someplace for professional sharpening.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2705 days

#5 posted 04-07-2011 05:34 PM

Any good quality sharpening sevice can sharpen router bits. If you don’t have one locally, they are all over the country. It usually costs a fraction of the cost of a new bit, if you buy good bits to begin with. If you buy junk, you might as well trash them.

I do clean and touch mine up with diamond as others have stated. Not ideal, but it will get you by. Carbide should be sharpened on the flat side.


View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2086 days

#6 posted 04-07-2011 07:02 PM

Carbide should be sharpened on the flat side the back side , not the front

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2112 days

#7 posted 04-07-2011 07:36 PM

I’m a junk bit guy usually because my level of craftsmanship has never demanded much more. I’ll just make a nasty cut & finish it off with planes and chisels. I’ve got a nice Shaker set that I’ll eventually have to send off. Some of the quality panel raising sets are enormously expensive. I’d send those out rather than ruining them myself.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BertFlores58's profile


1684 posts in 2341 days

#8 posted 04-07-2011 08:10 PM

Sometimes the reality is not the stone, card and many other grinding or sharpening machine. It takes a lot of effort of controlling your grip and the wheel speed to do a nice sharpened bit. If you have tried sharpening the drill bit (HSS) on the grinding wheel then you can do it for router bits (end mill or the likes but careful). I have done much of sharpening tool bits for lathe machine and milling machine during my time as machinist onboard vessel. I discovered one thing… SOFTSTONE WHEELS at high speed will easily cut harder metals like carbide and diamond bits. Try sharpening a concrete drill with different stones and you will find that softstone will cut quicker than others. But with extra care because the soft stone wears also faster.

Three years ago, I met LJ Phil Edwards in Poole, UK and found his metal endmill (toolsteel quality 10 mm 4 flute) and that was the last time I tested my skill in grinding and sharpening the bit and I was sucessful. I even made it better style (8 deg bevel) for both cutting metal and wood. Take care and for sure, you will waste a lot of bits to get it manually sharpened….. thinking of the proper angle of cutting edge and the most critical the inside center part that during the grinding it normally ruin the outer rim. TRY first with a drillbit… bigger diameter …. Then if you have the control of grip… go ahead with small one… then router but be careful….

-- Bert

View BertFlores58's profile


1684 posts in 2341 days

#9 posted 04-07-2011 08:18 PM


-- Bert

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