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Sharpening router bits

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 1121 days ago 1778 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4522 posts in 1658 days


1121 days ago

Has anyone had any success in sharpening router bits after they have gone a little dull? If so, could you share your technique and/or any tips

I’ve tried several times to sharpen some straight bits with a hand file and/or a diamond plate. It never seems to do any good.

It may be that, because most bits are carbon tipped, they are not intended to be sharpened. Nonetheless, I would like to try it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


10 replies so far

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3551 posts in 2159 days


#1 posted 1121 days ago

I use a little diamond slip stone and barely kiss them Rich.
They don’t get as good as new, but you can tell a difference.
It seems to work best for me when I concentrate most on the back of the cutting side.

-- Having fun...Eric

View devann's profile

devann

1735 posts in 1276 days


#2 posted 1121 days ago

While I don’t have the proper equipment to do it myself, I have had router bits resharpened for years by the people that resharpen my saw blades and planer knives. They cut like a new one when I get them back.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2694 posts in 1870 days


#3 posted 1121 days ago

Rich, you can touch them up by hand if they are in good shape, and not too dull. It must be diamond. A regular file will not work. Work the flat side, not the profile. I use the Easy-Lap Diamond Sharpener that looks kind of like a file.

If they are very dull I would send them to a pro sharpening service. If there is not one in your area, ther are several around the country you can send them to. The shipping (or mailing) is not much on several bits.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View wchips's profile

wchips

314 posts in 1671 days


#4 posted 1120 days ago

I take mine to 3 b’s saw shop in Omaha They are yery resonable and do a super job sharpining both router bits and saw blades

-- wchips

View Bernie's profile

Bernie

414 posts in 1420 days


#5 posted 1119 days ago

I seem to enjoy sticking my foot into my mouth… so here goes. Most of my problems with both saw blades and router bits is that they gum up or at least build a burnt pitch on them. To clean my circular blades and router bits, I take a very sharp chisel and scrape the gunk off, first from the cutting edges, then the sides, and gullies for saw blades. Any surface I can scrape, I do. Off course, I’m gentle in my scraping and haven’t ruined any blades or bits yet. If I do, then off to the professional sharpeners they go. As for my planer blades, I did invest in a Tormek and own the planer blade attachment. Using their set-up, I successfully sharpened my planer blades, re-installed them, and went to town. The Tormek system is expensive along with their jigs, but if you want professional results, that’s the machine you need.

I’m not trying to sell the Tormek, but once I’m done with my blade and bit clean-up, I resharpen my chisel on the Tormek! As a foot note, I’ve owned a few expensive saw blades and bits for about 10 years and I have never sent them to a professional sharpening service. Two weeks ago, I performed this procedure on a Freud ripping blade and it’s working like new!

One other quick method… on the face of my saw blades, when they accumulate lots off gunk, I spray them with oven cleaner. Wait a few minutes and wipe them clean. The only problem her is that the oven cleaner will also take the paint and print off your blades!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

522 posts in 1238 days


#6 posted 1119 days ago

To clean bits and blades I use regular oven cleaner you can get at your local grocery store. Here’s the process:

Spray the stuff on
let it sit for a couple of minutes
scrub any stubborn areas with a nylon brush
rinse with water
dry with paper towel
spray on the bit and blade lubricant

Blade with lots of pitch is good as new and feels nice and sharp again. Elapsed time – about 6 minutes.

I use a pro sharpening service for my carbide bits and blades. I even use them for my CNC bits. I tried using a very fine diamond file and the results were never encouraging. So I gave up.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5256 posts in 2012 days


#7 posted 1119 days ago

I’ve never had any router bits sharpened because I was always fearful that the diameter would change. This wouldn’t be too good for a flush trim or a drawer lock bit. But I suppose it wouldn’t adversely affect a straight bit of even a round over.
wchips, what has been your experience?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1110 posts in 1644 days


#8 posted 1118 days ago

My CNC instructor who walked into a guitar factory. Hes sees barrel and barrels of holding metal. In the barrel hold thousands of CNC bits. So why didn’t they just send it to have it sharpened? Because when its sharpened the the diameter will be shorter

-- shdesign3.com

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

812 posts in 1276 days


#9 posted 1118 days ago

One of the jobs I had in the past was as a tool maker. 90% of the work I did was making carbide cutting tools. Sharpening them at home is difficult if they are too warn, it takes a long time with a dimond plate or slip to get them sharp again. One problem is pitch but as others said oven cleaner works best. The other problem with doing them yourself by hand is getting each side equal. This is where a pro can get things right. As for diamiter change it depends upon what you use your bits for. If you use them for 1 pass dados yes you may have a bit of a problem if they are forming bits depending upon how much material had to be taken off the bit to sharpen it it may not be perceptable.

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View pierce85's profile

pierce85

508 posts in 1146 days


#10 posted 1118 days ago

Great question. I’m wondering about the change in bit diameter as well…

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