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Forum topic by dlcarver posted 04-02-2008 06:04 PM 2818 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3908 days

04-02-2008 06:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening

Does anyone know if forstner drill bits can be sharpened ? I have never heard of it. It looks like it would be pretty complicated. I sharpen my own drill bits usually….. but this one has me stumpped ???

Also, is there any way to keep them from burning through the wood, in deep holes…. anything over 1/2” or 3/4” deep ?


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

20 replies so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4477 days

#1 posted 04-02-2008 06:18 PM

I have touched up, just the cutting edges with a small stone, or file.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4166 days

#2 posted 04-02-2008 06:21 PM

It’s possible just more work.

Also there are differences in brands of bits. Some are better than others.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3952 days

#3 posted 04-02-2008 06:43 PM

Hi Dave

We had a place out of St Louis that sharpen the prisons. Perhaps there is a sharpenig place near you. We usually got one sharpening out of a bit. After that it was cheaper to replace them. But those guys were pretty rough on bits

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4052 days

#4 posted 04-02-2008 06:58 PM

The way you keep (any) drill bit from burning is by letting the wood chips escape, which take the heat out of the hole with them.

When drilling deep holes with a forsner bit the chips tend to pile up above the bit (in the hole). Just bring the bit up out of the hole every few seconds to eject the chips (I am assuming you are using a drill press), and then continue cutting.

I don’t know about sharpening them.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4000 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 07:38 PM

I agree with Gary’s statement about the quality of the bits. I have bought individual bits and they cut fine. But on impulse I bought a set of Tradsman bits at Lowe’s and they don’t cut very well, especially the larger ones.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4347 days

#6 posted 04-02-2008 08:11 PM

I have sharpened one or two of mine with a small file. Seems to work OK.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4168 days

#7 posted 04-02-2008 08:16 PM

Blake’s got it there. I have the same burning problem and have found that going slow and ejecting the shavings often, works best. Most of your carvings (some of the best I’ve seen in a long while) are in soft woods like pine right? Soft woods have a lot of pitch and moisture that would slow things down. Look at your blades edge after drilling. If the wood fibers are bent aroung the edge then it’s obviously not cutting. If the edge is clean, then it’s loading up.

As for sharpening, the bits had to be sharpened once before, right? I took a look at my bits and it looks like a jeweler’s file could easily touch them up.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4052 days

#8 posted 04-02-2008 09:44 PM

Never tried it.

View 8iowa's profile


1586 posts in 3939 days

#9 posted 04-03-2008 12:21 AM

I have not tried it yet, but I understand that they can be sharpened with an auger bit file

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3908 days

#10 posted 04-03-2008 02:03 AM

I usually am drilling cherry wood, with the forstner bit, with speed of my drill press about half the speed it can go. I do clear the chips steadily while drilling. The cut is smooth… just burns.


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3901 days

#11 posted 04-03-2008 02:09 AM

I use a small Jewlers file set to work the edges on mine and it keeps the cutting. Staying ahead of the dullness is the key. Don’t let the bit become too dull before trying to sharpen.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 3908 days

#12 posted 04-03-2008 02:18 AM


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View greenheadsharpening's profile


4 posts in 3884 days

#13 posted 04-03-2008 02:33 AM

They can be sharpened. What usually needs to be sharpened is the circular rim around the bottom. Once that dulls it will not cut into the wood anymore.


View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4083 days

#14 posted 04-03-2008 02:48 AM

I sharpen them all the time. If you have a good eye and a steady hand it is a piece of cake. A little time consuming, but cheaper than new.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3982 days

#15 posted 04-03-2008 03:00 AM

It takes some time to sharpen but it is worth while. A small file or a diamond stone work great. One trick is to use a black magic marker on the edge that you want to touch up. good luck!

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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