Drill bits will wear down as they're used. The lips of the drill bit that cut into the surface you're drilling will become dull, and this can cause your drill to perform unpredictably. Dull lips on a drill bit make the drill more likely to drift off center when you're using it, and they can result in drill holes that aren't perfectly round.
One way to keep the drills in your machine shop reliable is to sharpen the bits regularly, and the quickest way to do so is to use a drill grinder. You place the drill bit in the grinder, adjust its angle and then hone the surfaces of the lips using a grinding wheel. If you own a machine shop, read on to learn three reasons why adding a drill grinder to your arsenal is a good idea.
1. Saves Money on Drill Bit Replacement
The most important reason to purchase a drill grinder for your machine shop is that it can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Drilling through metal or concrete can rapidly wear down a drill bit, and the cost of replacing worn bits can add up. Sharpening and reusing them will reduce your overall operating costs.
A drill grinder can even renew drill bits that are badly damaged or partially broken. When you place the drill in the machine, you can turn a knob to adjust the sharpening angle. This allows you to sharpen the lips on the drill to the manufacturer's exact specifications, which means that you're able to restore a drill bit with a tip that's so badly damaged it's impossible to sharpen manually. This eliminates the need to replace damaged or broken drill bits, which saves you money.
2. Sharpens Drills More Precisely Than Manual Grinding
Some machine shops manually sharpen drill bits using a wheel grinder. This method is inexpensive, but it isn't very precise. Sharpening a drill bit on a wheel grinder requires the operator to hold the drill bit in their hands and manually adjust its angle against the grinder in order to hone the lips.
Honing the lips by sight isn't as precise as placing the bit in a drill grinder and adjusting a knob to sharpen the lips at an exact angle. When the lips aren't sharpened at identical angles, the drill bit is more likely to veer off center when it's used to drill through a surface, and it will also wear down more quickly. Using a drill grinder to keep your drill bits sharp will improve their longevity and performance due to the increased precision.
Manually sharpening a drill bit is also less safe than using a drill grinder, since it requires the operator to place their hands very close to the grinding wheel. When using a drill grinder, the operator's hands can be kept far away from both the grinding wheel and the drill bit, reducing the chance of an accident.
3. Improves Safety When Drilling
When your drill bits are sharp, they're much more reliable when you use them to drill through a surface. There's no need to apply extra pressure to the drill in order to get a dull drill bit to bite into the surface, which makes drilling safer. When you need to apply pressure to the drill because the bit is dull, you're more likely to snap the drill bit or accidentally drill farther than you intended to.
If you run a machine shop, it's worth buying a drill grinder and using it to keep your drill bits sharp. It helps save you money by reducing how often you need to replace drill bits, and it also makes drilling safer and more reliable. Keeping your drill bits sharp makes you more likely to create a perfectly round hole through the center of the drilling surface every time you use your drill.
To look at options for drill grinders, contact an industrial equipment supplier in your area.