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Do you sharpen your router bits? All router bits can be sharpened by DIY'ers but for those bits that can be sharpened at home it seems like a good idea but like a lot of thing it could be just something to sell more stuff. They have been pushing some products made by Trend. For around $50 you can get a small credit card style 600 grit diamond stone and a small bottle of lapping fluid.
 

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I'll sharpen em as needed. Can't say I get "like new" results, but definitely an improvement more often than not. If you have a bit in need of sharpening it in all likely hood is in need of a thorough cleaning as well. Clean the bit first! Pitch/gum will foul a diamond stone in a heartbeat then the sharpener is in need of a cleaning. Some folks swear by doing a brief "touch-up" after each use.....I guess that's up to the individual.
How often you need to touch up your bits depends on any number variables. Amount of use, feed rates, materials etc. etc...



Here's ole Stumpy Nubs take on it:

 
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Diamond cards and other "fine" touch up tools have been around for years. I've used them for bits (drill & router), carving tools, chisels, turning tools & etc. The advantage is they take off very little of the steel or carbide. I agree with Bill: clean them first and at when a "touch up" turns into grinding the tips replace them.
 

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I use the 2 x 4 or 5" plastic backed diamond hones and I find it easiest to lay it down on the edge of a table or bench and rub the bit across it.
 

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Yes, there are hand sharpening devices.
& with skilled hands they work, but for a limited time.
In production, a tool is hit on the OD, flute faces, tips and many other places depending on the geometry of the tool. Even reputable sharpeners cannot compete with quality of a new cutter. Router bits are essentially disposable today. Replaceable insert bits, if you can afford, is the best buy.
Moreover, the inserts are much harder than brazed-on carbide, and last up to 5x longer.
 

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I wouldn't even think of trying to resharpen a router bit myself. I can resharpen about anything else, and do a better than decent job, but no way I could do even a halfway decent job on a router bit. I toss them when they get dull, and buy new.
 

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Diamond cards or the flat file type diamond sharpeners were never intended for "heavy" sharpening. More along the line of "honing" an edge. If it is so dull that you need to grind a new edge toss it and buy a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I wouldn't even think of trying to resharpen a router bit myself. I can resharpen about anything else, and do a better than decent job, but no way I could do even a halfway decent job on a router bit. I toss them when they get dull, and buy new.
Theo in my opinion you should only dress a bit up not do a full fledge sharpening. I agree if it's dull either toss or send it to a pro if the bit is worth it. Not all bits are.
 

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Theo
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Theo in my opinion you should only dress a bit up not do a full fledge sharpening. I agree if it's dull either toss or send it to a pro if the bit is worth it. Not all bits are.
Possibly should have gone into a bit more detail. I'll clean a bit, no problem with that. But not going to even attempt to dress one up a little. When they get to that point, they are tossed. It is worth far more to me to have a new bit, rather than try to rejuvenate a used one.
 

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I've read that a good quality bit benefits from cleaning, but that you can touch it up as the video shows 4 or 5 times. This is because The cutting edge is 90 degrees, so sharpening as shown does not affect the diameter of the cut, but just reestablishes the cutting edge. You do not sharpen the narrow edge because it would be almost impossible to manually recreate that perfect 90 that is the cutting edge, and it would change the diameter of the bit as well.
 

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For about 15 USD, i did bought 3 diamond plates 3 different grits.
some american made looks better, but not cheaper.
(they are made in Ch..a )
lubricant is white spirit, oil or petroleum.
Water works but can bring rust.
Sharpening is easy, efficient and consist to use them on the large flat edge of the cutter.
count 5 times , then change side.
then they get same number of strokes
do again until it,s sharp.
Not doing the outside, as it is difficult to keep angle and would change the diameter, or give too much asymmetry.

Would not strow away a cutter except if broken.

Regards
ggom
 

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I've read that a good quality bit benefits from cleaning, but that you can touch it up as the video shows 4 or 5 times. This is because The cutting edge is 90 degrees, so sharpening as shown does not affect the diameter of the cut, but just reestablishes the cutting edge. You do not sharpen the narrow edge because it would be almost impossible to manually recreate that perfect 90 that is the cutting edge, and it would change the diameter of the bit as well.
The edges of a bit should have a relief angle, probably about 30*. Honing or sharpening will reduce the diameter very slightly and that why bearings are sold that are 5 to 10 thousandths undersize. Professional sharpening services will send it back with the undersize bearing on it. I have seen sharpeners that attach to the router and the router spins the bit against a stone. These should be avoided because that destroys the relief angle besides reducing the diameter. Without the relief angle the bit starts scraping wood off instead of cutting it off and the bit runs much hotter and dulls more quickly.
 
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