In today’s article, we will be briefing you about how to sharpen a step bit. Before that, you all should know what a step bit is? A step bit is broadly called a Step drill bit. It is used for drilling metal like materals. To use a step drill bit, the metal should be 1/4th inch thick.
So, we need to see if the metal sheet that we are using fits into this specification or not. Step drill bits are designed in such a way that it can form a large hole on the metal workpiece. However, the size of the hole depends on our needs. But to get a proper finishing and faster work, we must look into its sharpness.
The better is its sharpness, the quicker it will work with proper smooth finishing. Here, we will be briefing you about the whole process to sharpen a step bit or step drill bit.
How To Sharpen A Step Bit – Step By Step Guide
In this section, you will find all the procedures to sharpen a step bit step wise, and it is a short series of steps. When we short down the things into tiny steps, it becomes effortless to analyze the whole thing without any complications.
The main benefit of this step by step method is that you can divide the entire work into small modules, and whenever you think that you are wrong in a particular module, then we can refer that module itself. So, let’s get started.
Total Time: 45 Minutes
First, arrange any ordinary Bench Grinder. This will be used to sharpen a step bit. In this whole process of sharpening, we need two materials mainly. One is the drill bit, and the other one is this Bench Grinder. If you find any difficulty in arranging the Bench Grinder, then you can even use a Belt Sander in place of this. Both of them are equally good for this whole process.
Now, you need to use both your hands. On the one hand, you should hold the shank of the step bit tightly, and you have to rotate it when needed. Use your other hand as a support to the body. While working, make sure that your eyes are correctly covered with some glasses or any other material because this will keep your eyes safe against all the hazardous materials that will come out as a by-product of this process.
Now, face the step bit to the grinding wheel at an angle of 45 degrees. Fix the Cutting edge to that grinding wheel and maintain this contact throughout the process. Make sure that you keep the angle position to 45 degrees accurately; otherwise, you will end up breaking either the tip of the bit. If you keep 45 degrees, then the sharpening process will be equally even for all the faces. That will not be the case at any other angle.
Now follow the factory contour as much as possible by you. And now we have two ends of a step bit that is a trailing edge and a leading edge. Remember that the top edge must be higher than the trailing edge. This will help to cut better without any rubbing. Suppose you are not able to keep the trailing edge lower than the leading edge by yourself. Then use some other material upon which you can keep the leading edge. Leave the trailing edge below the material.
Things You Need To Sharpen A Step Bit
There are not so many things that we need to sharpen our bit. This process is straightforward, with just a couple of things.
There are two things that we need to do the sharpening:
- A step bit: That needs a proper sharpening. This will work as the workpiece for the sharpening process. We will perform all the sharpening process according to this step bit.
- An ordinary Bench Grinder or a Belt Sander: We can use any one of them. Do not stick only with the Bench Grinder. If you don’t find it, go to the other one. You can buy the following bench grinder. It is the best you can get.
- Remember that the facing angle of the step bit to the grinding wheel should be 45 degrees precisely.
- The contact of cutting edge to the grinding wheel should be lightly held.
- If the tip of the step bit breaks, then a new tip can be created. We can create a new tip by using a sharpening stone. That you can easily find on any tools shop, so don’t worry if you end up breaking the tip!
- Do not hold any other thing while doing the sharpening process.
- Make sure that you are observing the whole process without any parallax error. Otherwise, the sharpening will be uneven.
- You should hold the drill bit in your hand very firmly. It should not be in a shaking position. For this, use your second hand as a support to your other hand with the bit. The hand should be adequately stiff.
- Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from an unwanted particle.
- Do not sharpen a step bit too much. This may reduce the size of your bit to a certain level.
- If you think that sharpening your step bit is not that efficient, then it’s better to go for a new one.
1. Why do the step bits become chip?
This is just because of the excess of the landing force. They are so light that they are not that robust withstand with the pressure and force during the drilling. Sometimes while working, we apply too much pressure without even thinking that the tool is very small. It does not need too much force or pressure.
2. Why do the step bits become dull?
Commonly, some step bits become dull over some time because of smearing up the material. When we regularly use the same bit again and again, then the capability of the bit reduces. We should make sure that we use this bit for fragile metal sheets only.
3. Can we use the step bit to drill a metal sheet of thickness for more than an inch?
Ans. No, the step bits are tiny and light-weighted. They are meant for the metal sheet that is 1/4th of an inch. If we use a thick metal sheet, then the step bit will not be useful because its tip is designed only for a specific thickness of the workpiece.
4. Can we get a useful sharpening tool for the Cobalt-Chromium type step bit?
No, it is challenging to get a useful sharpening tool for the type mentioned above because of its physical properties. Even if we find a good sharpening tool, then also it is tough to use it for a cobalt-chromium kind because it is very hard by its nature. So, it needs a high amount of effort and hard work to sharpen the tool to a great extent.
5. Should we use hand gloves while sharpening a step bit?
No, you should not use hand gloves while working with a step bit because it might get caught inside during the sharpening process and will pull you in. So, don’t keep anything else in your hand while holding the step bit; otherwise, it will produce a significant disturbance to the process, and you may end up harming yourself.
6. How can we keep our self safe while working with the drill bit?
As mentioned above, the first thing that we need to remember is that our hand is holding only a step bit. It should not contain any other material. Then the next important thing is that you should wear proper protective glasses so that your eyes will be safe. While working, there may be some particles that will come out, so the eyes should be taken care of.
In our day-to-day life, we use many technical or non-technical tools. We need them to sharpen a step bit with more efficiency. Many times, we end up overusing the tool without spending time to improve its performance. Be it any tool or object; one can work much better if we give some time to improve it. Here, in the case of a Step Bit, we can see that by using it over and over again, it loses its sharpness.
After that, it may not give more finishing and efficiency than before. Instead of facing such a situation, we can choose a better option of sharpening it from time to time. This will improve its performance to a great extent. Only using a device won’t work. We need to take care of our device properly. This will help to increase its lifetime.
I hope this article was helpful to all of you who were in a search to see the process of sharpening a tool. We will come back with more such articles if you find it useful.