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How to sharpen an auger bit with a file

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An auger bit file alongside an auger bit For this task, you will need your auger bit file at the ready!
Diagram illustrating the parts of an auger bit including the spurs and cutting edges Auger bits are specific tools used for drilling wood. Two parts of the bit should be kept sharp: the spurs and the cutting edges, as seen in the diagram to the left.
Image showing an auger bit lead screw engaging with a plank of wood They work by engaging with the wood with a lead screw, which keeps the bit drilling in a straight line.
Image showing the spurs on an auger bit cutting a circle into a piece of wood Sharp spurs then trace out a circle in the wood defining the edges of the hole as they drill downwards.
Image showing how the cutting edges on auger bit files remove wooden chips Next, cutting edges act as chisels to remove chips of wood and send them travelling up the spiral body of the drill bit.
An auger bit which is used for drilling wood Some auger bits only have one cutting edge, but they work in exactly the same way.
Image of a DIYer sharpening the cutting edge of an auger bit with a file

Step 1 – Sharpen cutting edges

Using the cross filing technique, sharpen all cutting edges on your tool by giving them several strokes with your auger bit file.

A DIYer sharpening the spurs on their auger bit for ease of cutting

Step 2 – Sharpen insides of spurs

Using the same technique, file inside the spurs.

Image warning DIYers that they should not file the outside of their auger bit It’s important that you don’t file outside the spurs, as doing so will wear away material on the edge of the drill bit and reduce the size of hole that it will drill.
Image of a hole drilled by a recently sharpened auger bit

Step 3 – Test it out

Your auger bit should now be sharp. You can test it by drilling a hole in some scrap wood.

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