Sharpening Router Bits

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Blog entry by Karson posted 08-05-2010 08:31 PM 14743 reads 10 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since the router bits are now clean, I might as well sharpen them.

Yesterday I showed you how I clean saw blades, router bits and clean up the belt sander belts.

Since I’ve got the router bits clean and I was ready to put them away I figured I might as well sharpen them.


I use 3 in 1 oil with the sharpening tools on my router bits.

I use Eze-lap diamond paddles for sharpening.


Here is a place that carries them.

They come individually, sets of three and sets of 5. I have the set of 3. Course, Medium and fine. I don’t think I’ve ever used the Medium or coarse ones. I think I’ll buy the set of 5. I’ve also found a set of 3 with med fine and extra fine. That would be a great set. The fine grit is 600 grit and the extra fine has a grit of 1200. It would be great for touching up your Exacto knife, Marking gauge etc. The course one could be used for re-tipping your favorite pocket knife, where you broke the tip off when opening a can of paint. Reshape with course and medium and resharpen with the fine and extra fine.

For router bits 600 grit is OK.

I put a drop of oil on the end of the diamond and then hold it against the flat side of the router bit.


Without 3 hands It’s hard to show you how I hold the router bit, the diamond paddle and take the picture. But, you get the gist. Only sharpen the back edge. If you want to sharpen the little edge on the router bit, go ahead but expect burning of the wood and a terrible cut. I can attest to that. So take my suggestion and only sharpen the back flat edge.

If you see other posts on doing this they state that you should use the same number of strokes on each piece of carbide. I don’t, but, you can take that as a suggestion.

On router bits with bearings, take off the bearing.


Now sharpen the flat as before. Because this router bit doesn’t have a big piece of carbide to help keeping the diamond paddle flat be extra careful holding it flat.

I’ve used the side of the paddle and the end of the paddle. I find the the end is easier to hold on the flat piece of carbide. But you can again use that as a suggestion.

I usually use a new router bit to feel haw sharp it is on the edge and try and get my new edges as sharp. It helps if you don’t let them get very dull. If I’m routing MDF I might sharpen them more ofter than when I’m using wood.

While you’ve got the oil and the router bit you might as well put a small drop on the bearing and spin it a few times and notice how much easier it turn.


Now you can put them away, Or put them on the router table for the next job.

Good luck.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

19 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 4146 days

#1 posted 08-05-2010 09:10 PM

Good tip Karson…thanks

View dustyal's profile


1310 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 08-05-2010 09:37 PM

Thanks Karson.. nice presentation.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1588 posts in 4014 days

#3 posted 08-05-2010 11:01 PM

Thanks Karson, I check out the EZE-lap site, heck $20 gets a set of all 5, cheap enough. Thanks for passing along the info.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4161 days

#4 posted 08-05-2010 11:22 PM

Thanks Karson! I’ll favourite this one as I am sure I will want to come back to it.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3564 days

#5 posted 08-05-2010 11:43 PM

thank´s Karson for the tip
I didn´t know you cuold sharpen tools with a carbide tip


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4428 days

#6 posted 08-05-2010 11:51 PM

Good job, buddy.

I have a bunch of router bits here that could benefit from this post. One of these days…


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View lew's profile


12821 posts in 4204 days

#7 posted 08-06-2010 01:32 AM

Thanks, Karson!

I know I have a bunch that need cleaned and sharpened.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3744 days

#8 posted 08-06-2010 01:37 AM

Thanks Karson !
I wasn’t sure what to do with my old router bits except replace them.
This is a fantastic money saver : )


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Woodworker123's profile


89 posts in 3302 days

#9 posted 08-06-2010 01:43 AM

I wonder if there are shops (or smaller US router bit manufacturers) that will sharpen them for a reasonable cost. I have been cutting a lot of MDF, and although I don’t want to throw away a $60 router bit, I suspect I would quickly ruin them trying this on my own.

View Ger21's profile


1087 posts in 3580 days

#10 posted 08-06-2010 01:53 AM

In case anyone’s interested, most places that sharpen saw blades will sharpen carbide tipped router bits for around $5, sometimes even less.

Here’s some prices.

-- Gerry,

View Woodworker123's profile


89 posts in 3302 days

#11 posted 08-06-2010 02:00 AM

Gerry, that’s exactly what someone like me needs. I love the idea of sharpening them myself, but I think some things just take more skill than I give myself credit for.

View Ger21's profile


1087 posts in 3580 days

#12 posted 08-06-2010 02:42 AM

I’ve tried Karson’s method, and my results were nowhere near what you get from a professional $5 sharpening.

Of course, ymmv. :-)

-- Gerry,

View a1Jim's profile


117688 posts in 4026 days

#13 posted 08-06-2010 02:43 AM

Thanks for the tips Karson

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4618 days

#14 posted 08-06-2010 02:59 AM

I think I’ll give that a try.

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

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#15 posted 08-06-2010 03:32 PM

thanks kardon ,

i never had the time to sharpen bits
i just send them out ,
or get a new one .

and i’m not sure i have the patience for it ,

might be like trying to cut diamonds !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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