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[How2] Sharping Burs

Does anyone shapren “burs” . . or know how too?? if so how …
Bearing, Setting, Ball, “Funny” burs (to include the rest) . . .
if so what tools and the procedure to assure correct angle… I
have a tool for shapring gravers but don’t think that would do
the job…

Too expensive to just use a . . whatever!!! Thanks…


This works for me, an old time jeweler that does remount shows
told me this. Try soaking burs in old pickle for a 1/2 hour then
dispose of used pickle. Eric

Hi Jim, This doesn’t exactly answer your question but you can
send them to Gesswein and have them sharpened. I don’t remember
the cost but it was certainly much cheaper than buying new.

Mark P.

Hi Jim, When I was a kid, a jeweler I knew, would sharpen his
burs and files in an acid bath. Nitric, I suppose. Someone else might know more.
Tom Arnold

This works great on steel files also. The acid eats away and
leaves thin sharp edges. Just be sure to neutralize the item in
something like baking soda. Mike

A previous post suggested that you soak your old worn burs in
used pickle. Do that and all you’ll have a lot of very rusty old
burs. Sounds like the old gentleman was having a little fun with

Steve Klepinger

Jim, I know this may sound crazy to some people but I sharpen my
larger burs , High Speed setting and bearing burs, with my flex
shaft and a seperating disc. I have been told that it is nearly
the same method used when you send them to gesswein to be
sharpened. I send my whole set off( or at least the dull ones)
about every two years to be done profesionally. In the interim
if I have a dull bur and need it sharpened I do it my self. One
of the best things about having your burs sharpened is that they
come back slightly smaller. And quite often, inbetween sizes. So
by a combination of sharpened burs and new ones, I have a bur in
nearly every size imaginable.

Good luck and wear your eye protection.

Ray in beautiful Southern Oregon

I learned about the acid trick a long time ago. Muriatic
(hydrochloric) acid “seems” to work pretty well. It is kinda like
using pyramid power, however. Not only are surfaces etched, but
the edges also wear are etched producing rounded edges if soaked
for too long. When I was working on the bench about five weeks,
an oldtimer sold me a bunch of files on this theory.

Something that I’ve done in a pinch in recent years on high
speed burs is to taper a seperating disk to a knife edge and
recut the surfaces of the burs. I will also reharden the burs to
give it a little longer life as one of the reasons for bur wear
seems to be overheating. This isn’t a perfect solution, but hey!
what else are you gonna do when new burs won’t be in until

Bruce Holmgrain
Marylands first and only JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler

Actually we send high speed burs for resharpening back to the
manufacturer of these burs who essentially re-cuts them.

For those interested, here is the current (subject to change)
price list for resharening high speed burs if you send them to

Sizes 1-18, $0.90 each
Sizes 19-30, $1.35 each
Sizes 31-34. $1.75 each

Solid carbide rotary files/inside ring burs can also be
resharpened for $2.10 or more depending on size.

Best Regards,

Elaine Corwin

Does anyone shapren burs. or know how  too?? if so how ...
Bearing, Setting, Ball, -Funny burs (to include the rest) . .
if so what tools and the procedure to assure correct angle..
I have a tool for shapring gravers but don't think that would
do the job.. 

the only ‘tricks’ i know is to get a little more life out of a
cup bur. one can lay it on it side while spinning against an
unimportant portion of one’s sharpening stone. this will thin the
flattened walls and make it sort of usable for while longer.

to sharpen any size drill on tlhe same sharpening stone, index
the flute to the correct position, which is the leading cutting
edge set 90 o to the direction of your sharpening motion. tilt
the drill bit 30 o on that same axis, then tilt it away from you
(parrellel to the cutting motion) 12 o. imagine an coming from
the sharpening stone. with the cutting end of the drill on the
sharpening stone draw an’’ with the other end. the back of the L
is 30 o the bottom of the ‘’ is 12 o.

i pray that makes sense.

best regards,

geo fox