A ship auger is a useful tool that allows you to make holes when you encounter a stubborn nail or two. Where other tools prove ineffective in cutting through the nail, a ship auger does the task fairly effortlessly, provided it is not dull. It needs to be sharpened if any dullness has set in. This is done by checking the top edge of the ship auger, and verifying whether it spirals up to the screw feed and it is smooth. Carefully grasping the tip of the screw feed, use a bench grinder or the auger bit file to smooth the top edge surface.
After that is done, the feed screw has to be sharpened, by passing the file over the edges of the screw as the auger is turned, making sure the bevel is not altered. Locate other parts the need sharpening by holding the auger with its screw point up till the horizontal cutting edge is found. The inside of the side lip, the part that juts down on the left side of the cutting edge, needs to be sharpened by moving the vise against it. The auger then needs to be placed in a vise so the side edge interior and the lip can be seen and sharpened with the triangular file. A sharpening stone needs to remove all burr from the bit. The auger needs to be checked for sharp edges and clean bevels upon inspection, and if all looks good, the ship auger has been sharpened successfully.