Tools of the Trade! – Drill Doctor Bit Sharpener


Drill bits are expensive and I tend to be somewhat abusive to them. It is cheaper to sharpen them than to replace, especially for the larger drill bits. Read more to check out my experience with a Drill Doctor Drill Bit Sharpener.

Hey everybody! I am a big ROI guy (Return On Investment) so usually when I buy tools I try to make sure I will get my money back out of it in return. In this case, I bet I have hundreds of dollars invested in drill bits, and over the last 10 years or so I have used and abused them. Most of them are dull or broken and frustrate me when I try to use them.

Instead of buying all new drill bits, I wanted to experiment with sharpening my own. I have tried this in the past with a bench grinder and failed miserably. So I went out and bought a drill doctor.

The drill dr. claims to be the easy solution to sharpening old drill bits. With some of the larger drill bits running up to $20 or more, it shouldn’t take long to make my money back.

The only difference between the DD750X and the DD500X is that the 750 can sharpen up to a 3/4″ drill bit and set MTO (Material Take Off). If you already have a DD500X or found one for cheap, no fear, You can buy the larger chuck as an add on. You can also get a chuck that will do left handed (reverse) twist drill bits.

 

At about $130 I figure if I sharpen 15 or so larger drill bits then I have recouped all of my investment.

I have plenty of bits to practice on:

My huge pile of dull and broken drill bits

Getting out the drill dr. And the instructions

First step is to loosely chuck a drill bit in the holder and insert it into the alignment jig on the drill doctor

The two arms on the jug help align the drill bit to the narrowest part of the bit. This step is very important.

If you have a drill bit that is really bad, there is a MTO material take off setting on the side of the 750x. When you adjust the material take off it moves the bolt head in and out seen at the bottom of the above picture. This setting adjusts to sharpen more or less aggressively. More aggressive for severely worn or damaged bits and less aggressively for those that just need a light sharpen.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

The MTO knob is the black one in the bottom right of this picture.

Once aligned release the clamp harms, pull out the chuck and tighten it completely.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Next align the white line on the chuck with the pin on the sharpening port then start rotating clockwise until the grinding noise stops.

This could take as little as 4 half turns or up to 20+ half turns depending on how aggressively you set the MTO. On really bad or broken drill bits, you might have to put it back in the jig and set it up multiple times until it is sharp again. It really isn’t hard and only takes a couple of minutes per bit.

MAKE SURE YOU DON’T – grab any left handed (reverse) twist drill bits out of your box unless you purchased the additional left handed chuck! I accidentally did this and totally jacked up one of my bits. It is fixable but I wasted a bunch of time.

 

 

To Make a Split Point

Split points are used to drill faster and not walk around as much when you don’t drill a pilot hole.

To create a split point with the Drill Dr. 750x leave the bit in the chuck after sharpening. Take the cover off the side port. Line up the white lines and plunge the chuck into the split port. Then rotate 180 degrees and repeat on the other side. When done correctly, the split lines should be nearly straight across when looking at the tip.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Splitting the drill bit point.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Here is a view of the bit in the splitting port.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Sharpened and split drill bit. It is here that you can see the line from the split on either side is nearly straight across.

Can it sharpen a completely broken bit?

YES, but it takes some time.

I have a 3/4″ drill bit that I broke in half many years ago. Too mad about the wasted investment, I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. Decided to give it a try and see if the Drill Doctor could save it.

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Broken 3/4″ drill bit…

DIY - Drill Bit Sharpening using Drill Doctor

Here it is sharpened (after setting the MTO to the max and re-setting it in the jig about 5 times) and split point.

One of the coolest things about the Drill Doctor is now I am not stranded if I break a drill bit mid-project. I can just grab the sharpener off the shelf and about 5 minutes later be back in business. No more running to the store late at night and hoping they have a certain size bit in stock.

Hopefully this helps, I would definitely recommend a Drill Doctor to anybody that has lots of dull, broken, or otherwise abused drill bits laying around that could use a second chance.

Now YOU, go out in the garage and work on something!

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