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Drill Doctor - drill bit sharpener? Good? Vendors?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Greg72, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I haven't heard any real negative things about the Drill Doctor product, and I've heard quite a few people say they like them a lot.

    Are there any vendors on this site that sell them? I'm looking at either the 500 or 750 model, and prefer to have my money to go with a site-supporting vendor than some Googled mail-order shop.

    PM me or just respond to this thread....


    Feedback on the Drill Doctor (pros / cons) would be good too.


    :usaflag:
     
  2. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I'd be curious as to this myself...
     
  3. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I use one and it seems to work pretty well. Maybe not as good as new bit but better than a useless dull bit and tryin to sharpen on the bench grinder
     
  4. readymix

    readymix 3/4 ton status

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    I have the 500 and it is great. The only differenct between the 500 and 750 is that the 750 comes with a cuck that will handle the larger bits.
    I just bought the larger chuck for mine so I could get my 9/16 - 5/8" bits sharp. Have not needed to use it yet though (the large chuck)

    Overall I consider it a great investment.
     
  5. SCOOBYDANNN

    SCOOBYDANNN 1/2 ton status

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    Friend loved his, they have the 500's on sale at sears for $109
     
  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I have an old style DR750 I bought 2(?) years ago just after Christmas on sale for $99 IIRC. I've used it a fair bit, and it can be fussy, sometime requiring you to fiddle with the bit and fix a tip, but over all, particularly for medium smallish bits, it does a good job. And it’s nice to get bits that cut smoothly, evenly, and close to nominal size.

    The point splitter is VERY touchy and must be done with a GREAT sense of timing and feel to get a good result. There is no hard stop provided for consistency, it’s totally up to you and your feel for it.

    That’s the good...

    However, the really small drills, somewhat under 1/8”, are a real problem. The location mechanism is just not up to locating those edges accurately enough at that size. These are the ones I often have to fiddle with, grind, look at tip, fiddle with some more, repeat till “right”. And forget splitting the little ones.

    Likewise, I don’t like it for bits over 1/2, even though mine nominally supports it. It does work fine for just “touching up” large bits, BUT DON’T LET IT CHIP OR GET DULL! You’ll set there counting over 100 turns and wearing out your stone AND patience. On large bits, I generally hand grind to rough it in, then I *might* touch up the edges with the DD. Usually not worth the trouble.
     
  7. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    talked to Greg72 in PM's allready about the drill doctor, I say buy one.

    for me anything larger then the width of my grinding wheel, or if its really dull or chipped gets rough ground on my 20 in disc grinder. does not heat up near as fast as a regular grinding wheel will and overheat the drill and turn it purple, then I put a keen sharp edge finish grind on with my belt sander with a fine grit belt then split point on the bench grinder, works very well. all other drills get done on a regular bench grinder.

    grinding wheel has to have a very sharp corner to do good split points. if its all radiused from grinding stuff you will never get a split point to work.
     
  8. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    bought my dad a 500 for christmas. it was on sale for $109, and when we went (saturday after thanksgiving) everything in the store was 10% off. got it out the door less than $100.

    had some problems at first, but we read the directions wrong. once we figured it out, the bit was like brand new.
     
  9. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    for like 15 bucks you can get a jig to hold the bit and you face it into the side of you bench grinder.

    I just do it by hand, I use a norton cool grinding wheel ( avalable only thru lee valley tool of canada), suport my hand off the tool rest, and line up the edge of the bit and face it a little, works great for me.

    take a little time and it will save you money :dunno:
     
  10. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have the 750 model and love it. It beats sharpening bits by hand any day. I was able to actually REUSE my old bits after sharpening them. I had accumulated a bunch of them after "giving up" on sharpening them by hand and now have a bunch of them ready to use.
    Drill Dr.......best bang for the buck.
     
  11. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    drill doctor works and it doesnt, ive sold them, and used them, not a fan.... i personally prefer a bench grinder, because when i tried it the first time, i took right to it, and the dd requires practice...
     
  12. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    I have the 750 and it works great. Two thumbs up for me.
     
  13. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    We used one in the shop I worked at this summer, and it was the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen. I could sharpen a bit better with freakin sand paper. No one (there were 6 or 7 of us there) could get the thing to sharpen a bit. Granted, most of them were smaller bits, like 5/16" and down, but I swear that thing made bits duller.
     
  14. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    I think they are junk... fussy...
    the first thing a machinist learns is how to sharpen a drill bit.. so if you arent one have a machinist show you... and youll never buy a drill doctor...

    they make a real commercial model that works well... 2500.00 for shops... the stuff you see at harbor freight and sears... I think youll be disappointed and it will sit ,unused, after you try it a couple of times

    real men make their own sharp points :-)
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Sharpening your own is a good skill to have, I've done it for many years. And as Cam suggested, it was a machinist who finally taught me to do it “right” (I was working as a draftsman “design engineer” in an extrusion die shop at the time).

    But if you want to do a “good job” by hand (and you need to define “good job” to know whether it matters), you may need a drill gage. They are very inexpensive and provide not only an angle guide, but also a way of measuring the cutting lip length (to keep the point in the center). Without that guide to check your work, it's all but impossible to get both angles AND cutting length the same by eye. And if they are not both held very close, you'll get one side doing all the work and over sized holes. Not a huge problem if you’re just drilling a hole in a piece of 1/4” plate or something. But if your drilling a hole to tap and a proper thread (and not a 30-50% thread), or hold a pin/dowel (reaming requires a pretty accurate hole to start with), or something somewhat in the ball park for whatever reason, you need to start with a properly sharpened drill. Drills are already the hatchets and machetes of hole making (boring and reaming being required for a really accurate hole), but an improperly sharpened drill is more like using a maul.

    Properly used, and it does take some practice/skill (at least a careful reading of the instructions, or better yet, viewing the tape!) a DD can provide that “pretty darn close” point for many people who lack the skill and experience to do it otherwise. Or like me, simply find sharpening by hand to be more than a little “fiddly” if I want a drill to make a nominally sized hole.
     
  16. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Here's a link to a post where I cut and pasted a really good description on how to hand sharpen drill bits. My drill doctor collects dust now as I hand sharpen most of my bits. Practice makes perfect, right?

    how to sharpen drill bits by hand
     
  17. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Kinda long first impression

    Just thought I'd share some thoughts since I recently picked up a 500X.

    I've been looking at getting a Drill Doctor for quite some time, and read a few reviews, and never dropped the coin, because I couldn't find a 500 or 750 for sale up here (only the 350). The 500X and 750X are essentially the same beast now. There is an added level of adjustment available with the 750. But if you are in need of this you probably sharpen your bits by hand. The 500X can sharpen bits over 1/2" as mentioned with an accessory chuck.

    Granted having the skills to REALLY sharpen a bit by hand would be cool. Personally I'd rather invest that time in learning how to weld. Besides it would still require me to purchase a grinder that I don't currently have any other use for anyway.

    The newest generation of DD designated by the 'X' have some simple improvements that reduce the operator error that caused poor results in the past. The set up, and acquiring the cutting and relief angles, and the actual sharpening, is a no-brainer.

    I found the most difficult part was in 'deciphering' the anatomy of a drill bit based on the relief drawings that they provide. This is an important skill, so closely compare your old bits, to a sharpened bit, and the diagrams. Starting with a mid to large sized bit will definitely help the learning process.

    Some problems with small and large bits were mentioned in earlier posts.

    The smallest bit that is easily sharpened is 1/8. Smaller than that will require a very quick and gentle touch, and as mentioned splitting them is basically impossible. That said I don't see much of a need to split such small bits anyway. Fitting the smaller bits into the chuck requires an easy extra step not worth describing here, but rest assured it is very easy. All said considering the low cost and the regularity with which I break bits of this size, many of mine will likely be replaced with new bits from the store.

    Large bits have the challenge of being, well, large. If you find yourself sharpening large bits a lot, or find yourself in a particular rush, a coarser grit, user replaceable grinding wheel is available. I'd bet the time replacing the wheel would be close to that of the extra grinding, but I can definitely see the value and might invest in one myself.

    Easily the biggest immediate challenge that I noticed has also be mentioned, and that was the seeming ambiguity associated with splitting the points. That definitely hasn't been addressed as well as it could be, and is in my opinion a simple design flaw. Unlike the other processes that are well defined by notches, and clicks, and the like, splitting a point requires a 'finer' touch and multiple visual checks.

    Ok, looking back at all that I wrote, it may not seem like I'm really selling the tool. Honestly, I think this thing rocks. The few challenges that do exist are truly miniscule and I overcame them within half a dozen or so attempts.

    Being able to sharpen a bit in a minute or so, changing a dull 118 degree, standard bit into a sharp 135 degree, split point in literally about a minute is amazing!

    Sharpening my good $60 bits alone will pay off the costs in only a couple of sharpenings. The average home diy guy drilling into drywall and plywood might not really see the value in the tool, but guys like us using larger bits and drilling into various metals, I think the DD is nearly invaluable.
     
  18. K5er4Life

    K5er4Life 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the review, my dad still hasnt used his that I bought for him on christmas. I have been wondering how well they work. So after you sharpen your bit its pretty much as good as new right? Its such a pain sometimes to get a good tip on a bit to make it cut well.
     
  19. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    FWIW, I got my drill doctor 750 online from Enco, www.useenco.com. It was on sale for $140 or so and I got free shipping for the order beacause it was over $50. Sign up for their monthly flyer.
     
  20. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Yep! Hot butter baby! :D
     

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