Had to drill out a steel rivet and all of my little bits were as sharp
as bowling balls. Go buy some junk bits at the Borg?, nah, let me try
to sharpen one first.
Started at the lip and ground by twisting and raising the bit against
the wheel. Took a few tries to get a reasonable looking tip and tried
it out. To my surprise the bit easily cut through the steel rivet. I
could probably get the hang of it if I practiced a little but now I
know a bit doesn't need to be thrown out I will probably add the Drill
Doctor to my wish list for the up coming silly season. (by the time I
really get it right all of my bits could only drill 1/2" deep holes)
Any reccomendations as to model number DD or a similar product from
Are there any sharpeners in the homeowner/hobbyist market that can
sharpen my yet to be purchased brad-points?
BTW, if you want a very detailed post on how to sharpen bits by hand
read Bill's post here:
All the research I've done, and I've searched, says that it's possible
but it's so difficult and time consuming that you're better off
throwing away the old bit and buying a new one. Or converting the old
bit over to standard if you'd prefer to recycle.
I plan to take advantage of Woodcraft's sale and spend 30 bucks on a
box 'o bits, and see how long it takes to go through 'em.
On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:10:53 -0000, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
Good point. Why spend $50+ on a Drill Doctor? Why spend the time to
sharpen bits when you can be making sawdust? I can understand
sharpening a bit in an emergency situation. I guess a Dremmel tool
would be helpful with bit sharpening. But, like router bits, it makes
sense to just replace them.
The "Drill Doctor" company makes or did make many models of drill bit
sharpeners, including some that go for a thousand dollars and more.
The current occasional-use models go for somewhere between about $50
and $150 right now in many catalogs (see below).
They really work pretty well. They now come with a DVD showing how
to use them. It is important to watch it.
3 models in homeowners price range, with current Sears prices:
This is the real basic model:
DD350X 3/32 to 1/2 $49
These sharpen a much wider range of bits and with several pointing options:
DD500X 3/32 to 1/2 $116
Get this one if you don't need to sharpen bits larger than 1/2"
Otherwise, get this one:
DD750X, 3/32" to 3/4" $143
Note that they don't sharpen bits smaller than 3/32". If you use a lot
of the smaller bits, its better to simply toss and rebuy.
The biggest problem I have with the Drill Doctor is that it is not yet
available for wood working bits IIRC. I want one that will sharpen brad
$50 buys a lot of drill bits, especially 1/4" and smaller.
Makes if very difficult to justify a Drill Doctor.
Hand sharpening drill bits is like learning to ride a bicycle.
Learning is a total PITA, but once you learn, you don't forget.
Try finding a shop course offered by an adult ed program thru local
high school to learn this skill.
Woodcraft will sell you 170 bits for 30 bucks right now, sizes
1/16-3/8, multiples of each size.
Not premium quality, but they work fine. I tend to lose or break the
smaller sizes before I wear them out anyway.
My only complaint is the set only goes up to 3/8 so I had to spend the
ten bucks for a half-inch bit. :-)
At the rate I have to drill holes, I don't think I'll need another
drill bit till about 2015. I'm following this thread out of curiosity
now. There's other sharpening skills I consider more important to
attain. Hand saws, for instance. My father-in-law left a Disston
backsaw behind, and it appears someone was very cruel to it after he
It may be difficult for some to justify an approximate $75 plus expense for
sharpening drill bits when some are dirt cheap (and last about as long) or
that as you discovered - you can sharpen them by hand. But neither of those
reasons negates the opportunity to purchase a new tool...
I have the XP version I purchased about two years ago from Lowes when they
had a sale - just about this time of the year as I recall. Obviously, I've
sharpened every bit I own plus my brothers, brothers-in-law and a few
friends. It works like a champ and I certainly feel it's more than paid for
itself in convenience (primarily) and the cost of purchasing new drill bits.
I've been doing some remodeling that involved drilling holes in cement
floors and blocks for lag anchors. A 1/2" masonry bit goes for $10 (and up)
and dulls rather quickly when drilling through rock aggregate. I had to
sharpen the masonry bits I was using several times - especially the 1/2"
bits. Easily saved $30 just on that project in drill bits.
The big advantage is it's dead simple to use but yes, you can screw up a
point if you don't follow the directions - meaning you didn't read the
My advice is to purchase the model that will do up to 1/2" diameter shanks
because one of these days - you will be wishing you could sharpen a drill
bit that size. The cost is not that much for the potential savings.
I've got the mod 400 Drill Dr. that I got from Rockler around Christmas last
year on sale for 69.00. It came with the extra holder so that I can sharpen
up to .750 bits. I think it paid for itself in the first hour or so after I
got home sharpening a whole drawer full of dull bits. It will do both
regular and split point bits.
RHN Custom Billiard Cues
Building fine cues for real pool players at
I was a machinist in the Navy. We had to hand sharpen bits all the time.
I still know the procedure, but the practice is lacking. :-)
Gee, it only takes a little practice. I've been doing it for 40 years.
Use magnifiers, a fine wheel and a place to prop your hand. Stare at the
end of a new bit for a minute and then make the old one look like that.
Once you get it you got it for good. Yer not makin a freakin clock, are
you? It don't have to be perfect to get a good hole.
Old-time craftmen did not throw their bits away because it was "cheaper" to
buy new ones. Might as well throw the dog away because he starts to limp a
little. Cheaper to get a "new" one?
If I hadn't spent the better part of an day trying to make the old one
look like the new one and failing miserably, I'd be embarrassed. Took
me a few years to figure out there were a few things I just couldn't
catch on to, and sharpening a brad point bit is one of 'em. I can do
ordinary bits. I can do chain saw blades, chisels, plane blades, axes,
and I'm getting better at hand saws and gouges. But I've tried every
which way to sharpen a brad point bit, and it's never any better than
when I started. Just can't seem to get it right. I'm not worried about
it any more, it's just one of those things.
Would you like me to start sending you my dull ones? I don't use them
enough to make more than a few every couple years, but I could send
them to you instead of either tossing them or grinding them into
specialized picks and drills.
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