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Thread: Sharpening Twist Drills

  1. #1

    Sharpening Twist Drills

    I did a search here and it redirected me to a few sites. Any suggestions on a sharpener for twist drills? I have a great sharpening service that does a terrific job on blades, brad points, and router bits. But they claim having them sharpen my smaller twist drills is not cost effective because I could replace them for the cost of sharpening. That seems like such a waste to just toss them when they need sharpe0ning. Other than Bob Vila's recommendation for the Drill Doctor, any other recommendations? I've tried doing them by hand on a grinder, but they usually don't come out much better.

  2. #2
    You can certainly grind them by hand.
    I have the Drill Doctor and like it.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
    I have one of the early models of the drill doctor and for standard twit bits it does a great job.

  4. #4
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    How small are you talking about? Hand sharpening is my preferred method but the drill doctor my wife bought me does work well.
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  5. #5
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    +2 for drill doctor. Works well for me.

  6. #6
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    I have always done it free hand on a bench grinder. It only take maybe 30 seconds to do once you get the feel for it.

  7. #7
    I thought the drill doctor was a cheap-feeling toy. Basically a dremel wheel on a little motor with a jig for setting angles correctly. Not at all what I expected for the price.

    Something like the drill doctor is also going to wear out/fail at some point and get thrown away. So it's not like you're avoiding waste, unless you somehow would have gone through thousands of drill bits in its lifetime.

    I just buy new bits. For a few bucks a piece, it's hard to even justify the time that it would take to sharpen.

  8. #8
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    Black diamond, darex
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    I thought the drill doctor was a cheap-feeling toy. Basically a dremel wheel on a little motor with a jig for setting angles correctly. Not at all what I expected for the price.

    Something like the drill doctor is also going to wear out/fail at some point and get thrown away. So it's not like you're avoiding waste, unless you somehow would have gone through thousands of drill bits in its lifetime.

    I just buy new bits. For a few bucks a piece, it's hard to even justify the time that it would take to sharpen.
    Depending on the size and quality of the drill bits you are using, it may well be worth while to resharpen. I use Precision Twist Drill Cobalt Jobber Length and replacement bits (1/2" diameter) are around $28 each plus tax/shipping. So for me hand sharpening is a no brainer. I own two of the Drill Doctors and find they do OK on the smaller sizes, but not so well on anything larger than around 3/8". I find it much more efficient to hand sharpen using a bench grinder with appropriate wheels.

    By the way, I am using these bits for drilling steel, aluminum, etc. and very seldom are they used for wood.

    David

  10. #10
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    A little brass drill gauge is helpful. I have lost mine. I try to keep the OptiVisor within reach of the grinder. In 9th grade FFA Ag Shop we had to learn to grind a twist drill before we were allowed to use the drill press. My shop teacher has long since retired. He is still very active in the community. He gets lots of hand shakes and attempted hugs from his former students.

    Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 6.53.34 AM.png
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 04-23-2022 at 8:06 AM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    Black diamond, darex
    Bill D
    $4000 !!!!!!

    Can certainly buy a few new drill bits for that amount.
    - ďItís not that Iím so smart, itís just that I stay with problems longer.Ē Ė Albert Einstein
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  12. #12
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    A Darex came with a bunch of machinist tools that I was left by a dear friend. Even with that, I don't bother with bits less than a 1/4", even though I think all the collets are there. It does leave any that I do sharpen with it as good as they came to start with.

  13. #13
    free hand on the grinder wheel used for Chisels. Dull tools are useless and even if hand done its 80 percent as good as new its better than a dull bit. If its critical exact tolerance then a fresh bit is better as it will be more symmetrical than free hand.

  14. #14
    I do it freehand on my old Craftsman 6" grinder (handy skill from my machinist days), but my dad had a Drill Doctor that he used and it seemed to work well enough. Read the directions well though, he did a batch that somehow ended up with left handed angles on standard right hand twist bits.

    Note that if you do get the hang of doing it freehand, you likely won't go back to a jig. I inherited the Drill Doctor 5 years ago and still haven't taken it out of the case. I keep thinking I will do a sharping of all my random loose bits, but I keep not getting around to doing it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    bought into the hype and bought a drill Doctor 750? years back complete with setup for left handed bits
    ruined every bit that has been tried in it, needs thrown in the trash. spent too much money to do that
    it sits on the shelf to remind me not to make that mistake again

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