Drill Doctor

Bill Anderson

Anyone used a drill doctor to restore their generic drill bits? Any limitations on smallest drill bit or largest drill bit diameters?


Corporate Member
I have a drill doctor and touch up my bits when they get dull. I don’t feel like it does a great job, but it’s easier than buying new bits. For example, you dull a bit, the choice is run somewhere to get a new one, order one and get it in a day or two, or just run it through a DD.

Small bits are hit and miss. The way the DD indexes a bit gets more questionable the smaller you get.

Of course the easy answer is to just stock up on common sizes, but I have not found decent bits I feel good about buying. Still have some ”good” bits from 40+ years ago... but I also have some crappy bits from 40+ years ago. I’m sure there are some good new bits out there, but I don’t know where to find the sure thing.


I got one for free on a program I'm in to review products. Like Wiosoncb said, the smaller bits are hit or miss. It seems to do a decent job on medium to large bits. With that said, if I didn't get it for free, I probably wouldn't have bought one.
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Joseph Delfino

Senior User
I was gifted a toolbox full of various bits about 7 years ago. Many seemed dull to me so instead of disposing of them I decided to buy a Drill Doctor and spend some time sharpening them. I spent a couple days learning and got through all of them. I do remember going through some trial and error but nothing that made me think I wouldn't keep it. In my case it was worth the investment.
I thought it did a decent job and I haven't had to buy or sharpen another bit since.
I can't comment on small bits. The ones I use seem good enough for what I use them for.
FWIW, I drill mostly wood but the occasional times I drilled metal they did fine. And I have a small pile of dull bits building for a rainy day. By now for me it will be a whole new learning experience all over again.


Corporate Member
Never happy with mine. Ditched. I just by backs of bits from machines suppliers. Probably cheaper. I go through a lot of 1/8 as it is my generic metal piolet size. I much prefer split-point over chisel point. Only the more expensive Drill Doctor can do them and I never tried one. Buying a 1 or 2 pack from big box is way too expensive.


Corporate Member
I'm happy with mine. Extremely small bits (1/16 etc.) are troublesome. RTFB and follow the directions.


Corporate Member
As most of ypu might assume, I do a bunch of drilling with all the rifles, chairs and other things I build. I have a drill doctor and I don't see what's so difficult about using it. For someone who is willing to read the operator's instructions before using it, the machine works quite well. Some people might have more luck if they take a black felt tipped pen and cover the tip before grinding to see where the cutter is making contact with the bit.

Mike Davis

Corporate Member
I learned to sharpen drill bits by hand on a bench grinder when I was in machinist school.
It is quite easy once you learn a few basic principles.


Corporate Member
Read, followed, watched You-tubes, and everything. Got a little better, but never happy. The bigger one that can grind split point may be better as I'll take a split point over a chisel point any day.
Big bits I do by hand as they are expensive. CBN wheel. :). I also keep a set of solid cobalt drills for cast iron and stainless steel.


Corporate Member
I just saw this deal for small drill bits. $35 for 100 bits Combination of twist and brad point. If you don’t like to sharpen small bits, it might be worth even if they are no doubt low quality.
  • (10) HSS twist bits in each of the following sizes: 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", and 7/64"
  • (3) HSS twist bits in each of the following sizes:1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 11/64", 3/16", 13/64", 7/32", 15/64", 1/4" and 5/16"
  • (3) High-carbon steel brad-point bits in each of the following sizes: 1/8", 9/64", 5/32", 11/64" and 3/16"
  • (3) High-carbon steel brad-point bits in each of the following sizes: 13/64", 7/32", 15/64", 1/4" and 5/16"



I have a Drill Doctor 750x and it works great. That said I also have to say the more you use it the better it gets. If you by cheap bits you probably wouldn't want one. They say it will sharpen 3/32 bits but the smallest I have sharpened is 3/16.

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
If you can find one, the Darex M5 is about the best value for quality drill bit sharpeners. in 1998, the M5 cost me a little over $1400.00 with accessories for up to 1-1/4" diameter. Darex also offered a much better drill bit sharpener at the $5000.00 range that was a lot more automated. At the time I ordered, I asked about the Drill Doctor and the sales lady told me not to bother. The M5 came with a satisfaction guarantee. If I didn't like it, I could send it back for a full refund and they would pay the shipping. After using it for six months, there was no way I was letting that get out of my shop.

The M5 sharpens new drill bits into a far sharper cutting tool. When a hand chisel, turning tool, or hand plane iron is new, is it ready to use? Its pretty much the same with new twist drills although some are a little sharper than others. I mention the M5 just to establish how high the performance bar can be set.

darex M5.jpg

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