The Drill Doctor: Woodworker Heal Thyself

The Drill Doctor: Woodworker Heal Thyself

So when the Drill Doctor arrived, I thought to myself, “Wow, I can finally turn that rusty collection of old drill bits into a shiny new set that will justify my foolish decision to buy a large box of rusty bits.” I thought I would just plug my drill bits into the Drill Doctor like an electric pencil sharpener and have practically new bits when they came out.

So I opened the box. There was the machine – in this case, the 250 Handyman – and a drill chuck and a video. Oh no, I thought, this must be complicated if you need a video to learn how to use it. I looked at the instructions, and I looked at the video. I had to make a choice. I went with the video.

It turns out this company understands people like me; i.e. people who won’t read instructions unless there’s no other way, including trial and error and error and error, to figure a device out. This video shows very quickly that this thing is just about the easiest device you can use this side of a hammer. The guy on the video shows you how to put the dull bit into the chuck, align it in the chuck so you end up actually sharpening the edge you want to sharpen, and plug the chuck into the grinding hole so the bit gets sharpened. All told, one drill bit takes about 90 seconds to align and sharpen.

But when I pulled the bit out, it was still rusty. Only the tip of the drill bit had been ground to a very sharp edge. The rest of the bit was unchanged.

I’m With Stupid

I told editor Rob Johnstone about this result the next day and wondered if I had done something wrong. He’s a forgiving sort, so he didn’t put his “I’m with Stupid” T-shirt on right away. He explained, very slowly, that the only really operative part of the drill bit was the tip, the part I had successfully sharpened, and that the rest of the bit just carried the sawdust away from the hole.

So I went home and tried out the bits I had sharpened. He was right. These things would go through anything, rust or no rust. I even found some carbide bits in the box and, because the sharpening wheel in the Drill Doctor is diamond, I put a great edge on those too. I even plugged an old masonry bit into the thing and sharpened it as well.

I also had the opportunity to try the more advanced Drill Doctor, the 750 Professional, but my vast ignorance about the nature of drill bits prevented me from attempting to use it. According to the literature, the more advanced units, the Professional and the 500 Tradesman, will handle larger bits and split point bits.

You might want to visit the company’s web site because it looks like it’s sponsoring a program where you can rent the 750 Professional for a day. If there’s any doubt in your mind, I would advise taking the Drill Doctor out for a quick test drive.

– Bob Filipczak

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