Making a hole is one of those tasks everybody needs to do once in a while. It is also a task anyone one can do with the proper tools. All anyone needs to make a nice, clean hole in any kind of material (metal, wood, masonry, etc.) is a drill and the right bit. A powerful drill will get the job done faster, but a sharp bit is essential to getting the job done well. A sharp bit will cut faster, cleaner, and put less stress on the motor of the drill and the bit. All of which translates to a better outcome. Many DIYers view drill bits as disposable items, something to toss when they became dull. As a result, most tend not to buy quality bits to use with their drills. That is understandable, as sharpening drill bits is skill which is beyond that of many craftsman and undoubtably most weekend DIYers. So imagine our excitment when we came upon the DAREX Drill Doctor.
DAREx has been making tool-sharpening systems for over forty years. They have heavy-duty units for industry, but they also cater to the smaller professional shops and craftsmen. The Drill Doctor line, while rugged enough for the pros, is also suitable for the home DIYers. Like their professional sharpeners, the Drill Doctor line is rugged. The main difference is in the level of automation. The tradeoffs are minimal and the cost savings substantial.
The Drill Doctor unit we got is the 750X. It is the most capable of the Drill Doctor line. The unit came with its own custom-molded case, an instruction manual, and a DVD. The case has an extra well for additional chucks.
The 750X’s diamond-coated grinding wheel can sharpen high-speed steel, carbide, cobalt, TiN-coated and masonry bits. With the supplied chuck, the 750X can sharpen bits from 3/32” to ¾” at angles between 115º-140º. With an optional chuck, the 750x can even sharpen reverse-twist/left hand bits, often used in removing/drilling out broken screws and bolts.
Here are some of the other features of the Drill Doctor 750X:
- “Push to Stop” design on the drill point splitting port: no over split
- User replaceable diamond sharpening wheel: easy maintenance
- Permanent magnet motor: consistent power under load
The key to the Drill Doctor is the chuck. The long jaws hold the bit securely for precise sharpening. The chuck has a cam shape built into its outer edge. The cam rotates the bit in a very specific way. The setup port (red arrow) gets the bit’s edges properly oriented and sets the amount of material to be removed in the sharpening process. These two steps eliminate guesswork and makes the sharpening process precise, repeatable, and performable by anyone. Even a broken bit can be “re-pointed” by sharpening the stub, assuming that it is long enough.
The RainyDayRenovations folks have been using the Master Mechanic 18V drill for a bunch of DIY projects this Summer (FirstLook, FirstUse). Now that we have the Drill Doctor in the house, we know that they will be eager to take on projects that will wear out drill bits just so they will have excuses to give the Drill Doctor a workout. Look for the FirstUse report soon.