How To Choose the Right Drill Doctor for the Best Results: Drill Doctor DD500X vs. DD750X
Drill sharpeners are an incredibly useful, new, modern, tool for almost any workshop.
The Drill Doctor brand, in particular, offers high-quality, consistent machines that will stand up to even the heaviest workshop use.
It’s easy to replace drill bits as you break them. Most workshops keep several in each size and material specifically because bits are easily broken. They also just wear down over time, becoming dull as well as brittle.
Drill bit replacement has long been considered just a part of the cost of doing business. Construction teams and craftsmen alike just roll the costs of new bits into the production costs of a project.
However, you can eliminate those costs almost entirely by purchasing a quality bit sharpener.
Saving money is just one of the benefits of a good sharpener. They also save you the time it takes to purchase new bits and keeping your drill bits sharp adds to the overall quality of your finished product.
This article will look at two of the best drill bit sharpeners on the market, the Drill Doctor DD500X and the Drill Doctor DD750X.
DrillDoctor was one of the first companies to begin offering a bit sharpening tool, and they remain one of the most trusted names in the industry.
Known for producing quality tools and backing them with great customer support and one of the best warranties out there, DrillDoctor should be your go-to brand for drill sharpeners.
We’ll talk about the similarities and differences between these two machines, what you can expect to arrive in the box with the sharpener, some pros, and cons of each option, and give a solid recommendation as to which sharpener we think is the best deal.
Let’s get started.
Drill Doctor DD750X
While both models are fairly similar in terms of durability, accessories, and sharpening ability, the DD750X stands out as a clear winner due to the larger included chuck, greater cutting angle flexibility, and generally being able to sharpen a wider variety of bit types and sizes:
- 3/4-inch Compatible Chuck
- Complete Cutting Angle Control
- Permanent Magnet Motor
- “Push to Stop” Drill Point Splitting Port
- 6 Foot Power Cord
- Storage Bag & Debris Protection
The Drill Doctor DD750X vs the Drill Doctor DD500X
- 6’ power cord
- Magnet motor for superior performance
- Can sharpen and create split point bits
- 3-year warranty
- Comes with a pre-installed 180 grit diamond cutting wheel
- Easy to replace diamond wheel comes in 2 compatible grit options
- Both are compatible with the full line of current model Drill Doctor accessories
- Durable cast aluminum point angle shuttle
- “Push to Stop” drill point splitting port helps prevent over splitting
- Comes with an easy to use wrench for removing and replacing diamond cutting wheels
- The DD750X comes with a ¾ inch compatible bit chuck
- The DD500X comes with only a ½ inch compatible bit chuck
- The DD750X comes with a storage bag
- The DD750X can cut at a variable angle for custom bits
- The DD500X has only two cutting angles
|Drill Doctor DD500X|
Shank Size: 1/2"
Diamond Sharpening Wheel: 180 Grit
Custom Point Angle Sharpening: 118 ° and 135 °
Case Included: No
|Drill Doctor DD750X|
Shank Size: 3/4"
Diamond Sharpening Wheel: 180 Grit
Custom Point Angle Sharpening: 115 ° and 140 °
Case Included: Yes
Why Drill Doctor is the Best, Similarities Across Both Models
DrillDoctor is a pretty consistent brand, so no matter what model sharpener you ultimately choose there are some common features you can expect from their products.
3 Year Warranty
Drill Doctor offers an incredible 3-year limited warranty on all their products.
Warranties are always a good thing, but any warranty over a year really tells you that the company believes in the quality of the product.
Especially in a high-use tool like a drill sharpener, having that 3-year guarantee means that you can count on this machine to survive even the heaviest use workshops.
One note for customers in Australia, you will need an outlet converter to use Drill Doctor product, plugging it directly into a non-standard outlet is one of the few things that will void the Drill Doctor warranty.
Replaceable Diamond Sharpening Wheel, 180 or 100 Grit Options
All Drill Doctor sharpeners also have a replaceable diamond sharpening wheel. Every wheel is rated for approximately 200-uses before it requires replacement.
The Drill Doctor will arrive with your first diamond cutting wheel, at 180-grit, pre-installed. You can purchase the 100-grit option separately.
The 100-grit option still needs replacement after approximately 200 uses, just like the finer 180-grit standard wheel.
Drill Doctor does note that you may get more uses, but you’ll see declining performance if you push the 200-use limit too far.
Compatible Drill Bit Materials
You can also count on all DrillDoctor products to be able to sharpen the vast majority of bit materials, from Masonry bits to Cobalt and High-Speed Steel.
One word of caution for the DrillDoctor’s sharpening power is that they will remove the protective coating from the tip of your drill bit (but not the shaft) on coated bits.
However, fully incorporated bits like Cobalt mixed bits, won’t have this problem because they are a consistent material throughout.
Most Secure Chuck Design on the Market
The DrillDoctor bit chuck is also designed to securely hold even the thinnest bits without causing them to warp or twist. Their design helps guarantee that your bits will hold up for many sharpening sessions without losing quality or durability.
You can also expect that every DrillDoctor model will have a wide firm base to prevent the unit from shaking its way across the table while in use.
The extra stability also helps to reduce the noise the sharpener produces while it’s in operation, leading to a quieter workshop overall.
Split Point Cutting Power
Both models of Drill Doctor can create split point bits, even out of single-point bits. They can also re-sharpen the split point bits that are starting to go dull.
The ability to create split points should be especially valuable for any fine-grain wood project as split point bits help to prevent damage to the wood outside the drilled area from ‘walking’ as you start to drill.
Yet, split point bits can be difficult to find, mislabeled, or not labeled at all. With either the DD750X or the DD500X you can create the bit you need even when they aren’t locally available.
The same goes for metal workers or anyone working with particularly dense materials that need a specialized bit.
The Nitty Gritty: Some Differences to Consider
Of course, there are some important differences between these two models. Both have strengths and weaknesses, and while we recommend the Drill Doctor DD750X over the Drill Doctor DD500X, it’s worth looking at both options to determine which one is best for you and your workshop.
The angle of a drill bit is one of the most important factors in its performance. 118-degree bits are a good utilitarian option. They are suitable for all but the densest materials. 135-degree bits are a good choice, however, for metal projects and other high-density tasks.
The DrillDoctor DD500X can sharpen drill bits at either the 118-degree angle or 135. The ability to add a split-tip to 135-degree bits also makes them more useful for a wider variety of tasks.
However, the Drill Doctor DD750X has many more options than the DD500X’s two angles. It’s cutting wheel can be set at any angle between 115 degrees and 140 degrees, which allows you to use and sharpen non-standard bits.
The ability to determine a custom angle allows you to create a bit for your specific needs. While this is undoubtedly an advanced function, it is critical for anyone who wants to save money on replacement costs for non-standard drill bits.
The customizability of the DD750X also means that experienced craftsmen can experiment with different bit angles and points to create custom sets particular to their project needs.
Standard options are great, right up until they can’t accomplish what’s needed for a custom job.
The greater flexibility of the DD750X makes it the clear winner in this category, although the DD500X is still a perfectly good option for anyone that doesn’t need custom angles.
The use of a size flexible chuck for both of these machines makes them easy to use. You don’t need to trade out chucks to go up or down in size, both sharpeners have a wide range of bits they can sharpen with a single chuck.
The DD500X can only go up to ½ inch bits, while the DD750X can accommodate up to ¾ inch bits.
Now, in the interest of clarity, we should mention that the Drill Doctor DD500X can operate with an up to ¾ inch chuck like the DD750X. In fact, DrillDoctor offers a ¾ chuck accessory for the DD500X for exactly that reason. However, it is an additional purchase.
One of the main reasons to choose the DD500X over the DD750X, however, is the slightly lower price point for the DD500X. Purchasing an additional chuck to operate it takes you a good portion of the way to the price of DD750X.
In our opinion, if you plan on working with ¾ inch bits, the Drill Doctor DD750X is a better investment than the DD500X and ¾ inch chuck.
The reason for that thinking is simple, the DD750X can do everything the DD500X can do and has some additional functions that no accessory will give the DD500X.
So for this category, we are going to assume the purchase of only the basic kit, without any additional features for added function or flexibility.
With all of that in mind, the DD750X becomes the clear winner of this category as well. While the two machines are equally well suited to handling your smallest bits (minimum size is 3/32 inch), the DD750X will go further in maintaining your largest bits.
It’s far to easy to look at the mechanical aspects of a new tool without thinking about the learning curve associated with getting it.
For instance, a lathe is a wonderful tool to have, but it has a steep learning curve and can be intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing or have someone to teach you.
So, while the idea of adding a lathe to your workshop might be appealing, it’s equally important to consider whether you would really use it or if it would sit unused due to difficulty. Believe it or not, drill sharpeners are also a tool with a sizable learning curve.
Sure, the process is self-contained so you aren’t likely to see little metal shavings flying all over the place, but you should think about how much time you are willing to put into learning and experimenting with these machines before you decide which one you want to buy.
The Drill Doctor DD500X, since it only has two angle settings, is the easier of the two to learn and to use. That is one advantage of being a less flexible tool. The fewer things a tool can do, the fewer things you have to learn to make it do.
Drill Doctor 500X and 750X – Demo Video:
Now, both machines do come with a handbook, and you should absolutely read that handbook before attempting to sharpen even the cheapest and most easily replaceable drill bit.
Although both machines are similar in appearance, the DD500X’s simplicity means it is also less intimidating for new users or for workshops that focus on training.
It’s easier to teach new people to use the DD500X because there are fewer settings to check and remember. It’s also more likely to be used if the learning curve is an issue simply because it’s easier to get used to and there is less reading required.
The DD750X, however, has a steeper learning curve thanks to the additional angle flexibility.
Both that flexibility and the learning that come with using it, require more reading, more experimentation, and has a correspondingly higher rate of failure during that experimental phase.
This is one category where the DD500X wins, hands down. The Drill Doctor DD750X is a more complicated, and therefore more intimidating, machine.
Misc. Additional Features
There really is only one difference in terms of included features between the two models, the DD750X comes with a bag for transporting the tool from place to place. If you want a transport bag for the Drill Doctor DD500X you need to buy it separately.
However, they both have some additional accessories that are worth mentioning. Fortunately, these accessories are compatible with both machines.
100-Grit Rough Diamond Cutting Wheel
Both these sharpeners come with a pre-installed 180-grit cutting wheel. However, if you need something a little rougher you can get the 100-grit wheel and trade it out with the 180-grit option just like you were replacing it.
The main use we see for this would be getting an even more precise cut while sharpening, buy sharpening with the 100-grit wheel and then using the same sharpening settings with the 180-grit wheel. But, you may find other uses for this rougher option.
Left Hand Chuck
Unfortunately, this option, for reverse direction drill bits, only goes up to ½ inch sizes, there are no ¾ inch options.
However, if you regularly work with reversed drill bits, this accessory will help you extend the working life of those bits just like you would with a regular bit.
While both of these machines come with a full 3-year warranty, so you know you won’t have to spend much time or money on replacement parts, it’s still good to know that the cutting wheels, chucks, and sharpening port are all replaceable.
Of course, the two sharpeners we’ve discussed aren’t the only drill bit sharpeners available, so here are some of the competitors.
As always, it’s a good idea to take a look at some of the other options, even if only to be sure that the product you want really is the right one for you.
1. Drill Doctor 350X Review
This might be the option for you if you’re concerned about the learning curve on an automatic drill sharpener but still want something to extend the life of your drill bits.
Drill Doctor DD350X is also a great learners’ option, perfect for craftsmen who regularly teach or take on apprentices.
The simplicity makes it easy to use on the most utilitarian bits, and it lets new users learn without the intimidation of a more complicated and flexible system.
This machine has fewer functions than either the Drill Doctor DD500X or the Drill Doctor DD750X, so it can’t take care of nearly as many of your drill bits. However, it’s simple two-step process really can’t be beaten for ease of use.
Like the DD500X, the DD350X maxes out at the ½ inch bit size. It is also further limited in that it has a set angle grind, it can only sharpen at a 118-degree angle.
118-degree drill bits are certainly the most common, though, so these limitations still give you a pretty wide range of possible uses.
Also, like both the DD500X and the DD750X, the DD350X is compatible with all the additional accessories and replacement parts offered by DrillDoctor.
Like all Drill Doctor products, the DD350X comes with their 3-year warranty.
2. TOOLSTORM Multi-Function Electric Knife Sharpener Review
While there aren’t many direct competitors out there for the DrillDoctor’s specialized drill bit sharpeners, there are some multi-purpose tools that include a drill sharpening function.
The ToolStorm also relies on diamond cutting wheels and includes two of their cutting wheels in the base package so that you can sharpen more tools before spending any more money on their system.
As a general sharpening system, the ToolStorm has fewer settings geared specifically toward drill bits. It makes up for this by having other sharpening options.
Knives, scissors, chisels, and other bladed tools can be sharpened by the ToolStorm with a minimum of fuss or having to change too many settings.
However, the ToolStorm is significantly more limited in terms of what drill bits it can sharpen. It is only approved for bits sized between 1/8 inch and ½ inch.
It does also have a slightly longer power cord, good for crowded workshops. The DrillDoctor’s standard power cord is 6ft long, the ToolStorm comes with a 6.6ft cord, exactly 2 meters.
3. Tormek T-8 Review
Tormek’s T-8 model sharpener doesn’t specialize in drill bits the way the Drill Doctor does, but between the professional grinding system and the additional feature of a water-cooling system, the T-8 can handle almost any sharpening job you throw at it.
This model is significantly more expensive than a Drill Doctor or the other competitors we’ve mentioned.
However, that investment can be worth it in a professional setting since you only need the one tool to sharpen any bladed tools you’re working with.
This system also comes with an impressive 7-year warranty. Having that guarantee in hand also helps to justify the higher price point on this system vs some of the others.
However, this is a standard grind wheel setup, so, unlike the Drill Doctor models, you will be directly manipulating any tools you want to sharpen on the wheel itself, including drill bits.
That direct exposure means that you need to have a high degree of skill with a grinding system to effectively sharpen anything, and even more when you’re working with something as small and delicate as a drill bit.
That said, you can also be more precise with this setup, which combines a stone grind wheel with a leather refining wheel, for some of the sharpest and longest-lasting edges possible.
4. Mechanical Alternatives Review
There are also several hand-operated drill sharpening systems available, though we won’t go into the different options there. If you’re interested in a hand-operated system look for something that also uses a diamond cutting wheel and other durable materials.
And remember, most of these systems are only suitable for one angle, or else require you to angle it properly yourself without mechanical aid.