Drill Doctor X2 Adds Knife Sharpening to its Resume`
Drill Doctor has been a go-to for drill bit sharpening for years. Now they’ve added knife sharpening to the Drill Doctor X2 to make it even more versatile. We decided to give it a shot at our EDC knives to see if it’s worth adding to your shop.
Drill Doctor X2 Drill Bit and Knife Sharpener Basics
Drill Doctor is a brand owned by Darex, LLC who just so happens to also own Work Sharp. They know a thing or two about sharpening blades, so it’s not like this is a completely new concept for them.
Sharpening drill bits takes a very different approach than sharpening blades, so it’s no surprise to see two different sections on this tool. The front takes on the classic Drill Doctor look and the back looks very much like the knife sharpener you might have in your kitchen.
In terms of what you can sharpen, it’s a pretty versatile list:
- 118° drill bits (3/32 – 1/2-inch)
- Kitchen knives
- Pocket knives
- Small hand tools
Using the Drill Doctor X2 Knife Sharpener Feature
You can sharpen knives and a few other tools with this model. When you take it out of the box, the 20° knife sharpener guide is already in place. If you want to switch to the scissor/tool sharpener, just lift the guide straight off and swap it out.
There are two speeds to work with. Stick with low speed for knives, cleavers, and scissors. Shift to high speed for hatchets, mower blades, and other tools.
For your knives, both plain and serrated edges are on the menu. Plain edges go through both the sharpening and honing stages. Serrated edges go through the honing stage only.
To sharpen a knife, pull the blade through from heel to tip at 1 – 2 inches per second. Hit each side at least 5 times. With tougher steels, such as the CPM 20CV on my ZT 0470, plan on making several more passes on each side.
Pro Tip: If you have a single bevel knife, only sharpen the beveled side.
Once you’re done sharpening, push and pull the blade through the honing section 10 times. The process is very similar to a standard kitchen knife sharpener.
The sharpening wheel is a flexible ceramic disc rather than a solid stone and there’s a spare in the box. The benefit is that it’s more forgiving than a stone if your angle of attack is a little off.
The downside is that you need to replace them more frequently and it’s not a great solution for bringing thick tools such as axes and mower blades back to life.
A replacement set of 3 discs and the drill bit wheel is about $25.
Using the Drill Doctor X2 Drill Bit Sharpener Feature
If you’re already used to a Drill Doctor, the drill bit sharpening process is the same. Note the 118° requirement, though. Some bits that we use have a 135° design and don’t fit the bill. The Drill Doctor 500X and 750X models can handle those bits if you use them.
You can sharpen nearly any drill bit type: HSS (high-speed steel), cobalt, TiN coated, carbide, and masonry are all acceptable.
Pro Tip: Even though you can sharpen coated bits such as titanium, you will lose the coating on the cutting edges and it won’t be as effective as it was out of the package.
Start by inserting the bit you want to sharpen into the chuck with about 1/2 an inch sticking out and tighten it slightly. You still need to be able to adjust the bit a little.
The two metal pieces sticking out of the front are your alignment fingers and you need to adjust the bit so the flute leading edges line up with them.
Now it’s time to set the chuck into the tool. Before you turn the motor on, line up one of the arrows on the chuck with the cam pin on the tool. Flip the motor to high speed and rotate the chuck clockwise.
Each time the arrow nears the cam, you can hear the grinder working on the edge. Keep slowly rotating until it doesn’t grind anymore.
Pro Tip: Start by sharpening a spare bit you don’t need to get used to the process. If you don’t see the results you’re looking for, the manual has several troubleshooting tips.
Drill Doctor X2 Drill Bit and Knife Sharpener Price
This version of the Drill Doctor runs $109.95 and is available from a wide range of retailers. It includes the tool, guides for knives and tools, drill bit chuck, and a spare ceramic disc. There’s a 3-year warranty against manufacturer defects.
The Bottom Line
As a DIY sharpening tool, we like what the Drill Doctor X2 has to offer. While it’s not a heavy-duty commercial-level product, it does a nice job of keeping your knives and drill bits in great working shape and the consumable parts aren’t too hard on your wallet.