Darex makes a number of commercial shop drill bit sharpeners and this one is actually their smallest unit. I've included it here, despite the high cost of this unit, mostly because of the high quality. If you do a lot of metalworking or other work where you’re going to need to sharpen a lot of drill bits, this unit is well worth your attention. It will handle drill bits from 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch, providing points from 118 degrees to 140 degrees. They give you two different point styles, the standard conic point or a split point for those that use split point drills.
At 25 pounds, this machine is definitely heavy duty, meaning you’re not going to drag its 4.5 amp motor down when trying to grind larger bits. An optional vacuum system helps eliminate grit so you can keep a clean work area. If you have a professional grade workshop at home, this one might not be out of your reach.
Drill doctor has just about taken over the market for home drill bit sharpeners. While not as heavy duty as the Darex, this is Drill Doctor’s largest unit. It can handle drill bits ranging from 3/32 up to 3/4 of an inch and can also be used for sharpening split point drill bits and masonry bits. Broken bits are no problem either, as you can re-point them and keep on drilling.
A “push to stop” design on the drill point splitting port makes sure you can’t over split the bit point, an important feature for those who don’t sharpen all the time. Its angle range is just a smidgen larger than the Darex, allowing you to sharpen your drill points anywhere from 115 degrees up to 140 degrees. An optional accessory allows you to sharpen reverse twist (left-handed twist) drill bits as well.
This sharpener is unique in that it has a separate wheel and guide for sharpening spade bits, used for boring out holes in wood. It can sharpen the pointed pilot spade bits or the threaded pilot ones with equal ease. With the way it operates, I don’t think there would be any problem sharpening bits that have cutter points on the ends of the blade either, although you would have to be careful not to grind the point off.
The spade bit portion has a maximum capacity of 1-1/2 inches, and the regular drill bit part a maximum capacity of a 1/2 inch as well as still able to sharpen masonry bits on the standard bit part of the machine as well. It doesn’t seem to have the capacity for split point drills, having given that up to be able to handle the spade bits. If you use a lot of spade bits, you know how rough a beating they take so this could be the sharpener for you.
Grizzly’s professional bit sharpening machine uses collets for the drill size. It comes with 11 collets in the most popular sizes from 1/8 of an inch through 1/2 inch, which is the maximum size for this machine. Onboard storage keeps the collets organized and right with the machine. A manual machine, the H8203 sharpens bits in a three-step, error-proof process. This sharpener handles both cobalt and carbide bits, as easily as high speed steel ones, with the optional tungsten grinding wheel. Operation is smooth, with surprisingly low vibration.
Grizzly’s professional bit sharpening machine uses collets for the drill size. It comes with 11 collets in the most popular sizes from 1/8 inch through 1/2 inch, which is the maximum size for this machine. Onboard storage keeps the collets organized and right with the machine. A manual machine, it sharpens the bits in an error proof, three step process. This sharpener can handle both cobalt and carbide bits, as easily as high speed steel ones, with the optional tungsten grinding wheel. Operation is smooth, with surprisingly low vibration.