Sharpening Machine for Brad Point Bits

Insight into getting set up to sharpen your own carbide brad point bits. November 15, 2011

I am looking for a simple drill bit sharpener for my carbide brad point bits. If there is a good multi function machine I am interested in that as well.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
It would have to be diamond abrasive to sharpen carbide. I don't think there is a critter than will sharpen brad points regardless. You should be able to touch them up with a 600 grit diamond file. DMT red ones are decent for router bits, etc.

From the original questioner:
I know it will need to be diamond. Hand sharpening is too difficult because of the spurs and odd angles. I have not seen a "drill-doctor" type machine that can do spur bits. I have something like 50 of these bits for the boring machines and there is no local company that can do it right. A local supplier showed me one machine but it seems over priced for what it is.

From contributor E:
I sharpen brad points with a die grinder and a 3/32 cut off wheel also can turn a regular drill bit into a brad with the same tool

From the original questioner:
These are Lietz bits for our boring machine. I canít imagine using a dremel tool and hand grinding the tips. I have found this machine, which is more than 2K.

From contributor A:
I'm surprised you wouldn't send them out to a saw blade shop. They would already own that rig.

From the original questioner:
I live in a country where there is no reliable sharpening service. I send out my saw blades, but they are only barely acceptable. I have considered sending my bits to Austrailia for sharpening, but that means I would have to have two complete sets of tooling, which would cost as much as a sharpening machine. I might even start offering sharpening services. Labor is cheap here so even a manual sharpener could be profitable. But I do not know if it is worth my time to develop the business. For now I just need to sharpen my boring machine tooling.

From contributor F:
I know youíre on the other side of things, so I'm thinking if youíre still as busy as you've been the last couple years, why not make the investment for the machine? Once you get a guy trained up on how to use it correctly you could even offset the cost by offering the service for other shops in the area which must have the same sharpening issues you do?

Alternatively, could you get the grinding wheel and fabricate the jigs in house? Would save you a bit of cash, but you have to have someone with a bit of ingenuity to do it. I don't think I'd want to ship them for sharpening where you are. I'm not sure if there's insurance over there, but all you need is to have one set lost in the mail and youíre out a lot of cash, not to mention the downtime from not having bits ready when you need them!

From the original questioner:
It sounds like the BitMaster is the way to go. One of my local suppliers has a German machine that is similar to the BitMaster but does not have as many adjustments. He wants a little more than thousand dollars for it. I like the idea of being able to sharpen router bits as well. We get reasonable results with local sharpening of our router bits.

Like I said before, sending them out is not an option. The shipping charges will be too much and as mentioned the risk of them getting lost in the mail is an issue. These are very expensive Leitz bits and tossing them is crazy. But the ROI on this sharpening machine is probably a couple of years. As mentioned I can likely do sharpening for others, especially router bits. If anyone knows of another machine like the BitMaster let me know.

From contributor L:
You might also take a look at the Grizzly sharpening machine for carbide bits. Probably not as sophisticated as one for $2000 but might meet your needs.