Tormek DBS-22 drill sharpening attachment

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Review by Dan Krager posted 03-15-2014 03:19 PM 2607 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Tormek DBS-22 drill sharpening attachment No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve had a problem with blowout when drilling wood. It didn’t seem to matter what point was on the twist drill, or how sharp it was, it pulled up small splinters when entering and no matter how slow the feed or how good the back up was, there was blowout on the back. I had invested in several sets of bits including some pricey brad points with spurs from Germany, but the problem persisted in one form or another. It was especially bad if I got in a hurry and didn’t take special, very time consuming precautions to clamp or glue on a backer. With multiple holes in a large piece, or if using a hand held drill on a large piece, this was almost impossible and because of the difficulty of doing it every time, I often regretted not taking the time. So when I finally read in depth about the Tormek DBS-22 drill sharpener, I began to wonder if this was a solution, albeit a $300 one. I already had the Tormek, so I decided to go for it at an opportune moment.
It came exactly as described, and I had no difficulty setting it up, even before I read the destructions. I couldn’t wait to use it, so I grabbed a couple dull twist drills, a 1/2” and a 3/8”. It took about 30 minutes for me to complete both drills, but I was getting familiar with the details of the setup and operation. The instructions were clear and had the right amount of detail and good illustrations…just right for me. I took the bits to the drill press and without much ceremony rushed the drilling into a piece of poplar. I was blown away. The entry hole was among the cleanest I’ve experienced and so was the exit! I quickly tried a piece of oak and was amazed…I had never seen a twist drill bring up long twisty wood curls just like drilling metal! The holes were crispy clean all the way through. No pilot hole, no pre-punch, no walking…all as advertised. I should have taken pictures to post here, but I was too excited to think about that! I’ll try to recreate that for the record later.
I took these drills to a farmer friend, a notorious metal worker who abuses twist drills regularly. I know that because of the bucket full of damaged bits next to the huge drill press. He looked at my bits and with a “Harumph” chucked one up on his press and plunked a 1” thick piece of steel under it. What I saw next made me cringe…it looked like he was bent on destroying my 1/2” bit! He leaned hard on the quill feed and the motor groaned as the bit happily churned up twin curlies without oil, no pre-punch, no pilot hole, and no mercy. In a single stroke he exited the steel cleanly… a good thing because he didn’t bother to fasten it down. Then, to my amazement, he grabbed the drill fresh from the hole with his bare hand. I expected sizzling and some expletives, but instead there came a “Hmmm…wouldn’t want to hold that too long…” Without hesitation he handed me his prize ($600) drill set and sent me home to do the obvious.

Just for giggles when I got home, I took that 1/2” bit and poked it into the poplar and oak, and I couldn’t tell the difference from the first experience fresh off the sharpener. It took me about an hour to sharpen his set of large bits…I could only go to 15/16”, 1/16” bigger than what the sharpener claims to be able to do. I did pre-grind some of the badly damaged bits with a coarse wheel to quickly remove up to 1/8” of material past the chipped corners.

I have no relationship with Tormek other than owning a used machine. As you can tell, I’m pretty excited about the results of my crude experiment. More than that, I have resharpened a 1/16” bit (smaller than specification minimum) and several other commonly used twist drills as I needed to use them, and found the setup and sharpening process quick enough to accommodate my short attention span, i.e. I can remember why I sharpened the bit in the first place! So far, I am pleased with my investment because the blowout splintering problem has all but disappeared. Now I only need one set of bits for everything but plastic.


-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

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Dan Krager

1877 posts in 1021 days

6 comments so far

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5446 posts in 1363 days

#1 posted 03-15-2014 04:40 PM

Great review DanK, sounds like a great addition to a fine


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5020 posts in 1079 days

#2 posted 03-16-2014 02:21 AM

Thanks for the review and sharing your experience and thoughts. One question if I might, did you use the Original grindstone or the Blackstone silicone grindstone? Thanks.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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3537 posts in 1264 days

#3 posted 03-16-2014 02:57 AM

Well Said Dan I have been playing with this attachment for the past 6 months. I got it when I reviewed the Tormek and its competition. It is clear there is no match for the Tormek and no match for the jigs its not as quick as the drill Dr. but that double faceted grind is better than any thing on the market today. I have used it with both stones and the Black stone is my preferred stone for Drill bits I don’t even use new bits till I change the grind The only downfall of this devise is it wont do my bigger bits and it wont do the tiny ones but it does 90 % of the bits I use daily the other thing is the bits seem to stay sharper longer than a standard grind I am currently Writing a review of this Jig and Would Like to be able to quote you May I do that?

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ where we allow free speech

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Dan Krager

1877 posts in 1021 days

#4 posted 03-16-2014 01:17 PM

Sure Lance, quote away. It’s good to see you back in action here. I don’t have the black stone, so as far as I know it’s the original. So far it’s worked well for me. Like I referred to in the review post, if there’s a lot of material to remove, I rely on the high speed grinder with a very coarse wheel and a water bucket.
I have a tiny Jacobs chuck and some pin vises that I plan to use with the device for some extra ordinarily small bits, mostly just to prove it can be done. I’m also dreaming of a large holder that will hold bits up to 1 1/2”, but I’ll have to study on the geometry of bits that large…it just may not be possible.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

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3537 posts in 1264 days

#5 posted 03-22-2014 01:17 AM

Thanks Dan Ill let you know when I post the review with your quote

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ where we allow free speech

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1526 posts in 1726 days

#6 posted 04-06-2014 02:06 PM

Great review. I was considering a Drill Dr. but if I decide to get a sharpener I’ll go to Tormek.


-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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