What's new
What's new

Need help selecting a cutter grinder.

Apr 14, 2018
Totalitarian Ruling Capital, EastAsia
Superbowl asked for small. That a reasonable request. Like desktop or workbench size. Not some 8000-10,000 pound thing.

Hey now, 'small' is in the eye of the beholder ! I figger a 2B-36 is small :D

(Had an 8" hobber that weighed 18,000 too. From your neck of the woods, Michigan)

There are some small ones over here, but that really doesn't work, does it ? You need a decent-sized wheel and a decent spindle to spin it on and a decently heavy base to hold the whole thing together, especially since you're trying for tenths and if you're not trying for tenths, why not just go to the bench grinder and freehand it ?

So. I'd say what he was originally asking for is not possible. Cuttermaster is about what you can get with "small".

Did see this though, our English guys could probably identify it, looks like it's about as small for t&c as you can reasonably get ? Use it as a base for a conversion ?



Hot Rolled
Feb 12, 2020
Superbowl asked for small. That a reasonable request. Like desktop or workbench size. Not some 8000-10,000 pound thing.
Options under one ton as that would be a lot for my workbench to hold.
I have seen it done down at 3000-4000 and a smaller bit of floor space but these companies have died.
I considered trying this machine building market so many times. The math just does not add up no matter how hard I try.
Did the flat tool and IC grinding machine build side try. That killed me....almost literally.

Yes I asked for SMALL. A work envelope of maybe 4"x 8" would be more than enough. Such a small envelope should help a lot with ridgity issues. Manual machines are not overly robust but do acceptable work. Since it is not for production, speed is not an issue. Even if the operator had to manually reposition the work for some things once during the sharpening, that would be acceptable. No flood coolant necessary just like on a manual machine.


Aug 2, 2008
Sussex, England
English guy here. Definite +1 for what EG says. A Clarkson has the right sort of work envelope size and would do you just fine, if one could be found in your neck of the woods.

Here is mine with the table swung to the side and drill sharpener set up.

Clarkson 1 R.jpg

Took it off the factory column and plopped it on the bench where it takes up about 2 ft square. Needs perhaps 6 inches more when the tables are pulled out to a front operating position as in the picture from EG. Something of same layout with an integrated motor and wheel-head rather than the separate motor with belt drive could easily be around 8 inches shallower

Mine is maybe 30 years older but still fundamentally the same. Biggest difference is no dials! Clarkson's business was milling cutters so they designed a simple, compact and relatively inexpensive machine shortly after WW2 to use on the production line. Then went into business selling them. Where it comes to sharpening it can do pretty much anything the big boys can do, within the work envelope limits.

Probably a similar device would be home buildable without major trouble given judicious selection and modification of inexpensive import components. For example hacking up an X-Y table would give you a good start for the slides. Strapping a 5C or ER collet block to an angle plate would be easier than copying the official brackets. Lots of information here :- http://www.bedroom-workshop.com/ .

Last edited:


Jun 28, 2012
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
A lot depends on what you want to sharpen. To sharpen three end mills, or 3 most anything the setup time will make buying new the better choice. Grinding small end mills ODs under 1/2" can be tricky with a spin-beringed or an air spindle. Having a true TC grinder one can make a special counterbore or step tool easily once the skill is achieved. Drills don't have to be heal-rolled up the cutting edge, just a facet grind@ 10 or 12 * clearance and then hand troll the heal works fine.
Reamer are an easy job between centers or a tail center and a bushing. Gun drills and gun reamers are easy.
For the hobby guy buying new to accumulate a dozen of a size and then sharpen or send them out.
Mill cutters are easy and can be trued up easily and some mill cutters can be sharpened .020 off faster than flipping the inserts for a second use of the inserts.
I haven't used the likes of the Cutmaster but with my experience could likely do pk with one but setup time would be a deterrent.
A Cincinnati #1 or 2, a small KoLee, theses with centers a work head, and an air spindle if doing end mill ODs would be better than the cut master type but likely cost close or over $3k. A Royal Oak is a great machine. I agree a surface grinder can sharpen many cutters but equipment and skill are needed so not the best choice.
A facet drill setup should be set on a TC grinder so anyone in the shop can quickly sharpen a single drill better than doing it by hand, just to justify the machine, with hand back off the heal..
Last edited:


Cast Iron
Oct 30, 2012
Pontefract, UK
I vote for the Clarkson as well. They can be had for relatively cheaply and comparing one to my R-6, it seems to do what I need it to do in a more compact space. Heck, it works so well, I convinced my works to buy one and it paid for itself in the first month it was there. I would recommend staying away from a Quorn or Deckel as I think those things were designed for single point engraver sharpening and then modified to work with other things, meaning they are quite fiddly. The Clarkson was designed to do endmills and other tooling in a production setting, so even though they are small, they can do quite a bit.