Darex LLC, Ashland, Ore., is celebrating its 40th year in business in October. Darex brands include: Darex industrial sharpeners, Drill Doctor professional and home shop drill bit sharpeners and Work Sharp knife and tool sharpeners.
Darex was founded in 1973 in Beecher, Illinois. The D, A and R of DAREX are the initials of three generations of the Bernard family; David, Arthur and Richard. David and his father, Richard, founded Darex. Grandfather Arthur Bernard, who earlier founded the Bernard Welding Co., contributed his energy and guidance to Darex.
In 1978, Darex relocated to Ashland where it is still located. In 2008, Matthew Bernard became the fourth generation family owner of the company.
"Growing up with this business has been, and continues to be an amazing experience," said Matthew Bernard. "Working with a dedicated group of people through highs and lows has taught me a lot. Most importantly, it has taught me that you can't sit still. We have made it to 40 years by innovating, adapting and changing, and I am looking forward to continuing that journey."
In addition to making industrial drill sharpeners, Darex produces commercial and consumer sharpening products. Each tool is designed, engineered and assembled in Ashland. The company has built more than 4 million sharpeners in its 40 years in business.
This September, Darex was once again awarded one of the Top Work Places by The Oregonian and was specifically noted as fostering a good work/life balance. "This is in no small part due to the core values that all Darex employees strive to practice each and every day; honesty and integrity, love and respect, continuous improvement, simplification, and enjoy what we do," said Bernard.