Press "Enter" to skip to content

How To Sharpen Ice Skates In Effective Ways?

You’ll learn as you develop your skating skills that how well you perform depends in part on how sharp your skates are. When turning or stopping, a sharp blade can give you more control, and correctly sharpening your blades can extend the lifespan of your skates.

To start with, how to sharpen ice skates?

Utilize a sharpening machine, use a file to sharpen your ice skates, and utilize a hockey skate blade sharpening stone.

Sharpening hockey and figure skates is a necessary part of being a skater, and this guide will help you comprehend how to effectively sharpen ice skates.

Please continue reading for more information.

Effective Ways To Sharpen Ice Skates At Home

Skaters who are just starting out often wonder if they can sharpen their skates at home. I assume you are one of those people because you are here. Alternately, you might be a skater while your partner and children also skate.

The absence of a nearby sharpening facility may be another reason you want to learn how to sharpen your skates at home. Or perhaps you want a different approach because you’re sick of making those frequent trips to the proshop. Maybe there’s a less-than-detailed-oriented kid at the rink or in the pro shop who messed up your skates recently, and you’re never going back.

There are currently at least three ways to sharpen ice skates at home:

Utilize A Sharpening Machine

To avoid frequent trips to the pro shop, you can purchase a sharpening machine. It only takes a few minutes to set up an effective machine, clamp your blades, and finish the job.

The cross-grind machine’s initial passes are used to get rid of nicks, dings, and blade rust. Then the blades are transferred to the sharpening stone so the right hollow profile can be created. Use a finishing stone to complete the project in order to make it flawless.

If you want the best home skate sharpening tool, be prepared to splash out because decent sharpening tools cost around $600. The most desirable options on the market can cost up to $1,000 or even more.

However, using some sharpening machines requires some learning, which I guess you’re willing to accept as a cost. And guess what, if you’re a solo skater, it doesn’t really make financial sense to purchase a sharpening machine. But only because Jason, I, our son, and my niece all enjoy skating, so I do have plans to buy one soon.

What if you’re a coach and 20 players show up at the rink each session who are able to use rented skates? Or perhaps your team consists of 20 people, and each hockey player sharpens their skates in the rocker room as they change? Investing in a sharpening machine makes sense in these circumstances.

Once I purchase and use the machine, I’ll be sure to let you know what I discover about using it to sharpen ice skates.

Use A File To Sharpen Your Ice Skates

Your blades can now be sharpened at home with a file. To do this correctly, though, you’ll need to possess a certain level of knowledge and expertise. Even though pretty much everyone can learn how to handle this activity, it takes a long time to master the craft.

Please refrain from doing this at home if you are inexperienced or have never sharpened a pair of skates with a file. Your skates are likely to get damaged. Or, even worse, you could injure yourself.

I won’t go into detail about how to manually sharpen ice skates at this time, but I will undoubtedly write a post about it soon.

Utilize A Hockey Skate Blade Sharpening Stone

You can properly sharpen your skates at home if you can figure out how to use a skate stone. Keep in mind that this is more of a way to adjust things after you’ve used a suitable machine to sharpen your skates a few times than it is a method for sharpening skates. In order to remove the burrs that the sharpening process left behind on your blades, you must have a finishing stone.

Note: The other methods, aside from using a sharpening machine, are just pre-game adjustments for your blades. Or perhaps you need a tool to smooth out some nick mid-play.

In fact, it has been observed that using tools other than a well-designed sharpening device leads to more issues than it solves. Utilizing such tools can be counterproductive because you’ll need to buy new ice skates more frequently because they tend to wear out the blades.

What Is A Hollow Blade Or A Blade?

So, we all likely know where the skate’s blade is located. Skating on ice is only possible because of the sharp edge. What is a blade hollow, though, and why is it significant?

When you have your skates sharpened, there will be a hollow groove cut into the center of the bottom of the blade. What counts as the “hollow” is this groove.” The performance of the skate is affected by how deeply the hollow is cut, which explains why different recommendations are made depending on the sport and the needs of the athlete. For instance, it is well known that a deeper hollow provides a more stable ride for the skate.

The hollow will also have an impact on how the rider feels and how the blade responds to the ice’s surface. While a shallow cut will aid in speed and make skimming over the surface easier, a deeper hollow may provide more control because it can dig into the ice.

The hollow of a skate has an impact on how it performs and, more importantly, how it engages with the ice. A deep hollow will put more strain on the blade’s edge, causing it to dig into the ice. The blades “sit” more on the ice surface when there is a shallow hollow because it provides more even distribution through the blades.

Which Edge Radius Suits Your Needs?

The grinding wheel on the sharpening machine controls how deep the hollow is when an ice skate blade is being sharpened. In general, the hollow’s radius determines how deep it is and how shallow it is; the smaller the radius, the deeper the hollow.

What’s Right For You: Shallow Vs. Deep Hollow?

After sharpening, blades with shallow hollows or hollows with a large radius have less pronounced tips and less edge. Additionally, such a blade has less grip, making it easier to maneuver and experiencing less drag, making them faster. If you skate on such blades, the overall feel isn’t remarkably sharp.

In contrast, sharpened blades with a small radius develop a deep hollow and pointed tips. More of the blade touches the ice thanks to the sharper edges on the blades. Furthermore, because the blades have a deeper cut into the icy surface, they offer more grip, which reduces maneuverability. You’ll glide more quickly and stop more easily if your blades have a large radius. Furthermore, stopping is an essential part of skating, especially for those who are just starting out and who are at the intermediate level.

Increased drag or friction between the blades and the ice is another side effect of grinding to a deeper hollow. This results in less glide (less speed) and generally more difficult stopping than with blades with a larger radius. The upside of this grind is that the blades can hold fairly tight turns and have a sharp feel thanks to the hollow profile.

Beginner and intermediate level ice skaters typically favor shallow grooved blades, while advanced level skaters typically prefer a small radius.

Tip: if you give your skates to a sharpening shop and they don’t ask how much radius you need, go somewhere else. They probably don’t know what they’re doing and believe everyone needs a ½” hollow.

Weight And Groove Radius

A smaller radius would be preferable for a smaller skater while a larger radius is necessary for a heavier skater. Additionally, a particular sweet spot in terms of radius works best for different skating abilities.

The sweet spot for competitive ice dancers is between 3/8″ and 7/16″, while ½” is ideal for fundamental or instructional hockey. Beginner skaters should be more comfortable with a 5/8″ radius, while recreational players should be fine with a ¾” radius. The ideal performance range for a goalie in hockey is between prime numbers 1 and prime number 1.25.”

How To Sharpen Ice Skates In Effective Ways
How To Sharpen Ice Skates In Effective Ways?

How To Know That I Need To Sharpen Ice Skates?

To start, use a stone to smooth out any outer burrs. Then, before sharpening, you can add a few more ice times.

One of two reasons—or both—means that your skates will need to be sharpened:

  1. You have nicks in the blade
  2. They are dull

Apply light pressure while slowly moving your finger along the blade. You won’t get cut by it because it’s not a chef’s knife. Any nicks in the blade will be palpable to you.

Use the back of your fingernail to check the blade’s sharpness. Put no pressure on the blade and run the back of your fingernail perpendicular to it. Your fingernail should be able to be scraped off in one thin layer with the blade. Test both skates’ inside and outside edges. See more about How To Stop With Ice Skates For Beginners?

Avoid Mistakes Of Sharpening Skates

Numerous errors are frequently made when learning how to sharpen figure or hockey skates. These mistakes can shorten your skate’s lifespan and raise safety issues, even though they won’t necessarily ruin your skating experience as a whole:

Sharpen Rarely

You should regularly sharpen your blades. You will need to sharpen your skate blades more frequently as you skate more frequently. Keep track of how long you go between sharpening sessions to avoid having dull skates the day of a game or competition.

Sharpen Too Often

Sharpening too frequently or forgetting to sharpen when necessary are both simple mistakes. When you sharpen your blade too frequently, you risk damaging it.

Sharpeni Too Quickly

You probably can’t wait to get on the ice, but sharpening too quickly and vigorously can result in rough spots, burrs, and chatter, which can impair performance or result in injury.

Do Better Skates Really Matter When Skating On Ice?

Better skates really do make a difference, which is sad but true.

The most recent instance of this was when my young daughter began figure skating and felt unworthy of being in the class because of the skates we had purchased for her. We bought her some decent skates for $350 USD, and within two weeks she was top of the class and accepting invitations to compete.

If that comes across as buying success, I apologize. Find some used skates if you can’t afford nice new ones. Cheap new skates are junk.

Are Ice Skates Sharp?

The key factor is depth, not sharpness. You will grip the ice more if the cut is deeper.

Depending on your weight, you can choose how deeply to have your skates sharpened.

More shallowly should you have your skates sharpened the heavier you are.

I find that starting out with skates that are too deep is one of the most frequent errors I see.

If the blades of your skates are cut too deeply, they will dig deeply into the ice instead of gliding to a stop, making it difficult for you to learn how to stop.

Never dig more than 1/2″, is my advice. In fact, I might advise going as shallow as 9/16th.

The only exception to going deeper might be a child who is extremely light. Even then, it’s probably best to begin with 1/2″ and then, if they complain about losing an edge on turns, move them up to 3/8th.

It’s fairly simple to decide which sharpening is best for you as you gain experience.

You will lose more speed (glide) in deeper cuts, so it will be harder for you to maintain your speed.

How Often To Sharpen Skate?

Actual response: It depends on wear. Your blades’ edges deteriorate at different rates depending on a number of variables:

  • temperature – if it’s colder outside, the ice inside the rink is harder. Your edges are more likely to become blunted by the stiffer surface.
  • weight – the heavier you are, the more likely you will need skates sharpened earlier
  • style – how hard do you skate? If you engage in a lot of powerskating, hockey stops), it will dull your edges much quicker than if you just stroll about the rink
  • your senses – experienced skaters prefer a certain level of sharpness in order to feel their way around the ice and intuitively apply the right amount of pressure to execute a technique.

Basically, your ability to use the edges of your skates determines how well you skate. Test the sharpness of your skates’ edges after having them professionally sharpened. Make an effort to recall this sensation. Check it again the next time you notice that your edges are losing traction on the ice. Before your edges become this dull and nicked, you need to sharpen.

My son is too young to lose his edges as quickly as I do. I can probably get by with sharpening his skates every two weeks if he skates about 5–6 times per week (mostly for hockey). I would probably sharpen once a week if I had the same amount of ice time as him.

Can I Sharpen My Skates On The Short Rink?

Whether or not they provide skate sharpening services and whether or not you have faith in the person doing the sharpening are the determining factors. The issue is that improperly sharpened skates can be completely destroyed. Your skate blades may still get damaged, even if you use an automatic sharpening machine. Skate sharpening involves a number of variables, such as the radius of the hollow, maintaining the rocker, protecting the toe pick, and even the choice between a flat-bottom V cut and a conventional cut. To ensure that the blades you receive perform as you expect them to, your sharpener must be aware of everything mentioned above and, ideally, be able to discuss the cut with you.

Skates are frequently sharpened by anyone for novice skaters. We can only hope that a rink, whether temporary or otherwise, will only permit skilled sharpeners to do so. In the course of my observations, I have come to realize that the majority of people prefer a particular skate sharpener. One person at our rink is known as the best sharpener. If you ask for him, the price for sharpening at the rink is twice what it is for the other sharpeners (or if you don’t specify). Still, he has a good deal of commitments. My daughter worked at the rink and over time she decided that there were three people she would let sharpen her skates (one of them was the guy that everyone wants) and she was having her skates sharpened fairly often because she was on the ice a lot. She was able to distinguish clearly between the work produced by the various sharpeners, allowing her to identify which individual she could rely on to get her skates in the desired condition.

The End

Hockey players and figure skaters typically use ice skates that have been “hollow-ground” and sharpened by a machine. This indicates that each blade has two points of contact with the ice, with a hollowed-out or ground-down center line. Speed skaters, on the other hand, use flat-ground, hollow-free skates that require manual sharpening. Greater grip and maneuverability are provided by hollow-ground blades, while greater speed is made possible by flat-ground blades by reducing resistance. Although the tools required to sharpen both types of skates can be costly at first, mastering this skill on your own will ultimately save you both money and time.

Finally, I want to thank you for reading!

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.