How do you know if your ice hockey skates need sharpening
| |

How Do You Know If Your Ice Hockey Skates Need Sharpening?

Ice skating is a wholesome activity that uplifts your spirits and gives you energy. Amateurs and experts must know about all aspects of skate sharpening to be safe. Here are some thorough responses to frequently asked questions regarding sharpening skates.   

How To Sharpen Your Ice Hockey Skates

Step 1:

Examine the bottom of your hockey skates. You’ll note that the blades have two edges with a hollow in between them rather than just one (like a knife). This form is produced when the blades pass the grinding wheel (the finishing wheel).

Step 2:

After running the blade alongside the wheel, the bottom of your blade takes on this rounded appearance. You can see that the cross-sectional edge of the wheel is rounded and resembles a portion of a circle if you split it into two semicircular sections.

Step 3:

A jig with the finishing wheel aligner is attached to your skate. Before the edges are sufficiently sharp and the bottom is completely hollowed down, the blade traverses the finishing wheel around ten times.

Sometimes, to prep the blade for finishing, an extra wheel called a cross-grinder is used before the finishing wheel. Unlike the finishing wheel, it runs perpendicular to the blade, designed to dull and flatten it.

It is typically used to “reset” the blade to a clean slate when you need to eliminate flaws from a blade after poor sharpening, rust, or burrs. It is also used before the skates’ initial sharpening.

Common skates sharpening mistakes

How Often Should Ice Hockey Skates be Sharpened?

This differs from person to person. If you wish to play hockey, you should be aware that certain hockey players and pro skaters require periodic sharpening, often after two or three hours on the ice. Others want to skate all year long and hone their skills in the end.

If unsure how frequently you should sharpen your skates, try skating for around ten hours, and then follow your gut. It’s time if you begin to wobble or lose control of your ice skates. You will become familiar with your sharpening frequency after some practice.

Additionally, the ice gets tougher the colder it gets (as on outdoor skating rinks). The sharpness of the hockey skate blades, tiles, metal sills, or uneven ice is all negatively impacted by this. Because dull skate blades might cause falls and accidents, you should think about sharpening your skates more after skating in these situations.

Do Ice Hockey Skates Come Sharpened?

The blades on your new skates have a certain profile radius if you just bought them. Various skate models have different variations in this radius. Many think the blade’s factory profile is ideal for most users. Even if the manufacturing profile yields passable outcomes, why not take advantage of the situation?

To check if the blade is perfectly sharpened, balance a coin or any other flat item on top of it. Another method is to look along the length of your blade; one edge may appear taller than the other.

What Are The Common Sharpening Mistakes To Watch Out For?

You can encounter two common major problems after your skates have been sharpened. It is not the end of the world, but the best solution would be to have them re-sharpened.

The first major issue is improper alignment. This happens when the skate blade isn’t properly aligned with the grinding wheel, which makes one edge taller than the other. If you turn or halt in one direction, you’ll get a good bite, but if you move the other way, you’ll want to escape.

The second skate-sharpening mistake happens when the skates are not completely sharpened. This indicates that they were cross-ground but not fully hollowed out. The sharpener had to pass the blade over the finishing wheel several times after the cross-grind flattened it to restore its edge. Your skates will have a little difficulty pushing, turning, or stopping.

To identify this mistake, look at the bottom of the blade. Two thin lines run down the edges with slightly different shine or colors. If you notice this on one blade’s edge, the skates were not fully sharpened and were improperly aligned. 

What to avoid when sharpening your ice hockey skates

Final Tips

Some minor sharpening mistakes still make it possible to skate, but it will be a sign your hockey shop doesn’t put much effort into this. The next time, you will pick where to take your skates for sharpening more wisely.

These minor problems include: 

  • Over-sharpening the tip and/or tail gives your hockey skate a “banana” look, leading to an imbalance of the skate and a lack of support for the blade.
  • Unnecessary cross-grinding, which shortens blade lifespan.
  • Going too fast or too hard against the sharpening wheel can cause burrs and rough spots on the edges or make the blade discolored and slightly uneven.

Try out various hollow radii and sharpening methods without hesitation. After all, each one has unique benefits and drawbacks. You may always ask a reputable sharpener at the counter for advice, but don’t be afraid to conduct your research from reputable sources such as Cleatshub.

Similar Posts