How To Sharpen Speedskates

This is intended to be a basic guide on how to sharpen speedskates. This is one of the most debated topics in all of Speedskating, we intend to give you the basics and from there you can develop your own routine. Once you create your own routine stick with it, the goal of sharpening is to produce a consistent reliable edge time after time.

In order to maintain your skates, you will need to invest in some equipment for sharpening. The basics include a jig, sharpening stones, and a burr stone. When buying a jig you should look for something that will hold your blades in a consistent position every time you put them in it. There are many varieties of stones to choose from starting with a basic combination India stone all the way to diamond stones. Both will give you good edges, India stones are more affordable but wear out faster than the more expensive diamond stones you will need a couple different grits starting with a course and working to a fine. If you walk into a locker room at a World Cup you will see a good mix of athletes using both types, what you choose comes down to personal preference. Burr stones also come in all shapes and sizes from wedged India stones to diamond, and carbide. Both India and diamond burr stones will grind the burr down, while the more expensive carbide cuts the burr off. The burr stone that you choose is, once again, all personal preference.Cascade Speedskates sharpening jig

We suggest using a jig with top mount locators, this will keep both of your blades level with each other and combat minute differences in blade height that can alter your rock and angle your edges. You will want to ensure that your� blades are placed and held in the jig the same way every single time you sharpen. The sharpening process always� begins with a coarse stone to remove material and work your way to finer grits to smooth out and polish the runners surface. This can be done with as few as two stones and as many ten if you are looking for a polished mirror finish.

Start by applying a lubricant to the stone either a honing oil or water depending on the Cascade Speedskates sharpening jigtype of stone you select. Lay the stone flat across the blades then using light and consistent pressure run the stone from the back to the front of the blade 15 to 20 times. After this you will want to check for a burr, place your fingernail on the side of the blade with your palm facing up then run your fingernail up to the edge you should feel it catch at the� edge, if you don’t feel it catch re-lubricate your stone and repeat the process. When checking for burr you should check all four edges from the front to the back. You are looking for a light but consistent burr over the length of the� blade. If you feel more burr in the front, back, or Cascade Speedskates Product Photomiddle of the blade you are removing too much material in that spot and will alter the rock of your blade. This is usually caused by applying inconsistent pressure on the stone.

Once you achieve a light and consistent burr on all edges the next step is to change to a finer grit stone. Lubricate the stone and repeat the process of running the stone 15 to 20 times up and back on the blades. Check the surface of the blade; you are trying to smooth out the rough surface you just created while maintaining a consistent burr on all four edges front to back. Repeat this process as necessary the finish of the blade should have a consistent haze to it. At� this point you can go on to de-burring or you can continue onto finer and finer grits to create an even more polished surface.

The next step is de-burring. You should remove your blades from the jig for this step. Holding the skate in your hand, lay the burr stone on the side of the blade (not on the tube) place you thumb on the stone and with a small towel on your fingers pinch the blade between your thumb and index finger, using firm and consistent pressure repeatedly run the stone up and down the length of the blade stopping to check the burr periodically. Continue this process until NO burr remains. It is important that you do not angle the stone, keep it flat against the side of the blade. Once this is done wipe down your blades with a clean towel and place them in soft blade guards.

As stated earlier, this is only intended to be a basic guide for beginners on how to sharpen your skates. Sharpening skates can be a intimidating process when you are new to the process, but if you’re patient you will have it figured out in no time. Let us know if you have any questions about the process or how to select the right equipment.