Skate Sharpening Specialists
"Skate Sharpeners - Skate Sharpening Made Easy"
E-mail: Revol Hockey
US and International customers - visit www.revolhockey.com

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Dave's Tips

All of the tips listed below have been researched at Revol. To this end, we have talked to coaches, old timers (40 or over), players at the junior level, AA players, and house league players. They have also been involved in the testing of all of our methods and products.

We have a master Tool and Die maker who provides us with information on proper grinding techniques, use of honing stones, and selection of proper materials.

At Revol, we are always learning and welcome all suggestions or tips. Please e-mail us at dsmith@revolhockey.com with your comments.

Skate Sharpening

Everyone has their own theory on skate sharpening depending on who you talk to --> players, parents or skate sharpeners.

  • Which radii should you use, ranging from 3/4" to 5/16".
  • You should have a custom rocker put on your skates to allow you to skate better.
  • Thin blades are better than thick blades.
  • Your skates should be sharpened after 2, 4 or 6 hours of skating.
  • Some people will tell you that dull skates glide much better.
The list goes on. We will try to set the record straight.

The skate sharpening process involves the following steps:

  • dress the grinding wheel
    Dressing a grinding wheel is done to renew the cutting surfaces of the wheel. It involves using a diamond tipped tool that carves the radius (3/4" to 5/16") on the outside of the wheel. Just to let you know, the diamond is an industrial type that's only worth about $7.00.
  • clamp the skate in the fixture
    The skate is clamped in a fixture, which should be adjusted to the correct height. When your blade touches the grinding wheel, the blade should be centred on the wheel, so that the profile of the wheel is transferred to the bottom of your blade.
  • grind the skate
    The skate blade comes in contact with the wheel and material is removed from the blade.
  • remove the burr
    Once the skate is removed from the fixture, a side honing stone removes the burr that was created due to the grinding process.

BUT if skate sharpening is this easy to do, why does the quality of the job vary from skate sharpener to skate sharpener?

There are many reasons.

1. Improper training

Generally when a skate sharpener is first purchased, the first person is taught by the company that sold the machine (this is good). After that, most companies give each subsequent skate sharpener maybe one to two hours training.
SharpTastic comes complete with an instruction manual and has been designed to be easy and safe to use.

2. Lack of maintenance

These beautiful skate sharpeners do a lot of skates every week - as many as 200 to 1,000 pairs. They have become very complicated pieces of equipment which require a lot of maintenance to keep them working properly. Grinding dust from the skate blades tend to wear everything away. Maintenance work on these units sometimes is overlooked.
SharpTastic will be used to sharpen the skates in your own hockey family and will last many years if you look after it.

3. Too many customers.

As mentioned above, on a busy day, your typical skate sharpener sharpens a great number of skates. If you sharpen 100 to 200 pairs of skates in your shift, does the last pair get the same attention as the first?
With SharpTastic you can do your own skates in the comfort of your home. You don't have to rush because you're going to be saving ½ hour out of your day by not having to drive to the store to get your skates sharpened. No more standing in a lineup!

4. Not dressing the wheel.

The grinding wheel wears out and should be dressed every two pairs of skates. With the number of skates waiting to be sharpened, this may not be done as often as it should.
You can change the replaceable sleeve in seconds with SharpTastic. Always produces a radius of 7/16"and is safe to use!

5. Improper height adjustment for your skates.

Large skate sharpening machines are made to sharpen every type of skate - speed skates, figure skates, hockey skates and goalie skates. All of these skates require a different setup for sharpening. If your skates are sharpened after a pair of figure or goalie skates and the machine is not adjusted properly, your skates will most likely feel sharp on only one side. These uneven edges seem to be the most common problem for skate sharpeners.
SharpTastic has been designed for hockey skates only. The two high precision guides ensure that your skates are sharpened correctly every time. There is nothing to adjust. So easy to use!

6. Smoothness on the bottom of your blade.

The bottom of your blade glides on the ice surface. When this surface is not smooth, the frictional properties between the ice and the blade increase resulting in more effort required to skate which means a lower top speed. According to our Tool and Die maker advisor, surface finish is rated in micro inches. For your skates to have the best possible finish, the blades should be hand-finished on the bottom of the blade after the grinding process. This can result in a finish as low as 4 micro inches. We went out and measured a few different skate sharpeners and found the following: surface finish varies from place to place ranging from a relatively smooth 12 micro inches to a rough 40 micro inches. Most skate sharpening machines have the grinding wheel meet the blade at a single point. Smoothness of the hand, dressing of the wheel, bearings in the motor and balancing of the grinding wheel all effect the surface finish. Remember, increased friction results in you, the player, having to work harder. In the last period of a game that extra step will make a difference.
SharpTastic does not contact your blade at a single point which allows the operator to be very smooth. You can hand finish the bottom of your blade to produce surface finishes as low as 4 micro inches. No other product on the market can do both!

7. Removing the burr from the side of your skate blade

This is the easiest part of the sharpening process, however problems are found even here. After doing hundreds of skates, the side honing stones tend to wear a groove in them. Using a stone like this, it is possible to break the corner of the edge that you just produced which can result in a dull skate. Yet some sharpeners continue to use these stones.
SharpTastic comes complete with a side honing stone and proper instructions on how to use it. We also sell replacement stones for the low cost of $3.99.

8. The radius on the skate.

This topic seems to get a lot of attention. It's the big buzz word with all the hand held sharpeners out there. First of all, skate sharpeners out there sharpen hockey skates with a radius between 3/8" to 1/2". Most settle on a 7/16" radius because that's the preferred radius (and it means less work readjusting the sharpening machines). Goalies and figure skaters use a larger radius, due to the width of their blades. Their blades are 30% wider than hockey blades. The larger radius actually produces the same sharpness (You will have to trust me on this one). Our research told us that 7/16" was the preferred choice of most hockey junior teams. In fact we found with our extensive testing last year, all of the players who used our product preferred the 7/16" radius. It seemed that 3/8" or less seemed to be too sharp, 1/2" and up seemed to be too dull, while 7/16" seemed to be just right! (reminds you of the three bears doesn't it).
SharpTastic produces a 7/16" radius on the bottom of your blade every time. You will never get the wrong radius on your skates.

9. Custom rocker

It appears that not many people know much about this topic. In fact most players that we talked to had never had it done to their skates. It is a personal decision whether or not to pay a sports store $25.00 to $50.00 to grind away half of your skate blade.
Even if you do get a custom rock on your skate, SharpTastic will follow the contour of your skate blade no matter what profile!

10. And last but definitely not least - the burning question -How often should you sharpen your skates?

Your skates are an extension of your body. They are the single most important piece of equipment that you wear. They transmit all the power of your legs to the ice. When your skates are dull, you the player are at a great disadvantage. You will not be able to accelerate as fast, stop as quickly, or turn as tightly. Remember when you played football as a child. The kid with cleats could run circles around everyone. Sharp skates are important!
So - how often? Well, you know that to play at the top of your level, your skates should be sharp all the time with a smooth finish on the bottom. So - the question is how quickly will your skates become dull? Generally we have found that, on indoor ice, you lose your edge after as little as two hours of skating. If you are skating outdoors - on the canal, on your backyard rink or at the park - skates lose their edge even faster. You should definitely sharpen your skates after every outdoor ice experience.
SharpTastic is always available for use, at your convenience.

The reasons for not having sharp skates are numerous, but generally the story is the same for most people.
  1. I forgot! (The last game was a week ago.)
  2. The sports store - the hours don't coincide with when YOU are ready to go there. The practice is at 7am so you can't get them done before practice and last night, you were tired and it was 30 below outside!
  3. It's expensive! If you sharpen your skates often, the cost does add up. You pay the same amount of money whether your skates are really dull or just need to be touched up.
  4. Many people feel that their kids don't know the difference between sharp and dull skates.
Wouldn't you like to have a sharpener that solves all of the above problems.
  1. Sharpen your skates anytime of the day (takes only 2 min.)!
  2. Your basement is always open! and it's nice and warm in your basement!
  3. Sharpen your skates for 10 cents a sharpening!
  4. Believe us, your children do notice the difference!
  5. Walk by the guy at the rink and sharpen your skates in the dressing room!
SharpTastic is a product that was designed with you in mind. SharpTastic will put you one step ahead of everyone else.

Dull skates- Need a quick fix !!!!

Listed below are two ways to correct your dull skates when you don't have a power sharpener close by!
These are not gimmicks.......they really work! But, keep in mind, that if your skates are so dull or nicked deeply
these products will not replace a traditional sharpening that can only be done with SharpTastic or at your local skate sharpener.

Raptor

You show up to your indoor ice hockey game....and you forgot to get your skates done!!!!!
You step onto the ice.......and your skates are dull.
You can bring back your edges instantly with Raptor (Product # 2050)
Every trainer should have one on the bench!!!!! You don't even have to take your skates off!!!
Slide down your blade twice .....and you're done! It's that easy! No power tools, no driving to the store!

Using a hand honing stone

Traditionally this has been the product that we are all familar with. A nick in your skate blade has happened during a game and you need a quick fix. Take a hand honing stone (Product #2112 ) and slide the stone on the side of your skate blade. It can renew your edge if it's not damaged too bad. It can also be used after ever hour of skating to ensure your edges are sharp. It will not replace a regular skate sharpening but it might get you out of a jam.
The pocket stone will help.....but it will not enhance the edge of your skate. Raptor will enhance your edges!!

How to make your stick last longer

The fiberglass on the bottom of your hockey stick is very soft and will wear away very quickly if you do not protect it. Once the fibreglass has worn away, moisture will enter into the layers of the stick and cause the stick to split. Once this happens your stick is finished.

You can purchase a stick that has a plastic heel. Actually if you look at the stick closely you will see the entire blade is plastic and that a thin layer of laminate is placed over top to give the appearance of a wooden stick. These are great sticks because they last a long time, however many people find that the plastic is too soft so that you don't get a hard shot and also they just don't feel right. Many players place a piece of white tape along the bottom of the stick and then tape over their stick. This protects your stick for a game or two. You can also wax your stick blade. Use your left-over candles at home and rub it on the tape on your blade especially on the bottom. This will provide the protection you need for a couple of hours of hockey. Apply the wax before every game!