The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Skate Sharpening

Whether you’re a hockey player or a figure skater, at some point, you’ll need skate sharpening.  By keeping your blades at their optimal state, you’ll have what you need for skating performance.  This article will cover the most frequently asked questions here at Zwicker’s. In business since 1932, you can be sure we’ve heard it all!

How can I tell if my blade is dull?

Experienced skaters will be able to tell the difference in the way their skates handle on the ice if their blades are dull.  However, younger skaters may never know the difference. The best way is to watch the young skater and when their skate slides to the side causing a fall… it’s time. If you’re unsure, have someone with some knowledge check the edges. CAUTION: A dull blade can cut you as quickly as a sharp blade. Handle with care!

What does a sharp blade feel like?

Besides the obvious response, one good way to tell if your blades are in good condition is to look at the edges.  Sharp blades should have two distinct edges that do not reflect light along the edges. A dull blade, by contrast, will shine light along the flattened or dull edges. If you do check edges with your fingers USE CAUTION. Sharp edges will feel like razor blades and cut just like them.

How often should I have my skates sharpened?

There is no set answer. A good rule of thumb for hockey players is to have your skates sharpened every 8 hours of ice time.  However, every player skates and plays differently.  For experienced players, it’s best to get to know your skates and what feels best to you on the ice. The number one cause for dull skates is walking on dirty mats in the rink which can also be tracked onto the ice.

Can I sharpen my skates on my own?

Sure, we are firm believers in you can do anything you put your heart into.  However, there is a lot more to proper sharpening than running your blades over a grinding wheel. Blade straightening, evaluation, proper technique, and above all stoning are just a few of the elements needed to achieve a professionally sharpened blade.

How long will it take to sharpen my skates?

In a perfect world, a professional can sharpen skates in as little as five minutes.  However, because life throws us hockey pucks, imperfections or bends in the blades can slow the process down.  Not to mention the possibility of waiting in line depending on where you decide to take your skates.

Can I customize my blades?

You absolutely can.  However, because of all the different options we always recommend consulting with a professional before deciding on the ideal radius for your needs.

Does Zwicker sharpen skates?

We thought you’d never ask! Here at Zwickers, we sharpen thousands of skates in a year. Again, from beginners to pros.

If your skates require a little TLC, it’s time to visit the team at H.A. Zwicker. We have the expertise to get you back onto the ice.  Give us a call today for pricing at (781) 275-0900.

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