Ice Hockey Skates – Sharpenning

How sharp you sharpen your own ice hockey skates and how often are all up to you. You fill find NHL players out there sharpening their ice hockey skates every period and some NHL players who sharpen their ice hockey skates only a few times a year. Most ice hockey players are pretty particular about the way their ice hockey skates are sharpened; so it’s important for you to find someone you trust to sharpen your ice hockey skates on a regular basis. Not every hockey shop in the world you walk into will have an ice hockey skate sharpener who knows what their doing, so you really want to make sure you find someone who can cater to the way you want your ice hockey skates sharpened.As you become a more experienced ice hockey player, the more you will understand about your ice hockey skates blades. You will begin to develop a feel for when your ice hockey skates are dull and when you need to get them sharpened. The way ice hockey skates are sharpened is with a machine that clamps the ice hockey skate to plate and the ice hockey skate blade steel is grinded by a disk that is about the same width as the ice hockey skate blade. A small hollow is left in the ice hockey skate blade. This is how your ice hockey skates end up with an outside and inside edge. Simply put, the deeper the holly is cut the sharper your ice hockey skates will be.

You can also have a chat with your local ice hockey skate sharpener about the differences between a shallow and deep cut hollow. Generally speaking, if your ice hockey skates have a deeper cut into the hollow you will not glide along the ice as easy and fast, however your edges will dig deeper into the ice as you turn, give you more stability for sharper turns. A deeper hollow in your ice hockey skate blades may make it harder to stop as well. It is recommended that if you are a beginning ice hockey player or skater that you sharpen a shallower hollow into your ice hockey skate blades so you will be able to skate and stop easier.

Some things to remember about ice hockey skate sharpening:

  • If you sharpen your ice hockey skates with a more shallow hollow (not as sharp), you will not be able to turn as sharply and hold your edge as easily. A quick turn will give you more risk of falling to the ice. However, you may find that you can glide faster along the ice.
  • If you sharpen your ice hockey skates with a more deep hollow (more sharp), you will not be able to glide along the ice as freely as your ice hockey skate blades will sink into the ice much easier. In some cases, especially if you are a heavier ice hockey player, you will find that it takes more energy to skate with sharper skates.
  • Keep in mind that the how sharp and how deep of a hollow you sharpen into your ice hockey skates can also factor into where you are playing. For example, ice hockey rinks in California where the climate is much warmer outside have more trouble keeping the ice rinks cold compared to ice hockey rinks in Alaska where the climate is much colder. As a result, overall, the California ice hockey rinks have softer ice and the ice hockey rinks in Alaska have much harder ice. Thus, the average ice hockey player in California does not sharpen their ice hockey skates as sharp as they do in Alaska.
  • Goalies generally sharpen their ice hockey goalie skates to be a lot less sharp with a much shallower hollow to allow for easy sliding from side to side. Sharpening a pair of ice hockey goalie skates really is much different, so make sure your skate sharpener knows what he or she is doing.

Also note that ice hockey blades are constructed with lightweight steel that becomes nicked very easily. If while you are skating in your ice hockey skates you feel a certain part of your ice hockey skates sliding out on the ice, chances are you just have a nick in your ice hockey skate blade. You will find in the game of ice hockey that you will get many nicks in your ice hockey skate blades, almost between every sharpening. This is because in this fast, contact sport of ice hockey your ice hockey skates will hit the boards, other ice hockey players’ hockey sticks, the posts of the hockey goals, and many other things. However, this really is no big deal. Taking your ice hockey skates to get sharpened will fix most small nicks in your ice hockey skates blades.

Here are the most common hollows for sharpening ice hockey skates. So, test them all out and figure out what suits your ice hockey skating needs!

  • 1/2″ Shallow hollow, not very sharp
  • 7/16″ A little deeper hollow, pretty average sharpenning
  • 3/8″ Deep hollow, a little sharper than average
  • 5/16″ Very deep hollow, very sharp skates