Q:

How do you sharpen hockey skates?

A:

Quick Answer

To sharpen hockey skates, take them to a hockey or sports store to be sharpened on a professional skate sharpening machine, choosing a sharpness or hollow based on personal preference, skating ability and time of year. Sharpening skates at home is not recommended as improper machinery and lack of skill can damage the blades.

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Full Answer

When choosing a hollow, keep in mind that a deeper hollow with a smaller number results in a sharper skate. For instance, a 3/8-inch hollow cuts into the ice more while a shallower 5/8-inch hollow glides more freely. The most common hollow for lightweight and less experienced hockey players are 3/8 inch and 7/16 inch. Players who are heavier or more skilled may fare better with a shallow 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch hollow. Players should choose a shallower hollow for soft ice during the summer or to prevent dulling of the blade when playing on rough outdoor ice.

After skating, check your skates for any nicks or the appearance of stripped or rolled edges, which signals that they need to be sharpened. Most players choose to sharpen their blades once or twice a month or every five to 10 games, but some prefer to sharpen after every skating session. Regular sharpening is important for removing light rust and preventing nicks from deepening. Choose a sharpening service that uses state-of-the-art machinery and only employs experienced workers to sharpen customer skates.

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