I’m sure we have all had the displeasure of a lousy sharpening. That feeling of frustration of stepping on the ice and immediately knowing that it was not done properly!
First and foremost, we want assurance from our pro shop technician that they have had more than a 15-minute tutorial from the previous untrained employee before we hand over our high-end or custom made $1000 pair of skates.
Most blades that we come in contact with from local pro shops have one or more problems stemming from incorrect sharpening procedures. The most common situation is the “out of square” condition which leaves one edge higher than the other, causing the skate to slip out from under you when transitioning from the inside-to-outside edge or vice versa.
Another problem (not often discussed) is the overheating of blades during the sharpening process. This overheating alters the blade’s molecular structure and makes it brittle, therefore making it more susceptible to fracturing.
Besides overheating, another widespread issue is “banana blading.” This condition happens when the sharpener leans heavily on the toe and heel of the blade, thus eliminating the profile which the blade was originally engineered with.
Most people are unaware that a standard sharpening is intended to create a fresh edge with very little material being removed. There should be no more than
.008 – .012 thousandths of material removed, and the toe and heel should NOT be touched until the final two passes on the machine. The excessive loss of material and overheating severely impairs and shortens the life of your blade.
Cryosteel blades offer today’s player the latest in advanced material technology along with cutting edge processing and manufacturing. Cryosteel blades display incredible wear resistance and unparalleled flatness. They are far superior than any other blade available on the market today. It is my opinion that with proper care and sharpening, your Cryosteel hockey blade should last the life of your skate.
Glenn Storey is a regular contributor and distributor of CryoSteel products. Glenn is the owner of Storey of Hockey, a business located in Simi Valley, California which currently services over 400 players on a regular basis.