How Do I Know When I Need to Sharpen My Hockey Skates?

How Do I Know When I Need to Sharpen My Hockey Skates?

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Much rides on the quality of a hockey player's blade - speed, sharp turns and quick stops all depend on a properly sharpened blade. A good sharpening of a hockey skate consists of square even edges, a proper hollow and good contour. When you skate, you are actually gliding on a thin layer of water created from the friction of the blade pressing on the ice. Any nicks on a blade will alter the amount of control you have over your skate, as well as affect your speed. A blade needs to be sharpened if it is either dull, or if it has grooves, gouges or nicks in it that are affecting a player's skating ability.

Step 1

Carefully feel the edges of your blade with your finger, without putting pressure on it. If the blades feel dull, they need to be sharpened.

Step 2

Examine your blade under a bright light. If you see reflection from the edge, it needs to be sharpened. Sharp blades don't reflect light.

Step 3

Notice if you are having difficulty changing direction or making quick turns. If so, it's probably time for a blade sharpening.

Step 4

Make a schedule of how often you bring your blades in to be sharpened. Some players prefer a sharpening before each game, others can do weekly sharpenings. Once you know your preference, stick to your schedule to prevent dull blades.


  • Make sure you have the correct hollow setting for your blade. Most hockey players use a one-half-inch radius. Beginner skaters usually use five-eighths or three-fourths radius. The deeper the hollow, the better the blade will grip the ice for turns and stops, but the slower it will be.
  • Deep cuts will slow you down, however, and you will need more energy and stronger pushes to go faster.
  • Experienced skaters and defensemen need sharp edges to be able to turn quickly and change direction.
  • Goaltenders often like dull blades because it allows them to slide from side to side better.



  1. Mainchin

    What a sentence ... great, the idea excellent

  2. Heriberto

    The article is quite interesting, can I post pictures from it on my blog?

  3. Sebastien

    Can't you explain it in more detail?

  4. Radbourne

    the idea Excellent and timely

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