Keeping your ice skates sharp is crucial for performance and safety. But how much should you expect to pay for skate sharpening services? The cost can vary based on several factors.
This article will cover average skate sharpening prices, what influences the rates, and tips for choosing the right sharpening service for your needs.
How Much Does It Cost to Sharpen Skates?
The average price to sharpen figure skates or hockey skates ranges from $5 to $15. Most skate shops and rinks charge $10 on average.
However, premium sharpening services, specialized blade work, and additional services can cost between $15 and $30. Location, expertise, and equipment all impact the price.
According to some sources there is a range of prices for skate sharpening, with costs varying based on the type of sharpening and the specific service provider.
At Natick Outdoor Stor, Skate Sharpening is priced at $5.00.
MedStar Capitals Iceplex features the following prices:
- ROH Sharpening – $10
- FBV Sharpening – $12
- Extensive Sharpening – $15
- First Sharpening – $15
- Competitive Figure Skate Sharpening – $20
At Peck’s Skate Shop, you will find these prices:
- Hockey – $10
- Figure – $12
- Goalie – $12
- Flat Bottom V – $12
- New/Rusty – $20
American Athletic Shoe offers Professional Figure Skate Sharpening Services priced at $12.00.
What Is Skate Sharpening?
Sharpening removes a thin layer from the blade to create fresh, clean edges. This is crucial for clean turns, stops, balance, and traction on the ice.
For hockey players, sharpening helps with tight edging and explosive speed. For figure skaters, it enhances spins and intricate footwork. Dull blades forced to glide on the hard ice surface can also lead to injuries.
Skates are sharpened using special sharpening machines with grinding wheels. The skate blade is carefully held against the spinning grindstone to shave off steel and shape the edges. A skilled technician will closely inspect and adjust the blade angles.
Factors Affecting the Cost to Sharpen Skates
Several factors impact the price charged for skate sharpening:
- Type of skate – Hockey skates typically cost slightly more than figure skates to sharpen due to differences in blade shape and desired edges.
- Location – Major metro areas with numerous rinks tend to have higher rates than small towns with only one skate shop.
- Provider – Independent pros and specialty shops charge more than rink technicians.
- Level of service – Basic sharpening is cheaper than precision work or special blade profiling.
- Equipment – Modern, high-end sharpening machines allow for finer sharpening but have higher overhead costs.
Choosing the Right Sharpening Service
With the range of prices for skate sharpening, it’s important to pick the right provider. Here are some tips:
- Ask local skaters for recommendations on the best services.
- Look for shops and technicians with training and certification.
- Inquire about their sharpening techniques and equipment. Modern machines often provide better consistency.
- Ask about turnaround time if you need pre-game or pre-competition rush service.
- Look for providers who offer blade profiling or customization for specialized needs.
- Consider convenience factors like hours, location, and additional services offered.
DIY vs Professional Skate Sharpening
Is it worth saving money and sharpening your own skates at home? Here is a comparison of DIY vs professional sharpening:
- Cost – Home sharpening kits start at around $50. Ongoing costs are just electricity and replacing grindstones.
- Learning curve – Teaching yourself proper technique takes practice and patience.
- Risk of errors – Mistakes can quickly damage blades, especially for beginners.
- Limited equipment – Most affordable home kits only provide basic sharpening.
- Cost – $10 to $30 per pair is typical for basic sharpening from a qualified technician.
- Expertise – Their specialized training and experience sharpen thousands of skates.
- Quality equipment – Professional shops invest in precision sharpening machines.
- Consistency – Trained staff sharpen repeatedly to exacting standards.
- Customization – Technicians can tailor edges and profiles to your preferences.
While professional sharpening costs more than DIY, the expertise and quality are often worth the price.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Skates?
So, when should you get your skates sharpened? Recommended frequency depends on how often you skate:
- Casual recreational skaters: Every 10-15 times on the ice or every 4-6 weeks.
- Hockey and figure skaters training 1-3 times per week: Every 6-10 ice times or every 3-4 weeks.
- Frequent skaters training 4+ times per week: Every 4-8 ice sessions or every 1-2 weeks.
- Right before competitions or tournaments for optimal edge.
The condition of your blades also matters. Inspect them regularly for nicks, dullness, and other signs it’s time for a sharpening.
Tips for Maintaining Sharp Skates
Aside from regular sharpening, there are some basic maintenance tips to keep blades sharp longer:
- Dry blades thoroughly after use to prevent rusting along the edges.
- Wipe down blades to remove built-up ice shavings after sessions.
- Store blades with blade guards for protection.
- Consider getting a second set of steel to rotate usage between sharpening your skates.
- Clean boots and laces regularly since dirt can transfer to blades.
Sharpening skates regularly and keeping blades in top shape will pay off with better maneuverability, speed, and safety on the ice. Choosing the right sharpening service can provide the precision your blades need to take your skating to the next level.
FAQs About Sharpening Skates
How many times should you sharpen new skates?
It’s recommended to sharpen new skates after the first 2-3 uses. New blades have crisp edges that quickly dull the first few times on the ice. After breaking in the blades, aim to sharpen every 10-15 sessions for recreational skaters.
Frequent skaters may need sharpening after just 4-8 ice times once the blades are broken in.
When should I replace my skate blades?
Plan to replace figure or hockey skate blades every 1-2 years with frequent use. Signs it’s time for new blades include rough, pitted sections along the edges, cracks or nicks in the steel, and difficulty getting a sharp edge even after sharpening.
For recreational skaters using blades less often, they may last upwards of 2-4 years before needing replacement.
How many inches should I sharpen my skates?
For hockey skates, sharpening 5/8 of an inch up from the heel and 1/2 inch at the toe is recommended. Figure skates do best sharpened with a 7/8-inch radius.
Ask your skate sharpening technician for the best profile recommendations based on your skill level, weight, and preferences. precision Profiles may range from deep to shallow hollows.