How Often Should You Sharpen Hockey Skates

Hockey skates are one of the most important pieces of equipment for players. They need to fit well and be the right size to allow the player to glide across the ice with ease. However, if you want to be able to skate your best, you need to ensure your skates are sharpened.

Dull skates can lead to worse control on the ice and can make you more prone to falling or being off balance. All of this can not only hold you back from playing your best but could lead to injuries.

But how often should a player look to sharpen their skates to keep them at their best? This is a question asked by skates of all ages, and I’m here to help answer it.

Read on to learn more about how often you should be sharpening your hockey skates.

How Often to Sharpen Your Skates?

While I wish I could give you an exact answer, the truth is that it depends. How often one player sharpens their skates may be completely different from how often another does. A lot goes into deciding how often you need to sharpen your skates.

This includes where you primarily play (indoors or out), the quality of the ice, how high-quality the skates and blades are, and more. Ice that is colder and harder will generally wear out the edge of your skates faster, too.

Also, the amount that you skate comes into play. If you skate a ton, you will need to get your skates sharpened much more frequently to keep them feeling great than someone who only skates once a month will.

In general, if the average player is skating about twice a week, sharpening your skates once a month should be sufficient. Sharpening after every 15 hours of ice time is another figure that is thrown around a lot and is a good guideline to consider.

However, sharpening skates is less about how much time has passed, and is more about how the skates actually feel during the game or practice.

Signs It is Time to Sharpen Your Skates

So what are some of the signs that it is time to sharpen your skates? Well, one of the first things to keep an eye out for is that you are struggling with quick turns. If your blades don’t bite down into the ice and allow for crisp turns, it could mean they are beginning to grow dull.

If you feel pulled to one side while skating, or struggle to maintain your balance, it could be time for a skate sharpening, too. Also, if you run your finger along the blade of your skate, and feel nicks or gouges in the steel, it is another sign.

If you skate enough, it should be quite clear based on the feeling when a skate feels great and is sharp enough, and when it has dull edges that are holding you back from having as much speed and/or control as you normally do.

What is the Process for Sharpening Skates?

Now that you know how often to sharpen your skates, and are aware of the signs it is time for sharpening, I felt it was a good idea to include a little bit of information about the process. 

Sharpening skates actually creates two small edges (the inside and outside edge), and a hollow between them. This is generally only a fraction of an inch deep. A deeper hollow allows for better control, but a hollow that is shallow allows for better speed.

So when skates are being sharpened, it is that development of the hollow that allows for skates to feel much better on the ice. While some players decide to sharpen their own skates using a variety of tools, most people are better suited to going to a professional.

This is generally quite quick and will only cost a couple of dollars, and can ensure your skates are sharpened properly. They will make multiple passes through a machine that not only sharpens the blade and keeps it centered, but can also deal with imperfections

I hope that this guide has been able to help you learn not only how often you should be sharpening your skates, but also taught you a little more about the process itself. Be sure to leave me a comment if you have a question or feel I left some important information out.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey.

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