About SkateMate® PRO and SkateMate 3-in-1 BANDY PRO

Q. How small is this tool and what is it made of?

A. SkateMate PRO is made of a special anodized aluminum alloy and weighs only 60 grams, which is equal to 2 ounces. It has many features in a very compact design, dimensions: 70 x 30 x 25 mm (= 2.75 x 1 x .95 inches).

Q. What are the deburring strips used for—and how?

A. When a steel edge is honed from one side only, the other side tends to take on a micro-overhang, just like snow hanging on a mountain cliff. This is technically called a “burr”. By sliding the deburring strips up and down the sides of the blades, this micro-burr is removed for an ultimate edge. The use of deburring is not ABSOLUTELY necessary, merely better. [NOTE: Since these tough abrasive strips are drawn up and down the blades near the edges, the surfaces there will be ‘honed away’ very slightly. This will give chrome-plated blades a somewhat scratchy appearance near the edge. If you do not wish to mark up your expensive shiny blades in this way, it is recommended that you do not use the deburring strips, which are now standard issue on every SkateMate.]

Q. Why are there two grades of abrasive cylinders?
Which should I use and why?

A. The abrasive grade in the TWINPAK-100 will do a good job of getting ruined edges back on any steel blade. The finer (120-grade) abrasive cylinders are now the standard offer for the majority who merely wish to hone away a nicked edge. The 120-grade cylinder is also recommended for ‘flat-ground’ tour and speed skates. This takes more time, since the finer the abrasive, the longer it takes to hone away the steel. [NOTE: Some people like EXTRA SHARP edges and some do not. Many figure skaters are used to edges that are not RAZOR sharp. Remember that the temperature of the ice plays a very decisive—even MAJOR— role here. Indoor ice may often be only a few degrees below freezing and ‘soft’. Outdoor ice, on the other hand, is often quite cold and quite hard, requiring a considerably sharper edge to maintain control.]

Q. How long will the original cylinder last? Should I order a TWINPAK right away?

A. Although the cylinder has the toughest and longest-lasting abrasive available on the market (a high-speed industrial grade invented only about 15 years ago), it will eventually wear out. How soon it will wear out depends on how often you sharpen your skates. For the average skater, who may go out on the ice only five or six times a season, the cylinder will last for years. For hockey players and figure skaters, who often train every day, it is recommended that an extra TWINPAK be ordered from the start. [NOTE: The same is true of the glide strips that are mounted inside the adjustable gaps. These may wear out somewhat faster than the cylinder.] The deburring strips, on the other hand, will last a very long time.]

Q. What are the glide strips used for?

A. The glide strips provide a smooth sliding action up and down your blade. Without them, there may be a tendency for the aluminum surfaces of the gap to ‘stick’ on steel blades. This does not happen with chrome-plated blades, but shiny chrome-plated blades will show slide marks from the aluminium. Such slide marks tend not to occur if the glide strips are in place. [NOTE: SkateMate will work even without the strips, but not nearly as smoothly—unless you apply a lubricant.]

Q. How can I tell whether I have a 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch ROH?

A. There is a simple test to find out which ROH your shop is using to grind your blades. Simple that is, if you have an AA-sized battery and/or an AAA-sized battery lying around somewhere.[TEST: If an AA-sized battery fits almost perfectly into the hollow of your blade, with little or no light coming through underneath, then you have a 1/2-inch ROH. If, on the other hand, the hollow is so small that only an AAA-sized battery will rest perfectly in it, then you most likely have a 3/8-inch ROH.]
[NOTE: there is a universal misunderstanding [actually total confusion] as to what the word radius in ROH really means. The word radius here actually refers to the segment of a circle formed by a diameter corresponding to the fraction stated. In other words, an ROH of 1/2 inch means that the blade is ground with a radius that corresponds to a segment of a circle having a diameter of 1/2 inch, the radius, as such, is MATHEMATICALLY NOT 1/2 inch.]

Q. Can I still use SkateMate if I have the smaller 3/8-inch hollow?

A. SkateMate was invented more than 25 years ago, when the most common ROH was 1/2 inch—or greater. Nowadays, a growing number of skaters have begun to use a 3/8-inch ROH, or even less (such as 5/16th). SkateMate will even hone these edges, although the exact shape of the ROH will change over time, of course. Skaters with 3/8-inch (5/16th) ROHs can thus still use SkateMate to sharpen their skates, but they will have to have them reground on a shaped wheel more often than skaters with traditional 1/2 inch. [NOTE: A few years ago, SkateMate was retro-designed to utilize both diameters— 3/8-inch cylinders are available in the form of a RETROFIT KIT. This 3/8 inch cylinder will also hone the edgesof the smaller 5/16 inch hollow, although the general ROH will be altered sooner.] NEW! We now offer the SkateMate 3-in-1 BANDY PRO, which is the same as the original SkateMate, but with a newly designed insert that has a diamond-surface abrasive strip. With this model, you will be able to sharpen just about any blade (if you also order the additional cylinders, i.e. 3/8" or 1/2"). Please see the order form for more details.

Q. Can I use SkateMate if I have flat-ground narrow blades, i.e. like on tour and speed skates?

A. SkateMate will also hone the thin, flat-ground blades of tour and speed skates if the 120-grade cylinder model is used. However, for those who have thicker flat-ground blades (such as in the game of bandy), our new SkateMate 3-IN-1 BANDY PRO sharpener is the more ‘economical’ solution, since [with a diamond abrasive] it will last far, far longer.



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