The Chicago Area’s Skate Sharpening Experts

Watch Gunzo’s Skate Sharpening in Action!

As the premier hockey equipment provider in the Chicago area, Gunzo’s knows skates. We want every hockey player to perform at their best on the ice, and that starts with the right pair of skates and regular sharpening.

We’re here to answer your skate sharpening questions, and to sharpen your blades quickly and with precision.

Is it bad to skate on dull skates?

A sharp blade allows your skate to dig into the ice more effectively. This gives the player more control and speed, depending on the cut. If your blades are dull, you’ll notice the skates tend to slide sideways. Degree of sharpness is dependent on player preference and needs.

How does skate sharpening work?

Skate sharpeners, such as our Sparx Skate Sharpener, use a disc to grind a hollow groove in the middle bottom of the blade. This forms edges on each side of the blade. Different cuts produce different results. A deep hollow provides more grip on the ice, whereas a shallow hollow provides increased speed. At Gunzo’s, your skate sharpener can fill you in on different cuts, why they matter, and what’s best for you.

How do you know if your skates need sharpening?

If you know it’s been a while since your blades have been sharpened, it’s a good idea to bring them in. Pay attention to how your skates feel on the ice. If things feel off, it’s good to get them checked out, and it may be time for sharpening.

One trick is to perform a fingernail test. Simply run your fingernail over the edge of your blade. If your nail glides across easily and doesn’t catch onto the edge of the blade, that’s a sign you’re due to have your blades sharpened. Also, check for nicks in your blades. If you notice any nicks, get your blades sharpened immediately.

How often should I sharpen skates?

The frequency of sharpening depends on factors such as personal preference, type of player, and time spent on the ice. Here are some guidelines:

  • If you feel like you need to get them sharpened, you probably do. It’s worth your peace of mind to bring them in for skate sharpening.
  • Some players like to sharpen their blades between every game, while others may get them sharpened just a few times a season. Use your best judgment when it comes to your skates, pay attention to how they feel on the ice, or talk to an expert if you’re not sure.
  • Some hockey experts advise sharpening every 15-20 hours on the ice. This number may be lower if you know you tend to push hard on your edges.
  • When you notice nicks on the edges of your blades

Do you need to sharpen new skates?

Yes. New skates come in with dull blades. You want to be sure your blades suit your needs. Your skate sharpener can help you get started!

Are figure skates sharpened differently than hockey skates?
Yes. Figure skates are a different type of skate and constructed differently than hockey skates. They also serve a different purpose on the ice. Therefore, the blades should not be treated the same. A figure skater should find a blade sharpener that specializes in sharpening skates for figure skaters.

Do goalie skates need to be sharpened differently than player skates?

Goalie skates should typically be on the dull end of the spectrum compared to other players’ skates. This allows goalies to glide more easily.

How long do ice skates last?

This depends on your size, age, and how often you use your skates. Someone who is on the ice more frequently may need to replace their skates more often. Kids who play hockey may have to get new skates once a year, or more, to keep up with growth spurts. An average adult who spends about twice a week on the ice can expect to replace their skates roughly every five years.

Gunzo’s Chicago-area skate sharpening experts can help!

To get your blades sharpened or talk to an expert, visit our locations in Chicago, Morton Grove, and River Forest.

No need to make an appointment! Sharpening typically takes 10–15 minutes, so we can sharpen while you wait. If by chance there’s a backlog of skates to be sharpened, you may leave them with us and we’ll sharpen them as soon as possible and call you when they’re ready.

Got skate sharpening questions? Get in touch!