How Often Do You Need To Sharpen Hockey Skates?

Sharpening your blades is an integral part of the general upkeep of your hockey skates and helps your skates always provide the maximum speed and agility possible.

Whether you’ve just bought a new pair of skates or you bought them a while ago and felt they were getting dull, you have probably asked yourself how often you need to sharpen them or how often is considered “safe”?

Well, let’s get right to the point then.

How Often Do You Need To Sharpen Them?

how often should I sharpen my hockey skates?

A general framework for sharpening your blades would be sharpening them every 10-15 hours of ice time. For beginners and players just starting out, this works quite well.

But if you’ve started to progress to a higher level of play and want to be precise with it, the frequency of your blades needing to be sharpened really just depends on several things.

Factors Affecting The Blades

These are a few immediate factors to take into account when looking at how often your skates get worn out:

The temperature of the ice

Temperature plays a major role in wearing your skates down. Colder ice means harder ice, which translates to more speed and fluidity, but it also means that your blades will wear down faster.

Indoor ice rinks commonly have a temperature ranging from 18-24 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you play on the colder side of that spectrum, you may find yourself needing to sharpen more often than the others.

The skating rink – Indoors or outdoors?

Compared to indoor rinks, outdoor rinks are colder and harder, which wears your blade down faster. The presence of natural debris like sticks, leaves, and stones on the ice is a further detriment to your blades’ sharpness.

The quality of your blade

Better quality steel holds edges for longer and need to be sharpened less often. Professional-quality skates have a much higher quality of steel compared to entry-level skates and thus necessitating fewer sharpenings.


Other factors such as the care habits and the storage conditions also affect the blades. Blade guards not being properly used, skates not being dried properly, and stepping on metal thresholds causing the blades to chip away all result in the blades requiring sharpenings frequently.

Deducing When To Sharpen Them

how to sharpen hockey skates?

Dull blades translate to you falling more, uneven stoppages, and reduced speed. So, it’s essential that you understand and make out when to sharpen them.

Sharpening your blades every 10-15 hours of ice time is good, but that’s just a general guideline. Depending on how you skate and the level of play you’re involved in, the frequency can change accordingly.

If sharpening your blades every 10-15 hours of ice doesn’t work out for you, you can adjust it freely according to how your skates feel. If you’re a heavy skater and are on ice for 3 days a week, sharpen them every two weeks. If your skates still feel dull, try sharpening them every week.

There is no real rulebook or guideline for knowing when your skates actually do wear out. The best thing to do is to get a feel for your skates. Notice the difference in how your skates move on the ice right after sharpening and how different they feel after some time has passed. It’ll give you a good idea of how often you need to sharpen them.

Understanding when your skates are slower, or if you’re being pulled to one side while skating or suddenly are having difficulty in making quick turns, will help you know when your skates have started becoming dull.

New Skates And Over-sharpening

step by step hockey stakes sharpening

Newly bought skates do not come pre-sharpened. Their bottoms are very flat and rounded and thus require an initial hollow groove to be cut into them.

The first sharpening is very critical and shouldn’t be done at home. Instead, what you should do is give them to a trained professional at your local hockey store. Be warned though, sharpening your skates usually voids the return policy with your retailer. 

Over-sharpening is a big issue when it comes to sharpening the blades. Although it doesn’t have any immediate effects on your skates, it certainly builds up over time. 

Skates typically last 5-8 years with good maintenance. Sharpening them every 10-15 hours is completely normal and some elite skaters even sharpen their blades after 2-3 games. However, the more you sharpen them, the shorter they’ll last.

So do not sharpen them beyond your needs or sharpen them too often, it’s unnecessary and wears down your skates faster.

Closing Thoughts

Sharpening your skates is important and it’s even more important to know when to sharpen them. Sharpening your skates too often would wear your skates down and not sharpening them for too long would make your blades lose their speed and maneuverability. We hope this article gave you insight into this topic and our tips help you better understand your skates.

Good luck and happy skating!

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Tessa Reynolds
Tessa is a Denver-based writer who likes to share her knowledge and personal experience in the form of articles. When she is not writing, you can probably find her skiing with her friends in the mountains of Colorado.