So you’ve just picked up a new pair of skates and are unsure whether they come sharpened right out of the box or not. It’s a good question, let’s take a look.
No. Hockey skates do not come sharpened. New skates need to be sharpened by a professional, be sure to let them know they are new. The first sharpening is both the hardest and most important because the new steel blades on your skates have no edge.
In fact, when purchasing a new pair of hockey skates at a pro shop, often times they will offer to sharpen them for you before you even leave the shop. The time it takes to have this done isn’t much at all, so you may as well take them up on it.
The reason new hockey skates don’t come sharpened
Wouldn’t it make sense to be able to use your new pair of skates right out of the box, without having to go out of your way to have them sharpened? Well, not really, and here’s why.
If you ask 10 different hockey players how they like their hockey skate sharpened, you are likely to get 10 different answers every time. It doesn’t make sense for skate manufacturers to sharpen their new skates during the production process with a specific edge if the majority of people are just going to have them re-done anyway.
When I say different answers, of course, I am referring to the type of hollow each player prefers on their hockey skate. You can check out this post I made about skate sharpening and hollows if you are unsure what that is.
In the post, I go over shallow hollows and deeper hollows, as well as how it may not actually be the feeling of dull blades people enjoy after all.
Why the first sharpening is so important
The first sharpening of your ice hockey skates is crucial and if done incorrectly can lead to you needing to replace the steel.
The first sharpening on a new pair of skates is so important because the sharpener needs to apply a cross grind to the blade with a grinding wheel. A cross grind will ensure the steel is totally flat before applying the specified hollow.
If the skate blade isn’t flat while a hollow is applied during the sharpening process, you could end up with an uneven edge, which would lead to you blowing a tire and eating the ice pretty hard.
Keep in mind cross grinding process can take off a lot of steel from your blades, if you’re worried about the longevity of your skate blades you can request a light cross grinding.
What happens if you try skating on new unsharpened skates
We’ve covered the fact that new hockey skates don’t come sharpened, but what would happen if you were to try skating on them before getting them touched up?
New hockey skates come with no edges, some actually come with a coating over top of the blade to protect it during transport.
Edges are a crucial element of the skate blades, they help a skater grip the ice and keeps them from slipping and sliding all over the place like Bambi.
If you hit the ice with your hockey skate new out of the box, between the lack of edges and a coating over top of the blades, you will wipe out almost immediately and could potentially hurt yourself.
To sum it up, a new pair of hockey skates doesn’t come sharpened. In fact, the first sharpening is super important and should be done carefully. If you try to skate on a new pair of skates right out of the box, you will have zero traction or control.
It’s common for shops to offer to sharpen your new skates before you leave the shop.