One of the most important decisions you’ll make on the ice happens before even putting your skates at. What radius should you sharpen hockey skates at? The radius, often referred to as the “hollow” of the hockey skate blade, refers to the radius of the grinding wheel used to sharpen your skates. If you go into a hockey shop to have your skates sharpened, one of the first things you’ll be asked is, “what radius do you sharpen your skates at?”.
In skate sharpening, there are a wide variety of radius that you can have your skates sharpened at. Feel free to use the skate sharpening radius chart we’ve built for easy use the next time you pick the sharpness at which your skates should be tuned to.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Explaining Radius in Skate Sharpening using a Chart
- Picking a radius for sharpening your skates
- Flat Bottom V Skate Sharpening Chart
- Flat Bottom V vs Traditional Skate Sharpening
Skate Sharpening Radius Chart
Generally, there are 11 different radius at which to sharpen your skates. Technically, there are a lot more ways to sharpen hockey skates than that, but for the skate of the skate sharpening radius chart we’ve built below, we’ll stick to 11.
Understanding what Radius means in skate sharpening
The radius, refers to the radius of the grinding wheel. Each time a skate sharpening system is used, if it’s not an automatic skate sharpening system, the grinding wheel is adjusted ever so slightly to come up with the radius. Then, the grinding stone is balanced and the skate is sharpened to the desired hollow. When learning the different radius at which skates can be sharpened at, we use inches to determine radius. While no radius is completely flat, generally speaking, skates are always sharpened at a radius less than 1.5″.
The skate sharpening radius chart from above was used with permission from GoalieCoaches.com.
In the chart above, you can see that the 1″ radius is nearly flat. While this skate sharpening chart isn’t to scale, a 1″ radius is not commonly used for sharpening skates. In fact, for hockey players that are not goalies, it’s uncommon to have skates sharpened at anything greater than 1/2″. This is because hockey skates have a much thinner blade than goalie skates, so having an aggressive sharpening profile doesn’t reduce the gliding ability like it does in goalie skates.