How To Sharpen Snowboard Edges

When you buy your first snowboard it will cut through hard packed snow with ease. However after several days riding, the edges will loose their factory sharpness.

The edges of your snowboard are vital for providing grip and allowing you to feel in control on the slopes. For aggressive riders, good edges allow for razor sharp carve turns and lightening quick speeds.

In order to get the best performance from your snowboard you need to regularly sharpen your snowboard edges. In this guide to snowboard tuning, I provide a step by step guide to sharpening snowboard edges.

Demonstrating how to sharpen snowboard edges

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps cover the cost of running this blog. Thanks for your support!

How often should I sharpen my snowboard edges?

How often you sharpen your edges depends on how often you ride and the type of conditions you ride in. It’s generally advised to get your edges sharpened after 4 or 5 days on the snow, particularly if you ride on hard packed snow.

However, in reality this may be impractical or unnecessary if you’re blessed with mostly powder conditions. I tend to sharpen my snowboard edges just 2-3 times every winter season. 

One way to check if your edges need sharpening is to carefully feel along the edge with your thumb. If it feels blunt or rounded off then it’s time to get them sharpened.

Also, when you’re riding you may find yourself washing out on hard pack if your edges are blunt.

At what angle should I sharpen my edges?

A standard edge tune is 90 degrees and this is good for all mountain conditions. For more aggressive carving or for riding on hard pack or icy conditions, set your edge for 89, 88 or 87 degrees.

The more acute your angles, the more bite your edge will have.

Can I sharpen my snowboard edges at home?

With the correct tools it’s quite straight forward to sharpen your snowboard edges at home. If you’re not confident or don’t have the tools, take your board to a store or rental shop.

Often rental shops use machines to sharpen edges. If this is the case they might not be able to sharpen a board with Magne Traction or a similar type of serrated edge. Boards with this type of serrated edge need to be sharpened by hand.

Learn more about Magne traction in this article.

Pro Tip: If you have a serrated edge be sure to use a shorter snowboard tool that will fit in between the bumps. Lib Tech have their own specific tool (as shown in the photo below) or Dakine have a mini tool which will also work.

Tools for sharpening snowboard edges

To sharpen your edges at home you will need the following tools:

If you plan on waxing your snowboard too, you might consider buying an all in one wax and sharpen tuning kit such as this one.

Demon Complete Basic Tune Kit with Wax- Everything Needed to do a Basic Tune and Wax for Your Skis…
  • The Iron is High quality and Custom built for efficiency; This Wax Iron is perfect for Skis and Snowboards
  • Material: Blend
  • Color: Black
  • Package Dimensions: 12.2″ L x 9.2″ W x 6.9″ H

For a step-by-step guide to waxing your snowboard, click here.

Tools required for sharpening snowboards
Tool required for sharpening snowboard edges

How to sharpen your snowboard edges at home

Step 1 – Remove your snowboard bindings

It’s easier to tune your snowboard without having the bindings on, so first take off the bindings and lay your board on a flat surface with the base facing up.

Step 2 – Use the file to detune the nose and tail

First you want to use the file to de-tune the edges on the tip and tail of your snowboard. You only want sharp edges between the contact points as this is where the edge cuts in and holds the turn. Beyond that edges don’t serve any purpose other than to trip you up!

So from the widest point out to very tip and from the widest point to the very tail feel free to use the file to round off the edge. Do this by holding the file at 45 degrees and file down towards the ground.

The first step to sharpening snowboards is to detune the tip and tail

Step 3 – Remove any burrs

Next gently feel along the base edge of your snowboard and feel for any burrs/rough parts or rust. At these points hold the file flat against the base of the board and gently file along the edge until smooth. 

Step 4 – Use the edging tool to put the edge back onto your snowboard

Set the edge tool to your desired angle. For regular riding 90 degrees is fine. If you’re unsure about how much edge to take off, mark the side edge with a magic marker. Once the marker is gone from all parts of the edge, your edge will be complete.

The edge tool will only work in one direction and will likely have an arrow to indicate which direction that is.

DAKINE Edge Tuner Tool
  • Precision Guide for Side Filing
  • Two Sided Tool Offers the Choice of 0 or 2 Degree Bevel
  • Includes Extra File
Snowboard edge sharpening tool

Working in one direction from tip to tail, run the edge tool along the length of your snowboard. Sharpen from the widest point on the nose to the widest point on the tail.

Apply pressure to the tool, pushing against the edge as you drag the tool along the snowboard. It should feel like it’s “cutting” as it sharpens the edge. Run the tool over the edge 2 or 3 times. The final pass should feel smooth rather than cutting.

Photo showing how to sharpen snowboard edges using an edge tool

Carefully feel the edge to check the sharpness. If you run your nail over the edge and some nail fragments scrape off, you know the edge is sharp enough. Run the rag along the snowboard edge to remove shards of metal.

Related Reading

Step 5 – Use the stone to smooth out the edges

Once you’ve finished sharpening the snowboard edge, use a stone to gently rub along the base edge and the side edge. This will scrub out any imperfections left by the tool.

Swix Grinding rubber extra hard
  • Removes rust and burrs
  • Useful for all servicemen
  • Long lasting
  • Extra hard gummy
  • Used after filing to remove micro burrs. Makes the steel edges more durable.

Final Thoughts on How to Sharpen Snowboard Edges

Sharpening your snowboard edges is an important part of snowboard maintenance. The edges of your snowboard are vital for providing grip and allowing you to feel in control on the slopes. Good edges allow for razor sharp carve turns and lightening quick speeds.

With the right equipment it’s easy to sharpen your snowboard edges at home. Just follow the step by step process outlined above and you’ll have your snowboard tuned up like a pro.


Louise is a snowboard instructor & guide from Wales. She's spent the last 15 years enjoying winter seasons in Canada, USA, Italy, Georgia and Turkey. This winter she is guiding in Japan!

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