Sharpening the edges of your skis, referred to ski edge tuning, can be a very rewarding task and in the long run is likely to save money and help maximise your enjoyment on the hill.
There are plenty of good ski sharpeners/ tuners available to buy which vary from very simple and cost effective hand tools, to technical workshop hand tools, to full on electric machines for the real enthusiast.
Edge sharpeners are generally sold as a simple tool with or without the necessary accessories needed to sharpen your edges. There are also comprehensive kits available which contain everything you need for ski servicing and tuning ie hot waxing and Ptex repairs.
Portable ski sharpening tools are great to have with you on the hill incase you hit a rock or quickly require a bit more grip on the snow. But for a quality result and for regular tuning, it is worth investing in the stability of a larger more stable piece of equipment.
In this guide I outline the best ski edge sharpening tools for tuning skis.
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How to Choose a Ski Sharpening Tool
To be honest the best tuning tool doesn’t have to be the fancy expensive one, as a simple sharpening tool and a little skill can give great results. Care should be used not to over file the edges as they can wear out with time. It is very much a case of little and often, so don’t wait until you have no grip on your edges at all.
Most ski edge sharpeners work on the ski edge bevel ie the side of the ski edge. There are tools which can be used to work on the base bevel as well, which have a different angle. There is even a dual purpose edge sharpener available which allows the user to carry out comprehensive sharpening of both ski edges.
When using the side edge sharpeners it is possible to simply file the base edge with a flat file or gummy stone, being extra careful not to cause any damage to the ski edge.
Having an edge tuning kit in your bag and knowing how to use it may save you a long walk to the ski shop if you are unfortunate enough to hit some rocks while out on the hill.
What you Might Expect in a Ski Sharpening Kit
Ski sharpening tools are often sold individually or as part of a kit. In a kit, you can expect to find:
- Edge tool – This is the main component of your kit in which stones or files are inserted at the correct angles to sharpen your ski edges. Generally these tools are supplied with a minimum of one edge sharpening file. (be sure to check this is the case)
- Gummi stone – This is used to remove burrs in preparation for tuning.
- Diamond Stones – These are inserted into your edge tool to tune the ski edge. They come in different levels of abrasiveness.(These need to be the correct size to fit your sharpening tool)
- File – Can be used to removed damage and burrs.
- Wire brush – Usually copper wire which is used to clean your skis before tuning.
- Brake retainers – These simple rubber bands keep the brakes out of the way while you work on your skis.
The Best Ski Edge Sharpening Tools
The Best Dual Edge Sharpener – Swix Base-side Dual Edger
Swix Base-side dual edger is the best dual edge multitool to go for. It’s easy to use and great for keeping your ski edges in prime condition throughout the season. A good idea would be to buy some diamond stones to use with it for a finer finish or it can be bought in a great starter kit containing these and other extras.
The Best Side Edge Sharpener – Swix Phantom Pro edger Pro or Toko Edge Tuner Pro
The Swix Phantom Pro edger Pro is a very effective compact edge sharpening tool with rollers allowing for super smooth operation. It’s ideal for home use and portable enough to take on ski trips if necessary. For the best results, a selection of files and diamond stones is required.
The Toko Edge tuner pro is another high quality and easy to use tool into which you can fit a wide range of files. It is fully adjustable and can be used with most skis and snowboards. Be sure to invest in a suitable set of diamond files to compliment the included metal file. Please note that the Moonflex stones listed below are very much the top end choice of stones for this tool. The Swix stones listed above are a more budget-friendly alternative.
The Best Pocket Sharpening Tools
Pocket size sharpening tools will generally be less stable when in use and require a little care and skill to use, but are ideal to carry with you on the hill for running repairs.
- Toko Express tuner kit. This compact sharpening tool is all you need for quick on-the-go repairs. It even comes with a diamond stone for some fine tuning.
- SKS Edge trick diamond stone sharpener. This very cost effective choice is the only fully adjustable portable option on this list and offers great value for money. This is the ideal option for fully portable, on the go edge tuning.
- XC man ski snowboard edge tuner kit. This entry level edge tool will slip into you ski bag and allow you to carry out on the go repairs, whilst not cluttering up your world or costing the earth. This is also available as part of more extensive ski servicing starter kits.
The Ultimate Ski Edge Tuning Machine – Swix New Evo pro edge tuner
This powerful electric grinder allows for very fast and accurate grinding of ski edges. This is ideal for those who plan to sharpen lots of skis! Be sure to read and understand the instructions before using and practice on old skis first.
This is a great piece of kit once you master the art of using it. This machine generally comes with a fine disc which is ideal for regular tuning of skis. Replacement discs of various coarseness are available but they are expensive.
Base-edge Sharpening Tools
The simplest option for sharpening base bevel edges may well be the Swix dual edge sharpener option mentioned earlier in this post. However you may already have a side edge sharpening tool or prefer to have a dedicated tool for each edge.
The advantage of having two separate tools is that you can leave them set up at the correct angles for your skis and not have to keep resetting the angles. Damage to the base edge can be repaired simply with a file or gummy stone prior to sharpening the edges, but a dedicated tool will make this job more accurate.
The Best Base Bevel Edge Sharpener – Swix Adjustable base edge file guide
This tool is ideal for quickly cleaning up and repairing any damage to you ski’s base edge. A suitable file is also required or a compatible diamond stone.
The Best Ski Servicing Kits Containing Edge Sharpening Tools
There are several starter kits for ski servicing which contain all you need to service, repair and sharpen your ski edges. Tools may include waxing equipment, base repair(Ptex) kit as well as edge tuning tools.
Racewax Digital kits come in a variety of specs including the one we list below as a good, easy to use starter option. For a more cost effective solution the XCman kits offer decent entry level kits which will get the job done.
Final Thoughts on the Best Ski Edge Sharpener
When buying tools for sharpening your ski edges it is vital to decide on where you will be using such a tool. If you have your skis regularly serviced and simply require something to repair or give a quick sharpen on the hill then a portable one is sufficient.
You may decide to carry out most of your ski servicing at home, in which case a high quality workshop tool such as those made by Swix and Toko would be a sound investment.
There are some good kits available which include the edge sharpening tools and these are perfect if you are just starting out your ski servicing journey. When starting out, spend time practicing on old skis with standard edge angles until you have mastered the skills and soon all your friends will be coming round to get their ski edges sharpened!