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Author Topic: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties  (Read 1447 times)

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Offline Skylar

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Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« on: September 22, 2015, 11:56:58 PM »
Hi everyone,

Just bought my first pair of skates, and realised I have very limited sharpening options here. I asked my rink's pro shop about the hollow they use for sharpening, and was met with "Hollow??" The lady said they use a machine to sharpen skates (it's not in the shop though), and the options were "sharp", or "very sharp" ???

I was thinking it may be better to do it myself, and am considering the Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties. Can I use this, and only this, for sharpening my skates, considering that I likely wouldn't want to do anything more complicated like changing the rocker profile etc.?

Also, has anyone recently (2015) ordered this product from their online store? How long did they take to ship it to you?

Thank you!

Offline Matsumoto

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 08:05:30 AM »
Hello.  I have the Pro-Filer and use it exclusively to sharpen my figure skates.  I have been using it for a year and a half and it does a good job for me.  I think this would definitely be an option for you if you don't want to roll the dice with the sharpener at the rink.  From what you said, I would not hand my skates over to them.

I can't remember how long it took to receive the product after ordering - maybe 10 business days or so.

Offline Skylar

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 08:22:37 AM »
Thank you Matsumoto, your reply was very helpful to me  :)

Offline Query

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 10:21:04 AM »
While you are learning to use it, don't expect much help from other skaters or your coach. Most people don't think you can sharpen your own skates well - and you may make mistakes at first.

I haven't ordered recently. I've had mine for over a decade. I think it's a good product, though the instructions are pretty minimal - see mine. But, as someone else pointed out in a another thread, if you order the 7/16" ROH, they actually ship 3/8" (I think), because the manufacturer doesn't think the difference is significant. Don't forget to trace your blade profile for later reference, and maybe use water instead of oil so it doesn't create a mess in your skate bag.

If you happen to use 1/2" ROH, used Berghman skate sharpeners cost much less. They have an adjustable width gap which works better with some blades than the Pro-filer (though you can custom-order Pro-filers for specific blade widths), and that leaves room to tape the part that slides against your blades, so they don't scratch on the sides. (Scratches slow glide, though you can lubricate the gap on either sharpener to reduce scratching.) They made them from the 1920s to around 1950 - the most recent ones have the least crumbly sharpening stones, a bit of a problem with the earliest ones. Not as pretty as the Pro-filer. You will need to order a fine grit flat sharpening stone separately for deburring (or straightening over-burrs) - one is included with the Pro-Filer figure sharpening kit. They were very good professional quality tools.

Do you use Ultima Matrix or Paramount blades? In either case, you may find you need to file either tool down, because those blades don't have as high an area of constant blade width for the tool to slide along.


Offline celia

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 11:35:38 AM »
I used to use a Pro-Filer exclusively (no professional sharpenings) for about three years.  I did a blade tracing at the beginning and there was no change.  I no longer do this, but it worked well for the time that I did it.

A couple things - I had to change from a 7/16" to a 3/8" (changed by professional then kept up with Pro-Filer).    I use that grind to this day out of habit.  Also - I made a jig to keep the tool square.  The tool is a little bigger than the width of the blade even with the tape (I have Pattern 99), so there was a little wobble and I was concerned about the wobble.  I put a block of wood down that I could press the side of the tool up against to keep it aligned to the center of the blade. 

I no longer do this because I moved and never set the jig back up and now I just take the skates to a skate sharpener.  But the blades were sharp enough to hold a good, long, deep edge and save some landings.  They were never "super sharp" the way they are right after a professional sharpener though.  I had to do it once every 10-12 hours of skating, so maybe twice as often as a professional sharpening? YMMV.  People didn't believe me that I could be okay without a professional, especially since the tool really isn't marketed for that purpose, but it really did work.  The nice thing is you don't go through the cycle of slightly too sharp to good to slightly too dull.  There's just always "good enough."


Offline Skylar

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 10:40:49 PM »
Thank you both for your detailed and very helpful replies! Much appreciated.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear good reviews of the Pro-Filer and Berghman. They're affordable, have proven to be functional and reliable - what more can I ask for? I don't mind the extra time and effort on my part, rather that than $15-20 for questionable sharpening (Mark IV blades as I'm just a beginner :D).

So now I have to work out the best way to buy and ship one of these to Asia.
For anyone else who's interested in the Pro-Filer, I found two online stores - Edge Specialties and Diamond Cut Edges. The latter is a Canadian third-party seller, site is pretty informative though more geared towards hockey. It has a cleaning guide that looks useful: http://diamondcutedges.com/docs/cleaning_and_maintaining.pdf

Offline Query

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2015, 09:36:10 AM »
They were never "super sharp" the way they are right after a professional sharpener though.

Some professional sharpeners create super-sharp edges, some don't. It depends a lot on how fine a grit wheel they use, how and if they lubricate the wheel and the blades, and the tools and techniques they use to deburr or polish and re-point the sharpening burrs.

The same is true for the Pro-filer.

One downside to the Berghman tool is that it used a relatively coarse grit stone, which can't produce super-sharp edges. If you want your blades super-sharp, it may not be the best choice.

I used to keep my blades super-sharp, probably sharper than can be produced by any of the wheels available for commercial powered sharpening machines, but that meant I had to be very careful with my blades - e.g., I couldn't take even one step off-ice, without bending and messing up the edges. It also meant I had to do frequent touch-up sharpenings. Now I don't make it that sharp, and have learned to skate using techniques that compensate for less sharp blades. I can safely take several steps onto the rubber mats used at most skating rinks, and I only sharpen every 40 hours or so.

One professional skate tech I know deliberately dulls his edges to the extant that his customers don't have to change their skating technique just after sharpening, unless they ask otherwise. He has a lot of high profile customers. OTOH, there are other well respected skate techs that other high profile customers choose because they produce very sharp edges. To each his/her own.  :)

Good luck!

Online tstop4me

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 05:29:23 AM »
I'm also interested in the Pro-Filer.  I have a follow-up question.  Has anyone here used it with stainless blades?  My understanding is that stainless blades are harder than carbon steel blades.  My current sharpening guy has told me that even with a professional sharpening machine, it's more difficult to sharpen  stainless blades.  I wonder if the Pro-Filer will handle them.

More specific question.  I'm considering switching from Wilson Coronation Ace (carbon steel) to Eclipse Aurora (440C stainless).  It's my understanding that the Eclipse blades come from the factory unsharpened so that the user can pick a custom hollow.  I assume this means that the blade ships with a flat grind.  Anyone ever use the Pro-Filer to form a hollow from scratch on a flat grind?  I've been using a 7/16" ROH. 

Offline Query

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 11:14:08 AM »
I have used it on both stainless steel (Ultima Matrix I Dance, Synchro and Supreme), and high carbon steel (MK Dance, Wilson Coronation Ace) blades. (BTW upper end stainless steel figure skating blades use a "high carbon stainless steel".) The only major difference that I've noticed is that my stainless steel blades stay sharp longer, though and I sometimes fail to oil my blades after every use, which must affect edge lifetime. I also admit I haven't counted strokes to compare sharpening speeds. I wouldn't pick my blades by how much time they take to sharpen.

The most rust-resistant stainless steels, such as some marine grade stainless steels, can't be made very hard, and wouldn't hold an edge long for skating. And the hardest steels, probably too brittle for figure skating, aren't stainless. But I THINK both "high carbon" and "stainless" steels for upper end figure skating blades achieve an edge hardness of about 60, though I don't have comprehensive measurements to support that.

OTOH, I'm told by a reputable skate tech that Titanium Beach blades are several times slower to sharpen on a Blade Master powered sharpening machine. I haven't sharpened any titanium blades, don't know whether this is true of other titanium alloy blades (e.g., MK and Wilson Revolution blades, Riedel Eclipse Titanium blades), and don't know whether the issue was caused by hardness, melting point, or some other property.


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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 03:36:11 PM »
OTOH, I'm told by a reputable skate tech that Titanium Beach blades are several times slower to sharpen on a Blade Master powered sharpening machine. I haven't sharpened any titanium blades, don't know whether this is true of other titanium alloy blades (e.g., MK and Wilson Revolution blades, Riedel Eclipse Titanium blades), and don't know whether the issue was caused by hardness, melting point, or some other property.

Thanks very much for the account of your experience with the Pro-Filer on stainless blades.

This is a bit off topic, but I was puzzled by your comments on titanium alloy blades.  I googled "Titanium Beach" and got back an old post on this forum.  They do appear to be a titanium alloy.  But the Riedell Eclipse website explicitly states that their "Titanium" blades use a titanium alloy for the body with a stainless steel runner (in the lingo of hockey blades).  The Wilson Revolution website is not as explicit:  "Revolution is the pinnacle in blade technology combining the traditional merits of a steel blade alongside the benefits of weight reduction and flexibility through the use of carbon composites."    Do you have further info on the runners in the Revolution blades?  Advanced skaters I know that skate on Gold Seals are die-hard traditionalists, so I haven't come across anyone with direct experience with Revolution. 

Offline Query

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 08:09:59 PM »
Oops on the Eclipse!

At one point, HD Sports (MK/Wilson) Revolution blades were advertised as being titanium. I'm not sure if the advertisement was on HD Sports' own sites. I can't find it now. Do you have information to the contrary?

One could call MK Sports to ask - but when I tried that once, they never got back to me.

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Re: Pro-Filer from Edge Specialties
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2015, 09:07:50 AM »
Oops on the Eclipse!

At one point, HD Sports (MK/Wilson) Revolution blades were advertised as being titanium. I'm not sure if the advertisement was on HD Sports' own sites. I can't find it now. Do you have information to the contrary?

One could call MK Sports to ask - but when I tried that once, they never got back to me.

I have no further info other than what's posted on the Wilson site.  I would think that if the runners were fabricated from stainless steel or titanium alloy, their marketing department would brag about it.  Otherwise, their somewhat vague statement leaves the impression on me that the metal portion of the Revolution model is the same carbon steel as the corresponding traditional model.  I've emailed Wilson via their website for clarification.  I'll post if I receive an answer from them.