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Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

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40 minutes ago, dkmiller3356 said:

Kickbacks, no.. but it would be damn nice to see manufacturers buying advertisements.  They sure do get enough out for the site and their support of it is essential to it's success.

Completely agree with both points. I think all of the vendors would be smart to get on board here. They can help us and we can help them. We talked about this at length last month 🙂 

At the same time though I don't think they have an obligation to do so just because people like their products, which is what it seems like some are inferring. 

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Sparx is far from unique in that it's a smaller company that's been discussed in great detail on MSH. Marsblade, Sprung, VH/True, KOR and many others have had long and popular threads over the years. It's great if some of them are able to come to events and buy advertising, but it's the members who choose to discuss the products; both what they do and don't like about them. I agree with IPv6's statement above.

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As I say- if I were Jeremiah Sparkington or Josediah True, I’d throw them a bone IF the brands grew directly from this website; but this is merely what I would do (and do regularly to thank people for referrals or free advertising).

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I don't think Sprung is dead yet (although it does seem to be in a bit of trouble with a drastically lower price on their plastic chassis and an aluminum Fizix version that's been in development for a couple years, but never seems to come out), but you make a valid point with the others. As someone who has used several pairs of KOR and Mako skates (thank goodness for my stockpile) and who also loves Sprungs, the post makes me both laugh and cry. 

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On 7/27/2018 at 12:26 PM, EJB said:

Does Sparx do the discounts fairly regularly?  

That SUMMER100 & ACCESSORY20 could save a person a chunk of change.

After my local Pure Hockey told me they were ending their sharping deal with the platinum membership & extras with skate purchases etc(I don’t remember the last time I actually paid for a sharpening) & are going to a flat $10 a sharpen, let alone depending on who was working, sometimes a sketchy cut, I decided it was time to pull the trigger on this.  We have 3 skaters and though my son and I tend to go too long between sharpens, seems my daughter wants a fresh sharpen about every 4-5 skates.  Ordered tonight, meh...what do I have to lose.

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29 minutes ago, cjpritch said:

Ordered one last week, should be here tomorrow. I'll have more thoughts once I get to play with the unit

Ordered the unit, starter pack, 5/8th fire ring & the edge checker.  Was going to get the travel case, but figured for $400 and can only think twice we’ve had to get a sharpen at a tournament, I could do without it.  Maybe if they do the 20% off accessories again in the future, I may pick that up as well.  Seems a little overkill to travel with it, but maybe it’d come in handy for the team?  

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.  All the positive feedback make me feel pretty at ease, including the endorsement of one of our local rink managers, who has/uses one at the rink.  I’ve yet to have any of our skates sharpened by one.

 

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52 minutes ago, EJB said:

After my local Pure Hockey told me they were ending their sharping deal with the platinum membership & extras with skate purchases etc(I don’t remember the last time I actually paid for a sharpening) & are going to a flat $10 a sharpen, let alone depending on who was working, sometimes a sketchy cut, I decided it was time to pull the trigger on this.  We have 3 skaters and though my son and I tend to go too long between sharpens, seems my daughter wants a fresh sharpen about every 4-5 skates.  Ordered tonight, meh...what do I have to lose.

I'll be at that point soon enough. Granted, I'm only sharpening my own skates (two pairs) but to pay money for so-so sharpenings doesn't fly with me anymore. I think I have about 10 more sharpenings with my Platinum Membership and Sparx seems to be the way to go for me. 

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5 minutes ago, 215BroadStBullies610 said:

I'll be at that point soon enough. Granted, I'm only sharpening my own skates (two pairs) but to pay money for so-so sharpenings doesn't fly with me anymore. I think I have about 10 more sharpenings with my Platinum Membership and Sparx seems to be the way to go for me. 

That’s interesting, when having my skates & my daughters done last week, I left with the feeling my +/- 20ish sharpenings were gone.  Something to the effect of “Hey, E.J., we’re not doing the Platinum Membership sharpenings anymore.  So these are free, but we’re starting a flat $10 a sharpening.”  I didn’t even ask if I was losing all my credit sharpens, feeling like that is what he was saying.  There was no, Hey we’ll take these two off and when you run out, it’s going to be $10 each pair.

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Howdy,

Has anyone run the math on the ProSharp Home w/the $300 coupon vs. the Sparx?

I've been pretty happy with my Sparx, FWIW.  But when I look at the rings on my bench and can count up $400 in rings alone, it makes me wonder if the longer lasting (?? I think) ProSharp grinding wheels have a break even point for the whole system.

As for Pure, I thought the VIP program still had some type of deal on sharpenings, in terms of earning points way quicker and those points could be applied to sharpenings too?  It certainly wasn't the free sharpenings deal, but my impression was that it wasn't really a full $10/ea either.

For me, having a home setup is worth it in terms of the consistency and convenience even if you discount the potential savings.

Mark

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1 hour ago, marka said:

Howdy,

Has anyone run the math on the ProSharp Home w/the $300 coupon vs. the Sparx?

I've been pretty happy with my Sparx, FWIW.  But when I look at the rings on my bench and can count up $400 in rings alone, it makes me wonder if the longer lasting (?? I think) ProSharp grinding wheels have a break even point for the whole system.

As for Pure, I thought the VIP program still had some type of deal on sharpenings, in terms of earning points way quicker and those points could be applied to sharpenings too?  It certainly wasn't the free sharpenings deal, but my impression was that it wasn't really a full $10/ea either.

For me, having a home setup is worth it in terms of the consistency and convenience even if you discount the potential savings.

Mark

 

The Prosharp math is different, but physically the wheels don't look to be much different in design than Sparx rings. Perhaps the ProSharp folks could comment on what makes their wheels last longer, if indeed they do. They are $99 USD for Prosharp wheel vs. $59 USD for a Sparx ring.

Prosharp describes their wheel:

  • Typical Sharpening 1-3 Passes per Skate
  • Wheel Lasts approx. 500 pair of skates

The Sparx rings are programmed to last for 320 passes. Based on a typical 4 pass sharpening, Sparx often states that's 40 pairs (4 passes x 2 skates x 40 pairs = 320 passes). 40 pairs at $59 USD is $1.48 USD per pair before taxes and shipping are factored in.

If you change the 'typical sharpening' for the Sparx to be 1 pass, you'll get 160 pairs done at a cost of $0.37. But nobody should base their financial decision on this as anyone with experience will tell you one pass of any type of grinding wheel isn't going to be typical to properly sharpen a pair of skates.

Back on page 29 of this thread, Russ from Sparx Hockey made this comment that I haven't seen refuted by an independent tester of both machines or by any of the ProSharp team (if I missed it, I apologize and would appreciate the pointer):

Quote

We have done this head-to-head test of the two products and Sparx comes out cheaper than Home for the same amount of material removed.  Please keep this in mind when considering the two products.

If ProSharp could be a bit more specific on the math behind their statement of 'approx. 500 pair of skates' that would be a big help in the financial comparison.

Does the ProSharp wheel keep going until you decide to change it out based on reduced performance (ie: wear) or is it coded to stop working in the machine after a fixed number of passes like the Sparx?

 

colins

 

 

 

 

Edited by colins

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I've seen their math; also, 500 is the lower number they claim.  Was told you can go further, to about 750 before loss of performance (the wheel isn't coded) sets in.

Their claim is that you should be refreshing your edges every time you skate, so if there's no trauma, one pass will do.  3 would be considered the extreme end of the cycle.  Using the math above, if you go 3 passes x 2 skates x 500 pair, that equates to 3000 passes.  500 pair at $99 equates to $.19.

 

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The home model, 1500 passes, the pro model is about 2000 passes. This is based on the historical data I have collected from our own sharpeners. 

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6 hours ago, JR Boucicaut said:

I've seen their math; also, 500 is the lower number they claim.  Was told you can go further, to about 750 before loss of performance (the wheel isn't coded) sets in.

Their claim is that you should be refreshing your edges every time you skate, so if there's no trauma, one pass will do.  3 would be considered the extreme end of the cycle.  Using the math above, if you go 3 passes x 2 skates x 500 pair, that equates to 3000 passes.  500 pair at $99 equates to $.19.

 

 

Looks like Prosharp Home has the clear lead in cost per sharpening then.

The missing piece for me is still the comparison of a single pass on the Sparx vs. a single pass on the Prosharp Home. Sparx have claimed to have measured the amount of steel removed per pass and said the Sparx machine removes more steel per pass than the Prosharp Home does.

So if 3 passes on the Prosharp is removing less steel than 3 passes on the Sparx, but Prosharp claims 3 passes is on the extreme end, then the Sparx guidance of 4 cycles for a "normal" sharpening is very conservative, and the comparison is still apples and oranges. One is talking about regular routine maintenance by taking good care of your own edges after every skate or two, the other speaking to average joe sharpening his buddy's kids skates after 8-10 hours use with the regular nicks and abuse you see from folks that don't own their own sharpener. 

Nobody seems to have a benchmark to show them on a level playing field.

Seems the Prosharp Home is going to be cheaper per pair, but to Marka's question above, what's the real delta between the two for cost of ownership?

 

colins

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19 hours ago, Nicholas G said:

The home model, 1500 passes, the pro model is about 2000 passes. This is based on the historical data I have collected from our own sharpeners. 

This is how it should be measured.

We know passes per sharpening will vary based on the condition of the blade. Total passes will never change as that’s the life of the wheel/ring.

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Howdy,

21 minutes ago, stick9 said:

This is how it should be measured.

We know passes per sharpening will vary based on the condition of the blade. Total passes will never change as that’s the life of the wheel/ring.

I think the "material removed" is a pretty important thing here.  Presumably there will also be a tradeoff between the speed of material removal vs. finish.

I was just poking around the prosharp site and they offer fine vs. coarse grinding rings as well.  That may be relatively new?

This video actually taught me a few things about the ProSharp Home, though he glosses over the "life of sharpening rings" thing pretty well.
 


I will say one thing... I'm a pretty basic "home sharpener guy".  I do my family's skates and the occasional pair for teammates (where we live, the nearest pro skate sharpener is 40 miles away*).  Even just doing those minimal skates, I've ended up with a bunch of different grinding rings... I have 7/16" to 5/8" ROH plus 1/2" and 5/8" Fire.  While its certainly true that for higher volume sharpening the "cost per sharpen" / "cost per pass" is what matters, I've had my machine for just about a year now and have yet to wear out a grinding ring.  The "cheaper ring that doesn't last as long" has allowed me to support different sharpening radii that I likely wouldn't have done if the rings cost 2x what the Sparx rings do.

I'm still pretty happy with my Sparx.  I for sure worry that the complexity of the machine / machine specific consumables will bite me in the ass if Sparx as a company goes away.  It also isn't going to let you do "weird stuff" like a full manual machine (even a portable manual machine) would.  The "cost per sharpen" in terms of consumables is also significantly higher than any other option out there, but as I'm not doing this as a business, that doesn't matter to me.

YMMV.

Mark

* our local rink also has a Sparx (commercial).  For whatever reason, guys have bitched about getting their skates done with this and haven't had issues with the sharpen I've done on mine.  I have no idea what the local rink is doing differently than me.

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17 hours ago, colins said:

 

Looks like Prosharp Home has the clear lead in cost per sharpening then.

The missing piece for me is still the comparison of a single pass on the Sparx vs. a single pass on the Prosharp Home. Sparx have claimed to have measured the amount of steel removed per pass and said the Sparx machine removes more steel per pass than the Prosharp Home does.

So if 3 passes on the Prosharp is removing less steel than 3 passes on the Sparx, but Prosharp claims 3 passes is on the extreme end, then the Sparx guidance of 4 cycles for a "normal" sharpening is very conservative, and the comparison is still apples and oranges. One is talking about regular routine maintenance by taking good care of your own edges after every skate or two, the other speaking to average joe sharpening his buddy's kids skates after 8-10 hours use with the regular nicks and abuse you see from folks that don't own their own sharpener. 

Nobody seems to have a benchmark to show them on a level playing field.

Seems the Prosharp Home is going to be cheaper per pair, but to Marka's question above, what's the real delta between the two for cost of ownership?

 

colins

I never measured such but I would say its about the same. Both of their wheels are about the same level of hardness. 

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Quote

* our local rink also has a Sparx (commercial).  For whatever reason, guys have bitched about getting their skates done with this and haven't had issues with the sharpen I've done on mine.  I have no idea what the local rink is doing differently than me.

Probably safe to assume it was the operator. Maybe he's not doing enough passes, not de-burring the edges or letting skates go out with uneven edges.

I've been pretty fussy about my edges since getting my Sparx. I'm probably going way overboard, but whatever...

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On 10/15/2018 at 10:47 PM, EJB said:

That’s interesting, when having my skates & my daughters done last week, I left with the feeling my +/- 20ish sharpenings were gone.  Something to the effect of “Hey, E.J., we’re not doing the Platinum Membership sharpenings anymore.  So these are free, but we’re starting a flat $10 a sharpening.”  I didn’t even ask if I was losing all my credit sharpens, feeling like that is what he was saying.  There was no, Hey we’ll take these two off and when you run out, it’s going to be $10 each pair.

I think there is a deadline? It is quite possible that my remaining sharpenings have expired haha. I haven't been to Pure Hockey in a minute. I'm torn between the two home units of discussion. I'm partial to the Sparx probably because I saw it first at SummerJam up in Toronto. But seeing the Prosharp in person at Pittsburgh had me extremely impressed with what seemed to be a better built sharpener (at least in the sense of materials, construction, etc). I think I'll have to get something around Black Friday 2018 and call it an (expensive!) day ha...

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Was very surprised that last week while I was in Arizona for the entire week every shop that had a Sparx sharpener in store said they were either not working, having issues, or needed maintenance. Not a single shop of the 5 I went to had a fully functional and working unit.... 

 

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17 hours ago, Nicholas G said:

Was very surprised that last week while I was in Arizona for the entire week every shop that had a Sparx sharpener in store said they were either not working, having issues, or needed maintenance. Not a single shop of the 5 I went to had a fully functional and working unit.... 

 

Were they the commercial units?

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22 hours ago, Nicholas G said:

Was very surprised that last week while I was in Arizona for the entire week every shop that had a Sparx sharpener in store said they were either not working, having issues, or needed maintenance. Not a single shop of the 5 I went to had a fully functional and working unit.... 

 

We have a rink here in MA that has 8 full sized ice surfaces, and 2 mini rinks, that have had 4 Sparx machines running essentially non stop for 2 years with little to no problems.

I'd LOVE to know what those places are doing with their machines. 

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