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Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

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50 minutes ago, lfc26 said:

which ROH ring do you guys recommend for getting rid of nicks and especially massively uneven edges?

Do you guys prefer using a deeper hollow like 3/8'' or a shallower one 3/4'' and would you recommend a ROH ring or are Fire ring for that purpose?

You want to go as flat as possible. Or as close to the ROH you intend on cutting? 

Fire vs ROH for that doesn't matter. I use the Fire ring because I have it.

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Howdy,

29 minutes ago, stick9 said:

You want to go as flat as possible. Or as close to the ROH you intend on cutting? 

Fire vs ROH for that doesn't matter. I use the Fire ring because I have it.

I can't see how it would matter, in terms of # of passes, unless you have an actual cross grinding ring that has more aggressive material removal.  The same amount of steel ends up being gone.

Which is a long way to say that I agree with your take on using a ring (that you already have) that otherwise gets little use as your 'cross grind' ring.  🙂
 

I actually did a pair a couple days ago where a cross grind ring would have been helpful.  1st pair so far.  About an inch of inside edge damage under the ball of the foot.  Ended up doing something like 15 passes with a regular ring to get it (mostly) taken care of.


Mark

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20 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

It seems silly to complain about not reaching average ring life when doing above average numbers of passes. 

Please forgive me for pointing out that getting 40 good sharpenings out of these rings is not likely, given all sorts of skate blades and blade wear....

40 sharpenings are not an average. As of now, that's an idealized advertising bs number for a single user scenario ... really intrigued to see the results after using my second ring.

Edited by lfc26

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10 hours ago, lfc26 said:

Please forgive me for pointing out that getting 40 good sharpenings out of these rings is not likely, given all sorts of skate blades and blade wear....

40 sharpenings are not an average. As of now, that's an idealized advertising bs number for a single user scenario ... really intrigued to see the results after using my second ring.

I think they'd need to be able to prove a claim like that. 

But anyway, its been said it's 320 passes per ring. However those 320 are used is entirely up to the user. 

Edited by stick9

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5 hours ago, lfc26 said:

Please forgive me for pointing out that getting 40 good sharpenings out of these rings is not likely, given all sorts of skate blades and blade wear....

40 sharpenings are not an average. As of now, that's an idealized advertising bs number for a single user scenario ... really intrigued to see the results after using my second ring.

That’s a bit strong. There are families who happily use these machines. It sounds like your users really mess up their blades to an unusual degree. I play maybe three hours a week, low level rec, and it is rare that I get nicks that require loads of passes. In fact I’m down to one pass every 3-4 hours skating, or four passes per fortnight which is how often I’d visit the LHS for a sharpen. Uneven edges might require four passes. If you need more, then the skater should avoid their LHS like the plague. It sounds like the issue you have is that you sharpen skates previously sharpened in shops staffed by unskilled workers who don’t have a clue what they are doing. 

Edited by Leif

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10 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

How do you figure it’s not an average?

 

Because he's sharpening super damaged and very uneven edges on every single pair he does, and he can't relate to anyone who isn't. 

Nor can he see 10 yards down the road, where if his 'customers' are happy they'll come back with even edges that are just normally worn and he won't have to do more than 4 passes the second time he sharpens the same pair of skates.

I dunno... the guy has come into this thread and crapped on Sparx from the get-go. It's getting a bit tiring to be honest. We all appreciate new info and rational debate about the product, but that hasn't been the case here.

 

colins

 

 

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6 hours ago, Leif said:

That’s a bit strong. There are families who happily use these machines. It sounds like your users really mess up their blades to an unusual degree. I play maybe three hours a week, low level rec, and it is rare that I get nicks that require loads of passes. In fact I’m down to one pass every 3-4 hours skating, or four passes per fortnight which is how often I’d visit the LHS for a sharpen. Uneven edges might require four passes. If you need more, then the skater should avoid their LHS like the plague. It sounds like the issue you have is that you sharpen skates previously sharpened in shops staffed by unskilled workers who don’t have a clue what they are doing. 

I skate 5-7 times weekly, about 10-14 hour total, and sharpen my skates once a week with a single pass. I do however skate on a very flat hollow compared to most others. If I change my hollow, as some rinks have harder ice than others, I usually do two passes. 

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1 hour ago, colins said:

 

Because he's sharpening super damaged and very uneven edges on every single pair he does, and he can't relate to anyone who isn't. 

Nor can he see 10 yards down the road, where if his 'customers' are happy they'll come back with even edges that are just normally worn and he won't have to do more than 4 passes the second time he sharpens the same pair of skates.

I dunno... the guy has come into this thread and crapped on Sparx from the get-go. It's getting a bit tiring to be honest. We all appreciate new info and rational debate about the product, but that hasn't been the case here.

 

colins

 

 

I really don't care colins. I love my Sparx machine and I can clearly see the benefit for a home-user!!! I just don't love the costs and the fact that they are taking away features yet charging more and more for the sharpening rings!!!

All i wanted to do is to find a way to bring costs down for international users by taking a look at the different consumer/ commercial rings and by pointing out to other customers that sharpenings come around 3,2$ in europe given the quality of sharpenings locally and the amount of cycles you have to do to work things out. (80$ rings!!!!)

The results so far are 25 sharpenings of poorly maintained skates and that's a fact. Basically every skate, except my own pair of new skates, caused an unbearable noise while sharpening. To get rid of that, it took 5-8 cycles per skate=10-16 cyles per pair!!!!

All I wanted to point out above was that Sparx promises a grinding ring mileage that works nicely under isolated conditions. That's all. If you are using the machine for yourself, it's the greatest thing ever, but as soon as there are any variables introduced it's economically unsustainable for international buyers.

that's all from my side

Edited by lfc26
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Are you losing money at 3,2$ a sharpening? Do you anticipate no repeat business and only damaged uneven edges always coming through your doors?

You bring valuable new experience/data to the group - but your conclusions are difficult for some of us to understand.

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I sharpen a lot peoples skates on my Sparx, from 12U kids down to 6U and a bunch of guys that play in my beer league. I think my first ring, I got about 30 pairs of skates sharpened and that was with 2 pairs that I had to do 10 cycles on and 8 cycles, respectively. If someone is bringing me a brand new pair of skates, I politely ask them to have the first sharpening done at the LHS or at a minimum have them cross grind them and then I'll sharpen them after that. Mos of the people who I tell this to are ok with that response because they understand that I can't get a cross grind ring, but they know from others that I'm putting out a good product for them. I constantly get great feedback on the edges they have after I sharpen them. I agree with most here that you know how many passes you're going to get out of the ring and it's your job as the sharpener to figure out how many passes you need to do. Also, if someone brings me steel that has a ton of larger nicks/gouges, I charge them extra as I have to do extra passes on them to get them back to normal. Even with my extra charge, it's still about the same as going to the LHS but they're getting a more consistent cut every time.

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34 minutes ago, lfc26 said:

I really don't care colins. I love my Sparx machine and I can clearly see the benefit for a home-user!!! I just don't love the costs and the fact that they are taking away features yet charging more and more for the sharpening rings!!!

All i wanted to do is to find a way to bring costs down for international users by taking a look at the different consumer/ commercial rings and by pointing out to other customers that sharpenings come around 3,2$ in europe given the quality of sharpenings locally and the amount of cycles you have to do to work things out. (80$ rings!!!!)

The results so far are 25 sharpenings of poorly maintained skates and that's a fact. Basically every skate, except my own pair of new skates, caused an unbearable noise while sharpening. To get rid of that, it took 5-8 cycles per skate=10-16 cyles per pair!!!!

All I wanted to point out above was that Sparx promises a grinding ring mileage that works nicely under isolated conditions. That's all. If you are using the machine for yourself, it's the greatest thing ever, but as soon as there are any variables introduced it's economically unsustainable for international buyers.

that's all from my side

I think you are taking that 40 sharpening per ring (it's actually listed as 60) a bit too literal. I mean, just because you aren't getting those results doesn't mean others aren't. Hell, I've had the same 3/4 ring for a year and a half.

From the site

Quote

Every Sparx™ grinding ring will last the average user 60 skate pair sharpenings.

Talking to people who know the machine way better than me. I've heard under the proper conditions you can get 90 sharpenings out of a ring.

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I mean it’s simple math... if you use an above average number of passes per skate then you will get a below average number of passes per ring.

So saying it’s a fact that the ring only gets 25 pairs is nonsense. You might have only gotten that but I’m not sure how you connect the lines between you doing more passes than normal and the ring only making it to 60 pairs in perfect conditions. How would you know unless you were doing the average?

So, bottom line here is that the average is 60 pairs. There’s no caveat to that. If half the people get 25 and half the people get 95 then guess what the average of that is? #3rdgrademaths

If this is really going to continue to be a problem for you maybe you should just get it over with and sue them. Well all be waiting to see how that goes.

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20 hours ago, lfc26 said:

Quick update guys. I've just finished my first grinding ring which lasted for 25 pair of skates including junior skates with heavy nicks, and senior skates with massively uneven edges.

i've basically sharpened all of my teammates skates an their kids skates.

Getting 40 pair of skates out of one sharpening ring is only reachable if you're exclusively sharpening your own skates by basically maintaining them every 2-3 hours of skating.

As soon as you are sharpening other guys skates, that are not carefully maintained, getting 40 sharpenings out of one ring is fake news IMO!!!

 

Given the costs of 80$ for a sharpening ring, it definitely seems unreasonable to obtain the machine as an European customer. Sparx will have to come forward by adapting the pricing for grinding rings over here and by distributing the grinding rings directly to their european customers. just my two cents

 

 

This is like trying to compare apples and oranges, a sparx unit versus a traditional sharpening unit both have strengths and weaknesses. Your running costs with a traditional unit will always be cheaper but it requires a lot more skill to get a good sharpening. A sparx is plug and push, no skill needed as long as the alignment is correct.

You got 25 sharpenings, let's say you charged 10 euro a sharpening, if I was running a shop I would not be comfortable with that return. However as a home user at 3.2 euro per sharpening versus a LHS charge??? What is there to not like about that cost other than we always want it cheaper? If you are unhappy then maybe charge a per pass cost? Then if they turn up with massively damaged blades you get a higher return for your sharpening (if a financial return is a key driver of what you are trying to do).

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59 minutes ago, Vet88 said:

This is like trying to compare apples and oranges, a sparx unit versus a traditional sharpening unit both have strengths and weaknesses. Your running costs with a traditional unit will always be cheaper but it requires a lot more skill to get a good sharpening. A sparx is plug and push, no skill needed as long as the alignment is correct.

You got 25 sharpenings, let's say you charged 10 euro a sharpening, if I was running a shop I would not be comfortable with that return. However as a home user at 3.2 euro per sharpening versus a LHS charge??? What is there to not like about that cost other than we always want it cheaper? If you are unhappy then maybe charge a per pass cost? Then if they turn up with massively damaged blades you get a higher return for your sharpening (if a financial return is a key driver of what you are trying to do).

I think it all depends. 25 sharpens at $10 a sharpen would be $250 bucks and if the ring costs him $60 thats a pretty decent return. Yes, you could buy a Wissota or some other machine for $1200 and charge less per sharpen but if you aren't skilled you're going to have a heck of a time giving people a consistent sharpen which could lead to not having return customers. 

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A couple of thoughts

1 - I think it's generally understood that these numbers are estimates only. Especially if you are sharpening skates with heavy nicks, and massively uneven edges. I think even my local sharpener has a surcharge for rusty blades and the such. Same discrepancy would apply if you're just sharpening JR blades vs SR length blades, and akin to complaining that your new car only gets 15 mpg when you drive the way you drive, even though the EPA rating is much higher.

2- That flat bottom sharpening video is an eye opener, and makes me realize why some of my friends could not skate on Flat bottom sharpens.

 

Also as an aside, it's become a huge pet peeve of mine when people say "Fake News" for things, it's lazy and dismissive to an actual conversation.

Edited by Giltis
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7 hours ago, SkateWorksPNW said:

I skate 5-7 times weekly, about 10-14 hour total, and sharpen my skates once a week with a single pass. I do however skate on a very flat hollow compared to most others. If I change my hollow, as some rinks have harder ice than others, I usually do two passes. 

I could sharpen less often, and I am slowly increasing the time between sharpens. But it’s so easy to shove a skate in and do one pass. 🙂 I have a 1/2” hollow. 

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6 hours ago, Giltis said:

I think it's generally understood that these numbers are estimates only.

You’d think, huh? 

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20 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

I mean it’s simple math... if you use an above average number of passes per skate then you will get a below average number of passes per ring.

So saying it’s a fact that the ring only gets 25 pairs is nonsense. You might have only gotten that but I’m not sure how you connect the lines between you doing more passes than normal and the ring only making it to 60 pairs in perfect conditions. How would you know unless you were doing the average?

So, bottom line here is that the average is 60 pairs. There’s no caveat to that. If half the people get 25 and half the people get 95 then guess what the average of that is? #3rdgrademaths

If this is really going to continue to be a problem for you maybe you should just get it over with and sue them. Well all be waiting to see how that goes.

show me one guy who sharpens all his teammates skates and gets 95 skate sharpenings out of his first grinding ring. maybe it will get better with my 2nd ring. who knows. If that's the case,  I'll probably shut up😂

btw I'm not running a business so I don't charge for sharpening their skates. I'm only getting payed in beer...

 

 

16 hours ago, Giltis said:

A couple of thoughts

1 - I think it's generally understood that these numbers are estimates only. Especially if you are sharpening skates with heavy nicks, and massively uneven edges. I think even my local sharpener has a surcharge for rusty blades and the such. Same discrepancy would apply if you're just sharpening JR blades vs SR length blades, and akin to complaining that your new car only gets 15 mpg when you drive the way you drive, even though the EPA rating is much higher.

2- That flat bottom sharpening video is an eye opener, and makes me realize why some of my friends could not skate on Flat bottom sharpens.

 

Also as an aside, it's become a huge pet peeve of mine when people say "Fake News" for things, it's lazy and dismissive to an actual conversation.

Sharpening 40, 60, whatever different pair of skates using your first grinding ring is "fake news". As soon as you are introducing any variables you aren't going to reach that mileage. sorry for hurting some liberal feelings.

Edited by lfc26
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Ok, I'll say it. You aren't experienced enough to make these claims as fact. You've had the machine what a month and you're telling people who've had them for years that your experience is fact and that no one can yield better/different results. 

And once again. That magic number of 40-60 pairs of skates is under normal use. Everyone here agrees, you are working outside the realm of normal use.

I suspect your results will change as 1) you become more experienced with the machine and 2) start sharpening skates in better condition.

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43 minutes ago, stick9 said:

I suspect your results will change as 1) you become more experienced with the machine and 2) start sharpening skates in better condition.

I think that is the key point here. These skates are in terrible condition from these player's lack of sharpening which is sucking up more cycles than usual. Our store charges a set fee for sharpening but if you bring in some skate with steel that looks like you've been running around a parking lot with your skates on we are going to charge you extra to get them back into a usable condition. It's not unrealistic for shops to charge $15-$35 or more if the steel requires substantial time, cross grinding, and many times is not even and has to be matched again due to people with poor experience doing the sharpenings. 

I was recently in Chicago for work and went into a pretty well known local store and they have no problem charging customers $25+ for sharpening if it looks like you've been doing this to your steel:

 

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On 1/6/2020 at 2:13 PM, 218hockey said:

I tried the 5/8" Fire and got the thumbs down from my son. So we used it once, he didn't like it. But I still own it!

Hmm. 

Not for everyone I guess. To be fair, I skipped from 1/2" regular to 5/8" fire. Didn't try regular 5/8".

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19 hours ago, Vet88 said:

This is like trying to compare apples and oranges, a sparx unit versus a traditional sharpening unit both have strengths and weaknesses. Your running costs with a traditional unit will always be cheaper but it requires a lot more skill to get a good sharpening. A sparx is plug and push, no skill needed as long as the alignment is correct.

You got 25 sharpenings, let's say you charged 10 euro a sharpening, if I was running a shop I would not be comfortable with that return. However as a home user at 3.2 euro per sharpening versus a LHS charge??? What is there to not like about that cost other than we always want it cheaper? If you are unhappy then maybe charge a per pass cost? Then if they turn up with massively damaged blades you get a higher return for your sharpening (if a financial return is a key driver of what you are trying to do).

This might be a bit radical, but perhaps this individual should consider charging on a per pass basis

I'm sure they'll be able to understand that if they come in with rarely-ever-sharpened skates that take 6 passes, it'll cost more...

YMMV.  

 

Edited by pgeorgan
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On 1/12/2020 at 6:53 PM, lfc26 said:

Hi Mark, thanks for the heads up. And yes, if someone cares about his edges, which unfortunately doesn't seem to be the case in my area, 4 cycles will be enough. I've also got the feeling that most of these skates have been sharpened unevenly before. We basically have two shops in our area and they are doing a horrible job😉.

Anyway, the results that I've seen so far are pretty obvious and in this case, I'll have to stick with my statement. Let's hope I'll see better results with the second ring:popcorn:

Sounds like the problem you're having, then, is one of economics. Demand in your area is high, supply is low.

Charging more should get you covered. 

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