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Bauer LS3 or LS4 Runners

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Trainer Guy, I don't wish to be argumentative, however in my experience, I disagree on several opinions of experienced skate techs (yours and others) of any skate sharpening process involving spin dressing....FBV or ROH. I pride myself on being very objective and also believe in new technology.

I believe that that a single point diamond stylus produces a much smoother, cleaner, finished surface of a skate grinding wheel than any spin dressing system. This smoother surface can produce cooler cutting, a smoother running surface (hollow), cleaner edges than a spin dressed grinding wheel of any grit or composition. This grinding wheel surface when properly 'dusted' with a SPD will remove less steel than a properly dressed spin dressed grinding wheel. I also believe that a SPD, when properly used will out last a spin dresser in repeatability of grind and also useful life expectancy The grinding wheels themslves will also have a longer life.

Even the most 'careful', meticulous feeding and soft touch when using a spin dresser removes a considerable amount of material from a grinding stone. The cutting material embedded in the spin dresser wears and looses

shape....both ROH and FBV cuts. Also, the internal bearings wear. I'm basing these beliefs on my own personal experience with Blackstone, Blademaster CAG and Fleming Gray machines. Retailers are 'reluctant' to replace these expensive spinners.

About 50 of my loyal customers have 'tried' FBV over the past 4 years (at my suggestion!!!) and all but 4 have come back to me for ROH sharpening. That is less than 2% of my permanent, established customer base.

Most of my customers are competitive level AA, AAA minor hockey players, Junior B and C players, on ice officials. I have a few college, OHL, AHL and NHL players that I service during summer off-season skating and local hockey schools.

I do some skate work for the University of Windsor Lancers Men's hockey team. They use a very expensive, portable, Blackstone spin dresser machine This team uses ROH spinners.......not FBV spinners. Those 24 rostered players are mostly ex OHL players (and ex Jr.A. players from across Canada) and ALL prefer ROH over FBV. They also PREFER it when I do their skates on my own SPD machines. They say their edges are crisper and last LONGER on my SPD machines than when sharpened on the spin dressed machine. This includes last year's CIS player of the year. These men can SKATE !!! This team's WIN record is impressive. Especially when comparing their annual budget with other CIS teams. Some CIS teams have stick budgets larger than this team's entire budget.

A major reason that RETAILERS like FBV or (BVD, blademaster's name for FBV) is that this process has been hyped up and shops charge more for the FBV process. The process also REMOVES more steel from the skate blade than ROH grinding. That brings in revenue for replacement runners. Also, the larger shops and especially 'big box stores' can more easily 'train' (LOL) their staff to dress wheels with spin dressers than with SPD dressers.

Hand and finger injuries to staff and repairs to equipment are lessened with spin dressing's system of turning a dial to advance a dresser to contact a spinning grinding wheel. The hands are removed from the process of dressing with a SPD. Loose styluses accidently 'dropping' onto the 3,000 RPM wheels spinning an inch from a teenager's hand and fingers when dressing, etc. I've witnessed this several times!!!

My personal skates were FBV sharpened locally by both Joe Frei Sr. and Joe Jr. at Brian's Custom Pro Shop in Windsor, Ont. These guys are big names internationally in skate sharpening, fitting and repairs. That was in the summer of 2011. I wasn't impressed with how quickly the FBV edges lost crispness. A few weeks later I was in Whitby, Ont. to attend the Lacrosse Procincials in August. I had heard about an Oshawa guy's reputation from some guys who played for the Oshawa Generals. He was the owner of a place called 'Pro Cut'. I took my skates to him. He was restoring an antique INDIAN motorcycle in the back of his shop....sweet bike. I told him my FBV story. Same FBV result......soft edges after about 3 hours on the clean, de-ionized ice at Windsor's WFCU Center.

I have read lots about FBV over the last 6 years or so. Hockey is a competitive sport, new modern equiptment has changed the game for the better. Except for those LETHAL, serious injury producing, plastic capped elbow pads and shoulder caps......but that's another story!

I'm all for change and new tecnology making hockey, the world's BEST sport an even BETTER game. But, I just can't swallow FBV. From what I hear and see, the FBV market is 'softening'. ROH sharpening is still the overwhelmingly preferred skate grind of the millionaires in the NHL and their equiptment managers.

I am in Toronto several times a year. I sure would like to see your FBV process when I visit Toronto. I'll buy you lunch and coffee at Timmy's if YOU do my skates with FBV. THEN.......I'll know !!! I'm old, sharpened my first pair in 1968......but I'm never too old to be taught a trick or two.

Edited by Pappa
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Last week, on August 13th., I 'inherited' a new customer (family of 2 players). Their former 'Skate Guru' is a very well respected guy, Bob Allen, the owner of world famous 'Maximum Edge'. Apparently the business' location moved last weekend from Windsor, way out into the county to Harrow, Ont. Apparently, that is too far for this family to go for sharpening and I was highly recommended by the instructors at the hockey school. The poor Hockey Mom was almost in tears when she contacted me on the phone.

I sharpened this young man's Bauer skates at 5/8th. ROH. He was starting another week of training at Windsor's best hockey school. Mr. Allen had just profiled and sharpened those skates a couple of weeks earlier and they needed a new edge from hours of drills at hockey school.

Yesterday, this young man and his mom called me for for a sharpening. I told them to come on over. He had been on the ice all week long at the hockey school. The skates had over 12 hours of hockey school drills on them. Other than a 'nick' on the inside edge of one heel the skates did NOT need sharpening. Still had a good edge.

I stoned them and gauged them for straightness and for depth of hollow and showed them my reasoning for not sharpening and away they went. No sharpening required......no charge......the young man was happy with the edges and I reassured 'Mom' that this kid knew his skates, skating and edges. She said that NEVER in 18 years of having her kids in hockey had a skate sharpener ever 'refused' to sharpen skates. LOL I think he might get another 4 - 6 hours out of them on that 'clean' ice where the school is located.

Edited by Pappa

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Last week, on August 13th., I 'inherited' a new customer (family of 2 players). Their former 'Skate Guru' is a very well respected guy, Bob Allen, the owner of world famous 'Maximum Edge'. Apparently the business' location moved last weekend from Windsor, way out into the county to Harrow, Ont. Apparently, that is too far for this family to go for sharpening and I was highly recommended by the instructors at the hockey school. The poor Hockey Mom was almost in tears when she contacted me on the phone.

I sharpened this young man's Bauer skates at 5/8th. ROH. He was starting another week of training at Windsor's best hockey school. Mr. Allen had just profiled and sharpened those skates a couple of weeks earlier and they needed a new edge from hours of drills at hockey school.

Yesterday, this young man and his mom called me for for a sharpening. I told them to come on over. He had been on the ice all week long at the hockey school. The skates had over 12 hours of hockey school drills on them. Other than a 'nick' on the inside edge of one heel the skates did NOT need sharpening. Still had a good edge.

I stoned them and gauged them for straightness and for depth of hollow and showed them my reasoning for not sharpening and away they went. No sharpening required......no charge......the young man was happy with the edges and I reassured 'Mom' that this kid knew his skates, skating and edges. She said that NEVER in 18 years of having her kids in hockey had a skate sharpener ever 'refused' to sharpen skates. LOL I think he might get another 4 - 6 hours out of them on that 'clean' ice where the school is located.

I think ROH vs FBV is more in the sharpener than the equipment. But your points are very valid about costs and injuries in large box as I ran National Sports even though Windsor and Tecumseh didnt get FBV machines they had the spinner dresser.

I am driving past you on the way home from the Blue Jackets and have that portable in the car and would be happy to stop at your place and give it a shot to see what you think?

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Thanks for the kind offer !!! I am in Detroit all day today (Sunday, Aug.22). Return to Windsor on Monday at noon. Don't know if you are coming through after that time? If you are, get in touch. I would like you to do my skates with a 90/75 FBV spinner (5/8" ROH equivalent). That is what I tried those 3 previous times.

My place is only a couple of minutes off of your return route down the 401, if you return to Canada on the Ambassador bridge. Lunch is on me.

I will be in Toronto, mostly downtown, on August 3rd. and 4th. Have a vehicle and could bring my skates and buy you lunch.

Again, not sure what would be different from the sharpenings described above.......competent sharpeners. But, would be nice to try again and discuss stuff over a coffee or cold one.

Edited by Pappa

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Thanks for the kind offer !!! I am in Detroit all day today (Sunday, Aug.22). Return to Windsor on Monday at noon. Don't know if you are coming through after that time? If you are, get in touch. I would like you to do my skates with a 90/75 FBV spinner (5/8" ROH equivalent). That is what I tried those 3 previous times.

My place is only a couple of minutes off of your return route down the 401, if you return to Canada on the Ambassador bridge. Lunch is on me.

I will be in Toronto, mostly downtown, on August 3rd. and 4th. Have a vehicle and could bring my skates and buy you lunch.

Again, not sure what would be different from the sharpenings described above.......competent sharpeners. But, would be nice to try again and discuss stuff over a coffee or cold one.

Well got stuck at the rink all day today so my big guy didnt get his zoo visit in as promised so were going tomorrow which would make for a late pass through detroit and Windsor on the way home. You mean your in Toronto on Sept 3 and 4?

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JSK81, Agree totally. I'm new on this forum. Also, not very computer savy. Will TRY to use this PM's thing. I also apologize to ALL for turning this steel runner topic into an FBV versus ROH sharpening subject. I got off topic and see that there is an entire area dedicated to FBV sharpening. Sorry about this.

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Interesting discussion. Especially about LS4 steel for EDGE holders. This may help you decide. Today, I am working on Aaron Ekblad's Bauer Vapor 1X skates. Replacing his LS3 steels for LS4 steels. He has been using LS3 steels. Both LS3 and LS4 EDGE steel comes from Bauer, laser cut at a 10 foot profile and with a neutral pitch. The LS4 steel is harder (as a poster indicated) than the LS3 steel. It is also 3mm. taller. It is very 'similar' in both hardness and 'blade height' as Step Steel. As mentioned in previous posts, Bauer is not releasing the patent rights of EDGE steel, so Step Steel is not available for EDGE holders. The 'Fusion Steel' is not used at the NHL level because the aluminum component allows the sreel to bends so easily. Equiptment managers would spend WAY too much time trying to straighten those steels. I would not suggest Fusion Steel for anyone playing competitive hockey, especially anyone playing defense. Yes, light in weight, huge in bent blade problems. Not worth the bending problems versus minimal weight gain.

Aaron's steel on both the LS3 and LS4 steels is profiled at an 11 foot RADIUS. The APEX of the profile is 'set-back' slightly. The PITCH of the profile is FORWARD (very slightly). This slight forward PITCH actually 'translates' into an F-2 forward pitch on HIS skates. This is because he uses a 'lift plate' of 1/8th. of an inch between the rear tower of the EDGE holder and the sole of the skate.

The reason for the 'lift plate' is so that VERY LITTLE blade height is lost during profiling his blades for FORWARD PITCH. ie. don't have to loose ANY blade height to get the 'forward lean'. The lift plate takes care of that. Much less work for the skate tech. too !!!

I am a HUGE fan of Step Steel. Anxious to see how this steel holds up to 'Step', as far as holding an edge. Is this steel too brittle? I don't pretent to know. But, it sure 'reacts' to my profiling and sharpening wheels very similar as 'Step' steel.

I would 'suggest' that players out there that like a 'forward lean' on their skates might like to try a 'heel lift' of about 1/4 inch. This might just save you the expense of unnecessary profiling. Also, will save LOTS of blade height for savings in money, time and INCREASED on ice performnce.....a significantlylower turning angle, before skate boot contacts ice.

I outfit some of my customers with a 'test wedge' is taped to the bottom (heel portion) of their insole. This allows them to try a wedge or two of various thicknesses while practicing on the ice, before installing a permanent, plastic wedge and re-riveting the rear tower of the holder to the skate's boot. MUCH better than 'grinding' material off of a new or used blade. Blade height makes a huge difference in the tight, LOW turn angles of a player.

Sometimes (many times) a profile is not necessary for the vast majority of players. It sure is a moneymaker for skate shops for the profile work. The steel removed can be equal to a year of sharpening, by even a Master Skate Tech. Again costing money (quicker blade replacement) and performance with decreased blade height.

Is Aaron still using the 55 Flex lace extensions? Plus the heel shim, sounds like one of my son's specs who went to Makos because he couldn't get enough knee bend on a stiffer Supreme boot. He now wants to go back to Supreme this year. Looks like we will have to load up on aftermarket stuff again. He does fit the Supreme boot well. I am thinking about the VH skate as another option.

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Yes......Aaron still uses the 55 Flex lace extensions. However, the 'stock' hardware is replaced partially with 'helmet screw' hardware, as the stock hardware is a bit small and results in tears to the set-up.

I'm not a fan of this, or of Taylor Hall 'wrapping his laces around the top of his skates. But, I'm not in the NHL, making millions a year and winning Rookie of The Yrar honours. LOL

I'm STILL not using the top eyelet of my 4year old Bauer ONE 95 skates. But, I'm old an my 'career' is long gone !!!

If you send me an email address, I'll send you a few close-ups of the skates.

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Yes......Aaron still uses the 55 Flex lace extensions. However, the 'stock' hardware is replaced partially with 'helmet screw' hardware, as the stock hardware is a bit small and results in tears to the set-up.

I'm not a fan of this, or of Taylor Hall 'wrapping his laces around the top of his skates. But, I'm not in the NHL, making millions a year and winning Rookie of The Yrar honours. LOL

I'm STILL not using the top eyelet of my 4year old Bauer ONE 95 skates. But, I'm old an my 'career' is long gone !!!

If you send me an email address, I'll send you a few close-ups of the skates.

Yes......Aaron still uses the 55 Flex lace extensions. However, the 'stock' hardware is replaced partially with 'helmet screw' hardware, as the stock hardware is a bit small and results in tears to the set-up.

I'm not a fan of this, or of Taylor Hall 'wrapping his laces around the top of his skates. But, I'm not in the NHL, making millions a year and winning Rookie of The Yrar honours. LOL

I'm STILL not using the top eyelet of my 4year old Bauer ONE 95 skates. But, I'm old an my 'career' is long gone !!!

If you send me an email address, I'll send you a few close-ups of the skates.

Thanks,

I sent you an email.

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Hey so read through most of this thread before it got off topic. Just switched back to tuuk from cxn. Im currently using LS2 and and generally pretty happy with it (espeically the pitch and profile).

If I need to order new steel, should I stay LS2, or should I try out LS3 or LS4? Im a little concerned that more height might be a bad thing for me (no idea how it would feel).

I also read somewhere that the profile on the LS2 and LS4 are the same, but the LS3 is more flat. Is that true or is it just bullshit?

from here: http://www.purehockey.com/blog/bauer-vapor-1x-skate-pre-order-review/

So you probably know LS2, some of you really informed players may even know LS3, but what is LS4?

LS4 is a new runner that is actually a combination of the other two listed above. LS3 is a taller runner that has been very popular among Pro players. It has a taller profile than other Bauer steel, allowing for longer sharpening life and the ability for custom profiling without greatly diminishing the life of the steel. Many people however, weren’t fans of the LS3 profile and often asked their local shops to grind down the toe and heel, essentially creating a profile closer to that of the LS2.

The LS4 runner will benefit from the height of the LS3 runner, with the popular profile of the LS2. Increased steel height increases sharpening life and improves player’s attack angle when turning quickly or accelerating.

is this bs?

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Above post is correct........LS2 factory profile is 9'. LS3 and LS4 is 10'. Higher steel height of LS3 and LS4 has about 3cm MORE height than LS2 and has MORE material (more square) at both the toe and heel ends.......similar in shape to 'StepSteel'. LS2 is a slightly 'longer' blade length than ANY LS steels.

LS3 and LS4 is a heavier blade......due to the increased material in the height and front and rear tips being more 'square' in shape.

The primary thing to watch for is that if you purchase LS4 steel, make SURE that the steel has NO NOTCHES appearing at the rear of the steel (above the LS4 logo). The older version has a notch at that point........indicating the 'brittle' steel that is very prone to breaking.

The newer version of the LS4 steel will have two (2) notches near the toe of the steel. That's OK. The 'older' version and newer version of the steel all have the toe notches.

I would 'suggest' that the average player will be very happy with LS3 steels on their new skates......or as a steel replacement. A player stepping onto the ice might discover LESS manoverability on the 10' profile.......over a 9' profile. Especially when going from their WELL USED (repeatedly sharpened) steels. The front and rear 'working radius' BOTH will be ground down big time over repeated sharpenings.......especially by the MANY skate 'Techs' out there that are heavy handed. So, by the time most players replace steels, those 9' steels are all over the map, mismatched AND possibly closer to 7' with a compounded front and rear radius of even MORE than 7'. This HAPPENS in many cases !!!

A proper re-profile of 9' with a blended front and rear working radius will work. The amount taken from the FRONT should be minimal. The rounding of the rear working radius should be more dramatic.......for ease of cutting and reversing.

So, when you get onto your new steels........EXPECT to do some 'toe tapping' or 'stubbing' on new steels.......even after a PROPER profiling and a proper blending of the front and rear working radius.

Edited by Pappa

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Can anybody take photos of the difference between the new and old LS4 steel.

THanks

Between the old and the new batches? They look the same except for the notches as mentioned.

1xls4.jpg?fresh=47886&mw=555&mh=0

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The various editions of the Bauer LS4 steel are all EXACTLY the same silhouette. The only changes being made (tinkered with) seem to be with the hardness and brittleness of the metal composition. Could be a combination of the grades of steel or annealing proceses, etc. being used.

Looks like they are having a tough time to create a runner that matches 'STEPSTEEL' in performance. The Bauer steel has been breaking. It sometimes snaps, or cracks in two (2) pieces.......usually in the center section of the steel.

The excellent photo in the post of 'mickz' shows the 'notch' in the original (older) version. Make SURE that you receive the NEWEST version when buying new skates or purchasing new steels. The NEW steels will NOT have those NOTCHES on the heel end that are shown in the photo.

According to a reply that I received in August from customer service at Bauer Canada, in Mississauga, Ontario, they are currently replacing ALL of the old 'notched' steel for customers. The steel in new skates and the steel purchased in those plastic packs of replacement steels.

With about 75% of players in the NHL now using EDGE holders and steels, Bauer wants to get this straightened out.

Edited by Pappa

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Anyone heard anything on improved availability of the "newer" LS4 steel? Seems like no one online has it even on their website except for Monkey and they always show the same 2 sizes the past several months.

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Local shops in my area (Windsor, Ontario) do not seem to have the NEW LS4 replacement steel in stock at this time. On Friday night a player had his

LS4 steel snap in two during a university game. We tried to get replacement steel on Saturday. No one had LS4. So, we replaced it with LS3 steel for the

Saturday afternoon game.

I would also like to know where to get the NEW batches of LS4 steel.

Edited by Pappa

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I just ordered "new" LS4 yesterday from my LHS, which is at the Panthers practice facility. I confirmed it like 5 times to make sure it was the new stuff. It was supposed to take 2 weeks, but they just called and said that they had gotten a whole order full of the steel in on Friday that hadn't been put out on the rack. So they have mine and a lot more there now. Maybe other shops will start getting it in now too. I'll have to confirm it is the new steel also.

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I called Bauer Canada in Mississaga today. They told me that the LS4 REPLACEMENT steel should be shipped out to their dealers at the end of this month. They said to 'look for it' in my Windsor, Ontario area around the first week in December. Dealers will replace the steel in skates and any over the counter, replacement purchases. I hope people have RECEIPTS for their purchases......especially for any over the counter 'steel replacement' type purchases.

I hope this NEW steel is OK. As the months and YEARS pass and players purchase new Bauer skates, EDGE holders will become the 'standard' holder for Bauer skates. Bauer's business plan to hold onto the propriatery design rights has eliminated STEPSTEEL from producing and selling the LS EDGE steel.

I'm thinking that Bauer replacement steel for Lightspeed 2 holders has been a huge volume of STEPSTEEL's business. They currently make replacement steel for all 24 sizes of Lightspeed 2 holders.

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I picked up my LS4 steel at the shop last night. I can confirm that it is the "new" steel (2 toe notches, no heel). Played in a game with it after just a sharpening, no correction of the radius. I will say the steel feels as hard as my BlackEdge coated Step steel on my old skates. The edge felt much stronger than the Fusion steel. The guys in the shop said that LS4 comes at 9', because people weren't happy with the 10' of LS3. It did feel to be 9', but there's a lot of steel in the heel so I'm not sure. It'll get up to NH at some point when I have a break in my schedule. Also, the steel is thicker than 3mm. You really have to jam it into the holder, it's a tight fit. I guess that is to deal with the problem that some were having with runners being loose or falling out. Or it could just be crappy quality control from bauer.

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I have not seen the NEW (notchless) LS4 steel. However, I doubt that Bauer would change the profile of the new LS4 steel from the 10 foot radius of the old batch. Bauer factory cut BOTH the LS3 and the LS4 steel at a 10 foot radius. The 10 foot radius cut from a 'manufacturer' is a real benefit to the consumer. Especially on a steel such as the LS3 and LS4 that is 3mm HIGHER than standard steels. If the customer decides to go to a smaller profile radius (9 ft., 9.5ft., etc.), the steel does NOT loose ANY height, in the process.

A 9 foot factory radius will loose height when going to a 'flatter' profile. So, it's advantagous to START with a 10 foot profile. The money spent on a profile of the 10 foot steel to a smaller radius is 'less expensive', considering that some 'flattening' profiles can remove about a year's worth of the 'wear' of skate sharpenings at some shops......more sharpening 'wear' at other shops.

Edited by Pappa
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For an new order from VH, would it just make the most sense to go with LS2 Holders with Step Steel, over LS Edge with LS3 steel? It seems Step is the way to go and there is no option for STEP with Edge holders.

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You lose the convenience of the easy Edge steel swaps (between shifts), but an LS2 swap is under 5min (miss a shift).

I've swapped my LS2's with a bad nick or dropped edge between warmups and puck drop.

You gain the convenience of not possibly getting LS4 runners from the bad batch...and you can sometimes find STEP for LS2 holders on eBay for ~$60.
I'd vote STEP.

Since they're custom, couldn't you go with any other holder (CCM, Graf, or Easton)...that has STEP available, or do you prefer Bauer?

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