We decided to write up a Sparx Skate Sharpener review after we heard about this remarkable portable sharpener.
We have all been frustrated at some point by needing to drive out to a pro shop to have our skates sharpened and were excited at the possibility of doing the sharpening ourselves.
So what makes the Sparx Sharpener any different than the others on the market?
To begin with, it is the most affordable home sharpener you can get. Additionally, it will allow you to get the custom hollow that you want, as well as buffing out nicks, and giving you an edge to be excited about.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to the Sparx Skate Sharpener, so we have broken it down to look at all of the benefits, features, and uses.
Benefits Of Having The Sparx Skate Sharpener
If you have never thought of owning your own sharpener, don’t feel bad, because most players don’t consider the possibility.
After all, skate stores will charge you to sharpen your blades, so why would they let you in on the secret? Owning a Sparx Skate Sharpener has many advantages, from saving money to saving you time.
To begin with, owning a Sparx Skate Sharpener is going to save you money in the long run. While you might want to spend money on your own sharpener, think about how much you spend each time you sharpen your blades.
On average, its $10 for each visit, and while a light skater might get by sharpening once a month, skaters who put 20 hours in a week on the ice will be doing it weekly. If that’s the case, you are spending nearly $500 a year to sharpen your blades.
Having a portable sharpener at your disposal means that it is easy to carry and easy to conceal. Your sharpener is not going to take up much room in your home and is easy to carry with you from game to game, allowing you to sharpen your blades right before you need to use them. Not all home sharpeners are as easy to transport as the Sparx Sharpener is.
When you use a skate shop to sharpen your blades, you are relying entirely on the shop itself. With your own, you can sharpen the blades and your own convenience, whether you are at home or you are out in the rink.
What if you get on the ice to play and discover the blades really need to be sharpened? With your Sparx Skate Sharpener, you can handle the problem right then instead of traveling to the closest shop and then waiting for them to do it for you.
Sparx Skate Sharpener Review Results
Sparx Skate Sharpener Set-Up
You will need to know how the set-up of your Sparx sharpener works before you can get started sharpening your blades. The sharpener itself looks like a box with all of the other parts to get it working. The parts include:
- Locking devices: These are what hold your blades in place while the sharpener does its job. It will keep your blade still to get the best results possible.
- Grinding ring: You have several different grinding rings to choose from which will depend on both the edge you like and the type of blades that you have. The two that are the most available are the “Fire” and “Radius” grinding rings. The grinding ring is one of the most important components of the Sparx Skate Sharpener as it is what will do the actual work of sharpening the blades.
- Keypad: Like keypads do, the keypad on the Sparx is there to regulate the entire sharpening process. It lets you program the sharpener for speed, cycles, and what results you would like to get.
- Indicator lights: This might not seem like a part, but it is worth mentioning. The indicator lights on the Sparx Sharpener let you know when the grinding process is running and when it has stopped. They can also indicate if there was any problem with the process.
Otherwise, the sharpener does not have many parts that will warrant attention or maintenance, so you should be able to take care of this while still using it regularly.
Before committing to the Sparx Skate Sharpener, it is important that you know what the prices are for the entire device. The device itself is $899, which might seem like a lot, but Sparx is definitely worth the money.
In addition to the sharpener itself, you will need to buy the $139 edge checker (picture below). This is an add-on price, but you really do not want to go without it. It is what makes sure that the edge has come out exactly as you wanted it.
You will also have the added cost of replacing the grinding rings as they wear down. The whole starter pack for those is $149. You will not have to change the grinding ring out often, but it is something to watch for.
If the price is what is holding you back, there is financing available through Klarna, so, upon approval, you will be able to split the cost of the sharpener into easier payments.
Is The Sparx Sharpener Worth The Money? (Yes!)
We already mentioned what the cost of the product is as well as its attachments, so you might be asking yourself whether it is really worth the money for you to buy.
A good way to think of this is to ask yourself how often you need to sharpen your blades.
Then you should consider how far away the closest pro shop is that could sharpen your blades as well as the cost of your time spent going there every time your blades need to be sharpened.
Sparx actually has a great calculator to help you break down the amount of time that it takes to get to the pro shop, the cost of your time spent waiting to have the blades sharpened, the amount of skaters that you have in your home, and even the amount of years you have left skating. Check it out here.
Sparx Home Skate Sharpening Step By Steps
The Sparx Skate Sharpener is easy to use, just follow these steps:
- Step 1: Put on the right grinding ring for the skates that you are going to sharpen. To do this, open the case and unbolt the ring that is on the sharpener and switch with the one you want.
- Step 2: Use the edge aligner to confirm the skates’ blades are not bent.
- Step 3: Power on the sharpener.
- Step 4: Push the blade into the top slot.
- Step 5: If the lights are on, the skate isn’t in correctly.
- Step 6: Press on the arrows to move the grinding ring to the blade.
- Step 7: If the grinding ring is too high or low, open the case and turn the red knob to move it.
- Step 8: Start the grinding ring at the front edge of the blade for consistency.
- Step 9: Choose how many passes you want; four is the standard, but it is adjustable.
- Step 10: Press the start button to go.
- Step 11: Clean the tray and filter. Replace the filter every 200 sharpenings.
Choosing The Grinding Ring Is Very Important
Having the right grinding ring can be the difference in a good finish and a sloppy finish. At the moment, Sparx offers grinding rings in a half-inch Traditional style, a five-eighths-inch style and a half-inch Fire grinding ring.
The radius of the ring that you choose will affect the depth of the hollow of your blade. For a smaller hollow, you need a larger radius grinding ring. Likewise, the smaller the ring radius, the bigger the hollow is.
Younger and newer players should opt for the half-inch ring whereas more experienced players can use the larger size.
Sparx also offers you to choose between a Radius ring and a Fire ring. The Radius ring creates a traditional hollow, which is used by most players. The Fire ring creates a flat center on the hollow, which can help with bite and glide.
How Do You Know When To Replace A Grinding Ring?
Sparx reports that a grinding ring is intended to survive for about 60 sharpenings or so. A pro shop sharpener’s grinding ring should last around 200, by comparison. Sparx’s grinding rings also have built-in technology that will indicate to you when the ring is not adequately doing its job anymore.
As we mentioned above, there are two types of grinding rings that you can choose from for your blades. The most common type of grinding blade is Radius, which gives you a nice rounded hollow. Meanwhile, the fire grinding ring produces a flat edge at the bottom of the hollow.
Regardless of the type of Sparx grinding ring that you prefer to use, they both wear down about the same rate. You should be able to tell on the ice if your ring has not been keeping up with your blades’ precision.
Sparx Sharpening System Components
Beyond the sharpener itself, there are several components that you can buy to go along with it. One of the add-ons that you really should buy is the skate clamp. This device will clamp onto the skate, aligning itself perfectly with the grinding ring to give you a great finish.
The clamp does not work with all kinds of skates, however, so you should double-check its compatibility before investing in it.
The sharpener also has a carriage that carries the grinding rings along the blade with a high amount of pressure. This is done to ensure the smoothness of your blades and help maintain the blade profile that you wanted.
The grinding ring is the most important component of all of them as it is the piece that does the job of sharpening. The grinding ring might need to be changed once in awhile, but without it your blades would dull and become unsafe to wear.
Difference Between The Sparx Sharpener vs Commercial Sharpeners
There are other commercial sharpeners on the market that you can buy in addition to the Sparx, but they are not as good as the Sparx Skate Sharpener is. To begin with, none of the competitors are remotely as portable as the Sparx Sharpener is, which means it is hard, if not impossible, to take it places.
Additionally, none of the other sharpeners are remotely as cost effective as the Sparx Sharpener is. The brand Wissota has several types that you can choose from, but they are either too large or expensive to be reasonable.
Who Would We Recommend The Sparx Sharpener To?
Getting a Sparx Sharpener is not just for one type of player or another, but it can be utilized by many hockey players. It is really great for anyone who wants to save time and money.
We would recommend the sharpener to the following groups of people:
- Hockey players who live far from a pro shop
- Families that have young children
- Families that have multiple hockey players
- A small business owner looking to become a pro sharpener
- Hockey players who play often and hard enough to need frequent sharpening
How Is Sparx Customer Service
If you have any questions or concerns to share with customer service, you will be delighted to find that they are an incredibly helpful company. You can email them directly with any questions that you might have, even if you haven’t purchased their sharpener yet.
They are fast at their response time and are more than happy to help you out. Even after you own the sharpener, you can get help with any concerns or issues that you run into.
For anyone who needs to have their skates sharpened regularly, has several skaters in the house, or even many years left skating, the Sparx Skate Sharpener is an excellent investment to make.
Not only will you not have to travel anywhere to sharpen your skates, but you can be sure that it is being done properly each time you do it.
Your time is valuable and should not be wasted driving to and waiting for a pro shop to sharpen your blades when you can do it in your own time in the comfort of your own home.
I hope that our Sparx Skate Sharpener review helps you with your decision.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.