How To Sharpen Skis | The Ski Workshop

Keep your ski edges razor sharp with our guide on how to sharpen skis

Nothing compares to the feeling of grip, control and power that comes from a freshly sharpened pair of skis. Likewise no one should have to experience the feeling of helplessness when you lose grip on an icy piste due to blunt edges. Learning how to sharpen skis is a valuable skill that will help you to shred harder and make your day on the mountain more enjoyable.

What You Need To Sharpen Ski Edges

  • Sturdy table
  • Ski clamps
  • File guide for the correct edge angle
  • File clamp
  • Deburring stone
  • Course file
  • Diamond file
  • Sidewall remover
  • Rubber bands
  • Gloves for hand protection
  • Small wire brush for cleaning files

Step One

Retain the brakes of the skis with a rubber band. Place your ski in the ski vice with the edge on top and the base away from you.

Take the deburring stone in the guide and run it down the edge until smooth.  This is good practice even if no damage is visible as it will take off the hardened surface material, making it easier to sharpen and putting less wear on the files.

Step Two

Take the file and clamp it in the guide. The file will only work in one direction, set it up so that it cuts the edge on the pull. Have it orientated for cutting while using your dominant hand.

Starting at one end of the ski place the file guide against base and let the file rest on the ski edge. You are aiming to keep this position as you pull the file along the length of the ski. Don’t press too hard as you will cause the file to slip.

Work in sections and move your way along the ski. It will often take multiple passes to get the edge sharp, once that section is sharp move down the ski. Move your feet and whole body as this will allow you to keep even pressure as you go rather than stretching out.

You are looking to get a consistently sharp edge along the length. You can tell that it is sharp be gently touching it with your finger tips, careful not to slide along and cut yourself.

Step Three

Take the diamond stone in the file and repeat step two. The fine diamond stone will remove any imperfections from the filing and give it a final polish. If you are tuning regularly then you might only need to use the diamond stone, skipping the medium or coarse file.

Sidewall Removal

Often you will find the file not gripping or being left with plastic stuck in it. This will be down to the sidewall being flush with the edge. To remove this material you will need a sidewall removal tool.

Set this up to take a small amount of material off the plastic just above the edge. Start with small amounts and keep testing with the file so as not to remove too much. When the file cuts cleanly the sidewall will be at the right depth.


Ready to buy? Check out the latest edge tools at Surfdome.

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