- Checking the sharpness of steel edges has long been a bit of a guessing game for most tuners. Shaving the face of your fingernail, or dragging the side of a pinkie finger across an edge doesn't provide consistently reliable or accurate feedback...unless maybe you're an ultra-experienced World Cup level technician. This tuning stick helps resolve that. It's made of a special hard plastic that subtly communicates how sharp or dull your edges are. You hold it at a 45-degree angle to the edge and, bearing down with moderate pressure, simply slide and try to shave some stick material away. If the edge is sharp, you"ll feel and hear a noticeable resistance and sound. If the edge is dull, the stick will not shave...but slide without much resistance or sound. When you first get a tuning stick, try it on some edges you've ridden for a day or two. You'll be surprised how much duller they usually feel underfoot (due to greater wear from skier/rider weight and pressure) than at the tips and tails. Try it again after tuning and see the difference...it will be noticeable if you've tuned effectively. If you impart a sharper bevel angle underfoot than at the tips and tails, the stick will also detect this. Likewise, you'll also be able to hear and feel the difference between burred edges and deburred/polished edges. The SkiVisions tuning stick is such a simple yet revealing tool that can give you invaluable tuning feedback.
- 6.5" x 3/8" (165mm x 9mm)
- Made in the USA.
- Sold each.
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I was a little sceptical but the first time I used this was after setting both base bevel and side angle on my skis. I had also planed the sidewall first.
I set the angles with files and finished them with 100, 200, 600 and 1500 diamond stones, then polished with Solda Steel Jet polish.
The tuning stick quickly highlighted that I had an area on one ski that was not quite as good as the rest. A quick touch up and polish and all edges were up to spec.
The ski tuning guide provides a foolproof way to determine your edge sharpness. It will save one time and
one won't wear away those valuable edges prematurely.
As a shop tech for an outdoor retailer customers always bring in their gear for a tune up and ask, "what do you think my skis/snowboard needs?". In the past I've used what was handy, my fingernail, to judge edge sharpness and while it is somewhat useful it's hard to communicate that information to anyone other than myself.
With the Ski Visions tuning stick you can confirm both visually and audibly what kind of conditions the edges are of skis and snowboards. Hold the stick at a 45 degree angle to the edge and push the stick perpendicular to edge with light to moderate pressure. Voila, the sound and the shavings (or lack there of) quickly and easily report what kind of condition your edges are in without the guesswork. I now consider this a required tool whenever tuning skis and snowboards.
The tuning stick takes experience, but once you gain this, you will never go back to any other way of evaluating your edges. Although 45 degrees is recommended, I recommend something closer to 60 degrees. And a lot of pressure. A sharp edge should really squeal and shave off a lot of plastic (it's not p-tex). A dull edge will vibrate with a much lower frequency and shave off almost nothing. This is typical of edges you have detuned at the front and back. An edge with a burr will vibrate more than a clean edge.
(For Ski Visions users) If you find significant sections under foot that aren't sharp, you probably need to use files to remove metal. Otherwise, green stones should do the job. Always use green stones to soften rock hardened edges before using files, then follow with the green stones to polish and remove the fine burrs left by the files.
I have used my finger nail in the past. This is much easier and more accurate.
This thing just looked too stupid. But for a couple of bucks, what the hell? I really am a good tuner. And this too stupid thing told me I am not. My skis were really dull under foot. Even after I thought I tuned them just right. It finds subtle differences I did not know were there. It is amazing how it will read edges and sharpness INCH BY INCH. You can literally find a rock you hit a month ago with it and see you haven't corrected the damage. The edge might look good, but it will tell you it is dull as hell. If you are not a superb tuner, it will punish you. I am getting better. But you have to use pressure like the dude says.
The prior review didn't understand something about the stick. You have to put on some real pressure, far more than the pressure with a finger or fingernail. Their website says "moderate" pressure, I like to use more than moderate. Once you put some real pressure on it the thing really sings. Tells you everything you need to know. I never tune without it.
Great idea, but I just couldn't get the hang of this thing. Perhaps I didn't try hard enough, but I didn't feel like I could evaluate edge sharpness any better than with just my finger.