Hockey Skate Sharpening Chart: Hollow Radius Chart


Hollow (Radius)DescriptionUse Case
1/2″ (13 mm)Maximum sharpness, less durableAdvanced players, great maneuverability
5/8″ (16 mm)Good compromiseGeneral use, balanced performance
3/4″ (19 mm)Increased stabilityBeginner or heavier players, better balance
1″ (25 mm)Maximum blade contact, more durableOutdoor use, players who prefer stability
Flat Bottom VImproved glide and stabilityAdvanced players, figure skaters, goalies
Double-FlatUltimate glide, less turning gripFigure skaters, synchronized skaters

Hockey skate sharpening chart by weight

Player WeightRecommended Hollow Radius (ROH)
Under 120 lbs5/8″ or 3/4″
120-160 lbs1/2″ or 5/8″
160-200 lbs3/8″ or 1/2″
200-240 lbs3/8″ or 7/16″
Over 240 lbs5/16″ or 3/8″

Hockey skate radius chart

Ice ConditionsPlayer PreferencesRecommended Hollow Radius (ROH)
Softer IceAgility, Quick Turns, Quick Starts5/8″ or 3/4″
Softer IceStability, Glide, Power3/8″ or 1/2″
Harder IceAgility, Quick Turns, Quick Starts1/2″ or 5/8″
Harder IceStability, Glide, Power3/8″ or 1/2″

In this chart, the recommended hollow radius (ROH) is presented based on the combination of ice conditions and player preferences. Softer ice conditions tend to benefit from a shallower hollow (larger ROH), while harder ice conditions may require a deeper hollow (smaller ROH).

Similarly, player preferences for agility, quick turns, and quick starts may favor a shallower hollow, while stability, glide, and power may benefit from a deeper hollow.

Hockey skate sharpening chart by playing positions

Playing PositionRecommended Hollow Radius (ROH)
Forward1/2″ or 5/8″
Defense5/8″ or 3/4″
Goalie3/8″ or 1/2″

Forwards often prefer a shallower hollow (1/2″ or 5/8″) to facilitate quick turns, agility, and acceleration. Defensemen, on the other hand, typically opt for a slightly deeper hollow (5/8″ or 3/4″) to enhance stability, power, and the ability to hold the blue line.

Goaltenders generally use a shallower hollow (3/8″ or 1/2″) to assist with lateral movement and maneuverability in the crease.

Performance characteristics of the skate blade

Hollow Radius (ROH)Performance Characteristics
3/8″Provides excellent bite and maneuverability, recommended for agility and quick turns.
1/2″Offers a balance between bite and glide, suitable for general play and versatile performance.
5/8″Provides enhanced glide and stability, ideal for players seeking more speed and flow.
3/4″Offers maximum glide and stability, preferred by players looking for high speed and power.

Is 5 8 or 1 2 sharper?

In skate sharpening, the terms “5/8” and “1/2″ refer to the radius of the hollow (ROH) on the skate blade, not the sharpness of the blade.

The hollow radius determines the depth of the groove that is created when sharpening the skate blade. A smaller hollow radius, such as 1/2″, means a deeper groove is created, resulting in a sharper edge.

On the other hand, a larger hollow radius, such as 5/8”, means a shallower groove is created, which can provide better glide and maneuverability on the ice.

So, in terms of sharpness, a 1/2″ hollow is considered sharper than a 5/8″ hollow.

Is 3 8 or 5 8 sharper?

In skate sharpening, a smaller hollow radius indicates a deeper groove and a sharper edge. Therefore, a 3/8″ hollow is sharper than a 5/8″ hollow.

To clarify:

  • A 3/8″ hollow has a smaller radius and creates a deeper groove, resulting in a sharper edge.
  • A 5/8″ hollow has a larger radius and creates a shallower groove, providing better glide and maneuverability on the ice but not as sharp an edge as the 3/8″.

Is 2.5 and 5 2 the same?

No, 2.5 and 5/2 are not the same.

2.5 is a numerical value, representing the number 2.5, which is a decimal number between 2 and 3.

On the other hand, 5/2 is a fraction, specifically the fraction 5/2, which represents the division of 5 by 2. This fraction simplifies to 2.5, which is equivalent to the decimal value mentioned earlier.

So, while both 2.5 and 5/2 represent the same value, they are different notations for that value. 2.5 is a decimal representation, and 5/2 is a fraction representation of the same value.

What radius do NHL players use?

NHL players use a hollow radius (ROH) between 1/2″ and 5/8″. These hollows provide a balance between sharpness and maneuverability on the ice.

Some NHL players may prefer a shallower hollow, such as 5/8″, which offers more glide and maneuverability, making it easier to pivot and make quick turns. Others may opt for a slightly deeper hollow, such as 1/2″, which provides more bite into the ice, enhancing acceleration and stability.

What radius should ice skates be sharpened to for beginners?

For beginners, it is generally recommended to sharpen ice skates to a slightly shallower hollow radius. This helps provide more stability and forgiveness on the ice, allowing beginners to feel more comfortable and confident in their skating.

A common recommendation for beginners is to sharpen their skates to a hollow radius of around 5/8″ or 3/4″.

This shallower hollow provides a bit more glide and makes it easier for beginners to maintain balance and control. It reduces the risk of catching an edge and allows for smoother, more forgiving turns.

Some beginners may prefer a slightly deeper hollow for more stability, while others may opt for an even shallower hollow for increased maneuverability.

What is standard skate sharpening?

Standard skate sharpening typically refers to a common and widely used hollow radius or sharpening technique that is often applied to ice hockey and figure skates.

In general, standard skate sharpening involves the following:

Hollow Radius (ROH): The hollow radius determines the depth and width of the groove that is cut into the skate blade during sharpening. The most common standard hollow radius for ice hockey and figure skates is 1/2″. This hollow radius strikes a balance between sharpness and maneuverability on the ice.

Consistent Edges: The skate sharpener ensures that both edges of the skate blade are sharpened evenly and symmetrically. This consistency helps maintain stability and balance while skating.

Blade Alignment: The skate sharpener aligns the blade properly within the skate holder to ensure even contact with the ice surface. Proper alignment allows for efficient weight transfer and optimal performance.

Finishing: After sharpening, the skate sharpener may finish the edges by deburring and polishing them to enhance smoothness and minimize drag.


What is the purpose of a hockey skate sharpening chart?

A hockey skate sharpening chart provides guidelines on the recommended hollow radius based on factors such as player preferences, playing positions, and ice conditions. It helps players and skate sharpeners make informed decisions when sharpening skates.

Can I use the same hollow radius for both practice and game skates?

Yes, you can use the same hollow radius for both practice and game skates. However, if you have specific preferences or play on different ice surfaces, you may consider adjusting the hollow radius accordingly.

How do I know if my skates need sharpening?

Some signs that indicate the need for skate sharpening include reduced grip on the ice, difficulty making turns, increased slipping, or a noticeable decrease in performance. It’s essential to pay attention to these signs and have your skates sharpened when necessary.

Can I sharpen my skates at home, or should I always go to a professional skate sharpener?

While it’s possible to sharpen skates at home, it requires skill, experience, and specialized equipment. If you’re confident in your abilities, you can sharpen your skates at home. However, for optimal results and to ensure proper sharpening, it’s generally recommended to go to a professional skate sharpener.

Can I customize my skate sharpening beyond the recommended chart?

Yes, the skate-sharpening chart provides general recommendations, but personal preferences can vary. You can experiment with different hollow radii to find what works best for your playing style and preferences. It’s important to communicate your specific needs to the skate sharpener to achieve the desired results.

Can the ice temperature affect my skate-sharpening needs?

Yes, ice temperature can impact skate-sharpening preferences. In general, softer ice conditions (warmer, slushy ice) may benefit from a shallower hollow to prevent the blades from digging too deep into the ice. Harder ice conditions (colder, denser ice) may require a deeper hollow for improved grip and control.

Should I get my skates sharpened before a game or practice?

It’s generally recommended to get your skates sharpened a day or two before a game or practice to allow the edges to settle and remove any burrs or roughness from the sharpening process. This ensures optimal performance on the ice.

Can I switch the hollow radius on my skates between games or practices?

Switching the hollow radius between games or practices is possible but not commonly done. Most players find a hollow radius that suits their playing style and stick with it consistently. Switching hollows frequently can disrupt familiarity and muscle memory, so it’s advisable to find the most suitable hollow radius and stick with it unless you have specific reasons for making adjustments.

Is it possible to sharpen figure skates using the same chart for hockey skates?

While there may be some similarities in skate-sharpening preferences, figure skates typically have different requirements compared to hockey skates. The hollow radius and performance characteristics can vary based on the specific discipline of figure skating, such as jumps, spins, or ice dance. It’s recommended to consult with a skate sharpening professional experienced in figure skates to determine the best hollow radius for your specific needs.

Can skate sharpening improve my overall skating performance?

Yes, proper skate sharpening can significantly impact your skating performance. The right hollow radius can enhance your balance, control, agility, and acceleration on the ice. However, it’s important to consider other factors like skating technique, physical fitness, and skill development alongside skate sharpening to improve your overall performance.

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