How to Tune Skis #1: Edge Work || REI

Burrs and rust on your ski edges cause drag and slow you down on firm snow. Learn how to properly maintain your ski edges so you can enjoy a fast and fun day on the slopes. We’ll show you how to inspect the edges, remove burrs, polish rust and wipe the bases clean. Shop REI’s selection of ski tuning equipment at

Rusts and burrs on your ski edges cause drag and slow you down on firm snow; so, getting rid of these abrasions can help them perform their best. Extensive edge work and sharpening should be done at a ski shop, but minor work can be done at home. You’ll need a clean towel, a diamond stone, a gummy stone, and rubbing alcohol. Start by placing your skis on your ski vise. If you don’t have a vise, you can use a couple stacks of books to balance your ski. Be sure to lock your brakes up and out of the way. You may need a rubber band for this.
Inspect the edges for rust and burrs. To avoid cutting your finger, run your towel along the edge to feel small nicks. These nicks will snag fibers and show you where you need to work. Any rough spots that you find need to be filed smooth without damaging your edge. This is done with a diamond stone, which is designed to remove less material than a file, so you’re less likely to damage your edge if you slip. It’s still important to go slow and be careful. Start by wetting the diamond stone and running it over the burrs, using the base as a guide. Make sure to keep pressure on the metal edge to avoid scratching the base material. Focus on areas that have more rust or burrs, but make sure to cover the entire length of the edge.
For minor rust, use a gummy stone. Gummy stones feel like hard, gritty erasers. They’re less abrasive than diamond stones, so they’re great for polishing. Next, repeat the process on the side edges. Make sure to keep the diamond stone flush with the edge. This is the trickier part, because you can’t rest the diamond stone flat on the base, so pinch it and use your fingers against the base. Keep pressure light to avoid doing too much. Remember, tip to tail. When you’re done, run the gummy stone lightly along the edges for a final polish. Finish by using your towel and rubbing alcohol to clean off any metal shavings.
To recap, start by inspecting the edges to locate trouble areas. Use a diamond stone to clean off nicks and small burrs. Polish off rust with your gummy stone and clean off the base with rubbing alcohol. Once you’re done with the edges, it’s time to take a look at the base.


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