Chapter 3: The Basic Edging Kit

Basic edging kit: – Just like waxing, this is about as inexpensive of a kit as possible. Maintaining the edges of the skis serves two purposes: 1. To prevent and/or eliminate rust. 2. To keep the edges sharp, so they will grip on hard surfaces. If edge grip does not matter to you, edge maintenance can still be important. Rusty and deformed edges can make a ski unpredictable, and generally crappy edges = crappy resale value. I would recommend saving up until you can buy good diamond stones and edge guides, as the more expensive edge equipment will last longer and perform better. Of course, I will list the absolute minimum that you need to get the job done:

1 File guide – A file guide is basically a piece of aluminum cast in an L shape, and is used to hold edge maintenance tools (like files and diamond stones) at a fixed angle so that you can accurately tune the edge of the skis. File guides are some of the most expensive and most important things you will have in your kit, but they are also going to outlast everything else you buy, including your skis. Make sure to purchase the correct size/angle guide. They generally range from 0-4 degrees, in one degree increments, depending on your ski. Check with the manufacturer/local shop to see what your edges are set at. Remember: a 91 degree guide and an 89 degree guide are the same thing. Just as 92 and 88 are the same. Much more on file guides in the photo tuning section.

- As far the plastic multi/variable angle edge tuners go, I would not recommend them. They tend to be more expensive than the aluminum single bevel edge guides, are usually made of plastic which wears down quickly, and will result in an imprecise tool.

1 half-size Diamond stone – you will get more value out of a full size stone, which sell for more, but the “pocket” size stones get the job done. Go for a “medium” or “400” grit stone – this is a middle range stone that is good for general edge maintenance. You will want to pick up a rough grit (200 or 100 grit) for repairing damaged sections of edge.

1 Spring clamp – used to hold the diamond stone to the file guide.

1 Spray bottle of soapy water – Spray soapy water on your diamond stones before using them; it acts as a lubricant between the stone and edge. It will make sharpening more effective, keep the stone from becoming clogged, and will help prolong the life of your diamond stone(s). You can buy edge-polishing solution by the bottle, but the consensus seems to be that soapy water works just as well.