The Jig, the essential tool ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


14 mars 2018

The Jig, the essential tool

By Marc-Antoine Caron from  Marchands de vitesse
In collaboration with Passion/Speed/Skating
Photos: Martin Holtom and stock photos

If you have read our last article on sharpening stones, you will now have a better understanding of how to use and choose them. In light of this, this article will also help your sharpening skills by teaching you about another sharpening tool; the base consider as a sharpener, usually known as the “jig”. The biggest question is; is it worth it to pay for an expensive and recent jig?

First of all, it is important to know that whatever jig you have; you will be able to get a blade that is sharp. However, the time it will take you to get that result, and the precision of the sharpness won’t be guaranteed. In other words, some jigs have a better exactness, and how they are made can also have an effect on the rapidity you get your blades done. Therefore, the challenge while sharpening is to be able to always place the blades in the same manner, while having a 90 degree angle. Ideally, you should never undo your jig, place your blade always the same way and manner, and also to always tighten the bolts with the same pressure. This procedure will help you with any type of jig to have a good sharpening with precision and done quickly.

Regardless, certain jig models allow you to get this result easier than others. For example a company from Quebec, Nagano Skate, has been able to do this. This company has taken the concept developped in the United States by Staybent and has simplified it. As a result, the jig Silver 1.1 lets minimum contact with the blade, which places the blades perfectly the same way without having to stress about the tensions with the bolts. In addition, the curve in the blade will not be affected by the sharpening like it would with other jigs.

Nonetheless, Nagano jig is more expensive. Is it worth it? The answer is yes, if you want the certainty of an easy regular sharpening with a 90 degree angle each time. Furthermore, a quality jig will last you longer. Although, the famous Maple jig, which is dominant in the Canadian speed skating world, is a great sharpening tool if you have a good constant technique. 

Last minute advice, if you decide to shop for a jig you must remember that not all blades are compatible to certain older models.

Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions or need advice.

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