I have used the Blade Barber three times and I am very impressed with it. I have worked in the ice rink business for seven years and I have sharpened hundreds of skates using both Black Stone and Blade Master sharpeners. I will say the Blade Barber is a very nice tool for the recreational skater/hockey player. It is somewhat harder to get the smaller blemish out of the skate’s steel with the Blade Barber as it will not take off as much steel as a machine sharpening would. However, Blade Barber mentions this in the Q&A section of its webpage. The Blade Barber seams to produce very even skate blades. Uneven skate blades can be very dangerous to skate on, and I have not found this to be an issue with the Blade Barber. One draw back to the Blade Barber is that the life of the sharpening doesn’t seam to last as long as a machine sharpening. I do not skate on very hard ice and my Blade Barber sharpening typical last 3-4 hours of skating time before I feel the need to get my edges tuned up again. With a machine sharpening I can generally skate on them for 5-6 hours of ice time. However this could vary for everyone depending on how much cutting/ stoping you are doing when skating, ice surface temperature, humid vs no humid rinks, indoor vs pond ice, ext, ext. Overall this is a great product for the price! I would recommend also using a piece of steel wool or a skate stone on the blades after using the Blade Barber, it will save your fingers some agitation from the fine bits of steel that is shaved off when sharpening your skates. The steel wool will also prevent rusty skate blades if you plan to store your skates for a extended period of time. The Blade Barber will save you a lot of time waiting in rink lines and or picking up and dropping off your skates to be sharpened. Thanks Blade Barber for a very inventive and ground breaking tool in the skating industry!
I have been using this tool for a few months now. It takes a little while to get the hang of but I would like to think that I am pretty good with it now. I have 2 boys that play a lot who I am on the ice with plus I play myself. Needless to say I have been looking for something like this. It is a must have for any hockey trainer as I have repaired lost edges on the bench and the player has not even missed a shift. I have done at least 40 sharpens with mine and its still sharpening. My experience is that I still get my skates sharpened at Pro Hockey life or Play it again but rather than once every 1.5 to 2 weeks I now do them every 2 months. Fits in my jacket pocket on the bench - so convenient!
The Blade Barber is fantastic! It does a perfect job on my blades - better than most shops and rinks you go to where the 'kid' is working. The instructional video is well worth the watch!