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FLAT BOTTOM V® - FBV® - Technology

A New Era of Perfection

The revolutionary new FBV™ (Flat Bottom V™) skate sharpening system from Blackstone® (patent-pending) gives you competitive advantages like you’ve never experienced before. Superior endurance. Greater power. Enhanced agility. Better control. These are just a few of the improvements skaters from recreational leagues to the pros are reporting with this new blade sharpening technique. In fact, research conducted by The International Ice Hockey Research Academy at the University of Ottawa, under the direction of Dr. T. Blaine Hoshizaki, supports the benefits players are noticing: “The results in this study definitely confirm that the Blackstone® innovation is easily perceived and recognized by the subjects as having a performance benefit.”

What People Are Saying About FBV™

“For pushing and gliding and being on top of the ice, there’s a huge difference. Because it’s not sinking into the ice, you don’t have to work as hard. It’s absolutely incredible.”
Cory Stillman, Florida Panthers

“Guys like it and they feel less fatigue in the legs”
Bert Godin, Equipment Manager, St. Louis Blues

“There’s nothing generating anywhere close to this kind of effusive word of mouth”
the Hamilton Spectator

Understanding Traditional Skate Sharpening

Traditional sharpening uses a grinding stone to create a groove or hollow between the edges of the blade. The depth of this hollow determines the performance of the skate and is a matter of individual preference.

Simply put, the deeper the hollow, the more blade digs into the ice. This creates “bite” but the trade off is that it decreases the ease of your glide. So you basically have to choose between gliding speed and grip.

FBV™: The Best of Both Worlds

FBV™ eliminates the need to choose one benefit over the other, with a breakthrough architecture designed for the perfect blend of speed and agility. The flat bottom shape of the blade allows the skate to glide across the top of the ice rather than cut through it. This reduces drag and helps increase speed. At the same time, the precision edges are ready to dig in and provide precise control on turns and stops.

The result is a revolutionary, no-compromise blade sharpening technique that allows you to skate faster with less effort and experience precise control on turns and stops, so you get maximum bite and maximum glide all the time. The secret: the Blackstone® SPINNER SYSTEM: a breakthrough new coated disc system that dresses the radius and shape of the grinding wheel so that it can create sharpening on the bottom of the blade. The FBV™ system does not alter rocker radius or remove any more steel than conventional sharpening.

Another advantage of the FBV™ system is that you can “fine tune” the combination of speed and agility that’s right for you. Initial testing and feedback tells us that 90/75 is relative to the edge of a traditional 5/8 - 3/4 circular hollow and the 90/50 is relative to the 1 inch circular hollow and the 100/75 setting to the edge of a 1/2 to 3/8 circular hollow.

However the skating sensation is so superior to what you’re used to, you have to experience it on the ice to know which one is best for you. Simply by noting the setting of your sharpening before you take to the ice, you’ll know which aspect to dial up or down to get the balance that best suits your skating style and personal preferences.

Most skaters feel that 90/75 is a good starting point and from there you can work with your pro shop to decide if you prefer the edges to be more or less sharp.

Elevate Your Game Today With FBV™

There’s never been an easier way to dial up your performance. Give your skates the FBV™ edge and put the advantages of improved endurance, enhanced control and agility to work for you and your team.




History of Skate Sharpening

Skate sharpening is a process which, we suspect, started in the 1800s with a manually powered grinding wheel similar to that depicted in this picture from 1877. You can see the beginning of a radius being ground into the blade by the arc of the grinding wheel.


As time went on, the sharpening process fell into the domain of shoemakers, blacksmiths and knife sharpeners who began to use motorized vertical grinding wheels to sharpen skate blades. Discoveries about the process were made over time…one of which was that the smaller the vertical grinding wheel’s diameter (producing a larger ROH – radius of hollow), the sharper the edges of the blade became. This led to the realization that a deeper hollow (smaller radius) gave the skater greater mobility (bite) and that a shallower hollow (larger radius) increased speed (glide).

After years of using a vertical wheel it was discovered that a radius could be scribed in the face of the grinding wheel by placing the wheel horizontally and then rotating a single point diamond dresser across the front of the wheel. This innovation not only provided many variations of the radius, but also a consistent radius on the face of the wheel that could be produced and reproduced easily by any operator.

The latest innovation in the process of sharpening skates is the ‘Spinner System’ patent pending. This system uses the horizontal grinding wheel, but dresses the wheel with a ‘spinner’ instead of a single point diamond. A spinner is a disc with a radius machined on its exterior and which is then coated with diamonds. The diamond coated dressing wheel spins and, as it bumps against the face of the grinding wheel, dresses the grinding wheel with a precise radius. The spinner dressing system produces a more accurate dressing result with less effort than was previously required with a single point diamond.

The innovation of the Blackstone ‘Spinner System’ patent pending is that the operator has the opportunity to put any radius and, most notably, any ‘shape’ on the blade.

Traditionally, skates have been sharpened with a circular (arc) form on the bottom of the blade. This arc (hollow) is a piece of the circumference of a circle and can vary in depth. As the depth of the hollow changes, so does the bite of the blade’s edge. As the hollow gets deeper (with a smaller circle more of its circumference is on the blade), the edges become sharper and more pronounced. Typically this results in the skater being able to cut sharper and be more agile, but speed requires more effort. As the hollow gets shallower (with a larger circle less of its circumference is on the blade), the edges become less pronounced and the blade appears flatter. Typically this results in the skater being able to skate faster, but cutting takes more effort. (The sharper the edge, the more the blade will sink in the ice. Less edge creates more glide due to the fact that more of the blade is on the surface of the ice). Picture the difference between a quarter and a dime - the dime would produce a much deeper hollow because the blade covers more of its circumference compared to the quarter, which would produce a shallower hollow.

It is important to know what hollow you are skating on because it affects your skating technique and how your blade reacts with the ice. Also, knowing your radius/hollow will allow you to get the same sharpening you normally receive even if you travel to a different pro shop.

Skate Sharpening Machines using FBV® Technology: