Even if you are a casual skater, sharpening your own ice skates can be a great way to save time and money. Sharp skates let you make better turns, and ice skates should always be kept sharp to make sure they perform at their best. Skate sharpening is not difficult and does not require any specialised tools. In fact, it can be done with tools found in most people's garages.
Wrap the boot of the skate in an old towel. This will protect the boot if the whetstone slips while sharpening the blades.
Place the skate upside down in a vice. Make sure the skate is held firmly enough that you can work on it without moving it, but don't tighten the vice too much or you can damage the boot of the skate.
Pour a small amount of honing oil onto the whetstone. Place the whetstone at a right angle to the blade and push away from your body. Do not put excessive pressure on the stone. Repeat this motion until the blade is sharp on one side. According to Gourmet Skates, "If you examine a sharp edge in a strong light, you should see no reflection from the edge, even looking with a strong magnifier."
Place the whetstone at a right angle to the blade on the side that you have not yet sharpened. Pour a small amount of oil on the stone and move it away from your body as you did in Step 3. Do this until the blade is sharp on this side as well.
Remove burrs from the edge of the blade. Place the whetstone flat against the edge of the skate blade and lightly rub it along the blade until the blade is clean and free of any burrs.
Sharpen the other skate by repeating all of these steps in order.
To test the sharpness of the blade by touch, lightly rub a fingernail down the blade. If the blade begins to cut into your nail, it is sharp enough for skating.
If you sharpen your skates too much, they will wear down more quickly than normal and you will have to replace them more often than necessary.