T-Blades are an alternative to regular steel blades. They are sold on top-end hockey skates such as CCM’s Vectors and Pro Tacks and Graf Skates or can be installed onto any skate boot. T-Blades are primarily plastic and only contain a small amount of steel. This design makes the skate blades much lighter (30% lighter). T-Blades also stay sharper much longer (reportedly up to 4-5 times longer) than a traditional skate blade.
T-Blades are louder and have a bit of a scratchy sound when cutting into the ice. The blades are sold pre-sharpened and some believe that the harder the steel the better and longer it will hold its edge. T-Blade fans believe that repeated sharpening softens the edge of a blade and it loses its ability to stay sharp.
Traditional skate blades consist of a single piece of steel while the T-Blade is made of a strong plastic material with a 1 mm steel blade at the bottom. While traditional blades are sharpened, T-Blade runners are simply replaced and changed out right at home. The T-Blade runner (blade) is held to the skate chassis by a stabilizer and six screws which requires a special three-pronged wrench.
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To Change T-Blades:
1. Using the specially designed T-Blade screwdriver, loosen the first screw on the blade of the skate. Keeping the screwdriver in place on the T-Blade screw, push the screw straight into the hole, popping out the bolt on the other side of the blade.
2. Repeat Step 1 for the other screws along the blade.
3. Gently tug downward on the blade. It should come out of the holder quite easily. You will need the screws and bolts taken from the old T-Blade to install the replacement blade.
4. Slide the replacement blade into the holder, making sure that all the holes for the screws are lined up.
5. Press the skate blade down firmly on a hard surface to ensure the blade is in the holder tightly.
6. Insert the bolt into the hole of the skate, making sure that it is on the same side you removed it from.
7. Put the screw in the opposite side of the hole, using the T-Blade screwdriver to tighten the screw in place.
8. Make sure the screws are tight, but do not overtighten them, or you will risk cracking the plastic holder or the blade itself.
9. Continue tightening the screws into the bolts in the same way for the rest of the blade.