Here at Utah Ski Gear, one of our most frequently asked questions from our customers looking for tuning supplies, is what ski waxing iron they should buy. Of course, you can always find affordable, professional tunes at Utah Ski Gear. However, knowing how to wax is an essential skill for the frequent skier/snowboarder.
Your first thought might be; I have an iron in my closet that I use on my clothes, why can’t I use it on my skis? Well, clothing irons don't regulate temperature well and those holes on the base could easily smoke your wax which is toxic to breathe in (It's always a good idea to wear a mask when waxing your skis or snowboard). Without a well regulated temperature, you can easily delaminate your skis/board or damage the base. Not to mention, the holes on your iron will likely start to fill with wax, become very hard to clean, and ruin your iron altogether. It’s best to save this iron for your favorite outfits and invest in a wax iron to keep your skis and boards running smoothly.
What Iron Should I Buy?
This comes down to a few important factors and what works best for your needs. For most skiers and snowboarders, this is a purchase that needs to last a long time and work well. There are two types of hot wax irons, analog and digital. Analog uses a thermometer which has temperature fluctuations more commonly found in lower-end irons, while digital irons use a microprocessor that measures iron temperature and adjusts at the same time. It’s important to remember that no matter what iron you select, good technique is essential for a proper wax job to get the results you want and to avoid damaging your bases. We’d recommend reading or watching some tutorials or attending a clinic if you’ve never waxed your skis before.
Beginner and/or On a Budget:
Maybe this is the first season ever waxing your own skis and you only plan on using your iron twice a year or less and/or you’re on a budget. Look for an analog waxing iron that has a dial setting. Start a little colder than the dial states and slowly increase the temperature of iron so you can learn how the temperature of your iron fluctuates. Also, pay attention to the thickness of the base plate and its width. Thicker plates have increased heat retention and enhanced heat distribution across the plate, allowing for consistency. You also want to pay attention to the width, making sure you don’t get one too small that doesn’t spread the wax all the way across your skis.
Here are the irons we suggest:
The first great thing about this iron is the price point. Super-affordable while staying quality enough for melting the hardest waxes without smoking the soft ones. It has a thicker 14mm base plate with a more consistent temperature compared to other irons in this price range and its compact size makes it great for traveling. Adjustable temp 100°C (212°F) to 180°C (356°F).
Very similar to the Wintersteiger iron, this Iron by One Ball gets the job done with no frills. It’s easy to use, lightweight, and tough. A Unique catchment keeps stray wax on your base and the light lets you know when the iron is ready to use. It also comes with a 65g bar of 4WD all-temperature wax to get you started! Adjustable temp 80°C (176°F) to 170°C (338°F).
Mid-Range for the Frequent Waxer
The following irons are ideal for those looking for more performance and enhanced features out of their waxing iron. You probably wax your own skis and/or your family’s skis often and are ok with spending a little extra for an iron that will stand the test of multiple seasons of use and provide better results. For this type of waxer, looking at digital irons is a good idea. A digital readout means the iron uses a computer to constantly measure the temperature of the plate, so fluctuations are as minimal as can be.
Here are the irons we suggest:
This digital ski wax iron from Wintersteiger has precise temperature control with a super accurate thermostat to ensure high quality and exact wax application. The dimpled base plate assists the melted wax in moving evenly over the base of the ski or snowboard with reduced suction and has a 90-day warranty! Adjustable temperature from 50-180C (122-356F).
This professional and powerful1200-watt iron is digital for the most accurate read-out of temperature making sure wax goes on evenly and efficiently. The grooves in the base plate also aid in distributing the wax evenly. This is especially ideal for applying hard, cold-temp waxes and higher-end waxes in general. The extra-strong pressure-cast base plate holds heat well in cool environments such as your at-home tuning station in a garage or basement. Temperature range: 212°F - 320°F (100°C to 150°C).
High-end for Competitors, Shops, or Those Who Just Love Waxing
If you’re racing, waxing for customers, or if you’re just someone who takes waxing seriously, then you need the highest-end iron to pair with those super-fast high-end waxes to deliver the best possible results.
Here are the irons we suggest:
The T18 is Toko’s top-of-the-line waxing iron. This iron has superb compatibility with high-end waxes and also controls the temperature at 10 times per second like the Holmenkol Digital Racing Waxer. We love the 15mm thick aluminum base. Adjustable temperature 90°C to 180°C (194°F to 356°F).
Price: $550This iron by Holmenkol offers an extra-thick 26mm base plate for super-sensitive special and racing waxes. A microprocessor controls the temperature at a rate of 10 times per second and compares this with the temperature setting. The available power and the electronic temperature control guarantee optimum processing of the waxes used and ensure the protection of the ski/snowboard base. Adjustable temperature from 90-200 C.
Of course, with any iron you buy, be mindful of where you set your iron when it’s not in use. Most irons are designed to sit upright, but getting a holder for your iron is a nice thing to have at your waxing station to keep your space organized and clean while also reducing the risk of dropping a valuable iron on the floor. Irons also need to stay clean for them to work properly. Wipe your base plate down with Fiberlene every once in a while to remove any wax and gunk build-up. Don't forget to wear a mask, especially when working with high-end waxes!