In The Shop: Tuning Essentials

Any skier or rider worth a fraction of his or her weight in edge filings and wax scrapings needs a few decent shop tools. After all, skiing variable OB conditions and constantly applying and removing skins can be hell on your bases, edges and bindings. And your “hook up” at the shop would honestly prefer cash to beer.

Here’s a selection of our favorite tuning, mounting and shop gear that has come across our workbench. Looking for other tools beyond what’s featured here? Check out Sun Valley Ski Tools ( Tognar Toolworks ( and SlideWright Tools and Wares ( See you in the basement.

Click to enlarge. [Photo] Mike Lorenz

Click to enlarge. [Photo] Mike Lorenz

(1) Pliny Equipment Jigarex | $239

Own a quiver or rental fleet? Pliny Equipment’s Jigarex is a ski-jig base with swappable mounting patterns (sold separately for $29 each) that negates the need for multiple jigs.

(2) G3 Trim Tool | $5

Climbing skins tend to come with some cheap tool that makes cutting for edge offsets a pain. G3’s tool has a built-in edge offset that simplifies the process.

(3) Binding Freedom Drill Guide Block – Self Centering | $25

For simple home mounts, Binding Freedom’s Drill Guide is a super affordable jig that ensures vertical and centered drilling with a tethered centering pin and rubberized bottom.

(4) Swix LF 6X Wax | $85

The LF6 low fluorocarbon wax is designed for just about any wintertime weather with a temperature range of -14 to 23˚F. Sixty-gram blocks available for $33.

(5) Swix Power Pro Vice | $360

Swix’s top-of-the-line vice will accommodate any ski width (and a few narrow snowboards) with its 155mm jaws. The end towers swivel and angle outward, and they securely clamp skis for edge tuning and skin trimming.

(6) Binding Freedom Basic Installation Kit | $30

Binding Freedom’s installation kit includes a stepped 6.5×9.5mm drill bit, tap and tap handle for drilling and installing inserts.

(7) Allski Jig | $279

Designed to be every jig in one, the AllSki adjusts to center over a ski and spaces mounting holes evenly. It’s expensive but way easier to use and more accurate than a paper jig.

(8) Diaface Moonflex Diamond Stone | $35

If you’re only going to own one file, opt for a 400-grift option like this Diamond Stone. It’s among the more expensive in this category but is designed to cut and polish at the same time.

(9) Base Beast Edge Beveler | $20 

Most backcountry skiers’ edge bevels are based on whatever rocks they last hit. Keep yours a bit more precise with an edge beveler, like this affordable option. Available at various angles from 0.5° to 2°.

(10) Binding Freedom Threaded Inserts | $1.25 each 

If you’re juggling a quiver of skis but have only one pair of AT bindings, Binding Freedom offers inserts that allow you to easily remove and swap bindings between skis.

(11) Atsko Sno-Seal Wax | $8 

Nope, it’s not designed for waxing bases, but Sno-Seal belongs in every shop. The beeswax-based formula re-waterproofs everything from leather gloves to your old three-pin boots.

(12) Swix T77 Waxing Iron | $60

Swix’s new T77 is among their most affordable irons, and unlike the cheapo iron you bought at the ski swap last fall, the T77 has adjustable temperature control to keep wax from burning.

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  1. This “kit” is mostly bologne. You don’t need to mount your skis, have a shop do it. You only need a vice which you can get for $50 on sale, a few files, an iron bought at a thrift store for $5 and some wax.

    • Don’t forget ptex with metal scraper, a plastic scraper to get the excess wax off (after the base has cooled), and scotch brite for final polish. Oh yeah, a good citrus base cleaner before you put on that new wax. File cleaning brush is quite useful, too. Oh, and if you don’t have music playing it’s just not a proper shop. For really nasty core shots I suggest buying some base material to have on hand with some epoxy and clamps. Now go watch lots of YouTube for technique or go work in your local ski/board repair shop for a season, you won’t regret either.

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