Waxing Irons & Iron Temperature Settings

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Below is general information about waxing irons that SkiWax.ca would like to convey to you to help you in your purchasing decision. Much of this information is from our actually using this equipment; the rest from research.

The information on clothing irons is provided as a service -- there are too many clothing irons being used at the wrong temperature in too many wax rooms. By giving some technical details about them, hopefully they will be used more safely. Spread the word, it's your lungs too.

IMPORTANT: Always allow your iron 10 to 15 minutes to warm up. This allows the iron to repeat several heat cycles. This will mean a more consistent temperature as you wax. When setting the temperature to warm an iron do NOT set it to its maximum temperature. Set it to the recommended temperature for the wax and let it warm up at that temperature. The iron will perform better this way.

A few notes that are common to all of the irons discussed below:

Ski*go PRO Digital Iron

It has a temperature range of 60°-190°C. Always set the iron to the recommended tremperature on the wax box. You should avoid having your iron significantly higher in temperture. Always work in a well ventilated room and use a recommended respirator (P100). Keep the iron in motion too.

Always allow your iron to cool before packing it away. An insulated iron cover is a good idea for packing sooner as it can be placed on the iron at 35°C and cooler. The iron cover will also help prevent scratches to the iron base and keep the corners of the iron poking soft objects in your wax kit.

Before and after each use you should wipe the iron's base with a paper towel to remove wax. Be careful as the iron will be warm. This will prevent accidentally mixing waxes. If you notice a brown gunge appearing on the iron base it can be cleaned. The appearance of this brown gunge indicates that at least one if not several waxes have been overheated. This is not uncommon. Do not clean the iron base with a wire brush because this will scratch the base which in turn will scratch your skis.

This is the ideal iron if you are a racer, having to wax multiple skis at a time, servicing a team (wax tech) or are a fitness skier with a technical orientation. This iron out performs "clothing irons" by a long, long, long distance.

The PRO iron comes with an electric cord of about 210cm meaning it will reach from an electic socket at one end of your ski vise to the other end and remain plugged in.

Skigo PRO Powder Iron

The Ski*go PRO Powder Iron is specifically designed to iron fluoro powders and fluoro solids/blocks. This gives you an iron that is dedicated to the fluoros. Do not use this iron with the LF, HF or XC/regular waxes.

The PRO Powder iron has only an ON-OFF switch -- there is no temperature dial. The iron always goes to 220°C. You should let this iron warm up for 10-15 minutes. The iron's design is based on several years of research and feedback with International ski teams. The hotter iron will bond the fluoros to the underlayer (e.g. HF) wax much better resulting is faster skis. This iron can be used for all brands of fluoro powders regardless of what the recommended application temperature is listed.

When using this iron, the amount of time to move the iron from the tip to the tail of the ski is significantly reduced compared to the cooler temperatures.

Race teams and serious skiers will want to use this iron. This iron is available starting November 2012.

Skigo Waxing Iron

Introduced into the 2006/07 season this is an excellent iron at a very strong 850 watts. It comes with a very long electric cord (about 244cm) meaning that an electric outlet can be at one end of your ski profile and the iron will still be plugged in when you reach the other end. In North America it is a 120V/15A/60Hz iron while in Europe it is 240V/50Hz. The base of this iron is thicker than either of the Toko irons. There are two areas in the iron's base: the outer and central areas. The outer area thickness measures 6mm and the central area measures 9.5mm. The edges of the base are rounded at all edges to easily ride over all waxes (in particular powders). The temperature control is infinite adjustment from OFF to MAX. The instructions list MAX as 160°C but we believe from testing that it is higher than this by 5° to 8°C. While going through a heating cycle the orange light comes on.

While the Skigo iron is targeted to the Nordic skiers it works equally well for Alpine (Downhill/Snowboard) because of it's 850W and thick base. In fact the well rounded edges means it's really good with snowboards.

Iron Temperature Settings for Wax

Note that the temperature at which a P-Tex base will begin melting is 125° to 135°C. The temperature varies depending on the materials used. At 125-135°C you will not visually see the damage, but the surface of the base will have begun to seal and amorphous portions nearby will also be damaged. (The amorphous portion of a ski base is what absorbs the majority of the ski wax.) A wax layer between the iron and the base insulates the base from the iron's heat. The thinner the wax layer the less insulation. You should not ever have the iron contact the base directly. Do not press the iron into the base as this will thin the wax layer; the weight of the iron should be enough. Always keep the iron moving. The tips and tails of the ski can heat up more quickly than the centre of the ski so more care should be taken about the length of time the iron is kept there.

This information is obtained from manufacturer or representative information.
Skigo XC/LF/HFTemp °C
Soft Basewax115°C

Clothing Irons

If you insist on using a clothing iron, and we don't recommend you do, you should use a new iron. Not an iron that was manufactured 50 years ago with a fraying electrical cord! A new clothing iron is low cost and more reliable than the older clothing irons. We still recommend you purchase a real waxing iron such as the WaxCat or WaxMouse. Be aware that the heating cycling on a clothing iron is much wider than a waxing iron. This could result in your ski bases being exposed to too high a temperature which could result in the base surfacing sealing. A typical Black & Decker iron, for example, has a temperature variance in it's heating cycle of ±8.3°C by specification, but may vary larger than this.

You should never have any need to set a clothing iron for waxing purposes higher than "Cotton Blends" in special circumstances. Regular circumstances should have the clothing iron no higher than "Rayon". Any higher settings will result in excessive wax fumes and potentially smoke from burning wax. If you see people setting an iron too high tell them! This will make it safer for you and all others in the wax room. Typically you will set the iron between "Acrylic" and "Nylon/Silk". Let the iron warm up for 15 minutes first at this low setting.

SettingTemperature °C
Cotton Blends149
Cotton 100%193

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