Friday, February 01, 2008

Review: Terminator Tuning Package

Anyone with a quiver of skis should learn the basics of waxing and base tuning. Even if you can afford to take your skis in to a shop for tune-ups, the hassle of taking them in and going back later to pick them up means bases often go dry and edges remain rough. Tuned skis are happy skis!

However, many people don't have the space to setup a full workbench in their home. Thus a portable bench can be an great solution. The Terminator Tuning Stand from provides a stable base for waxing and filing edges of any type of skis.
The model I've been using has their Cinch Ski Vise. This system has two end supports with wide, grippy platforms to support the inverted ski. To hold the ski in place, a cord is passed over the ski brakes and down to a cleat. When pulled tight, the brakes are retracted and the ski is secured to the platform. For skis without brakes (Nordic, telemark, and some AT bindings), the cord is passed through the binding. It's a simple system that works remarkably well. The Cinch platforms are also designed so that skis can be held sideways for serious edge filing.
When not in use, the legs on the Terminator quickly fold out of the way. When folded up, the stand is 54" x 7" x 4" so it can fit in a closet or many car trunks. Setting the stand up takes less than two minutes.
If you don't have tools already, the best deal is the package that includes the stand, vise system and tuning kit for $220 (including shipping). The only thing extra you'll need is a waxing iron and some wax. Overall, it's a well-designed system that will never wear out. After setting up the stand quite a few times, I did have to tighten the leg levers due to the paint wearing off (just needed a hex wrench and adjustable wrench).
Even though I have a nice workbench, more often than not, I find myself reaching for the Terminator (okay, dumb name) when it's time to tune skis. It's often faster to use than having to clear all the clutter off my workbench.

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