As an avid skater or someone just dipping your toes into the world of skating, you may have come across the dilemma of 7mm and 8mm Axles. Here at Devaskation.com, we want to help you understand the difference and how to handle the most common issues.
Understanding Skate Axles and Their Importance
First things first, the axle is a critical part of your skate. It’s the rod that holds the wheels and attaches them to the boot via the skate plate. The size of the axle can impact your skating experience, affecting everything from the feel of the skate to its performance.
7mm vs 8mm Skate Axles: What’s the Difference?
Axle size is measured by diameter. While the difference between 7mm and 8mm might seem small, it can have a considerable impact on your skating experience. Traditionally, quad skates have come with 8mm axles, while some older or more specialized models use 7mm axles. Most modern skates today (whether inline or quad) come with 8mm axles. This is likely due to the increase in size and weight of the average skater. The 8mm axle is thicker and, therefore, can hold more weight and the pressures of increased speed and tricks.
Today, the primary difference between 7mm and 8mm axles lies in the bearings they use. 7mm axles require 7mm bearings, while 8mm axles use 8mm bearings. It’s crucial to match the bearing size with the axle size for a perfect fit. Most modern skates use 8mm bearings. Click here to shop for awesome bearings.
Which Should You Choose?
Some skaters choose to use older skates that still use the 7mm axles. This is perfectly fine! However, the choice between 7mm and 8mm axles often boils down to personal preference and skating style. Here are some factors to consider:
- Availability of Bearings: 8mm bearings are more widely available and come in a larger variety of materials and quality levels. This offers skaters more options to customize their setup. 7mm axles are quite difficult to find and there are only a few bearing manufacturers still producing bearings for 7mm.
- Weight and Durability: 8mm axles are slightly heavier but also typically more durable due to the extra material. If you’re into aggressive skating or are a heavier skater, the 8mm axle might be a better choice.
- Feel and Performance: Some skaters find that 7mm axles provide a different “feel” when skating, often describing it as more responsive or agile. This might be particularly attractive to dancers and freestyle skaters. However, it must be noted that these axles are increasingly difficult to find and maintain.
Can I Swap Axles in My Skates?
Very unlikely. Can it be done? Sure. Anything can be done. But, considering safety and expense it wouldn’t just make sense to swap your axles to 7mm from 8mm. However, if you have a 7mm axle you can potentially swap the frame of an inline skate or the plate of a quad skate to 8mm axles.
Are There Any 7mm to 7mm Axle “Conversion Kits”?
No. Not really. There are some bearing kits that might let you put 7mm bearings on an 8mm axle, but it really is a “hack” and you should consider going to the 8mm axle. This is our opinion.
As always, our team at Devaskation.com is here to help you make the best choice for your skating needs. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’re dedicated to helping you get the most out of your skating experience. Skate on!