Panzer file to a thin edge race ski? LOL. You would be lucky if you had any edge left after the third week of training.
You can diamond stone all you want, it will never get the edge as sharp as a grinder like the SnowGlide. There is a reason why nobody hand files on the World Cup anymore.
In WC circuit the cost of a $2000 machine obviously isn't an issue. Everybody is going to follow what everybody else is doing to keep the playing field "equal", regardless of cost, until a maverick comes along willing to try something different that turns out to give them an advantage. Then everybody else jumps on that bandwagon.
I guess there are a lot of kids out there who are good enough to get real race stock skis with those thin edges, not just off-the-shelf racing skis. If they are that good, are mom and dad really going to that clueless about overusing the panzer / skiver?
And by the way, as good as the Snow Glide is, run out from a mechanical grind still requires finishing with a stone.
First, yes, there are a bunch of really good kids around here who are on real race skis. Even "off the shelf" race skis purchased from factory reps have a much thinner edge than any all mountain ski.
Nobody takes a panzer file to a race ski other than to set the initial side edge bevel. A coarse file takes off way too much edge on a ski that has little edge width to begin with.
If you are calling the hanging burr "run out", then you are right, it needs removed along the base edge either by a fine stone or hard gummy. The hanging burr is there regardless if you hand tune or use a grinder.
What you do not want to do is remove the fine cross hatch pattern on the side edge left by the grinder by polishing it out. Polishing parallel to the edge defeats the whole purpose of sharpening perpendicular to the edge (think how you sharpen a wood chisel) For speed skis, you still use the grinder, but switch to a finer grit wheel.
The problem with most race families is the sheer volume of hand tuning multiple skis for multiple kids multiple times per week. Most younger racers do not have the skill at their age to use hand tools effectively, so it ends up on the parents plate to do. That can be a grind (no pun intended) to a stressed out race parent during the season, who also has to drive the kids to races, volunteer at races, and be a ski tech at the same time.
The top grinders on the market really work, and produce an edge superior to any hand method. The issue is they are crazy expensive. My point was if someone designed something that was easy to handle like the SnowGlide or ProTek, and sold for a more reasonable price, there would be a market for it. It could be a simpler machine, use more off the shelf parts, but still be high quality, and would not have to be designed to hold up to constant back shop use.
Usually I'd expect to be able to skive or panzer file maybe two - three times tops over the life of a ski which are going to have at least 3 seasons of life in them for an "average" Jr. racer who saves one edge for racing and skis the other one for training and misc. frontside fun. I know that's not how "elites" ski, and their equipment is spec'd differently. I have to suspect that your talking about thin edges on off-the-rack race skis that are Jr lines designed to be particularly light. Just a guess. Those are skis that will be outgrown before they are skiied out, so a thinner edge would be great at killing the market for secondary sales among junior racers - which incidentally how I got a good deal of stuff when I was starting to race years ago and how I learned about tuning skis. You imply that if you skive once, then after you've tuned the edge back to the sidewall, you have to throw out the ski. I guess I lucked out because I'm looking at the brand new "multi-event, non-FIS" Jr. race ski that I just bought last week for my 11 y.o. and the edges from the factory look just as thick as other edges I'm used to working on. Perhaps also in doing initial bevels by hand sparingly with a combination of panzer file or trying to very carefully to free-hand skive with the SkiVisions block and finish with a cross-cut file that can cute sidewall relatively good without clogging up every pass... that such an approach leaves more of the original edge than an initial setup done by machine. I don't know because I've yet to personally see the thin edge skis on the kind of off-the-rack skis your citing. What % of the junior racers do you see on that kind of ski?
Now, I am also really and genuinely curious about the benefits of leaving the cross hatch from the grinding. On a new ski I was always taught to polish that off. The reason I thought you GRIND perpendicular to the edge (including when sharpening a chisel) is because of the grinding surface geometry and the equilibrium of forces as you grind. Plus it leaves any run out (burr) where you can easily remove it when you do the final polishing / honing. If I was HAND sharpening a chisel I would use a circular motion against the honing block that would produce the kind of swirl marks your talking about on the ski edge, but I always thought that had more to do with polishing evenly vs. the tendency to overbear one side if you slide the tool surface strictly perpendicular to the stone. When filing or polishing a ski edge by hand, the guide takes care of that unless, in the kind of situation you're seeing, someone's arm slips at 2AM.
In other contexts, If I was polishing an drive shaft I would polish it parallel to the direction of rotation. For a bearing, I might polish it using a process that leaves a swirl pattern but that is to prevent unevenness that could wear on the moving parts unevenly. I don't think that's a consideration for polishing a ski edge.
Anyway, back to tuning... I'm sure somebody in the WC circles went out there and put an electron microscope on traditionally polished edges and swirled edges. So is there actually evidence that the swirled edges run faster due to their geometric texture or something like that, or are they somehow just smoother than you can get with a fine diamond / ceramic?