Originally Posted by Noodler
My only issue with these kits is that they include the SVST diamond files instead of the more expensive Moonflex. Although the SVST diamond files aren't bad (and much better than the DMT stuff) they're not as good as the Moonflex and your diamond files are such a critical part of your tuning kit that you really shouldn't skimp on them.
You mentioned the "diamond" tuning from the factory (or a shop tune machine). My honest opinion is that no shop or manufacturer has ever provided an edge as smoothly polished as I can do by hand with Moonflex diamond files (this includes my Stocklis which were pretty nice). I also don't believe you are giving up anything going with a 3 degree side bevel while you would be gaining better edge hold on the hard stuff.
Once the base and side bevels are set I generally never go near them with regular files again (unless something really, really, bad happens to the edge). I like to use a 200 grit diamond file (sometimes 100 if they're really bad) for re-sharpening (followed by 400 and 600). I like to use the edge guides whether I'm filing or polishing (to help control the quality of the tune) so I believe you would want the base bevel guide even if you're not going to file and set those bevels yourself.
Everything in both of those kits is worthwhile. I guess which one depends on how serious you're going to get about tuning and how often you're going to do it. I tune 2-3 pairs of skis per week. Over a 24 week season you can see how I can justify spending the money on the tuning tools. Neither kit includes a waxing iron so that would definitely need to be added. Even the $350 one is not fully complete, but could be for another $100-$200 in tools. I know these prices feel high, but when I look back at how much I've spent on tuning tools I realize I really should have started with one of these kits to save myself some money.
I know we have discussed this before, but after talking to a couple of techs, I think you are misintrepreting the ceramic disc grind finish on factory & machined tuned skis. The ceramic disc grind pattern leaves the edge very, very highly polished and consistent. (Next time you are at a shop look at a new ski down the edge not straight at it!). I think you just think your edges are more polished and unless you are racing downhill or maybe SG, what possible advantage is there to trying to polish your edge to such a high degree. I don't go over a 400 grit Moonflex on any of our general purpose skis or slalom race skis and I start with a 100 Moonflex to remove the burrs and nicks. I find 200 is not burly enough.
SG & DH's i will go as high as 1000 and wax the sidewalls!
Secondly, I never diamond stone my base edge when first setting base edge angle or during later touch ups.
Diamond stoning or even refiling and polishing your side edge is all that is needed. Even with a base edge beveler, you are just going to increase your base edge bevel as you polish, which already happens to some degree by skiing on them.
I do agree a 3 degree has little or no downside including the the misinformed notion that they dull faster, they don't!