Significantly Reducing the Friction of SAPPHIRESKATES

Significantly Reducing the Friction of SAPPHIRESKATES

With every production run, we have made some improvements, whether it be shape, color, or smoothness. One of the things that our customers care about the most is the friction properties of the mouse feet.

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to receive a message from a customer that their skates felt "sticky". In my own testing, I hadn't encountered this, nor is it a property of the sapphire material. Yet, this customer wasn't the only one experiencing this.

Upon further testing, we have discovered the culprit and fixed it in the next batch, Sapphireskates v1.03 (at the time of writing, that is the early April 2022 batch).

The problem was due to leftover residue from the manufacturing in addition to the packing material in which it was transported.

When we receive the skates, the next step is for us to do the kitting and we have always cleaned the Sapphireskates to the best of our ability before sending them out. But it turns out that there was some leftover.

We have now added a manufacturing step that acts as a final polishing and cleaning before it reaches our customers. So far the results are really promising: on an inclined slope, Sapphireskates were breaking free from static friction at an angle of about 6.7 degrees. But now, they are falling at about 3.9 degrees! This is roughly a 42.0% reduction in friction.

If you already own Sapphireskates, you can still reduce the friction close to this level. this might not be an issue for you as any residue may already be gone by now but here's how to do it:

  • If you still have the piece of sandpaper that came in the box, rub it against the round side of the Sapphireskates.
  • If you don't have it anymore, the one that is included is a 320 grit sandpaper. 
  • The good thing about sapphire is that it doesn't scratch, even if you do this thanks to sapphire's hardness. If you were to do the same to glass, it would be pretty scuffed. However, do note that certain types of sandpaper can scratch sapphire. This includes sandpaper containing: diamond, silicon carbide, or sapphire (may be listed as Aluminum Oxide).
  • It is advised to remove your skates from the bottom of your mouse to avoid accidental abrasion to the mouse itself, but it's up to you.
  • Apply downward pressure, but mostly focus on side-to-side movements while rotating to ensure it's even. 
  • Also try to get the curved portions that are closer to the edges of the skates. 
  • Wipe off with a microfiber thoroughly, then see if the glide improves.