Laconia Company Excites Snowmobile Community With Industry's First Portable Carbide Runner- Sharpening Tool
Published DateLACONIA — No one knows better than Glenn Welch just how frustrating it is to need a new set of
runners when on a snowmobile trip – and how expensive.
The founder and president of WelchManufacturing Technologies in Laconia has been an avid snowmobiler for more than three decades, logging an impressive 2,000 miles on the trails every season. And until now, he and the other owners of the 2 million snowmobiles registered in the United States and Canada had no option other than to replace those worn runners, sometimes even limping back to base camp to do so.
Enter BITEHARDER, the snowmobile industry's first carbide runner sharpening tool. The portable, user-
friendly tool designed and developed by Welch offers winter-sports enthusiasts the flexibility of
sharpening their runners even when installed on a sled and on the trail. Allowing the runners to bite into
any surface, the 100% U.S.A.-made device is intended to enhance performance, safety, and all-around
enjoyment of the ride.
"BITEHARDER saves the snowmobile enthusiast from the frustration and expense of replacing worn
carbide runners," explains Welch, who came up with the idea of a portable, easy-to-use tool during a
February 2012 snowmobile trip in Canada. "Replacement runners can cost upwards of $160 a pair.
Priced at less than $60, BITEHARDER will sharpen your runners 15 or more times before the tool wears
out – representing a significant savings!"
BITEHARDER attaches to any corded, cordless, or pneumatic style drill that accommodates a ¼-inch
shank. "Conveniently sized, portable, and easy to use, BITEHARDER allows snowmobilers to enjoy the
trails worry free even when on lengthy trips away from home," says Welch.
To bring the idea to market, Welch knew he would need to design a cost-effective tool that was both easy to manufacture and simple enough for the snowmobile owner to use without removing the runners from the skis.
Back in the shop after his February 2012 trip, Welch experimented with using a diamond-coated grinding tool to sharpen his used runners.
"I removed them from the skis, mounted my tool in a handheld drill, and after an hour of work declared
the operation a success," Welch says. "As difficult as it was, I had sharpened my runners. On my next trip to Canada, my efforts were immediately realized when I rolled my snowmobile out of the trailer. The newly sharpened edges seemed to last longer than what I was seeing even from new carbide runners. I could bite harder in the corners and was riding with a greater level of confidence."
The patented sharpening tool is CNC machined from alloy steel to precise tolerances, with industrial diamonds on its face providing the cutting media to sharpen the carbide runner.
BITEHARDER™ Carbide Runner Sharpening Tool offers improved performance and safety – plus significant cost savings for winter-sports enthusiasts. (Courtesy photo)