Buying a Rubik's Cube – The Best Speed Cubes out There
Updated: November 2017.
A speedcube is a cube that is great enough in quality to be used in competitions. Therefore it's the ideal choice for any cuber. Luckily, they are also the cheapest.
This guide is the result of a vast research I've made, checking all popular cubes, speedcubers opinions, and world-record holders cube choices. This is relevant for both world class speedcubers and new cubers who would like to get a great cube to practice with.
For my 2016 best speedcubes guide click here
This is the best 3x3 speed cubes guide, here are the other guides:
Intro (mostly for the new guys)Unlike one may think- the original Rubik's cube that is being sold over the main toys stores around the world is far from being the ideal choice as a great quality cube, and is also more expensive.
The best cubes, or speedcubes today are being produced by other brands, and sold mostly over the internet (eBay / Amazon - recommended links are attached below), for a fair price of around 10$-20$ /cube, sometimes also with a free shipping.
So, what qualities makes a great speedcube?There are many factors, objective and subjective. I'll try to review it here:
Speed/smoothness: How easily and quickly a face will turn. Usually a result of loose springs inside the cube. A very important factor. However, on certain levels can be harmful because of overshooting (turns more than needed).
Corner cutting: the ability to make a turn while the vertical face is not fully aligned (due to overshooting or a quick turn- a situation that occurs often). Important quality to avoid a lock-up during the solving.
Reverse corner cutting: the ability to successfully make a turn in the harder case where the vertical face is not aligned- when the center piece physically blocking the corner piece from completing the turn. (Reverse cutting capability is much smaller than the regular corner cutting, and not even possible in some old cubes)
Pop resistance: how resistant is the cube for a piece being popped during a quick solving, or extreme conditions (e.g. 10 moves per second). A popped out piece during an official solving is an auto disqualification for that round.
Lock-up resistance: the ability of the cube to resist a lock-up during a messy or very quick sequence of moves. Corner cutting is a "special case" of the broader "lock-up resistance" (A good lock-up resistant cube must cut corners well and vice versa).
Corner twist: a corner piece that got twisted around itself (which makes the cube unsolvable, and requires a twist back). It doesn't really happens often during solving in any popular cube, but it is being talked about a lot. Cubes today comes with immense corner cutting and speed- and that doesn't comes without a price. Higher score means less likely to happen.
Weight: the lighter is not always the better. A matter of self-preference, however a medium weight is agreed to be the best choice.
The Best 3x3 Speed Cubes TodayBelow are the best quality cubes as of today. It is hard to put the hand on a single cube as the "best", as it comes to self-preference. However, all of the following are considered world-class cubes, and used by current world record holders.
MoYu WeiLong GTS V2Where to get: eBay | Amazon
MoYu is the most dominant speedcubes manufacturer in the market, and the WeiLong GTS is their finest product. This cube is widely used by many world-class cubers today, while already responsible for few world breaking results. The WeiLong GTS is characterized with unparalleled turning speed and flexibility, and therefore great corner cutting abilities. The effortless turn feeling will allow hours of cubing without really getting tired.
Overall score: 9.2
Speed: 9.5 ; Corner cutting: 9.5 ; Reverse cutting: 8 ; Pops resistance: 8 ; Lock-up resistance: 8.5 ; Corner twist resistance: 7 ; Weight: 86 gr
GAN 356 Air SMWhere to get: eBay | Amazon
GAN's latest and finest cube – the SM (superspeed magneto) of the Air model. Holds the third fastest single solve (4.73s !) by Feliks Zemdegs, and current average WR (5.80s) by Feliks as well. This cube is a bit more expensive than other world-class cubes, but also enjoys super high-quality materials. This cube is more quiet than other cubes (great for cubing at class etc). Other qualities are its relatively light weight (therefore its name "Air") and smoothness. Absolutely one of the best cubes in the world today.
Overall score: 9.1
Speed: 9 ; Corner cutting: 9 ; Reverse cutting: 8.5 ; Pops resistance: 9 ; Lock-up resistance: 9 ; Corner twist resistance: 9 ; Weight: 76 gr
Valk 3Where to get: eBay | Amazon
Manufactured by QiYi and endorsed by Mats Valk, this cube holds the current 2nd fastest single solve record (4.69s !) by Patrick Ponce. Being responsible for several more outstanding results, the Valk 3 is chosen by many world-class cubers to be their main cube, and for a good reason. This cube excels in balancing between the different qualities of a speed cube such as speed and stability. Will almost never pop a piece or get a lock-up.
Overall score: 9.1
Speed: 9 ; Corner cutting: 9 ; Reverse cutting: 8.5 ; Pops resistance: 8.5 ; Lock-up resistance: 8.5 ; Corner twist resistance: 8.5 ; Weight: 82 gr
MoYu AoLong V2Where to get: eBay | Amazon
MoYu's previous finest cube. The AoLong was recognized by many as 2016's best speed cube in the world, holding the 8th best result of all time with the 4.90s solve by Lucas Etter. Although the cubes above are agreed to be slightly better, the MoYu AoLong is still one of the best cubes in the market, of-course for those who are looking for a crazy good cube in an affordable price.
Overall score: 8.9
Speed: 9 ; Corner cutting: 9 ; Reverse cutting: 8 ; Pops resistance: 8 ; Lock-up resistance: 8.5 ; Corner twist resistance: 7 ; Weight: 83 gr
So, which one should I get?Since any of the first 3 cubes are of the highest quality and considered to be the best in the world, it comes to self-preference. The only way to decide between them is to try them all by yourself. However, if you don't have any of these cubes yet, I would advise you to go for the MoYu WeiLong GTS. It really stands out among these cubes, both in performance and in price. It's ideal for both world-class speedcubers and new solvers, which is the reason why many of the world top cubers uses it as their main 3x3. You could go for the AoLong if you want something even cheaper. I would recommend going for the Gan (which is considerably more expensive) or the Valk only if you have the MoYu WeiLong already.
The magnetic versionsThis is a new feature which became popular recently. Many speedcube brands are making "magnetic versions" of their cubes. These magnets are usually quite gentle, and are made to avoid "overshooting" a turn. In most popular cubes, the magnets are agreed to have a "natural feel". If you had never tried it before, you will probably be satisfied having such a cube. However, I would recommend going for a non-magnetic cube if that's your first cube – such as the MoYu WeiLong GTS.
What cubes does the world-record holders use?
|Single fastest 3x3 solve|
|Rank||Name||Result||At the event||Cube used|
|1||SeungBeom Cho||4.59||ChicaGhosts 2017||MoYu WeiLong GTS V2 (magnetic version)|
|2||Patrick Ponce||4.69||Rally In The Valley 2017||modified valk 3|
|3||Feliks Zemdegs||4.73||POPS Open 2016||GAN 356 Air UM (Previous version of the GAN 356 Air SM)|
|4||Mats Valk||4.74||Jawa Timur Open 2016||valk M (Valk 3 magnetic version)|
|8||Lucas Etter||4.90||River Hill Fall 2015||Moyu Aolong v2|
|Fastest average 3x3 solve (3 out of 5)|
|Rank||Name||Result||At the event||Cube used|
|1||Feliks Zemdegs||5.80||Malaysia Cube Open 2017||GAN 356 Air SM|
|2||Max Park||6.24||Fresno Fall 2017||GAN 356 Air UM|
|3||Seung Hyuk Nahm||6.43||China Championship 2017||Valk M|