Buying a Rubik's Cube – The Best Speed Cubes out There
Updated: September 2016.
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.
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$ /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 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 AoLongWhere to get: eBay | Amazon
Holds the world record for the fastest single 3x3 solve (4.90s) by Lucas Etter. This cube is considered by many as the current best in the world. It has an extremely fast turning speed (for some people, too fast, which can cause overshooting a turn), amazing corner cutting including reserve cutting, without compromising on pop resistance. Its overall performance is incredible, and therefore is currently being used by many of the top speedcubers today.
Overall score: 9.1
Speed: 9.5 ; Corner cutting: 9.5 ; Reverse cutting: 8.5 ; Pops resistance: 8.5 ; Lock-up resistance: 8 ; Corner twist resistance: 7 ; Weight: 83 gr
Dayan ZhanchiWhere to get: eBay | Amazon
Holds the 3rd fastest world record for a single solve (5.55s). It is pretty much good in all qualities, and is almost immune to corner twisting. It has a bit "clicky" feel when finishing a turn (some people like it). Less pop resistant than the MoYu WeiLong.
Overall score: 9.0
Speed: 8.5 ; Corner cutting: 9 ; Reverse cutting: 8 ; Pops resistance: 8 ; Lock-up resistance: 8 ; Corner twist resistance: 9.5 ; Weight: 88 gr
Gans 356S V2 (Advanced)Where to get: eBay | Amazon
Used in the current world record for fastest average solving (6.45s). One of the best speedcubes in the market. An improved version of the v1 (which known to have some issues). It has an outstanding speed. Thanks to the structure of the pieces this cube almost never pops, however sometimes get can get stuck and lock-up. Justifiably used by world-class speedcubers, although it's relatively higher price.
Overall score: 9.0
Speed: 9.5 ; Corner cutting: 9 ; Reverse cutting: 8.5 ; Pops resistance: 9 ; Lock-up resistance: 7 ; Corner twist resistance: 8.5 ; Weight: 88 gr
YuxinWhere to get: eBay | Amazon
Relatively new brand in the market, holds the former single world record fastest 3x3 solve (5.25s) by Collin Burns. It has a rounded shape of stickers, which some may not like. A very "flexible" cube which result in great qualities such as corner cutting and lock resistance.
Overall score: 8.9
Speed: 9 ; Corner cutting: 9.5 ; Reverse cutting: 9.5 ; Pops resistance: 8.5 ; Lock-up resistance: 8.5 ; Corner twist resistance: 9 ; Weight: 88 gr
So, which one should I get?Since all of these cubes are of the highest quality, it comes to self-preference, and 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 AoLong. It really stands out among these cubes, both in performance and 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.
What cubes does the world-record holders use?Feliks Zemdegs – World record holder for average (3 out of 5) solve (6.45s). 6th fastest single solve record (5.32s). World record for single 4x4 (21.54s). World Record for 5x5 single (44.83s) & average (49.32s). WR also for 6x6 and 7x7 solving.
2x2: Dayan 2x2
3x3: Gans 356S V2
4x4: MoYu AoSu
5x5: Yuxin Kirin
6x6: MoYu AoShi
7x7: MoYu AoFu
Lucas Etter – World record holder for single 3x3 solve (4.90s), 2nd fastest average 3x3 solve (7.05s). World record holder for 2x2 average solve (1.51s).
2x2: Dayan 2x2
3x3: MoYu AoLong V2
4x4: MoYu AoSu
Collin Burns - Former world record holder for fastest single solve (5.25s)
Mats Valk - World 4th fastest single solve (5.13s). 5th fastest average (3 out of 5) solve (7.21s)
2x2: MoYu LingPo
3x3: Dayan Zhanchi 3x3 (Used for previous WR- 5.55s)
3x3: MoYu AoLong V2 (Currently using)
4x4: MoYu AoSu
5x5: MoYu HuaChuang