Corner cutting

You may be thinking. Wouldn’t corner cutting damage my cube? Well… no. Corner cutting isn’t what is seems like, in fact, it’s completely harmless and will actually help you.

What is corner cutting?

corner cutting rubiks cube
Fragment from a modding video: Making of the Trump Cube

Corner cutting is the process of doing a turn without all of the layers being straight. For example, you could be halfway in a U turn (top face turning left) and still complete an R move (right face turn up). This may sound confusing, however, the process you might be doing, just with no idea, that’s how simple it is. With corner cutting, the cube (depending on how good it is) will be able to do more and more corner cutting until eventually, it’s effortless to turn and during solves you will be speeding up… But why is this helpful in solves? Well that is what we are talking about next.

Why is corner cutting helpful in solves?

magnetic GAN cube
A magnetic GAN cube

Corner cutting is helpful in solves because it helps to turn the puzzle faster - just like good lubrication. For example, instead of fully completing the turn and then doing the next, if you make a “half-turn” and then try to do another, instead of stopping there, it will go through the turn and snap into place allowing you to complete your solve without any hindrances of lockups.

Without corner cutting, the cube will be completely stiff, and you would have to be very accurate in order to solve fast, this is why corner cutting is so important and is talked about in every new cube that comes out in the cube market.

Modern cubes use magnets that help to align the pieces after a turn. This reduces the importance of corner cuts.

Corner cutting test and measurements

In order to test for corner cutting, you would roughly measure the angle at which the cube automatically snaps to. For example, this image guides you through the process.

corner cut degrees

As you can see, the “45-degree corner cutting” is at roughly 45 degrees. For it’s a half of a full turn (if you like the maths: 90 divided by 2 = 45).

Corner Cutting as you may have already heard, is measured in degrees as well, as you can also see from the diagram above.

Forward and reverse corner cutting

Reverse corner cutting is when the face is turned to the left, and you snap the cube downwards, whilst forward corner cut is when the face is turned to the left and is snapped upwards. Reverse corner cutting is always less than forward by a high degree. With reverse corner cutting you usually reach around Line to Line (when the piece is aligned with the other piece) and that is usually the max point of reverse corner cutting.

reverse corner cut
Doing a R rotation while the upper layer is not perfectly aligned

Best corner cutting cubes

After all of this information you may be asking: What are the best cubes for corner cutting? Well, these are my recommendations.

rounded pieces
Rounded pieces improve corner cuts

Although usually, many cubes have around the same corner cutting, the best corner cutting cubes are mainly the best cubes overall, and that would be the GAN 11 M Pro which does 47 degrees forward corner cutting, and a little more than Line to Line reverse. This would be a great choice; however, many other cubes generally have good corner cutting. For example, the RS3M 2020, even though it’s a budget cube, can usually perform 40-45-degree corner cutting forward and line to line reverse. So the cube (unless it’s a Rubik’s brand cube which performs little corner cutting) generally has good corner cutting.

corner cutting animation