The Best SpeedCube
For whatever you need in life, there will always be competition to supply said need to you, providing the best quality at the best price. In this article we are going to show you how to choose the perfect speedcube and I'm going to review some of the most popular puzzle brands, from large companies to small independent custom puzzle manufacturers.
What to look for?
There are many aspects to analise when we're looking for the best quality speed cube but everybody has to find the cube most suitable for them. If we're talking about SpeedCubes let's start with the speed of the puzzle which shows how easy is to turn the faces. It's important to rotate the layers easily but too fast puzzles are harder to control.
The locking of the puzzle can be caused by misaligned faces or sharp edges. This is why the best speed cubes have curved corners which help the corner cutting as well (this is called Florian mod). This way you don't need to align the layers perfectly because on a perpendicular rotation the pieces find their way through. Too rounded corners and loose tensioning can cause corner twists, resulting in an unsolvable cube.
Popping of the pieces can drive cubers crazy. In some cases the whole cube explodes while solving, this is why in most cases an interlocking mechanism is used to keep everything in place and you need to set the optimal tensioning according to your cubing style using the screws under the centre piece caps. Lubricating the cube with silicone is crucial to adjust the viscosity most suitable for every individual.
Let's start our list with the Rubik's brand, even if it's not considered to have the best quality and this is why it's not a common speedcube. They have always been criticized in the speedcubing community for producing relatively poor quality products. Rubik's has always been in a comfortable position thanks to its name and they never had to come up with revolutionary ideas to remain in business while the other brands in our list present something new from time to time.
Rubik's has its own Speed Cube with coloured plastic tiles and the pieces are built around a spherical core design which allows fast movement, good corner cutting and it doesn't pop. However this puzzle is too fast and the centre piece is locking on reverse corner cuts which can ruin the solve.
YJ, as a company, has existed for quite some time. They released some basic speedcubes back in 2010 to compete with the then-popular Alpha puzzles (even collaborating with them to create a speedcube under both their names). MoYu, a very highly recognised brand that makes professional speedcubes is a sub-brand of YJ. In 2012, YJ created MoYu as a platform for designers to send their ideas to YJ and in turn receive some of the profits. YJ still sell puzzles under their own name today despite the immense popularity of MoYu puzzles. These are normally budget cubes and tend to be poorer in performance than their counterparts.
YJ GuanLong speedcube
(Part of YJ Toy Company)
MoYu is one of the best known puzzle manufacturers to date. They focus on producing the best speedcubes for the community, and their cubes have been used in several currently standing World Records.
Along with the production of WCA puzzles, they also produce some other twisty puzzles. There are several different types, all the way from shape mods such as the Fisher Cube to larger puzzles such as the current largest mass produced NxN puzzle (the 13x13).
Despite being known for producing speedcubes, MoYu's cubes are of excellent quality and are highly recommended to all puzzlers, speedcuber or not.
Other than some of the original speedcube brands from several years ago (the Alpha series, DaYan etc.), MoYu is one of the only companies that has been able to survive and thrive despite the intense competition in the speedcube market. Companies such as Gans and QiYi are taking back the 3x3 market from the overall dominance that MoYu once had, but their monopoly on larger puzzles is still very much alive.
(Part of MoYu Speedcubes)
The Cong’s Design puzzle were created in conjunction with MoYu. These puzzles were all designed by Cong, someone who has had a large input in previous MoYu puzzle releases. As of now, Cong’s Design only has a few different puzzles available, but more will most likely come in the future.
DaYan is one of the oldest puzzle brands out there. Once, they dominated the speedcubing scene, although now other companies have produced superior puzzles which DaYan simply cannot compete with. They recently released a stickerless Pyraminx, although it received several negative reviews and is generally seen as inferior to the current top Pyraminx puzzles.
However, as a puzzle, a DaYan cube is a great choice. It is sturdy and pop resistant, and is generally reliable. But if you're looking for a cube that is also fairly fast, stick to MoYu.
Shengshou are like the DaYan of big cubes. They were one of the first companies to produce bigger cubes such as the 8x8, 9x9 and 10x10. They were also the go-to choice for 4x4 and 5x5 speedcubes before MoYu came around. Their puzzles were and still are loved by most puzzlers, simply due to their all-round ability to perform when needed. They fixed some major issues that existed with previous brands, such as instability and popping. If you are a puzzler and need a reliable cube of any size or type, you should always check to see if Shengshou sell it before looking elsewhere.
Shengshou have held all big cube records in the past, and some of the fastest cubers in the world still use modded Shengshou puzzles and achieve astonishing times with them. Shengshou puzzles always come pre-lubricated, so you never have to worry about a cube being too stiff to turn when you first get it.
In a way, Shengshou revolutionised the big cube world. They were one of the first companies to move focus away from 3x3s and produce bigger cubes that were able to perform beyond the expectations set by other inferior puzzles within the community.
YuXin made its name by releasing the (then) largest NxN puzzle, the 11x11. They then made attempts to break into the speedcubing market, their best bet at doing so being the YuXin 4x4, which came close to challenging the Aosu from MoYu. Yuxin are known for two things: large puzzle (a 9x9 has recently been released by them also) and cheap puzzles. This is probably the best brand for a budgeted speedcuber.
The QiYi brand started in quite possibly the worst time for any brand of speedcube – just as MoYu were reaching peak dominance over the speedcubing market. Their first puzzles, the Bullfight and Warrior cubes didn’t receive much attention, but soon people began to take notice. They made one of the first proper speedcube Square-1 puzzles, and their most famous cube to date is the Valk 3, a 3x3 endorsed and partially designed by Mats Valk. The current World Record (4.74 seconds) was set by Valk using his own puzzle.
The record-breaking Valk 3 cube
Gans are currently the best competition for MoYu (excluding the Valk 3, whose popularity increase thanks to the World Record has yet to be seen fully). They produce only 3x3 speedcubes, which have very specific designs that are very unique to the brand. Some of the older puzzles (such as the Gans 357) weren’t the best cubes but with the release of the Gans 356 and current average World Record holder Feliks’ Zemdegs choice to use the Gans 356 as his main puzzle, Gans has become a force to be reckoned with. They are still releasing new puzzles and are starting to explore new ways of improving speedcubes, including set tension springs to provide a more stable puzzle.
The Gans 356