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Now that the sport of speedcubing has taken off, you may have heard of the word speedcubes. So what exactly is a speedcube? In short, you could say that they are fast cubes that are easy to turn. But there are actually quite a few aspects that make a speedcube a must if you want to solve the Rubik’s cube really quickly. Imagine a racing car. It’s not just that it’s fast that differs from a normal car, it’s also about grip, shape and acceleration. Below I list six different points that you usually take into account when you want to find a really good speedcube.
The first thing you will notice when you turn a Speedcube compared to a regular Rubik’s cube is that it is very easy to turn. This allows you to turn the cube very quickly and without the layers locking onto each other. They have come a long way when it comes to reducing the pressure and friction in the cube to make the resistance as small as possible. In addition, they are often lubricated with silicone internally to reduce friction even more.
See the GIF for a quick comparison between an original Rubik’s cube and a speedcube.
On a normal cube, all the pieces need to be in line with each other in order to be able to turn a layer. When you have to solve a Rubik’s cube quickly, it becomes very difficult to have exact precision between the different moves. A speedcube can cut corners, meaning you can start the next move before you’ve finished turning the previous move. In other words, you don’t have to be as precise with your moves.
See the GIF to see how hard it is to cut corners on an original Rubik’s cube compared to a Speedcube.
When a speedcube is manufactured, you want as little friction as possible inside the cube so that it can be turned easily. To achieve that, you don’t tighten the screws in the cube as hard as you did on the original Rubik’s cube. The advantage of that is that the pressure and friction in the cube is reduced, making it faster. However, it can also cause the cube to pop, as it is called when the cube falls apart or some pieces fall out of the cube.
Development has progressed rapidly in recent years and today’s 3×3 speedcubes no longer pop. But when it comes to other models such as 2×2 or larger cubes such as 4×4, they still pop sometimes. Some speedcubes are more resistant to popping than others.
N.B.! The cube doesn’t break when it pops, you just have to put it back together. If you struggle finding a way to put the pieces back together, feel free to check for tutorials online as there are countless of them.
Sometimes you can experience that the cube locks up. This usually does not mean that the cube is completely stuck so that it cannot be turned, it is rather that the cube gets stuck internally and does not move smoothly during a move. This can lead to you getting a slightly worse times compared to a cube where all the moves flow smoothly so that you never have to stop.
See our GIF on what it might look like when a cube locks up.
Another side effect of speedcubes not being screwed very tight (to make them faster) is that the corner pieces of the cube can spin around their own axis accidentally. This means that the piece itself turns without changing its position. When you turn the cube quickly and perform various finger tricks, it may happen that you accidentally turn a corner piece in this way. Then the cube can no longer be solved until the corner is turned back again manually. This can cause confusion and extra time for those who want to solve the cube quickly. Today’s speedcubes are however much better than just a couple of years ago, and corner twists are much less of a problem nowadays.
Something that all speedcubes have in common is that they can be adjusted. This is done by tightening or loosening screws found in the cube. Adjusting the cube can affect the above points quite a bit. Manufacturers always strive to implement new ways to adjust the cube so that you can find your dream settings. On many of today’s cubes, you can not only use a screwdriver, but also adjust the spring tension and magnet strength using included tools.
Last but not least is the feeling of the cube. Different models that have roughly the same performance in terms of, for example, how fast it is and how well it cuts corners. But they can still feel completely different from each other depending on the mechanism inside the cube. Some speedcubes feel soft like silk inside them and others feel scratchy and crispy. Some cubes are more hollow, which is modern these days and makes the cube feels lighter and airier, while other cubes are compact and feel more robust. The weight can also vary among the different models.
When it comes to the feeling in the cube, there is nothing that is objectively right or wrong, we all have different likes and tastes. When it comes to modern 3×3 speedcubes, there are a lot of cubes that have really good performance and thus it matters a lot about finding the right feeling in the cube. When it comes to larger cubes, there is still a lot of room for improvement and thus performance becomes more important, e.g. speed and corner cutting.
If you have small hands, a regular cube might feel a bit clumsy. Therefore, the manufacturers have created speedcubes in several different sizes so that you can find a good cube just for you. An original Rubik’s cube is 57 mm. Nowadays, it is common for speedcubes to be manufactured in 56 mm as standard, but there are also both smaller and larger cubes to choose from.
You don’t have to search anymore. Cuboss is the biggest speedcube store in Sweden, and we ship worldwide. We have a large selection of awesome speedcubes. We also have cubes and cube accessories under our own brand that are used by some of the fastest speedcubers. Below you will find links to help you choose the right cube.