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Choosing the Speed Cube that is Best for You

Updated on January 14, 2013

How to Choose the Speed Cube that is Best for You

Can you solve the popular puzzle cube created by in Erno Rubik in the 1980s? The Rubik's cube is an amazing puzzle, and even more amazingly difficult to solve. However, once you are able to solve it, it becomes very addicting. Thousands of Rubik's speed cubers have begun solving the cube in less than 20 seconds, and even some beginners are even able to get it in under one minute! When your solve time begins to get shorter and shorter, there comes a time when getting a new cube is the only solution. There are surprisingly MANY different varieties of speed cubes, not necessarily all created by the Rubik's company, and I will describe to you the pros and cons of the different cubes. Each cuber will have their own preference to fit their individual cubing style.

The Alpha V Cube
The Alpha V Cube

The Alpha V Cube

I bought my Alpha V speed cube about 2 years ago as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) kit. After assembling it, I lubricated it and for that time, it was a much more popular cube and one of the best on the market.

Pros:

The Alpha V is VERY fast and smooth. The pieces are sturdy and rarely ever pop out even when handling the cube roughly. I would highly recommend this cube to new cubers. If you are using the beginners' solving method, I would say this is a great cube for you. I have a friend who just learned how to solve the cube. It takes her about 3 minutes to solve, and out of all my cubes, she says this is her favorite.

Cons:

One of the first things I noticed was that it was very "crispy" and made a "clicky" sound when turning. It's ability to cut corners in my opinion is average and locks up a lot when attempting to cut corners too hard.

Shengen Type F-II Cube

Shengen F-II
Shengen F-II

The Shengen F-II cube is a very fast cube and a wonderful starter speed cube. I bought my roommate an F-II and he loves the feel and sound of it, or should I say "no sound" of it. This cube has a very quiet and contained sound. If you are a beginner or intermediate cuber, you should get this. If the people around you get tired of the sound of you cubing all the time, this may be your solution because of the nice contained sound. This cube has a nice, rounded look to it.

Pros:

Very fast and smooth. Excellent corner cutting. With the right tensioning, this cube can cut corners right about in the middle of the middle cube. It can also do "reverse corner-cutting", which is where the top layer is slightly misaligned and can corner cut upward with an R turn. This cube comes pre-assembled and pre-lubricated.

Con:

After only a little use, this cube's stickers began to significantly fade. The good thing is that you can purchase stickers for very cheap on the Amazon links below. The middle caps fall out if you're too violent with the cube.

The Dayan Guhong Cube

Stickerless Dayan Guhong Cube
Stickerless Dayan Guhong Cube

The Dayan Guhong is one of my personal favorites. It comes in two types, which makes it quite unique. You can purchase the stickered version or the stickerless version. The stickerless version has no stickers, so you never have to worry about replacing old, worn out stickers. The stickerless Guhong probably matches the speed of the record-breaking Dayan ZhanChi cube, the fastest and smoothest turning cube in existence. The type of plastic is a special type of plastic that is extremely frictionless. Some say it is so fast it is slightly uncontrollable and prone to popping. From experience, I've also noticed quite a bit of popping. The stickerless versions are not allowed in competition, because of lack of stickers, so if you are looking to compete, the stickered version is the way to go. I personally have tried both versions and love them equally. Out of every cube I've ever tested, the Dayan brand have been the best. This cube also is one of the quieter cubes I've owned. The pros heavily outweigh the cons in my opinion.

Pros:

Extremely fast and smooth. 45 degree corner cutting. No need to worry about wearing out stickers on stickerless Guhong. Quiet and contained sound when turning.

Cons:

Prone to popping (pieces popping out), middle caps pop out often

The Dayan ZhanChi Cube

Dayan ZhanChi Cube
Dayan ZhanChi Cube

First came the Dayan Guhong, then came the Dayan ZhanChi. The Dayan Zhanchi is extremely fast, like that of the Guhong. This cube can also be purchased as the stickered or stickerless version. I would say everything about the Dayan ZhanChi is just about identical to the Dayan Guhong except for one new thing. The Dayan ZhanChi comes with or without "torpedoes." The torpedoes give the pieces much more stability and keep them from popping as much. It is extremely rare for a Dayan ZhanChi to pop because of these. You have the option to put in or take out the torpedoes depending on your preference. Out of every cube I've ever owned or tested, this is my absolute favorite. The world record was recently set with this cube.

Pros:

Extremely fast and smooth. Cuts corners exceedingly well (45 degrees), torpedoes significantly reduce popping

Cons:

Middle caps occasionally pop out

The V-Cube 3

The Pillowed V-Cube
The Pillowed V-Cube

This is the only 3x3 speed cube manufactured by the Rubik's company. Why it is called the V-Cube rather than a Rubik's cube, I'm don't know, but it is a Rubik's cube none-the-less. I got the opportunity to try out this cube while visiting my cousin who also collects speed cubes, and my first impression was that it had a very solid feel. It feels good for a beginners' cube in my opinion. The V-Cube 3 has a crispy and clicky sound to it, not as contained as the Shengen F-II or Dayan Guhong. The V-Cube's edge pieces look VERY similar, practically identical to that of the Dayan Guhong. One would think that because of the similarity that it would have a very similar feel, but it is not as efficient at cutting corners and overall seems to perform at lower standards than the Guhong. You can purchase the V-Cube 3 as a pillowed (rounded corners) version, or a regular version. I would highly recommend this cube for beginner speed cubers. It definitely has a unique feel to it, but probably not ideal for getting record-breaking times.

Pros:

Very fast and smooth. Comes with torpedoes, significantly reducing popping. Unique and fun feel for a speed cube.

Cons:

Doesn't cut corners as well as the Dayan Guhong, which has a very similar cube-shape mechanism. Cripsy, clicky sound.

Me Solving the Cube

Here is one of my better times, a 19 second solve.

How to Solve the Cube Less than One Minute

In this video, I give a tutorial on how to solve the Rubik's cube in less than one minute only having to learn 4 algorithms. I would recommend that you have a little experience with at least the beginners' method before going on to learning this. But this is a good start to beginning to get faster solves and teaches you the most essential algorithms.

Learning the OLLs - Orientation of the Last Layer

In this video, I give a tutorial on how to solve the last layer of the cube. This is the speed cubing method and will allow you to begin to solve the cube in the 30 second range. Remember, it won't be immediate. In fact, your time may get slower before it gets faster. This is the 2-look method which will orient the last layer in only 2 steps.

Just For Fun "Speed Cubing Song"

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    • aaron lancaster profile image
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      aaron lancaster 4 years ago

      @JumpinJake: Indeed! Thanks for the comment! :)

    • aaron lancaster profile image
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      aaron lancaster 4 years ago

      @jmlanca: And "old school" solving is a great place to start! Solving the cube with the beginners' method gives you a better understanding of the cube and the process of solving it, so moving on to speed cubing shouldn't be too hard at all. It'll just require some time and patience.

    • JumpinJake profile image

      JumpinJake 4 years ago

      A classic toy thru and thru!

    • aaron lancaster profile image
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      aaron lancaster 4 years ago

      @jmlanca: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it and found it helpful. It's not hard. It just takes some dedication to memorizing a few algorithms. Not too many though!

    • aaron lancaster profile image
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      aaron lancaster 4 years ago

      @getmoreinfo: Thanks! I'm glad to hear you are interested in speed cubing! good luck in your journey to getting faster and faster solves...oh and finding the best speed cube for you!

    • aaron lancaster profile image
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      aaron lancaster 4 years ago

      @dmdrapp lm: Thanks dmdrapp! If there's any cubes you don't have, then totally! :)

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      jmlanca 4 years ago

      You did a great job on this article! I'm still "old school" in solving the cube. Maybe I'll learn the speed cube method some day and help bring myself out of the 1980s...

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I like the Speed Cube, thanks for sharing those videos too!

    • dmdrapp lm profile image

      Derek Drapp 4 years ago from Tulsa, OK

      Great lens! I really like those shirts! I might just have to buy one for myself!