(Transcript from video)
It’s 2016 which means it’s time to go over what the best cubes on the market are and what might be best for you. Before I get starting I need to thank a couple stores that have sent me cubes throughout the past year making this comparison possible. SpeedCube.com.au, SpeedCubeShop.com, and TheCubicle.us. I have put links to their stores in the description of the YouTube video as well as any discount codes.
Now I am not going to go over every single cube possible. The reason is not that they are bad cubes but that compared to the new ones that have come out they cannot compare in terms of it’s ability to not lock up, pop, etc. For example pretty much every cube from YJ such as the SuLong, Shengshou 3x3s, budget cubes like the GuanLong, Cyclone Boys, older cubes like the WeiLong, and yes even the Zhanchi. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great cubes able to be used by pretty much any sub-10 second solver and the Zhanchi was used to break the world record multiple times with Feliks Zemdegs’ 5.66 and Mats Valk’s 5.55 record.
If you have any of these cubes or other ones that would be considered a "speedcube" it should not be considered as holding you back unless you can solve in under 10 seconds. Making a video with possibly 30 cubes or more would not be helpful to anyone and I’m sure most people watching this just want to know what the best cube is.
Now I’m going to first go over each cube quickly and then compared them at the end. I’m going to trim this down to the 10 most popular speedcubes on the market today
So first let’s start with the biggest player in the speed cube community, MoYu.
I am going to include 4 cubes in this mix. The AoLong v2, HuaLong, TangLong, and AoLong GT.
I initially was not going to include the AoLong v2 because although being one of the most popular cubes ever it is plagued with some of the worst corner twists over any other cube one this list. It does flow very well and is one of the best as far as cornercutting goes. It comes in both 57 and 54.6mm sizes. I’m including this mainly because it was just used by Lucas Etters in the new world record of 4.9 seconds.
The HuaLong was the next to come out and felt completely different. It was very light, and fast. The corners have holes in them giving the cube a very airy feel to it. This cube can flex a lot. It’s cornercutting is great and is voted currently as the fastest cube MoYu produces on the SpeedCubeReview website. It measures around 56.5mm
The TangLong was the first to incorporate the squared corner idea. It has a surprisingly simple internal structure. It is a very stable feeling cube and can feel quite slow out of the box. Cornercutting is great but because of it’s simpler design can sometimes feel a bit more catching than other cubes but that also gives it it’s more controllable feeling. It measures around 56mm and uses caps over the pieces making stickerless options not possible at the moment. This was used by Keaton Ellis’ 5.09 second solve.
The AoLong GT was just released. After breaking in it does have a bit of an AoLong feel. The pieces again have Caps making corner twisting now impossible. Even though the internal structure is almost exactly the same it feels a bit more loose to me and the pieces do not seems at tight or as stable as the v2 or especially the TangLong.
Next let’s look at Gans. They have two main cubes on the market, the 357 and 356. Now many people will claim the 356 is an upgraded 357 but I will say that they are two completely different cubes and both can be a good main. The Gans cubes have what they call an octopus core. This is where instead of screws going into a plastic core piece the core is made up of larger rods that bolts go over. The 357 has either ra plastic or metal core depending on if you get the “ultimate” edition and the 356 just has a metal core. The 357 is and 2-piece edges and 3-pieces corners making a stickerless cube possible. It is very light and loose feeling. In reviews on the website the 357 is on average thought to be might faster of a cube with incredible cornercutting in bother directions. It can feel a bit loud and clack-y though when turning.
The 356 is much the opposite. It is very solid and extremely quiet feeling. The Outside looks very much the same, but the internal structure is a bit different. The initial release of this cube had some horrible catching issues but now with he 356s which replaces the caps on the cube this has pretty much been eliminated. This is the current main cube of Felik’s Zemdegs.
Next we have the Yuxin 3x3. This was used in Colin Burns’ 5.25 world record solve. It is very light and can reverse correct very well. It has an internal structure reminiscent of an AoLong but it doesn’t feel much like that at all. I like to say it is an airier feeling HuaLong. You can see the similarities in the corners of the Yuxin and the HuaLong. It can flex a lot and is quite light. It measure a bit over 57mm which makes it larger than the other cubes on this list. It is a slight difference but can be felt in the hands. Many people talk about swapping springs but I will state that it is not necessary and you can check out my video that I made on that for more info on it.
Now let’s look at the Cong’s Design Cubes. Cong’s Design is a branch of MoYu giving credit to one of their main designers. I will only be focusing on the MeiYing since it has eclipsed the YueYing. Initially they were both suppose to be their own cube but I feel that most people who have tried both tend to lean more towards the MeiYing. The YueYing also has some issues where the caps do not stay on the pieces well and it is a very loud cube. Again, if you currently have this, of course it is a fantastic cube and was my main for some time.
The MeiYing Is very fast and flexible cube. Currently it is the highest rated cube out of any other cube on the SpeedCubeReview website. It is specifically leading overall currently for least amount of locking and best cornercutting which is due to the large cutouts in the corner pieces. It measures a little under 56mm making it one of the smaller cubes that is not considered a mini version.
Fangshi’s latest cube is the JieYun. It follows the construction of its predecessors the ShuagRen and the GuangYing. Fangshi cubes are known to have a bit of a scratchy feel and a very fast speed. This is a bit more controllable that the other cubes in its lineup but is still quite fast. Cornercutting is great and it comes in botha full 57mm size and mini version 54 and a half mm. The full size has indents in the pieces for the stickers to go in which prolong the life of the stickers as well as give a nice edges to grip on.
Lastly we have the QiYi Thunderclap. I think this took the most people by surprise. QiYi was known for having decent cubes at a cheap precut the Thunderclap has blown many people away. I cornercuts extremely well in both directions and is quite difficult to lock up. I almost didn’t put the AoLong v2 in this review because I consider this an AoLong v3. To me, the feeling of this cube reminds me of an AoLong more than the GT. It is bubbly and has a surprisingly stable feeling. This was the the first cube in a long time that had me second guessing what my main should be. It measures around 56mm
As far as the weight of the cubes, it can differ slightly by the amount of lube and stickers on the cube
All the cubes are very similar in weight except for the AoLong GT which is on the heavy side being over 10 grams more than any other cube and the MeiYing and Thunderclap being on the light side. I personally don’t notice too much when solving but in regards to which ones I like it seems that from looking at the results I like lighter feeling cubes.
Some of these cubes are made with caps and some have 2-pieces edges and 3-piece corners. The cubes with caps do tend to have a more solid feel to them. I have at times used superglue on cubes that have the multiple piece build to make them have a more stable feeling. It is again a very small amount but it is noticeable. The biggest difference is if there are caps on the pieces than a stickerless version is not possible, and with stickerless cubes now being legal that is a big factor for some people. I have the cubes that have a stickerless option on the left with is the AoLong V2, HuaLong, Gans 357, Yuxin, MeiYing, and the Thunderclap. The TangLong, AoLong GT, Gans 356, and JieYun currently use caps on the pieces.
The biggest difference is the shape of them. Gans really popularized the squared off corners and other companies followed suit. The Thunderclap, JieYin, and AoLong v2 are the only ones that have that more traditional look. The HuaLong and Yuxin are sort of a hybrid and the rest are the newer shape. Some people feel that the squared off corners create catches and at times I would think that but I feel it is just something to blame for any inaccurate turning on my part. They are all built so the corners still can flow over the center pieces smoothly.
So lets finish things up. What is the best cube… that I cannot say. There is no best and I brought up who got a record solve with what cube to show that they are all personal preference. If you already have a cube and like it but are looking for something new than I would go for something that is different so you can see how other cubes can feel. Many of these are very similar and to someone starting out the feeling is almost negligible. So if you are a new cuber you can kind of just take your pick at any of these. As far as price the Thunderclap and Yuxin are the lowest and both are great. I am going to finish by going do the list of cubes and stating what I feel the best quality of it since they are all stellar speedcubes
AoLong v2 - Very controllable and all-around good cube
HuaLong - Very fast and flexible
TangLong - Very Controllable and solid feel
AoLong GT - AoLong feel with 0 corner twists
356 - Very quiet and solid feeling cube
357 - Extremely fast and flexible
Yuxin - Airy, flexible, and great reverse cornercutting
MeiYing - incredible cornercutting in both directions and fast
JieYun 87g - sturdy feel and comes in a mini version
Thunderclap 78g - Great all-around cube for a cheap price
2016 3x3 Comparison
MEGA 3x3 comparison
MEGA 2x2 comparison
Mega 6x6 Comparison
What Cube to Get?
Beginner to Intermediate
QiYi WuShuang 5x5
Gans 356s V2
MoYu AoLong GT
YJ YuSu 4x4
Cong's Design MeiYing
MoYu Crazy Hotwheel
What is Keyhole Method
What is a Supercube?
Why Square Corners?
Gans 356 With Weights
Gans 357 Spring mod