The 3 Best Speed cubes of 2016
- 06 Jul, 2016
There will always be some speculation over the best speed cubes. The pros, the cons and everything in between may not be the same for every cuber. In this short blog I will express my opinions on the best 3 speed cubes that I have come across, couple this with other people's opinions, do some research and compile it into one easy to read paragraph per cube.
Before we get started, what qualities should a decent quality speed cube offer? We here at the office believe the best speed cubes around today are strong, great at corner cutting, no popping, have a smooth, fast rotation of each face and are not too big or too small.
Speed - The faces should turn quickly and smoothly, they should not feel rough or hard to twist. They should not turn too fast as this can then make the cube hard to control. Most speed cubes on the market today come with an adjusting screw hidden behind the centre cap of each face (see our "How to adjust your cube" blog for more information).
Corner Cutting - Twisting (or flicking) each face to fast can lead to misaligned faces/corners. Corner cutting is the cubes ability to bypass the misaligned layers and carry on a nice fluid rotation. To achieve this 'corner cutting' ability the best speed cubes offer curved corners (but not to rounded as this can result in the corners twisting, making your cube unsolvable).
Popping - Popping is when your cube pops apart. It really is that simple. A speed cubers nightmare, half way through a solve, currently beating their record time and BANG - cubies fly across the room.
The MoYu AoLong GT is often considered as the 3rd version of the AoLong (AoLong V1 then the AoLong V2). These puzzles are very similar but the GT has squared corners. The AoLong GT is a decent size at 57mm. The faces are very smooth to turn and exceptionally fast. Corner cutting isn't too good as you would expect and reverse corner cutting is just as 'good'? As for the internal mechanisms there is not much difference between the V2 and the GT. The cube catches sometimes which is not good for a speed cube. Overall we give the MoYu AoLong GT 4/5.
The Ganz 356 has widely been regarded as one of the best speed cubes ever designed. It offers outstanding corner cutting and reverse corner cutting. The speed of each twist is like a Bugatti off the mark (that's very quick) and yet not too quick as to venture into the 'uncontrollable' zone. Due to the interior mechanism and specialist designed cubies locking is kept to a minimum (in fact we recorded 2 or 3 lock ups every 100 solves). As for corners twists, well... What are they? We have never experienced a corner twist on the Ganz 356, impressive, or what? However, we did experience a 'pop' once out of our 100 solves. We rate this cube 4.7/5* Some rated this 5/5 but the one question we asked was 'Could any cube really be 5 out of 5?" The Ganz 356 really does make us re-think that question.
Now, many people new to cubing will be asking the question "What is the difference between the Ganz 356 and 357?" The answer is as simple as this. The Ganz 356 is the Ganz version 3 56mm and the Ganz 357 is the Ganz version 3 57mm. Yep, it really is that simple. But, how do they differ? The 357 offers very smooth turning and feels slightly crisp. The faces are not too fast, which means the cube is still controllable. The centres are rounded which makes it good for reverse corner cutting. Normal corner cutting is also very good on the Ganz 357. We rate this cube 4/5.
The TangLong is MoYus rival to the Ganz 356 and I'll tell you what, they have done a brilliant job. The MoYu TangLong (depending on what sites you buy from) is a lot cheaper than the Ganz 356 as well. The TangLong feels very stable compared to that of the 356. Corner cutting is well over 45 degrees and reverse corner cutting is about 3 quarters of a piece. Corner twisting on the TangLong has been prevented by the square corners. All in all, this is just a cheaper version of the Ganz 356 which we would rate at 4.6/5.
In our opinion the best quality of the HuaLong is the exceptional corner cutting capabilities. You can get well over a 45 degree corner cut with this speed cube. Reverse corner cutting is just as great (But not as good as the Ganz 356). The original stickers are great and look the part as well as being very hard wearing. The HuaLong is very fast and smooth but also very loud compared to other speed cubes mentioned in this list. Out of 50 solves we had 1 lock up and out of 100 solves we had absolutely no pops. We would rate this cube 3.5/5* as there are better cubes for the same kind of price available.
Now, we reach the very last cube. We found the AoLong V2 to be very dry and very slow out of the box (of course this was solved once we lubed it properly to our own specification). Corner cutting is well above average and reverse corner cutting is about 4/5ths of a piece, not too bad. The V2 feels very stable and pops hardly ever occur (in fact out of 200 solves we had only 1 pop). Lock ups almost never happen and we found corner twisting was also very low after having 1 twist in those 200 solves. We would rate this cube 4.6/5*
In conclusion, we would recommend either grabbing the AoLong V2, TangLong or the Ganz 356. Of course all of the other puzzles in this list are decent speed cubes (or they would not have even been mentioned). All have the capability of reaching sub 20 solves. Are you looking to get faster? check out our "5 ways to get faster" blog.
Want to know even more about speed cubes? Check out Puzzle Dudes Top Speed Cubes.