Review of Main 3x3x3 Cube Models and Clarification on the Naming System of Type A

Discussion in 'Hardware Area' started by pentrixter, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. pentrixter

    pentrixter Banned

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Review of Main 3x3x3 Cube Models and Clarification on the Naming System of Type A

    Update Log
    I will be keeping an update log of this guide. Since I am constantly coming to new insights and learning new information about these cubes, I will be updating this post frequently.

    June 10, 2009
    Posted first draft of guide
    Edited layout of pictures and corrected some typos

    June 11, 2009
    Changed "Final score" to "Average score" and added an "Overall score" as suggested by fanwuq
    Added some extra comments to Type C, Type E, and Type F

    June 12, 2009
    Regraded the New Type A II and New Type A III
    Edited conclusion section because of regrading

    June 13, 2009
    Added Update Log
    Edited and added comments on the New Type A I, New Type A III, Type C, Type E (Diansheng no.333), Rubiks.com DIY, and Studio Cube
    Regraded New Type A III, Type C, Type E (Diansheng no.333)
    Edited conclusion section because or regrading
    Corrected Diansheng no.222 to no.333 in many places
    Added family picture

    June 15, 2009
    Edited New Type A II info
    Added some stuff to the conclusion

    June 17, 2009
    Regraded Edison Cube
    Edited conclusion section because of regrading

    June 20, 2009
    Changed "tendency to pop" and "tendency to lock up" to "resistance to pops" and "resistance to lock ups" to avoid confusing people. Thanks to Nukoca.

    June 21, 2009
    Added caption to Type E (Diansheng no.333)
    Edited Type F comments

    June 26, 2009
    Edited Edison "break in" and comments. Thanks to crispy1337.

    June 28, 2009
    Regraded C4U Cube and edited the comments. Thanks to Vault312.
    Edited conclusion section because of regrading
    Added Tension when graded/Best tension distinction to all cubes

    June 29, 2009
    Edited main cube/secondary cube under conclusions

    July 2, 2009
    Sized the different sections for the review
    Edited comments on the Rubik's Storebought
    Added Type A IV and V

    July 9, 2009
    Added comments to the Type C
    Added the HKNowStore

    July 11, 2009
    Bought and reviewed a JSK Clone

    July 13, 2009
    Added comments to the New Type A II
    Regraded New Type A III
    Added quantitative review to the JSK Clone
    Edited conclusions because regrade and new review

    July 18, 2009
    Added Type E (Diansheng no.222) picture
    Edited comments on the Type E (Diansheng no.222)
    Regraded Type E (Diansheng no.333)
    Edited conclusion because of regrade

    July 31, 2009
    Regraded Type C
    Edited conclusion because of regrade

    August 18, 2009
    Change puzzlepros to puzzleproz
    Added more stores for "where to buy"


    Introduction
    This is going to be a little formal and long. You may navigate by using the Ctrl + F function.

    In this post I will be reviewing all the cubes that I have along with some of the pictures I have taken. I have two main objectives that I want to accomplish in this review: 1) to clarify the naming system of the many models of the Type A DIY cube, 2) To list and review the main 3x3x3 cubes mentioned in this forum.

    Regarding the naming system of the Type A, I feel that many models have been misnamed by the forum as well as major cube distributors like cube4you. While I do not have definite proof that the current naming system is wrong, I do have evidence (directly from the manufacturer of all the Type A DIYs) that suggests a better naming system.

    In order, these are the cubes that I will be making a mention to (with the new naming system):

    Chinese Cubes
    -Type A (aka Type A I or Type A - old)
    -Type A II**
    -Type A III**
    -Type A IV**
    -Type A V*
    -New Type A I (first model)*
    -New Type A II (second model)
    -New Type A III (third model)
    -Type B*
    -Type C
    -Type D
    -Type E (Diansheng no.222)*
    -Type E (Diansheng no.333)
    -Type F
    -C4U Cube
    -JSK Clone

    Rubik’s Cubes
    -Rubik’s Storebought
    -Rubiks.com DIY*
    -Japanese Speedcubing Kit (JSK)**
    -Studio Cube*

    Korean Cubes
    -Edison Cube
    -Joy Cube*

    *These are cubes that I have not personally tested. For these cubes, I will simply present the general opinion that I have come across while browsing the forum.

    **These are cubes that I have personally tested. But I do not own them, making it impossible to conduct any long term testing or adjust the tension. Please take these reviews with a grain of salt as they are rough and tentative.

    Naming System of Type A
    Initially, I was pretty confused by the naming system of the Type A as well. If there is a “third model,” what happened to the first and second models? When I went to a puzzle shop in Hong Kong, the storeowner gave me a little leaflet that contained pictures and information on Type A’s. It turns out that all Type As are designed and manufactured from one company in China. Type A’s are known as 國甲 (guojia) in Hong Kong as well as in China. Speedcubers in Hong Kong have classified the Type A’s we know of into six types: 國甲ver.1, 國甲ver.2, 國甲ver.3, 國甲全封ver.1, 國甲全封ver.2, 國甲全封ver.3. As seen there are two sets of Type A’s both counting up to version 3. The difference between the two sets is the second set has the extra words, 全封, (quanfeng) which means “completely sealed” or “all sealed.” I think this describes how the pieces of the second set do not have any gaps or holes in them. But more importantly, the leaflet that the storeowner handed me agreed with all of this. Here’s a picture of relevant portion of the leaflet:

    [​IMG]

    This picture shows the edge pieces of the six Type A’s. The top row is the quanfeng (completely sealed) Type A’s and the bottom is just the normal Type A’s. Judging from this I think it would make sense to say that the bottom row (from left to right) is Type A I, Type A II, and Type A III. The top row is New Type A I, New Type A II, and New Type A III. But just to be consistent with our naming system, I think the top row can also be named Type A (first model), Type A (second model), and Type A (third model).

    Now referring to the cubes through this new naming system, I have seen the New Type A II being referred to as the third model a lot. I have also seen Type A III and the New Type AIII or Type A (third model) frequently mixed up. It’s not that surprising given that they both share the similar edge piece structure with the tabs to keep them in place.

    Now for some observations. The New Type A’s seem to be upgrades of the normal Type A series. So, the three edge pieces on the top row are upgrades or revisions of the bottom edge pieces. I actually got this confirmed with the storeowner. She said that the third model has reinforced tabs because the tabs kept on snapping off on the III version. This was a complaint voiced out in this thread.

    Also, take note of the 國甲 (guojia) logo. I think that if any cube has this logo on it, it’s a pretty fair indication that it’s a Type A of some sort. While I do not believe that these six models exhaust the list of Type A DIYs, I do think that this list includes the main types of Type A’s that we are interested in. You can find more models of A Types in this thread. I believe Unknown.soul has been kind enough to provide pictures for very exotic models of the Type A.

    Guojia Logo:
    [​IMG]

    So what relevance does this “new naming system” have for us? Nothing probably. As long as websites like cube4you continues to refer to the New Type A II as the third model, most of us will still probably stick with our current naming system. It would be too confusing to use both names at the same time. If that’s the case, then why did I do this? lol I dunno. I guess I just needed to get this out of my system.

    Review of Main Cube Types
    It is worthy to spend a little time on the criteria for cube judgment. When reviewing cubes, I will be focusing mostly on the performance of the cube in terms of speedcubing. Therefore, criteria like quality of stickers and overall appearance of cube will not be included since most people would not say that these significantly affect that overall performance of the cube. I will be using part of Zarxrax’s criteria for reviewing cubes as shown in this thread. His guide is brilliant by the way. This will be the format of a standard review of a cube:

    Name of Cube
    -Resistance to pops (x/10) – how often or how easy it is to pop while cubing. A score of 10 means that the cube is not prone to popping at all and a score of 0 means the cube pretty much falls apart on its own.
    -Resistance to lock ups (x/10) – how often or how easy the cube locks during cubing. A score of 10 means the cube does not lock up at all and a score of 0 means the cube jams like a little devil.
    -Ability to cut corners (x/10) – how well the cube cuts corners. A score of 10 means the cube makes 42-44 degree cuts and a score 0 means the cube cannot cut corners if your life depended on it.
    -Speed (x/10) – how smoothly or how quickly you can turn a layer. A score of 10 means the layer can spin like a wheel and score of 0 means the layer moves like there’s glue in the cube.
    Average score: the average of the four scores above out of 10.
    Overall score: score based on the overall feel and trustworthiness of the cube. The score is a letter grade and will be ranged since it's difficult to use a number score when the score is not based on numbers.

    Weight: the cube will either be very light, light, average, heavy, or very heavy
    Need to break in: Yes or No. Even if a cube does not need breaking in, it may still benefit from it.
    Feel: This is the general “feel” of the cube. To describe the feel of the cube, I will use four qualities – smooth vs. rough and quiet vs. noisy.
    -If a cube is speedy, it can have a smooth or rough feel to it. Smooth means that the cube moves with relatively little resistance whereas the rough feel means that you could feel some texture when turning the cube. It is important to understand that a speedy cube can also be rough. A cube can be fast but give off a rough feel.
    -Noisy will be used to describe cubes that make a “clicky-clacky” sound and quiet will be used to describe cubes that have a more “creamy” feel to them. The noise a cube makes somehow translates to the feel or texture of a cube.
    Best Tension: This describes both the tension that I think the cube best performs in as well as the tension of the cube when it was graded. The tension settings is a range in the spectrum: loose, average, or tight. "Not Applicable" will be used to describe cubes that perform more or less the same regardless of tension settings as well as cubes that do not have adjustable tension settings.

    Comments: the comments are as important as the average and overall score because a high-scoring cube does not necessarily mean it’s a good buy.

    Where to buy: Stores will include Cube4You, Puzzleproz, 9spuzzles, Tribox, ToysRUs, DealExtreme, RubikFans (Ebay), Rubiks.com and the HKNowStore.

    Keep in mind that the naming system for cubes in the HKNowStore is a little messed up. Look at the pictures if you want to determine the real type of the cube they sell.

    Note: You can assume I'm lubing all of my cubes with 100% silicone spray unless stated otherwise. The spray I use is non-corrosive unlike Jigaloo. Just use whatever works for you. I'm just saying this so people don't count lubricant as a lurking variable.

    Now I am going to spend a talking about what I am not trying to accomplish in the upcoming reviews. The reviews are not completely objective. It is almost impossible to review or grade any cube objectively. There are simply too many variables out there. The first is style and skill. I understand that my style and skill of cubing creates a bias that is confounded within my grading. This cannot be helped. Still, I try to be as objective as possible. I have thought about the numbers very carefully and made many revisions. Those numbers are also tempered by general opinion here and there. The second is quality of the specific cube I buy. Just because I buy two of the same cube does not mean that they will be same in performance. Some models are inconsistent. This also cannot be helped. I do not have the resources to buy ten cubes of each model in order to find the average performance of each cube. Finally, some qualities of the cube that I am grading on are dependent on the cube’s tension settings. I have added "best tension" as a qualitative distinction to all the cubes. In this section I communicate the tension setting that I think each cube performs best in. This, of course, is subjective. But I simply cannot have a separate grade for each cube at a different tension setting. Sorry. Alright! With that said, let’s move on to the reviews.


    Chinese Cubes
    Type A I
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 7
    Resistance to lock ups: 7.5
    Ability to cut corners: 10
    Speed: 8.5
    Average score: 8.25
    Overall score: B- to B

    Weight: Very Heavy
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Quiet
    Best Tension: Average-Tight

    Where to buy: Cube4You, Puzzleproz, 9spuzzles, HKNowStore

    Comments: The default cube for beginners. Good for building up speed before scouting out a better cube. While some still regard as the best cube around, there have been some reports of the Type A I being prone to popping even on very tight settings. But overall a pretty reliable cube.

    Type A II**
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 7.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 8
    Ability to cut corners: 9.5
    Speed: 8
    Average score: 8.25
    Overall score: B to B+

    Weight: Average
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: Not a bad cube. But it feels weird because of the thick tracks. Please keep in mind that this is one of those tentative reviews.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles, RubikFans (Ebay), HKNowStore

    Type A III**
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: Bomber did not seem to have a popping problem.
    Resistance to lock ups: No Comment.
    Ability to cut corners: Bomber gave this a 3/10. Enough said.
    Speed: Bomber gave this a 9/10 so it can’t be that bad.
    Average score:
    Overall score: Bomber gave an overall score of 7/10.

    Weight: Very Light
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: Not a very popular cube. The tabs that keep the edges in place are fragile and can snap if edge pieces are repeatedly removed and replaced. Just this should be enough to not buy the cube… unless you buy extra edges. Apparently, it is not very good at cutting corners. Just go for the New Type III if you like this one.

    Please take a look at Bomber’s review. It is very comprehensive and his photography skills are clearly more professional than mine.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, RubikFans (Ebay)

    Here’s a picture comparing the parts of Type A I, II, and III:
    [​IMG]

    Type A IV**
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 9.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 7.5-8
    Ability to cut corners: 8
    Speed: 7.5
    Average Score: 8.13-8.25
    Overall score: B- to B

    Weight: Light
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: Rough, Quiet
    Best Tension: Tight

    Comments: The Type A IV is really a prototype for the Type A V. As you can see, the edge pieces are wider than the corner pieces, making it a weird cube to sticker. I do not own one, but I have tried it at the store without stickers. It's... a decent cube. Doesn't really cut corners, but doesn't jam that much either. It seems to me that it's performance can be reached by other cubes... so why not just stick with normal looking cubes? lol. It's a pretty fragile cube. If you want to try out this design, just get the Type A V since that's the completed version of this cube.

    [​IMG]
    The corners will snap especially easy.

    Where to buy: No Comment

    Type A V
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: No Comment
    Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
    Ability to cut corners: No Comment
    Speed: No Comment
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: No Comment
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: The Type A V is almost indistinguishable from the Type A IV (at least to me). It makes sense because the Type A IV is a prototype of the Type A V. The corners are not as fragile as the Type A IV. The cubes are now pillowed. There seems to be minor modifications on the centers and edge pieces. But the whole rectangular edge piece thing still remains in this upgrade. As seen in this picture:

    [​IMG]

    Where to buy: No Comment

    New Type A I*
    NO PICTURE

    Resistance to pops: No Comment
    Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
    Ability to cut corners: No Comment
    Speed: No Comment
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: No Comment
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: Not a very popular cube. According to the “new naming system,” this cube is also called Type A (first model). Storeowner has informed that this cube is now a collector's item because it has been officially discontinued. At one point, people were able to sell this model for $64USD, but still no one sold theirs o_O

    Where to buy: No Comment

    New Type A II
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 9
    Resistance to lock ups: 8.5
    Ability to cut corners: 9.5
    Speed: 7
    Average score: 8.5
    Overall score: B to A-

    Weight: Very Light
    Need to break in: Yes
    Feel: Rough, Quiet
    Best Tension: Average-Tight

    Comments: An all around excellent cube if you can get over the fact that it isn’t that speedy. Some people might not like it for it’s cheap or weird feel. Zarxrax mentioned that this cube just did not feel right despite having good specs. I find that the cube feels different from others in that the frame is heavy compared to the cubies; the distribution of weight in this cube is a little unconventional. The little tabs come with the assembly kit can fit over the edge pieces with sanding and clipping. The little tip that juts out is meant to be an “antipop” mechanism. I think it just slows me down. So the New Type A II that I used for this review does have the tabs on but I filed away the “antipop” mechanism. The cube does not pop often anyway. This cube does not really improve that much after lubing. In fact, after the lube dries up, the cubies get sticky the cube slows down. So use lube to break in the cube and then use lube minimally or no lube at all when it's all broken in for best results. According to the “new naming system,” this cube is also called Type A (second model).

    Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles, RubikFans (Ebay)

    New Type A III
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 9.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 8.5
    Ability to cut corners: 8.5
    Speed: 8
    Average score: 8.63
    Overall score: B to A

    Weight: Very Light
    Need to break in: Yes
    Feel: Rough, Noisy
    Best Tension: Average

    Comments: An improvement from the Type A III. The storeowner has informed me that most Hong Kong speedcubers use this cube over the New Type A II. This cube needs a slight break into get rid of some rough edges to start out with. Most people will find that this cube jams a lot to start out with, but give it some time and break it in. Maybe this is just me, but the jams have disappeared within a day of heavy usage. Maybe it is the case that the hardware gets better or maybe it is just really easy to get used to this cube. This cube is better in tighter than average settings. According to the “new naming system,” this cube is also called Type A (third model).

    Where to buy: Cube4You, HKNowStore

    Type B*
    [​IMG]
    Great picture. I know.

    Resistance to pops: Heard that it pops like crazy.
    Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it locks up.
    Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
    Speed: Heard that it’s a pretty speedy cube.
    Average score:
    Overall score: No comment

    Weight: No Comment
    Need to break in: Probably not
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: This cube is like the ugly duckling. No one likes this cube. As a result, there just has not been that much information on this cube other than the fact that it’s bad. I have, however, heard that Type B cubies with a Type E (don’t know no. 222 or no. 333) frame makes a good hybrid. Also, the legendary Erik Akkersdijk used a Rubiks.com DIY frame and Type B cubies hybrid to accomplish a new world record of 7.08 seconds.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles

    Type C
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 8.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 7.5
    Ability to cut corners: 8.5
    Speed: 10
    Average score: 8.63
    Overall score: B- to B+

    Weight: Average
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Rough, Noisy
    Best Tension: Average

    Comments: I have heard mixed feelings about this cube. The Type C are supposed to be Rubiks.com DIY imitations. As you can see, very well rounded cube. Great cube for beginners. There seems to be another version of the Type C with different center pieces and center caps. These apparently come randomly whenever you order Type Cs for DealExtreme. In this thread fanwuq claims that this rare Type C is much better than the normal Type C.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, Puzzleproz, 9spuzzles, DealExtreme

    Type D
    [​IMG]
    This is a Type D with a Type A Core. If you want an image of a full Type D just imagine that the core is black. You can do it, I believe in you!

    Resistance to pops: 10
    Resistance to lock ups: 7
    Ability to cut corners: 4
    Speed: 10
    Average score: 7.75
    Overall score: C to B

    Weight: Average
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: Not Applicable

    Comments: The Type D is fairly resistant to different tensions. That is, loosening or tightening the Type D does not really have an impact on its attributes. It is important to note that the Type D’s ability to cut corners is greatly enhanced when replaced with a Type A core. I would put the ability to cut corners at an 8.5 after the core replacement on loose settings. However, this still does not make the hybrid less prone to lock ups and it becomes slightly more poppable. There also seems to be a YUGA version of Type D. I am not sure of the structural differences between the two versions of Type D, but some people claim that the YUGA is better. HowtoCube on Youtube has mentioned that Type D's are very inconsistent. Some are good, others are bad. Hit or miss.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, Puzzleproz, RubikFans (Ebay)

    Type E (Diansheng no. 222)*
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: No Comment
    Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
    Ability to cut corners: Heard that it was much better than the no.333
    Speed: Probably as fast as the no.333, if not faster.
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: Light
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: Widely agreed to be the superior model of the Type E. Contrary to the popular belief, the colors on the no.222 can come as both printing and stickers. The color on the stickers wear off pretty easily though. The core can come in two colors as well, red and white. I have heard that Dianshengs are “hit-or-miss” cubes, which means that you can buy ten and only have five that are good. But I have also heard that Dianshengs are fairly consistent o_O. As of now, most if not all online stores only sell the white version of this cube.

    Where to buy: RubikFans (Ebay)

    Type E (Diansheng no. 333)
    [​IMG]
    As you can see, print chips and fades over time.

    Resistance to pops: 10
    Resistance to lock ups: 8
    Ability to cut corners: 4
    Speed: 9.5
    Average score: 7.88
    Overall score: B to B+

    Weight: Light
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: Tight

    Comments: This cube has very unconventional cubies. Parts of the cubies that do not generate friction with other surfaces while the cube is in motion are cut. The colors are printed onto the cube but wears off over time. There have also been quite a few complaints on how the hues of the red and orange side of the cube are too close, making color recognition difficult. Like the Type D, tightening or loosening the tension on this cube will not significantly affect its performance. I am not sure if this is the case for others, but although this cube has almost no corner cutting ability, it does not seem to jam much. The cube will jam less in tighter settings. Like no.222, no.333 are also “hit-or-miss” cubes. As of now, most if not all online stores only sell the white version of this cube.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, RubikFans (Ebay)

    Type F
    [​IMG]
    Forgot to clean the crap out of this cube. Sorry.

    Resistance to pops: 9
    Resistance to lock ups: 8.5
    Ability to cut corners: 10
    Speed: 8
    Average score: 8.88
    Overall score: C- to A

    Weight: Light
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Quiet
    Best Tension: Average

    Comments: If you only looked at the scores, it would easily be the best cube out there. It really does not get much better than this. But get this: this cube deteriorates. Yes, the cube becomes slow over time. In about half a year, the cube feels like there’s glue in it (exaggeration). A weird feeling indeed. That is why the low end of the overall score is C-. This cube seems to react much better to liquid lubricant (the ones that comes in dropper bottles and JSKs) than to silicone. The Type F is the only cube on this review list that uses pillowed cubies. HowtoCube on Youtube has reviewed Type F's. They apparently bought a lot of them and found out that the blue Type F is better than the rest for some reason. Unfortunately, their review has not shed any light of the Type F's deterioration problem.

    Here are some personal experiences. I have bought three Type Fs and they all turned to crap within a year. Same thing happened to my friends’ Type F. My friend had two Type Fs. One was lubed with silicone and the other with the liquid lubricant. Both were shitty, but the one lubed with silicone was shittier. My own Type F turned to crap when I lubed it with silicone. I never understood why they deteriorated. I have received two main answers from different people. The first possible explanation is that the company that manufactures Type Fs uses a “miracle lubricant” that we are not able to get a hold of. As a result, the standard stuff that we use messes the cube up. The second possible explanation is that the quality of the plastic is subpar and deteriorates over time, consequently deteriorating the cube. Has anyone else had this problem?

    Where to buy: Cube4You, 9spuzzles, RubikFans (Ebay)

    C4U Cube
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 9.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 8
    Ability to cut corners: 8
    Speed: 9
    Average score: 8.38
    Overall score: B to A-

    Weight: Heavy
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: Tight

    Comments: This is Cube4You’s very own cube. This cube has the widest color selection of all cubes. They come in a whopping 21 colors. I have heard very mixed feelings about it, but it's really not a bad cube. Many people have complained about how easy this cube pops or jams but please note that this cube does better at tighter tension settings. At tight settings the frequency of lock ups and pops decrease significantly with a slight sacrifice in corner cutting. The frame is good for hybrids, I found out. The stickers are about the same quality as storebought stickers. Not sure if this is actually the case, but the plastic feels very high quality. There are caps for cavities in the edge pieces making it quite smooth. HowtoCube has bought about 20 of these cubes and have found them to be very consistent cubes.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, DealExtreme, HKNowStore

    JSK Clone
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 8.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 8
    Ability to cut corners: 8.5
    Speed: 9
    Average score: 8.5
    Overall score: B to A-

    Weight: Average
    Need to break in: No
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: Average

    Comments: I really like the feel of this cube. It's like a Type C that jams less and feels a lot smoother. The springs are like the C4U Cube springs so that means that cube does not come with washers. If tension settings on this cube is too loose, it will pop and jam a lot so keep it average to tight. There has been reports of the screws unscrewing themselves, but you can fix that by strengthening the linings in the core with crazy glue or other chemicals specialized for this.

    Where to buy: Cube4You, HKNowStore


    Rubik’s Cubes
    Rubik’s Storebought
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 10-9.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 2.5-7
    Ability to cut corners: 3-8
    Speed: 7-8.5
    Final score: 6.25-8.25
    Overall score: D- to B

    Weight: Very Heavy
    Need to break in: YES
    Feel: Smooth, Noisy
    Best Tension: Not Applicable

    Comments: Okay the rating needs a little explaining. The first number is the score of the cube prior to breaking in, but with silicone. The second number is the score after completely breaking the cube in. This cube is probably the most variable cube in the sense that some are great right out of the box while others are really, really bad. Some have assured me that the 25th Anniversary Cube and the Icon Cube are better than the storebought.

    Where to buy: ToysRUs, Rubiks.com, Cube4You, 9spuzzles, and many other places

    Rubiks.com DIY*
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: Heard that it sometimes pops.
    Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it is not that prone to lockups.
    Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
    Speed: HowtoCube has mentioned that this cube is very hard to turn even in loose settings.
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: No Comment
    Need to break in: Probably yes
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: Probably average

    Comments: I have heard very mixed feelings about this cube. One thing is for sure though and that is the center caps keep on falling off. HowtoCube thinks this is a pretty bad cube. Apparently, the legendary Nakajima Yu exclusively uses Rubiks.com DIYs or mods that use it. Erik Akkersdijk also used a Rubiks.com DIY frame and Type B cubies hybrid to accomplish a new world record of 7.08 seconds.

    Where to buy: Rubiks.com

    Japanese Speedcubing Kit (JSK)**
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: I have heard that it never pops. But I have also heard that it pops all the time and that if you tighten it, the cube will not turn.
    Resistance to lock ups: Most people will agree that it sometimes locks up. But I have also heard that it is not that prone to lockups.
    Ability to cut corners: Heard that it cuts corners pretty well.
    Speed: Probably pretty speedy.
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: No Comment
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: Probably average

    Comments: I have heard very mixed feelings about this cube as well. I know I have said this about quite a few cubes, but I mean it this time. I have heard that the JSK is the best cube in the world and that it is capable of superb performance without any lubrication at all. But I have also heard from Vryon that he hated the JSK… all 15 of them XD.

    Where to buy: Tribox, ToysRUs

    Studio Cube*
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: No Comment
    Resistance to lock ups: No Comment
    Ability to cut corners: No Comment
    Speed: No Comment
    Average score:
    Overall score: No Comment

    Weight: Probably very heavy
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: I have absolutely no information on this cube. Clearly not a very popular cube. Made in Hungary. Very expensive. According to the picture, seems to be a DIY. HowtoCube has mentioned that the center caps are put on really tightly. Anway, notice the slotted screws... cool huh?

    Where to buy: Cube4You, Puzzleproz


    Korean Cubes
    Edison Cube
    [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: 9.5
    Resistance to lock ups: 9
    Ability to cut corners: 10
    Speed: 6.5
    Average score: 8.75
    Overall score: B to A-

    Weight: Very Heavy
    Need to break in: Yes
    Feel: Rough, Noisy
    Best Tension: Tight

    Comments: Excellent cube in general. A little overpriced due to its inaccessibility. Many have appreciated the durability of its stickers. The plastic used for the cubies is textured. I do not think many people will disagree. Apparently, it needs break in before it reaches its full potential. The texture will wear off and become smoother when you work the cube a little. It's still a great cube even if you don't break it in though.

    Where to buy: Tribox

    Joy Cube*
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Resistance to pops: No Comment.
    Resistance to lock ups: Heard that it locks up quite a bit. But also heard that it can cut corners fine with correct tensioning and lube.
    Ability to cut corners: No Comment
    Speed: No Comment
    Average score:
    Overall score:No Comment

    Weight: I heard that this cube is very light.
    Need to break in: No Comment
    Feel: No Comment
    Best Tension: No Comment

    Comments: Widely recommended for one-handed cubing because of its light weight.

    Where to buy: Tribox

    Conclusion
    For beginners, Types A, C, and D (with A core) are affordable, accessible, and great cubes for building up speed. They are also cubes that will help you choose the right type of cube to buy when you get better.

    For more advanced speedcubers, you basically have to choose you're the type of characteristics that optimize your performance and go with it. Some people are accurate turners and as a result, do not need cubes that are less likely to pop. Others prefer cubes that they can be rough with.

    Here is the top three for each characteristic:
    Resistance to pops: Type D (10), Type E – no.333 (10), New Type A III; C4U Cube (9.5)
    Resistance to lock ups: New Type A II (9), Edison Cube (9), New Type A III; Type F (8.5)
    Ability to cut corners: New Type A II (10), Type F (10), Edison Cube (10)
    Speed: Type D (10), Type E – no.333 (9.5), Type C; C4U Cube; JSK Clone (9)

    The top 3 cubes with the highest average score are:
    1. Type F (8.88)
    2. Edison Cube (8.75)
    3. New Type A II; New Type A III; Type C (8.63)

    These are all great cubes (all those that made the A range):
    1. New Type A III (B to A)
    2. Type F (C- to A)
    3. New Type A II (B to A-)
    4. Edison Cube (B to A-)
    5. C4U Cube (B to A-)
    6. JSK Clone (B to A-)

    Now for the most blatantly subjective section: personal recommendations. I personally recommend three cubes based on the cubes that I have tried and rated. They are the New Type A II, New Type A III, and the Edison Cube. As much as I would like to recommend the Type F, it simply gets disappointing way too fast. Anyway, the New Type A II is a super light cube. Its not being smooth can be overlooked with regards to its other advantages. I can really be as rough with it as I want. There is a weird feel to it that some may not find very pleasant though. The New Type A III is another super light cube. It starts off with a rough feel but after a day or two of heavy use, the roughness disappears. Also, for me at least, the cube started off jamming pretty badly but also disappeared after a day or two of heavy usage. Finally, the Edison Cube is truly an amazing cube if you can get over the fact that it is not that speedy. It is an all around good cube and is quite reliable.

    My main cube(s): New Type A III, New Type A II
    My secondary cube(s): JSK Clone, Type C

    An Invitation
    I would like to invite anyone who feels that I have “misgraded”, “miscommented”, or misinformed to please let me know. I do not claim to be well informed on all the cubes mentioned in this thread, especially those that I have no tried out. But please keep in mind that I cannot impress everyone. I will listen to all criticism, but I will only make changes agreeable to the general public. This is my last attempt keep these reviews objective.

    Closing Remarks
    Thanks for your attention. I will try to keep this thing updated. I will definitely put up reviews of new cubes that I have tested. Also, I hope to get this thing stickied. I put quite a bit of work into this and I think it will help and inform newcomers and veterans alike.

    Family photo. TEE HEE!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  2. soccerking813

    soccerking813 Member

    735
    0
    Jan 27, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    Wow, must have taken you forever to write this up, but it is amazing. Great job. Sticky, no doubt.

    And I think that the storebought's speed should not be 8.5 at all times. When you first buy it, you cannot turn it with your fingers, because it is so tight. But after breaking in, it gets much faster and easier to turn.
     
  3. mcciff2112

    mcciff2112 Member

    615
    0
    Jan 3, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    WCA:
    2009MCCA01
    Sticky Sticky Sticky!!

    This is incredible, finally someone made an up-to-date thread of the available cubes, so thank you!

    I agree with soccerking, storebought's speed should be labeled as "varies between x - x" because they are all different.
     
  4. (X)

    (X) Member

    523
    0
    Nov 8, 2008
    Oslo, Norway
    WCA:
    2009GLOP01
    YouTube:
    i656ier
    Very nice, I didn't read it all, but this can be very useful for many people
     
  5. Neroflux

    Neroflux Member

    382
    0
    Jun 19, 2008
    rioting in w66 fally
    WCA:
    2009YENL01
    I think there are 2 generations of JSKs, first gen pops alot, current JSKs dont pop. The price still sucks though.
     
  6. fanwuq

    fanwuq Member

    2,833
    1
    Dec 5, 2007
    WCA:
    2008FANW01
    YouTube:
    fanwuq
    It is way too subjective to grade cubes using numbers. Also, there is quite a bit of variation between individual cubes.
    This is how I would grade the cubes I know, but it might be different from your experiences/cubes:
    A
    Tendency to pop: 8
    Tendency to lock up: 8
    Ability to cut corners: 8
    Speed: 4-7
    Overall: 6-8
    C
    Tendency to pop: 5-9
    Tendency to lock up: 9
    Ability to cut corners: 9
    Speed: 9-10
    Overall: 9
    Rubik’s store-bought
    Tendency to pop: 6-10
    Tendency to lock up: 1-8
    Ability to cut corners: 0-7
    Speed: 1-9
    Overall: 1-8
    D
    Tendency to pop: 1-9
    Tendency to lock up: 6
    Ability to cut corners: 5-8
    Speed: 8
    Overall: 4-8


    I'm looking forward to trying E, Edison, Joy, F, B, JSK, and C4Y cubes; mainly out of curiosity, but E seems the best from your review.
    D is over-rated. It is not fast and after I messed up adjusting the tension, it just started to pop like crazy. It's a fail cube overall unless you get lucky. Also it is bad for beginners because it is crap without lube. C and A are generally very trustworthy and consistent in quality and decent without lube. Ranges above reflect different tensions and variance between cubes. Overall score is not a precise average, it's more of a general feel/worthiness of cube.
    Also some people are harsher graders than others. I can say that C is significantly faster than A and quite a bit faster than D. Also it is just more stable in general and good for OH because it is easy to control.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  7. aznmortalx

    aznmortalx Member

    810
    0
    Nov 21, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    STICKY!!!!

    This is great!
     
  8. jacob15728

    jacob15728 Member

    209
    0
    May 3, 2009
    New York
    Let me point out that storebought Rubik's vary greatly with quality.

    Just today, two of my friends bought brand new cubes that they had bought the previous day into school. They looked identical. One of the cubes turned fairly well, not as good as my DIY but it hadn't been lubed or broken in so that was to be expected. It could not cut corners very well and had a rather creamy feel. The other one was extremely difficult to turn. I could not do finger tricks at all and it even required a substantial amount of effort to do full-hand turns. It could not cut corners AT ALL. Not even a 1-degree corner. Seriously, this thing was like a cube from hell. So in conclusion, I think you should add that fact to your review.
     
  9. teller

    teller REAL Fingertricks!

    1,035
    3
    Dec 15, 2008
    West Virginia
    WCA:
    2010COAT01
    YouTube:
    TellerWest
    Outstanding effort! Thank you, kind sir!

    I love my F, and so I'm curious to see how it declines after a year as you mentioned. The insides are visibly rough-looking now, which I presume is the Jig-A-Loo melt factor, but it still runs great. It does seem to be very soft plastic. I have a second F on stand-by that I intend to use liquid lube on to see if there is a difference...
     
  10. jacob15728

    jacob15728 Member

    209
    0
    May 3, 2009
    New York
    I'll make a review of the Rubik's 25th anniversary cube. You can add it if you like.

    Tendency to pop: 9
    Tendency to lock up: 6
    Ability to cut corners: 6
    Speed: 8
    Final score: 7.25

    Weight: Heavy
    Need to break in: Yes
    Feel: Smooth, quiet

    Comments: This cube comes with one side silver instead of white, with the special 25th anniversary logo. It performs better than most regular storeboughts I've tried. It very rarely pops, but its corner-cutting ability is mediocre. It turns pretty fast but still has a kind of stiff feel to it and is harder to turn than many other cubes. Sanding the internal mechanism helped a bit. It is also very responsive to lubrication. It is very quiet. The stickers suck and wore off after about a week of heavy use.

    Where to buy: Ebay
     
  11. pentrixter

    pentrixter Banned

    356
    0
    Apr 7, 2009
    @soccerking: ah, yea you're right. Will change it.

    @funwuq: yea I know these reviews are subjective. I pointed out the lurking variables in one of the paragraphs: style and skill of reviewer, quality of specific cube, and tension settings. Still, I try to be objective.

    Hmm, interesting. Maybe I will edit to have an average score and an overall score. Although the overall score being a general feel or trustworthiness of a cube makes it very objective. Oh well, as long as I justify it with reasons...

    Regarding your scores, I don't give out 0-2s really. A zero means that the cube cannot make even 1 degree cuts. I'll agree that Cs are faster than Type A's, but I cannot agree that they are faster than the Type D. I have bought thee Type Cs so that might be my most accurate review yet.

    @jacob. Point taken. Will add as comment.

    @teller: please let me know. keep in mind that you won't realize that the Type F has deteriorated until you compare it with a new one. It makes a slow, but sure decline.
     
  12. DcF1337

    DcF1337 Member

    311
    0
    Jul 4, 2008
    At long last, people will stop asking what cubes they should buy....


    Or will they?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  13. Yoshikee

    Yoshikee Member

    26
    0
    Jun 3, 2009
    This was amazing i read the whole thing ^^ even with you review of the type F i will give it a try and see how i like it i will also buy a few type E's and see what i get out of it good job overall.
     
  14. Sticky this. Great job!!! That is what I call doing your work thoroughly!

    You should probably get some other people's numbers in there, so you can get more objective (as you noted might be an issue).

    I find the Type F problem intriguing...
     
  15. Corpsez

    Corpsez Member

    188
    0
    May 10, 2009
    Corona, California
  16. chahupping

    chahupping Member

    26
    0
    May 13, 2009
    hey.. thx for review.. i jz bought a F type then i saw ur comment that reali scares me.. lol.. nvr min.. i will try 1st den will tell u whether the problem is the same.. ^^
     
  17. pentrixter

    pentrixter Banned

    356
    0
    Apr 7, 2009
    The F problem is intriguing. It is worthy to note that all the Type Fs that my friends and I have come into contact with are prebuilt. There would be a few problems if I tried to include other people's numbers:

    1. There would be noobs that would start giving 10s to everything. I've seen it happen.

    2. What makes a 5 different from a 6? Do we all agree on that?

    3. Not everyone would be able to give numbers for every cube on here, making some cubes more objectively graded than others.

    Those guys are interesting. The Type E... does not lock up for me. I have watched another guy do a review on Type E's. He got 10 of them and only found 2 of them good. This is the exact opposite result from the two guys, who thought Type E's were inconsistent. Keep in mind these guys also think that the Type A I cannot cut corners at all, so I decided that I am going to take what they say with a grain of salt.

    As for the Type F's... K FINE, blue is the best. whatever. I'll add that. It's good to know that they agree with me on the liquid lube. But I think I'll email them to ask them if their Type F's are holding up. Thanks for the video. It was helpful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  18. Corpsez

    Corpsez Member

    188
    0
    May 10, 2009
    Corona, California
    Yea about that type A.... Maybe they had a different version? Idk... but I don't know why they would say it doesnt cut corners. I recently found these guys on youtube and I enjoyed watching their videos so when that guy asked about type F I remember they had a vid on it.
     
  19. JTW2007

    JTW2007 BattsMan

    1,591
    0
    Nov 29, 2008
    The BattCave
    WCA:
    2008WARL01
    YouTube:
    2007JTW
    Now that, may be the best post ever. Pentrixter, I have no words to describe your astronomical posting majesty.
     
  20. pentrixter

    pentrixter Banned

    356
    0
    Apr 7, 2009
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