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Stickerless vs Stickered

Which do you use?

  • Stickered

    Votes: 91 31.7%
  • Stickerless

    Votes: 196 68.3%

  • Total voters
    287

ObscureCuber

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The outline of a black face behind a sticker just looks so sharp and classy. Its like a picture in a high quality frame or a photo with a nice mat. Stickerless cubes look considerably more childish, almost like a toddlers plastic toy to be beat up and destroyed, not loved and cared for. Stickered cubes look regal; as the cube ages the stickers give it character. Peeling, chips, and fading colors all give the cube personality that sticker less cubes lack.

As the cubes get bigger and bigger the sharp 90° grid created by the black lines beneath stickers just gets more and more visually satisfying. I absolutely love the look of a big cubes with stickers and "sticker maintenance" on these puzzles has never been a problem for me despite it being a common complaint of the masses.
I agree but, i can usually discount this by the fact that one of the first things i say to people interested in my cubing is that it can be a sport and is not just a toy, you can be sponsored and everything.
 

tx789

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Stickered is annoying because of maintenance. Most reason you guys give is either I like the look or I think it performs better which is funny because people thought the other way around in the past. Before stickerless was legal.



Personally we should have stickerless but the option to buy pieces in blacks or even a couple other colours too. Purple too maybe. There really aren't any other colours I could see people wanting. At least many people.
 

qwr

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Jul 24, 2019
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I do agree stickerless has a more classic look, although I can appreciate stickerless too with good shades. I think non-WCA puzzles look the best with the classic black stickered look. However if the puzzle has really small stickers like on a big cube, then the stickers can fall off which is very ugly and a hassle.

@Zain_A24 stickerless also might be easier to manufacture. In a video of the GAN factory tour I posted a little bit ago, they were really picky about how stickers were applied. So if a cube company goes with a classic 3-piece design, they save the extra step of applying stickers (and the complaints about misplaced or peeling stickers)

I have slow turning so I don't have issues with stickerless cubes slipping out of my hands. I do think stickered cubes give better grip, especially considering the bad trend of stickerless cubes going for non-glossy surfaces.

2. I think the way stickered cubes age over time is cool. If you use the same cube long enough, the stickers chip and age, and it shows the time and practice you put in that isn’t shown on a stickerless cube.
Yeah I have to agree. When I see a beat up cube with stickers chipped to hell I know it's well broken in and been practiced thousands of times. Just look at this 2x2
 
Last edited:

xyzzy

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Dec 24, 2015
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Does the word "objective" even mean anything in this community anymore?

Stickered cubes
A. Look way cleaner than stickerless cubes
B. Are customizable in color shades for optimal solving experience
C. Can be anything you want. If you don't like the black rim around the stickers, JUST USE FULL FITTED STICKERS.
D. I (personally) solve better on stickered cubes
E. You don't ever have to worry about frosted or glossy finishes
F. If you ever scuff a sticker, then just replace the sticker (On stickerless cubes, if you get a big scratch you have to buy an entire new piece)
G. The stickers provide an extra grip for your solves
A: not objective
B: objective
C: objective
D: so extremely obviously not objective that you even mentioned it already
E: objective
F: this is not even an advantage of stickered over stickerless; you're comparing minor damage on stickered to major damage on stickerless
G: not objective

---

I'm being kind of anal about the use of the word "objective" here, even though I normally wouldn't have much of an objection (ha!) to randomly abusing words as intensifiers. I think the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity is very important in cubing discussion; we need to make sure we don't dilute the meaning of the word "objective", so that when we're really talking about something objective, people don't take it lightly.

There's a tiny bit of leeway I'm willing to accept here; something that is true for 99% but not literally all of the population is good enough to qualify as being an "objective truth". Maybe 99% is too harsh, but on the other hand, 1/7000000000 is definitely way too lax.

---

My take is that as far as speedsolving is concerned, stickerless is a clear winner… as long as you have delegates who aren't super picky about those little white streaks that can show up when you accidentally drop your stickerless cube on a hard surface. (Unfortunately, the one delegate here is quite picky about that.) Not having to worry about sticker maintenance is such a huge win that it basically overrides the disadvantages.

That said, there really is one situation where black/stickered puzzles are good: for colour blind cubers. Colour blindness shows up in roughly 1 out of 12 males (by chromosomal sex) and the cubing community is largely male, so there's a pretty sizeable proportion of colour blind folk among us. It's pretty common to hear people say they have difficulties distinguishing e.g. green from yellow and such with the standard stickerless shades; this is exactly where the ability to customise shades really shines. Most people don't need this, but for the minority who do, this is a godsend.

Outside of speedsolving, e.g. for collection purposes, maybe black plastic looks better? I don't really have much of a sense of style, so I'd be a terrible judge of this.
 
Last edited:

zslane

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Jul 8, 2020
Messages
166
I prefer stickerless, as I've said already, but for some reason I think I like the look of stickered Square-1s more than stickerless. How weird is that?
 

EngiNerdBrian

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Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
432
Location
Denver
Does the word "objective" even mean anything in this community anymore?


A: not objective
B: objective
C: objective
D: so extremely obviously not objective that you even mentioned it already
E: objective
F: this is not even an advantage of stickered over stickerless; you're comparing minor damage on stickered to major damage on stickerless
G: not objective

---

I'm being kind of anal about the use of the word "objective" here, even though I normally wouldn't have much of an objection (ha!) to randomly abusing words as intensifiers. I think the distinction between objectivity and subjectivity is very important in cubing discussion; we need to make sure we don't dilute the meaning of the word "objective", so that when we're really talking about something objective, people don't take it lightly.

There's a tiny bit of leeway I'm willing to accept here; something that is true for 99% but not literally all of the population is good enough to qualify as being an "objective truth". Maybe 99% is too harsh, but on the other hand, 1/7000000000 is definitely way too lax.

---

My take is that as far as speedsolving is concerned, stickerless is a clear winner… as long as you have delegates who aren't super picky about those little white streaks that can show up when you accidentally drop your stickerless cube on a hard surface. (Unfortunately, the one delegate here is quite picky about that.) Not having to worry about sticker maintenance is such a huge win that it basically overrides the disadvantages.

That said, there really is one situation where black/stickered puzzles are good: for colour blind cubers. Colour blindness shows up in roughly 1 out of 12 males (by chromosomal sex) and the cubing community is largely male, so there's a pretty sizeable proportion of colour blind folk among us. It's pretty common to hear people say they have difficulties distinguishing e.g. green from yellow and such with the standard stickerless shades; this is exactly where the ability to customise shades really shines. Most people don't need this, but for the minority who do, this is a godsend.

Outside of speedsolving, e.g. for collection purposes, maybe black plastic looks better? I don't really have much of a sense of style, so I'd be a terrible judge of this.
Fantastic. I was reading through thinking we have all posted opinionated and subjective reasons (myself included) for our stickered vs stickerless preferences. Then again, the opening post was rather playful & l I’m not sure the true “objective” of this thread was to have non-opinionated posts about the matter because ranting about which is “better” is inherently a subjective discussion.

@qwr made a good point, eliminating the stickering operation during manufacturing is an objective benefit for sticklers cubes in terms of production quality.

I’d also add that stickered is objectively better because the ability to remove and replace stickers with custom shades gives the user more customization and long term flexibility over the static color scheme of a sticker-less cube.
 

qwr

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Jul 24, 2019
Messages
630
@qwr made a good point, eliminating the stickering operation during manufacturing is an objective benefit for sticklers cubes in terms of production quality.
Although now the company has to use 6 colors of plastic for molds instead of just black/white.

G: not objective
I think it is objectively true stickered is easier to grip than matte plastic. Probably similar grip or better for glossy plastic.
In my mind, glossy is premium and matte is cheap (like children toys). Unfortunately, the cubing industry apparently thinks matte is now premium.
 

swburk

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Aug 7, 2020
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I only have a strong preference for stickerless on big cubes. The stickers are too small for my liking.

On 3x3, I own and enjoy both stickered and stickerless. I can't really compare whether they perform differently. I have a Tengyun V2 in stickered and stickerless, but they are set up and lubed differently. Here are my personal likes/dislikes about each:

Stickered:
- I think they look nicer. This may just be nostalgia because when I started cubing, almost nobody used stickerless cubes because they weren't WCA legal.
- I'm not too picky about colors, but I like being able to swap out sticker shades and make entirely custom color schemes.
- In general, I prefer the grip and feel of stickered cubes. Occassionally, my nail will catch on the edge of a sticker when doing M moves, even when trimmed, but that's not much of an issue.

Stickerless:
- Obviously, you don't have to deal with sticker maintenance and the factory stickerless shades tend to better than factory sticker shades.
- While I prefer the overall look of stickered cubes, I do see the appeal of stickerless. They look very clean, almost minimal.
- I have no evidence to back this up, but I feel like my recognition is better/faster on stickerless cubes, probably because of the slightly bigger colored area and the fact that there are no gaps between the colors on the edges and corners.
- Patterns tend to look prettier on stickerless cubes in my opinion.
- I really don't like frosted plastic out of the box. My RS3 M 2020 is perfect now after a couple thousand solves, but I would prefer if Moyu and GAN just shipped all their puzzles glossy like YJ.
 

zslane

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Jul 8, 2020
Messages
166
I'd love to see a graph correlating the preference for stickers or glossy plastic over matte plastic against 3x3 solving time and against time in the hobby. I'm curious where the "knee" of the graph is in each case.
 

qwr

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Jul 24, 2019
Messages
630
I'd love to see a graph correlating the preference for stickers or glossy plastic over matte plastic against 3x3 solving time and against time in the hobby. I'm curious where the "knee" of the graph is in each case.
what does "knee" even mean
 

MJS Cubing

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Stickered is annoying because of maintenance. Most reason you guys give is either I like the look or I think it performs better which is funny because people thought the other way around in the past. Before stickerless was legal.



Personally we should have stickerless but the option to buy pieces in blacks or even a couple other colours too. Purple too maybe. There really aren't any other colours I could see people wanting. At least many people.
good, properly applied stickers will only need to be replaced every few years. I love stickers because if you don’t like the shades you can just change them.

Edit: I also like that you can look at a cube with stickers that are chipped and know that that is a well loved, well used cube.
 

zslane

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Chipped, worn, well-loved cubes are great so long as I don't ever have to look at them. ;)
 

abunickabhi

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I prefer stickerless cubes especially for the MBLD event. They are so nice. And it becomes easier to maintain 60+ cubes which will not be possible if I have 60 stickered 3x3s.
 
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