**Updated on January 21 2014**
If you are interested in starting speed cubing, a beginner or want to get give a speed cube as a gift, then you have come to the right place. There are hundreds of speed cubes on the market today and for someone who has just started speed cubing or wants to upgrade their old Rubik’s brand cube it is really confusing and tough to determine which is the best speed cube to buy today.
First of all lets start by explaining why you want a speed cube. If you are a beginner or just started speed cubing you may be using a regular store bought Rubik’s cube. Those cubes are fine for learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube but when you start wanting to get your times faster, a good speed cube is what you need.
I have provided a chart below to show the absolute best speed cubes available for you today. The chart includes a description of the speed cube based on corner cutting, pops, lockups, and price.
**Table updated on August 29 2014**
|Dayan Guhong 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Very smooth, Quite Fast||Good||Seldom||Minimal to none||$11.45|
|Dayan Panshi 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Smooth and Clicky||Good||Tends to pop||With torpedoes||$13.48|
|Dayan ZhanChi 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Snappy and Very Fast||Good||May pop||May lock if inaccurate||$9.75|
|FangShi Shuang Ren 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Very light, smooth and Fast||Effortless||None||May lock if not accurate||$12.88|
|Gans III Ganspuzzle 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Smooth and very light weight||Okay||None||Catches due to flexing of core||$13.94|
|MARU CX3 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Fast turning, slightly scratchy, loud||Good||None||Small catches may occur||$14.99|
|MoYu HuanYing 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Light, crispy and Fast||Effortless||May pop||Minimal to none||$12.97|
|Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed Cube Puzzle||Fast and light while being smooth||Very little pressure needed||None||Practically none||$7.75|
|Moyu Weilong 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Fast turning Blocky and crunchy||Very Good||None||Little Lock ups due to over shooting||$8.80|
|Shengshou Aurora 3x3x3 Speed Cube||Extremely smooth very controllable||Okay||None||Minimal to none||$6.99|
**The chart is sorted alphabetically and does not try to show any order of best to worst.**
What makes a good Speed Cube:
Before we can determine which 3×3 cube is the “best speed cube” we have to understand the features of a good speed cube. The whole point of having a good speed cube is to have a more pleasurable solve which will then lead to more consistent times and eventually a faster solving average. This means a speed cube must avoid popping, lock ups, catches while having smooth or fast layer turns but giving the speed cuber total control. Here are the 3 features in evaluating a speed cube.
Speed cubes will generally have two types of turning, fast or smooth. Each styles have their pros and cons and each speed cuber will prefer one or the other depending on his/her style.
- Fast turning cubes will feel very light or will require very little effort in turning. This is good because algorithms can be executed in lightning speed although control is sacrificed for speed.
- Smooth turning cubes feel very nice with very fluid flowing precise layer turns. This gives the speed cuber total control and precision although you will sacrifice speed for control.
2. Corner Cutting
Mostly all the cubes tested can corner cut at a 45 degree layer turn which is the absolute maximum of what you’ll needed. If you think you need more then that then you better address your turning style or you may not be accustomed to your cube yet.
What makes a good corner cutting cube is the ease or amount of pressure needed to corner cut.
- Good corner cutting cubes will cut through a layer with almost no effort and won’t have much more resistance then it would have if the layer was aligned properly.
- Bad corner cutting cubes will need more pressure to corner cut, this will result in a very noticeable feeling of effort during solves or it may pop or lock the cube. Generally a very inconsistent unpleasing solve.
3. Locking Up and Catching
There are several reasons and types of locks and catches you may encounter on a speed cube.
- Misaligned layers caused by overshooting or not being accustomed with the cube.
- The shape or arrangement of individual pieces may naturally lead to them catching on each other.
- Anti popping mechanism can be found on cubes which avoid popping although instead of popping it will lock up
Top 4 picks
All the speed cubes found in the interactive speed cube chart are great speed cubes and if you are a beginner you can’t go wrong choosing any one of these cubes, but we are looking for the best speed cube and pretty good just won’t do. Here are the top 4 picks.
Moyu Weilong – “Zanchi Like”
The Moyu Weilong is very much like the ever so popular Dayan Zanchi, which is the reason it becoming the main 3×3 of many speed cubers. It has all the good characteristics of the Dayan Zanchi while addressing the main problem of the Zanchi which is the lack of control. The Weilong is a very fast and light turning speed cube with a “clacky” feeling. It’s layer turns are very blocky and crunchy and unlike the Zanchi you still have control despite it being fast and light. This means lighting fast layer turn executions while minimizing overshooting and mis aligning. Although it addresses the Zanchis problems the Weilong could still use a little of smoothness since pieces do sometimes catch especially with torpedoes. Overshooting is not entirely gone too which results in occasional lock ups. Another thing it doesn’t do better then the Zanchi is it’s $13.95 price tag.
Maru Cx3 – “Soft Hearted”
The Maru CX3 is a very fast and light turning speed cube. It has a slightly scratchy feeling while being a bit clacky resulting in a very loud cube. You have total control with this cube while providing effortless corner cutting. Breaking in is a must for this cube and only then can you see it’s real performance. This cube is slightly larger then others which you may notice if you come from smaller cubes. The best thing about this speed cube is that it comes with extra “soft hearted” springs for total adjustability and a small bottle of Maru lube which is a thinner more runny lube then silicone oil. The nice packaging and extra springs and lube is quite nice which may lighten the blow of the $13.95 price tag.
Shengshou Aurora – “Smooth Criminal”
This speed cube is totally under rated and should be given more credit. This is a really great speed cube. It’s greatest feature is that it is a super smooth turning speed cube. This is the feature that makes it stand out the most. It’s smoothness gives it very accurate and precise turning. Accurate and precise turning means that there is practically no lock up and catches. Corner cutting isn’t it’s best quality although due to it’s smoothness corner cutting is absolutely not an issue. You can get this super smooth speed cube at $6.99 being the cheapest speed cube among the group.
Moyu Sulong – “Out of the box all rounder”
The Moyu Sulong has a very unique feel being very smooth but at the same time is quite light. This combination results in a speed cube that has precise and fluid layer turns while also being able to turn fast. This speed cube feels amazing out of the box and feels like it’s already broken in. It has absolutely no problem with locking up and catches and popping doesn’t happen on this speed cube. It handles corner cutting well by allowing the mis aligned layer to slide rather then just forcing it into place. At only $7.75 it is the second cheapest cube on the list which is such a great deal for an all around performing speed cube.
“THE” best speed cube
Labeling a speed cube especially a 3×3 speed cube, “the best” is very difficult and can be a bit controversial. Many will say that there is no real “best” speed cube because preferences change from one cuber to another. I completely agree with this however, with all the many features a speed cube has from it’s pros and cons, I think a verdict can be made.
The best speed cube shouldn’t only be great at one thing and must cater to all types of cubers from beginners to the more experience cuber. The Moyu Weilong and the MARU CX3 are both are lightning fast, which is great for super fast turning. Super fast turning however leads to overshooting or lockups due to mis aligned layers. These two cubes address this problem by adding smoothness to the Weilong and effortless corner cutting on the CX3 however, the problem isn’t completely gone and will still occasionally creep up on solves.
The best speed cube should then not only be fast but have some smoothness to allow the speed cuber 100% control. It should also cater to a beginner who needs a good cube out of the box while not limiting a sub-20 solver. With that said, the top 2 cubes are the Shengshou Aurora and the Moyu Sulong. Smoothness is the name of the game with these two cubes, and it does just that out of the box. Smoothness is the main weapon against overshooting, lock ups and pops which provide for precise fluid turns which makes a good solve every time. The two cubes are equally smooth but the Moyu Sulong wins over the Shengshou Aurora which was decided by corner cutting and Price.
Starting with the price, the Moyu Sulong is $7.75 which super cheap for a speed cube. It’s not that big of a difference but you want to save every dollar to buy more cubes. Next is corner cutting, the Aurora can corner cut although it doesn’t handle it very well. The Sulong on the other hand handles corner cutting like a dream, it might even be at the top in corner cutting along with the Huanying and Shuan Ren. With that said the Moyu Sulong takes the title for the ‘best speed cube’ with it’s fluid smooth turning style out of the box and amazing corner cutting abilities for an overall great performing speed cube at an affordable price no competitor can beat.
I try my best to address each level of speed cuber with the different styles of cubing taking into consideration each feature, pros and cons of each speed cube to come up with what I believe is the best speed cube. Hopefully I have provided enough information for you to choose a speed cube that would best suit your needs.
New speed cubes are being developed and produced so I will try to keep my website up to date as much as possible. Feel free to like, share or comment. Happy Cubing!