Ultimate guide to the best speed cube

**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.

Corner cutting
Lock Ups
Dayan Guhong 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Very smooth, Quite FastGoodSeldomMinimal to none$11.79
Dayan Panshi 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Smooth and ClickyGoodTends to popWith torpedoes$13.48
Dayan ZhanChi 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Snappy and Very FastGoodMay popMay lock if inaccurate$10.20
FangShi Shuang Ren 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Very light, smooth and FastEffortlessNoneMay lock if not accurate$12.99
Gans III Ganspuzzle 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Smooth and very light weightOkayNoneCatches due to flexing of core$13.99
MARU CX3 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Fast turning, slightly scratchy, loudGoodNoneSmall catches may occur$14.99
MoYu HuanYing 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Light, crispy and FastEffortlessMay popMinimal to none$12.99
Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed Cube Puzzle

Fast and light while being smoothVery little pressure neededNonePractically none$9.99
Moyu Weilong 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Fast turning Blocky and crunchyVery GoodNoneLittle Lock ups due to over shooting$13.95
Shengshou Aurora 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Extremely smooth very controllableOkayNoneMinimal to none$11.95

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.

1. Turning
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”

Moyu Weilong 3x3x3 Speed CubeThe 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.

Click here to check out the Moyu Weilong 3x3x3 Speed Cube on Amazon

Maru Cx3 – “Soft Hearted”
Maru CX3 3x3x3 Speed Cube
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.

Click here to check out the MARU CX3 3x3x3 Speed Cube on Amazon

Shengshou Aurora – “Smooth Criminal”
Shengshou Aurora 3x3x3 Speed CubeThis 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 $11.59 which is a very good deal.

Click here to check out the Shengshou Aurora 3x3x3 Speed Cube on Amazon

Moyu Sulong - “Out of the box all rounder”
Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed CubeThe 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 $9.59 it is the cheapest cube on the list which is such a great deal for an all around performing speed cube.

Click here to check out the Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed Cube Puzzle on Amazon

“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.

Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed CubeStarting with the price, the Moyu Sulong is the cheapest cube here at $9.59 while the Shengshou Aurora is $11.59. 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.

Click here to check out the Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed Cube Puzzle on Amazon

Your turn
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!

22 Thoughts on “Ultimate guide to the best speed cube

  1. Beezy Baldy on December 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm said:

    Do any of these cubes come “stickerless”? That is my main annoyance when cubing…the stickers beginning to peel off.

  2. Cubelover on January 21, 2014 at 2:55 am said:

    I just want to say that the SS Aurora is so awesome! I ordered it about 2 weeks ago, and love the smoothness of it (so much better than my sister’s Rubik’s brand cube). I was deciding to get either the Zanchi, or the Aurora, and ordered the aurora , because I’m a beginner. I would definitely recommend it to anyone whether you’re a beginner or a pro speedcuber.

    • Isagani Esteron on January 21, 2014 at 3:43 am said:

      Great choice, the SS Aurora is an awesome speed cube. I’m updating this section very soon with much newer cubes and new recommendations. Stay tuned for updates. Happy Cubing.

    • I also bought the SS aroura it is the best cube Ive ever used and I’ve had alot of cubes! It is light fast and controllable.

  3. shaswat kashyap on January 29, 2014 at 10:18 am said:

    Which one should I buy yj sulong white or black

    • Isagani Esteron on January 29, 2014 at 10:34 am said:

      Hey shaswat. Both white and black cubes are legal in competition and recognition with each doesn’t make a difference once you’re used to a specific color. With that said it’s really up to you which one you get. Regardless of the color the YJ sulong is a great speed cube.

  4. Maanith on March 9, 2014 at 7:10 am said:

    Should I get shengshou aurora or dayan guhong
    I started cubing 2weeks ago and my avg is 50 secs so which should I get

  5. Sniklac on March 15, 2014 at 10:00 am said:

    My roommate just recently got me into cubing. He had a Rubiks Cube brand one and it felt pretty good at the time. Recently as a bday gift to myself, I bought a Dayan Guhong. I didn’t put that baby down all night the first night it came. In fact it was so good (in my opinion) that I went online and bought my roommate a Dayan as a belated bday gift. Being a rookie, I thought it was another Guhong but it was a Zanchi. Boy that thing is fast! Honestly in pure jealousy, I want a better cube than him. I was leaning towards getting a Fangshi Ren V2 but this site has me questioning the Moyu series. Does anyone have any opinions on this? I’m kind’ve new at this point, averaging 1:10 to solve the 3x3x3. What about DIY for a novice?

    • Isagani Esteron on March 26, 2014 at 1:24 am said:

      Hi sniklac, the feature of the zanchi you were amazed by was probably the fast and light turning speed. this is a really good feature but for beginners it might be limiting your times by decreasing recognition leading to longer pauses between algorithms. the fangshi is bit more similar to the zanchi that it has light turning, so it can be quite fast. moyu cubes are great, in fact I highly recommend the sulong for novices since its great right out of the box.

  6. Maanith on March 16, 2014 at 5:14 am said:

    Sup my new avg is 40 seconds with the new Rubik’s cube ( tiles) lubed with oil.
    Should I get the original dayan or the new dayan speedcube?

  7. Crawford Devlin on March 26, 2014 at 1:06 am said:

    hey guys im deciding whether to get a moyu weilong or SS aurora. My preferences are good corner cutting up to at least 45 degrees and a nice light cube. My average right now is a 20 seconds with the zhanchi stickerless, so what should i get to improve?

    • Isagani Esteron on March 26, 2014 at 1:15 am said:

      Hi Crawford. The weilong and the aurora are two different feeling cubes. the weilong is light and fast while the aurora is smooth and a bit slower. the weilong would feel a lot more similar to a zanchi which is your main, the main difference is that the weilong is more controllable so you would tend to overshoot less which can be a problem on the zanchi. if you decide to get an aurora, the slow and smoother turning may force your to focus more on look ahead which can lower your solving times. hope that helped.

  8. anonymous cuber on April 4, 2014 at 10:19 am said:

    i have orderd a shengshou aurora does it pop

  9. Heston on April 21, 2014 at 4:55 am said:

    I have had a shengshou aurora for a couple months now. Recently i took it apart to clean some dirt out of it and im pretty sure i wiped out some of the lube aswell. I dont have any lube so what do you recomend? My ss aurora isnt even close now to what it was. It catches and now i cant hardly corner cut at all. I need some advice on the tensions aswell because i have tried different tensions and i still cant fix my corner cutting problems. Please help.

    • Isagani Esteron on April 21, 2014 at 7:08 am said:

      Hey Heston, the aurora doesn’t really have excellent corner cutting abilities so without lube you can expect horrible corner cutting. I’d recommend you only use silicone lube because oil based lubes would destroy the plastic of your cube, check out this page. Once you have your aurora lubed up then you can go ahead and start adjusting the tension to your liking.

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