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.

**Table updated on August 29 2014**

 
Turning
Corner cutting
Pops
Lock Ups
Price
Dayan Guhong 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Very smooth, Quite FastGoodSeldomMinimal to none$11.45
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$9.75
FangShi Shuang Ren 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Very light, smooth and FastEffortlessNoneMay lock if not accurate$12.88
Gans III Ganspuzzle 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Smooth and very light weightOkayNoneCatches due to flexing of core$13.94
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$12.97
Moyu Sulong 3x3x3 Speed Cube Puzzle

Fast and light while being smoothVery little pressure neededNonePractically none$7.75
Moyu Weilong 3x3x3 Speed Cube

Fast turning Blocky and crunchyVery GoodNoneLittle Lock ups due to over shooting$8.80
Shengshou Aurora 3x3x3 Speed Cube
Extremely smooth very controllableOkayNoneMinimal 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.

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 $6.99 being the cheapest speed cube among the group.

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 $7.75 it is the second 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 $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.

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!

52 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.

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

    Which one should I buy yj sulong white or black

    • 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?

    • 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.

    • Henry Guasgua on June 18, 2014 at 10:12 am said:

      I have the Dayan Zhanchi sticker less and Moyu Weilong sticker less, I would consider myself a beginner as I haven’t broken the 1min time yet but getting close.
      For me the Zhanchi clicks a bit and sometimes catches, it is very fast though so you have that advantage – I haven’t made any adjustments and I suspect this is why it pops sometimes as it is very loose at the moment. The Weilong is my preference, the plastic is very smooth so it immediately feels quite nice in my hands, feels like it has a much better construction and finish, with regards to solving, turns are very smooth and controlled and thus on very good solves I can hardly hear any noise which is a nice tell-tale that I am turning accurately. I like it so much I have ordered a sticker version to compare. Where I am, both appear to be priced quite similarly so that hasn’t been a factor for me.

  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?

    • 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.

  10. Wessel Steyl on April 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm said:

    I’m relatively new to cubing. I’m past the beginners method, and is starting on speedcubing using the “Friedich method”. I looked at the comments above and have one question. Why are stickerless cubes illegal in competitions? Surely a cube is a cube?

    • hey wessel, good job on starting fridrich method, you will really notice faster times with fridrich. Although, I don’t know officially but sticker less cubes may give a speed cuber an advantage with look ahead since whole pieces are colored. So, theoretically a speed cuber may know a piece just by looking at it at a half turn where if a plainly stickered cube would be used the speed cuber would only see black or white since the stickers can only be seen on the faces of the cube. Hope that helped.

  11. Marina on May 14, 2014 at 11:48 pm said:

    I have to agree that the Moyu Sulong is an excellent cube. Turning and corner cutting is a breeze, and I love how light it feels on my finger tips. I would definitely recommend it!

  12. Rypu on June 9, 2014 at 2:06 am said:

    Should I get a moyu Weilong or a sulong?
    I average about 40 seconds, and I am learning my PLLs and OLLs.

  13. Matt P on June 11, 2014 at 1:42 am said:

    What cube should i get if I want a cube that is a little clicky and I am an aggressive turner.

  14. Glenn on June 20, 2014 at 10:26 am said:

    Why in the world would stickerless be “illegal?”
    What the hell difference does it make?

    • While the layer is turned u can see the colors of other sides of the cube so its easier to solve faster.

      • Then… would a stickerless cube with only the area of where a sticker ‘would’ be coloured in count as legal?

        Basically, only colour in a square, and not the entire piece.

  15. Billy Hammill on June 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm said:

    Why isn’t the MoYu Weilong v3 (The MoYu Aolong) mentioned? I have this cube and it is much better than something like the GuHong.

    • Matthieu on July 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm said:

      I agree. I got the Moyu Aolong a few weeks ago and it’s by far the best cube I have.

      • CuberAg on August 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm said:

        I Have a MoYu Aolong and a Dayan GuHong but overall i think MoYu Aolong is the best cube among all of the speedcubes because it has a very good cor.cutting and it is one of the cubes whoch do not need to be tensioned regularly

    • giulio on August 15, 2014 at 11:10 am said:

      It’s not mentioned because it didn’t exist when this roundup was made.

      However, I have the Sulong, the Weilong, the Shuang Ren and the Aolong (2nd version), and I think the Aolong is the worst of the four.

  16. Andrew Cramer on June 24, 2014 at 3:12 am said:

    I have known how to solve the cube for years now and have only used the official cube. I didn’t start adding about speed until recently and plan to learn different methods soon. I would like to stay name brand for no real reason haha. What are your guy’s opinions on the new rubiks brand speed cube. I’ve seen a few video reviews and it seems good. Also my record time is 1:29 I avg when going for speed about 1:40 I am an inaccurate turner and I feel corner cutting should help. My current cubes are base model non lubed stickered and non adjustable tensions. Any thoughts?

  17. Hello cubers for over 2 months i have been using cheap rubiks cube which was very annoying to play with. Like a week ago i broke one of the corners, that way i am planing to get new one soon. I am really confused because there are so many different speed cubes, I am wondering which one should I buy. I am not planing to take a part in competitions( if you would offer stickerless one) i just want to have much better time cubing. Btw i am not gonna to lube y cube prob so what cube would be the best right out the box. Money is not a big deal( 3x3x3 is cheap enough).
    P.S Sorry for my irregular english, in my country it is not the main language.

    • Zishan Ahmad on July 5, 2014 at 6:43 am said:

      I Recommend You To Purchase a moyu Aolong Cube Which Is Better to Any Other Cubes.It Is The Third Version Of Weilong V3.I Have This Cube And ITs Is just Amazing Cube.Very Fast and 60 degree corner cutting.
      Happy buying,,,,,,,,

    • CuberAg on August 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm said:

      I suggest by an MoYu AoLong

  18. Andrew Cramer on June 28, 2014 at 5:21 am said:

    I bought a 42mm zhanchi on accident and still do better times than my poorly modded rubiks brand full size. If anyone wants a cube to throw In their pocket but still solve with moderate speed I recommend to all. Next purchase I read the description and buy a std sized one lol

  19. Danie on July 15, 2014 at 10:08 am said:

    Thanks for your site. My son and I have started training to become speedcubers. I have ordered the Moyu Sulong based on your advice – I will have it soon and get my son one too if I agree with you!

    • Isagani Esteron on July 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm said:

      You’re welcome Danie. Glad to help you guys. check in again in a few weeks, I’m working on an update. Happy Cubing!

  20. Abhishek on July 16, 2014 at 9:25 pm said:

    Hi there!

    I have a YJ SULONG with me, my first cube.
    Now that my times are reducing, I would like to switch over to some other ones.

    Can you please review the MOYU AOLONG V1 & V2(LATEST RELEASE after Felix 5.33 fail) and include that in the description?

    Would be highly grateful.

    Thank you

    • giulio on August 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm said:

      Hi,
      I’d like to share my experience.
      I bought the Sulong as my first speedcube too, then the Weilong and the Shuang Ren. I also just received the Aolong version 2 (the enhanced one).
      The Sulong is an awesome cube, it was fast and smooth right out of the box, plus it costs just a few dollars, and that makes for an unbeatable value.
      The Weilong is blocky and noisy, but still fast. The Shuang Ren is super-smooth, and also quite fast. They are all very different, so it’s hard to decide what’s best, because as soon as you start playing with one for a few minutes, you get used to it and when you get back to one of the others they seem strange, because they’re so different.
      The Aolong though is the most disappointing. It feels like a slower Sulong, and blockier. Out of the box it feels like it absolutely needs to be lubed, while none of the others did.
      I still have to lube (and maybe retension) it, and maybe my first impression will change, though for now, I would not recommend it: if your Sulong works well for you, I’d say stick with it.

    • giulio on August 15, 2014 at 11:08 am said:

      Hi,
      I’d like to share my experience.
      I bought the Sulong as my first speedcube too, then the Weilong and the Shuang Ren. I also just received the Aolong version 2 (the enhanced one).
      The Sulong is an awesome cube, it was fast and smooth right out of the box, plus it costs just a few dollars, and that makes for an unbeatable value.
      The Weilong is blocky and noisy, but still fast. The Shuang Ren is super-smooth, and also quite fast. They are all very different, so it’s hard to decide what’s best, because as soon as you start playing with one for a few minutes, you get used to it and when you get back to one of the others they seem strange, because they’re so different.
      The Aolong though is the most disappointing. It feels like a slower Sulong, and blockier. Out of the box it feels like it absolutely needs to be lubed, while none of the others did.
      I still have to lube (and maybe retension) it, and maybe my first impression will change, though for now, I would not recommend it: if your Sulong works well for you, I’d say stick with it.

  21. Ritik s. Ghanshani on July 18, 2014 at 9:21 am said:

    Which is better yj motu or dayan 5 zhan hi

  22. Utkarsh Bajpai on August 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm said:

    Thanks for making the process of getting a speed cube very simple. I have decided to get a Moyu Sulong. I am a beginner and this would be my first speed cube. So am I correct or I should try some other cube first?

    Also, I am an Indian and when I tried to check Moyu Sulong in Indian Amazon site, I got little suspicious because the price of it was very low (about $4.6). So would you check whether it is same one or not?

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/B00L52YWB0/ref=mw_dp_img?is=l&qid=1407172671&sr=8-1

    • Isagani Esteron on August 5, 2014 at 1:23 am said:

      yeah, the sulong is an awesome speed cube for all sorts of speed cubers and also great for beginners.
      $4 for the sulong is great value. I wouldnt worry too since it is amazon and you can return it if the item isn’ t what it says it was.
      Hope this helped you, a like or a share of the page would be awesome!
      happy cubing!

  23. Tuomo Kämäräinen on August 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm said:

    Thanks for the comparison comparison. I wish you added columns:
    * noise level
    * contrast of colors (which ones are good in poor light)
    * allowed in competition

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