The Gan 356 Air is the newer 3×3 speed cube from Gan which comes after the successful Gan 356S before. What makes the Air really stand out is it’s very innovative Gans Elasticity System (GES) which replaces the screws in normal speed cubes with a nut that already have springs in them. This system allows you to very easily and quickly change springs transforming your speed cube.
There are several editions of the Gan 356 Air, the very first one was released in August 2016 and was the Master edition. Several edition later were released which included the Advanced Edition, Standard Edition and the Grand Master Edition. These editions will always have the same Gan 356 Air speed cube and differ only with Sticker shades, GES springs, carrying pouch and a Gans LE card. The Grand Master edition will also be available in other color bodies.
The only reason I can think of in buying the more expensive Grand Master edition is if you prefer other color bodies then black and white. The extra G-series springs are not too good since they just make the speed cube way too soft. They’re also available to buy separately if ever you would like to try them out. The standard version doesn’t have GES springs included so I suggest you purchase the Master edition since it comes with the S-series springs.
The Gan 356 Air was just super amazing out of the box. I quickly fell in love with it’s very unique turning quality which I’ll discuss later in the review. Breaking in the Air didn’t take too much effort and practically felt broken in immediately after a few solves. Adjustment and tensions however was a completely different story. If there is one thing that stands out about the Gan 356 Air is that it is allows you total customization. You can actually make the Air feel totally different if you wanted to just by changing the springs which is included when you buy it (s-series for the standard edition and the g-series for the ultimate edition). With that said it was very very difficult for me to find the perfect tensions that I liked, luckily I can change the springs. I changed the springs over and over again and adjusted tensions a million times to get to that spot where it suits my style of speed cubing.
I of course had to account for the lube that i used with the Air which was the Gan lube. I figured which better lube to use than one that comes from Gan themselves. The lube made it just a tiny bit gummy, which gave it more control and allowed the corner to slide along each other better.
It is really clear that the Gan 356 Air is a smooth turning cube. I wouldn’t be surprised though to know that it can be transformed into a fast turning speed cube by changing the springs and lubrication. Perfect tensions and lubrication really gives me much control over layer turns. It is quite the opposite of a fast turning speed cube in that you can’t throw layers around. The only time you feel any resistance turning layers is when it’s too tight and you don’t have lube in it. Other than that I don’t feel my fingers getting tired at all and you can almost compare it to more faster turning speed cubes in that it takes little to no effort turning the layers.
As a smooth turning speed cube it gave me a lot of control. It has some issues being a little bit loose and wanting to fall apart despite the tensions so I can’t say that it gave me 100% control. I would rate the turning to be a solid 9 out of 10
Before I got used to this Gan 356 Air corner cutting was very obvious and loud. Although once I got used to the feel of the speed cube it got less obvious. It’s not as bad now although it is still there. You can feel and slightly hear a “clack” inside the speed cube during corner cuts. I still can concentrate on look ahead and turing despite the corner cutting although sometimes corner cutting can be get really bad.
Corner cutting on the Gan 356 Air will range from not that noticeable all the way to very noticeable. This very wide range actually results in this speed cube actually not have good corner cutting abilities. Although there are still a lot of speed cubes out there to have much worse corner cutting I would rate corner cutting to be 7.5 out of 10.
Catches and Lock ups:
Catching is quite noticeable on the Gan 356 Air. This speed cube is not for the fast and rough solvers out there. As I mentioned earlier this speed cube kind of adjusts your turning style and makes it more precise and controlled. In the beginning when I wasn’t used to the speed cube yet I had a lot of catching but it slowly went away once I got used to the speed cube. In the corner cutting section above I say that it doesn’t have good corner cutting and it clearly shows with the catching.
Small catches happen quite often with this speed cube and in the worse case scenarios will completely disrupt your solves. This speed cube has a bit of a catching problem so I rate catching on the Gan 356 Air a 7.5 out of 10.
In my average of 100 my best average of 12 was 12.38 which is kind of on the slower side because I can imagine I could do better with my main speed cube. I think the thing that slowed my average down was the really bad times I had, which were because of the bad catching that crept up every so often. I did get my single PB (personal best) of 8.50 seconds although no PB averages in fact I got a slower average compared to my main speed cube.
While I do get fast times I am very inconsistent with this speed cube. In my average of 100 my fast times was a nice 10.47 seconds but my slowest time was 18.22 seconds which is close to half of my fastest time.
Despite this I really did enjoy solving with the Gan 356 Air. The distinct reason i get enjoyable solves with this speed cube is that I have so much control over layer turns but unlike other smooth turning speed cubes layer turns have little to no resistance. This very unique turning characteristic makes it such an enjoyable speed cube to solve so I will rate this a 9 out of 10 for actual solving
I do get super fast times with this speed cube although I didn’t really improve my averages of 12. I was able to break my personal best average of 12 with the Gans 356 Air but I can’t see any improvements with my averages overall. The smooth and fast layer turning gives me fast times but the catching will give me more slower times which is the reason that I can’t improve my averages.
The Gan 356 Air has excellent turning. As a smooth turning speed cube it definitely gives you a lot of control over layer turns. With smooth turning speed cubes you can expect a little sluggish of not so fast layer turns but surprisingly the Air has really fast layer turns which you can find on speed cubes that have a fast turning style.
Corner cutting doesn’t look too good on the Air. It’s not terrible by any means but I can’t say that it is good. You can’t get around that fact that corner cutting is very obvious with this speed cube and sometimes can disrupt your solves. There is a positive side to this surprisingly and that is that the speed cube actually improves your turning by unconsciously forcing you to turn the layers more precisely.
With corner cutting that is not good, there will be a lot of catching. Catching is the main flaw with the Gan 356 Air. Fast and rough turning speed cubers will find it a nightmare and more controlled and precise turners will occasionally have totally disrupted solves due to catching.
When it comes to actual solving the Gan 356 Air is very enjoyable to solve. What really stands out and counts is it’s excellent and very unique turning. The smoothness gives me total control over layer turns. While the uncharacteristic light and fast layers gives me speed that I can only do with fast turning speed cubes. Poor corner cutting and occasional lock ups really sucks, it shows only occasionally but I really wished they weren’t there at all.
To sum things up the Gan 356 Air is simply and excellent performing speed cube. It is priced a little but higher then other speed cubes but aside from the high performance speed cube you are also getting the ability to totally customize your speed cube with the GES springs that’s included which you can’t find in any other speed cube on the market. Because of this the Gan 356 Air is worth every dollar spend and I highly recommend buying this as your speed cube.