I honestly never heard of the Yan3 before it came out but doing some research it is the first puzzle manufactured by the YanCheng company and it had very interesting packaging. It’s packaging is just a simple brown which looks like it’s recycled paper although feels very hipster. The Yan3 branding is written in silver which makes it really stand out with the brown background. It is quite unique among packaging because you have to slide the inner box to the side to access the speed cube. Its pricing isn’t too expensive although it is not a budget speed cube for sure.
Out of the box
The Yan3 out of the box was simply amazing and I immediately thought that it was a good speed cube. It has really fast and light turning which really caught my attention. The second thing that caught my attention was that it was really dry which I could really feel in the layers.
After a few averages of 12’s I really noticed that corner cutting was really good. A few more averages of 12 it felt a little too loose and I was noticing a bit of catching between layers. After a couple more of averages of 12 I started to really like the Yan3 and I notice that it is a super fast speed cube.
Once I got really used to the Yan3 which was about after 10 averages of 12 or 120 solves I started getting good times. I got a very low 12 average of 12 which was a really good time for me and I decided to do an average of 50.
After about another 100 solves or so I started to get sub 12 averages of 12 which is quite rare for me. At this point I didn’t even feel the need to adjust tensions or add lubrication which is quite impressive. At about 30 averages of 12 in or about 360 solves the Yan3 felt gummy and got super slow. I wiped off the factory lube and added some Calvin’s Lube which made it even faster the it was earlier. I realized though that the pieces were hollow which makes it go through lube very fast. This proved true later on because I had to relube after around 100 solves or so.
The Yan3 is looking very good so far, It’s great out of the box and I didn’t even have to adjust tensions. It goes through lube pretty quick although you can’t beat that speed that the lube gives. At this point I am very confident with the speed cube and I can start with the critical review.
The Yan3 has very fast and light turning layers. I can execute algorithms very quickly and unlike other speed cubes I can do it quite comfortably because it has so much control. Some of this control I attribute to the size and shape of the cubies which is a hair larger than average. The Yan3 is one of those rare speed cubes that have light and fast turning layers but still has some smoothness which gives much control. Although when the lube wears off it does get a little slow and gummy which are the characteristics of a smooth turning speed cube. During this time it does take a bit of effort to turn the layers, but will totally disappear when lubrication is applied.
Corner cutting on the Yan3 is above average. Corner cutting is barely noticeable and I just hear a faint thump from layers snapping into place after a corner cut. I don’t really hear any snapping during corner cutting because the Yan3 is quite a loud speed cube and any corner cutting sound like clacking or snapping will be covered by it’s loud turning. Corner cutting is absolutely not an issue because I can focus 100% on my look ahead instead of getting distracted by corner cutting.
Catching and Lockups:
Catching does happen a little bit on the Yan3 but I think that it has a lot to do with my turning style which is quite fast and rough. I did some slow solves while breaking it in when I first opened it and there were no catching there. Corner cutting abilities is very good and it has to do with it being a little loose by design. This looseness is absolutely great for corner cutting but it allows layers to overlap each other which causes a bit of catching during solves.
The YanCheng Yan3 is an absolute dream to solve. I mentioned earlier that the size and shape of the cubies are a bit larger than average and to me it’s perfect because it allows me to turn layers very comfortably. If you can’t relate, try solving a Qiyi big sail or a Shenghou min 3×3 which feels very uncomfortable in the hands because it’s too big or too small. I do get sub10 single solves a few times although I do get a lot of sub 12 averages of 12 which I don’t get from other speed cubes.
The YanCheng Yan3 was something that I didn’t really hear before meaning that there was not much hype or marketing for it. It came from a new company and had quite an attractive packaging with mid range price. Turning is really something that is unique for the Yan3 because it is fast and light but very smooth and controllable at the same time. Corner cutting is quite good and catching is present but not something to complain much about.
With all that said it all boils down to actual solving and times. The Yan3 is such an enjoyable speed cube to solve for me because of two things. The first thing is that it is such a fast and light speed cube but has the smoothness needed to give me 100% control. The second is the size and shape of the cubies gives me such confidence with layer turns and makes algorithm execution so comfortable.
It’s probably obvious that I really like this speed cube but it doesn’t really matter if my times are crap. Fortunately they aren’t in fact my times are more consistent and faster with the Yan3. A speedcube that gives me fast times plus is super enjoyable to solve means that the Yan3 is a very good speed cube which is worth every penny.