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Differences Between Cheap and Expensive Rubik's Cubes

By Edited Oct 23, 2016 2 4

The price of a Rubik's cube can vary a lot. You have cheap ones, expensive ones, and everything in between. If you don't know much about this puzzle, it may be difficult for you to choose between a cheap and an expensive one. 

What are the differences between them? Are the expensive ones worth the price difference? Here is an article that will help you with these questions.

In the Past

In the past, there was only one good quality cube: the original Rubik's cube, invented by Rubik and produced by Winning Moves.

Cheap cubes were bad-quality knock-offs and were called "magic cube", "speed cube", etc... They were generally very bad and among the ones I tried, one was "locking up" very often (you had to realign the faces every 2-3 moves, making it impossible to apply an algorithm), one broke after a few solves and finally one had a very bad color scheme (a dark side, a dark blue side and a light blue side...).

This made people skeptical about any cubes other than the original one.

The Original Rubik's Cube at Amazon

Rubik's Cube (Discontinued by manufacturer)
Amazon Price: $12.99 $10.00 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 23, 2016)
Good quality, comes with a nice box and a stand, and lasts a long time.

Comes the Speedcubing Community...

But things have changed. In the past 10 years or so (2003 was the first World Championship after a long break), this toy has gained in popularity and more specifically the activity that consists in solving it as fast as possible called "speedcubing".

The original cube was designed as a puzzle, not as a speed puzzle and had therefore limitations to this regard. Speedcubers started to be annoyed with it as it required "modding" (sanding, lubbing, new stickers, ...) and some Asian companies started to emerge to fill the need for a better cube.

Dayan is one of these companies. Founded by a speedcuber for speedcubers, it proposes cheap cubes designed for speed. The plastic used may be of lower quality but the overall solving experience is much better (better corner cutting, adjustable spring tensions, anti-pop mechanism, ...).

Another advantage of Dayan over Winning Moves is its constant research for improvement and the frequent release of a new and improved version of its speedcube.

Dayan Panshi

Dayan VI PanShi 3x3 White 3x3x3 Speedcube Puzzle Cube New 2013
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Oct 23, 2016)
The latest arrival, supposed to be the best one.

Which One to Choose?

So which cube should you choose? If you want to go with speed, Dayan is a better option. If solving the cube as fast as possible is not for you, you can consider the Rubik's brand.

Several Rubik's Cubes

Part of my own collection: 2 Dayan, 1 Rubik, 1 Alpha V

Other Things to Consider

You generally have the choice between black and white (color of the plastic). This is just a matter of personal preferences. Other colors may also be available.

Some cubes are stickerless. It is more practical but be aware that they are not allowed in competitions (long story short, in some situations you can see the color of a face).

Otherwise, replacement stickers can be found online. You have the choice between stickers and tiles. Tiles are thicker and improve your gripping but they are a bit more expensive and stickers are more common.

A word about the DIY option. DIY stands for Do It Yourself. In some online shop you may be able to buy DIY sets. They were popular a while ago as they were cheaper than already built and assembled cubes and cubers didn't mind building the cube themselves (it isn't that hard and they like to adjust the tension of the springs themselves). Recently, though, already built-up cubes are more popular

More Rubik's Articles

Here are some articles about this puzzle:

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Comments

Aug 27, 2013 10:56am
Karma
I never had any clue that there were such things as expensive rubik's cubes and cheap ones. I thought they were all basically the same thing, interesting stuff though!
Aug 27, 2013 10:52pm
adragast
Thanks, they are actually very different. Even for the same price you may find different cubes. One may be very smooth while the other will be very "clicky".
Aug 28, 2013 4:59pm
Karma
Oops :P I accidently clicked SPAM/INAPPROPRIATE instead of Reply ! Sorry about that hahah. Yes, no problem I really like the article since it was something I never knew about and seemed very interesting to me.. and probably many many other people since we don't know about the competitive side to Rubiks Cubes.

Well written article as well! I am guessing you are a speed solver? I never knew there was certain algorithms that are applied to solving these, it does make sense that math would help solve these, but to me it blows me away just thinking of a Rubik's Cube and all those colors out of order actual have a math solution in order to solve them.
Aug 28, 2013 5:00pm
Karma
Oops :P I accidently clicked SPAM/INAPPROPRIATE instead of Reply ! Sorry about that hahah. Yes, no problem I really like the article since it was something I never knew about and seemed very interesting to me.. and probably many many other people since we don't know about the competitive side to Rubiks Cubes.

Well written article as well! I am guessing you are a speed solver? I never knew there was certain algorithms that are applied to solving these, it does make sense that math would help solve these, but to me it blows me away just thinking of a Rubik's Cube and all those colors out of order actual have a math solution in order to solve them.
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