10 Rubik’s cubes. R550 (+/-40USD). 20 sec. solves??
I found a party pack of 10 unbranded “entry level speedcubes” for R550, so R55 each (here). Like, cheaper than most keychain cubes. I had a lot of birthday money for cubes. I thought, what the heck. For the story. And the photos.
Three days later: mind blown. Out of the wrapping (individual clear plastic packets), they were not bad. Trash, but better than expected. I was expecting Rubiks Brand quality, but they move OK. Not too loud. Stickered (🤮), but at least with decent stickers. They can actually corner cut! Not well though. They’re kind of grindy, but I never intended to actually practice on them or anything.
That’s the first nine.
If you’re not a cuber, maybe the problem isn’t so obvious. Try now:
The colours were on wrong if you didn’t get it. Orange and green needed to be swapped.
I swapped the orange and green stickers, tensioned it a bit and gave it a little Q8 (don’t have proper cube lubricant). The sticker part was surprisingly fun.
I guessed Cube 10 wasn’t the same as the rest. The stickers are a different shape and it has different screws. It came suuuperr tight.
… And then I scrambled it. I can’t describe it, but I’ll try. It’s the smoothest, lightest turning I can imagine (admittedly the best cube I ever touched only cost three times this one’s price and I don’t even know what brand it is). That isn’t to say it’s quiet – it’s not. But somehow it still feels like there is 0 friction. Like there is no contact. And somehow I still don’t overshoot. And it’s not even loose or (very) unstable. I can’t describe it. It’s like it’s floating. It feels awesome to scramble.
Maybe it’s to do with washers??? That does feel like a big problem on the others, but I haven’t taken any apart.
Okay, but I’m not saying it’s amazing. Maybe things like Dayans and Gans* also have super light turning. I’m not sure about that though; it’s not the impression I get from videos. And, more importantly, the turning isn’t everything. Good turning isn’t necessarily light turning. This cube got other issues, like misalignments (even though it has better corner-cutting than anything I own short of my YJ MGC 5×5). Maybe with magnets… no. It cost 55 bucks. It’s not meant to be good.
The first time I practiced 3×3 in months was when I got these cubes. Most days, I just do megaminx. Anyway, on my magnetic main I averaged about 25 seconds that day. Just in case, I tried Cube 10. Averaged around 28 seconds! Best was 20 or 21. something (forgot). On my first (only) day!
So, bottom line: Sometimes you can find value in things that should be trash. The pack is totally worth it, unless you have something useful to spend your cube cash on. Obviously not main material, but good for show and to keep non-cubers away from your main and that old square one that explodes when you touch it. This post is not sponsored or whatever, either. Great to give away – although since the pack seems to be mixed, it might not always contain a Cube 10.
BTW, from today (1 week later), I’ve had to make Cube 10 my main – not that I’ll be practicing for a few days. It’s only technically. Just until my nest 3×3 arrives. That’s a story for another post, though: this one.
*PS (from the future) now I have the Gan 11 M Pro, and get this: on my normal settings, the tenth cube still feels better OH. Really. I made adjustments to the Gan just for OH tho so now it’s OK.