Bearingized counterweights - A How to Guide.

Greetings fellow modders.

So a friend of mine wanted me to help him make a bearingized counterweight. So, I figured that I would post a guide that would help some more people out, or hopefully help spark some new ideas in other people.

The obvious advantage of a bearingized counterweight is that it corrects tension noticeably faster than a non bearingized counterweight. It also opens up the gate to some sliding counterweight tricks.

For this method you will need…

A .5 inch drill bit
A 5/16 inch drill bit
You May require a 11/64 drill bit
A deshielded C sized bearing
A vice grip
A drill (Drill presses make this WAY easier)
low (20-80) grit sandpaper
Duncan dice

You can use any kind of solid counterweight with this method. However, something like a bouncy wall will not work.

Round counterweights will be covered later in the guide.
Anyways… on to the guide!

First off, get these materials out

-duncan die
-.5 inch drill bit
-3/8 inch drill bit

Got all that? Good job. You’re on your way.

Next up, mount the dice in your vice grip. Don’t make it too tight, or too loose either. Too tight and you’ll scratch up the counterweight and you might crack the dice when you’re drilling, too loose and you might slip.

Alright, now look down the hole. Some duncan dice have small ridge on the inside of the hole in the middle. Just give it a quick drill through with your 11/64 inch drillbit.

You’re twice as far as you were one step ago.

Add the .5 inch drillbit to your drill. Tighten it up good with a chuck key if you can.

The tip of the drill bit should fit in real nice with the hole duncan has so graciously already made in the counterweight. Use that as your guideline.

The more important part of this part is TO GO SLOW. I cannot stress this enough. A drill bit can bite into plastic pretty quickly and you can mess up your counterweight in the blink of an eye.

You’re going to want to drill down a little less than 3/4 of an inch. Generally I get it to about half an inch and then put the drill in reverse and go the last quarter inch. Just remember to go slow. It’s important.

If your counterweight and drill bit are fuzzy blurry, I would recommend wearing glasses.

Once you’re done…

Viola! first hole drilled!

Alright next we’re gonna have to make the ‘shim’ on the inside of the counterweight. Time to chuck up your 3/8 inch drill bit.

Put this drillbit into the .5 inch hole that you just drilled. You’re only gonna have go down about a sixteenth of an inch. The point of this is to lift the inner rage off of the bottom of the plastic.

Did you do it without putting a hole through the bottom or cracking the plastic? If so, the hard part is done!

Now, on to actually fitting the bearing.

Now, a c sized bearing has an outer diameter of .5 inches. We drilled a .5 inch hole. So, we have to make the hole just a little bit bigger.

What you’re going to want to do is to wrap some of your high grit sandpaper around a sharpie. You can use anything really, but I find that a regular sized sharpie works the best.

Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. Sand for a couple of minutes, test the bearing. You get the idea.

Once you get the bearing fit, make sure to wash out the hole nice and well to make sure that nice dust gets in the bearing.

Did I mention that you should always use a de shielded bearing? mine isn’t in the picture, but it’s pretty important.

While you have the sand paper out, you’d be well off to smoothen out the edges of the holes. Both the .5 inch one that the duncan die hole on the other side. Just makes the counterweight a little easier on the string.

And to finish, get a bead. Put the string through bead, and then through the counterweight. The bead should have a fairly small hole.

Viola! a functioning bearingized counterweight!


Q. I sanded the hole too wide! what do?
A. Apply a small amount of masking tape on the walls of the hole. Put the bearing in so it’s right and then trim the excess with a sharp knife. Should look exactly the same and the bearing will fit better.

Q. I drilled too far down! what do?
A. Take a little bit of wire and make a shim out of it. I’ve tried paperclips, but I never had too much luck with them. You might be able to with a thin one though.

Pro tip: Wrap the wire around the sharpie.

Q. I have a round counterweight (spintop button). Wjat do?
A. Make yourself a pair of these.

There about 2 inches times 1.5 inches. Drill a .5 inch hole in both of them.

Works like a charm and you won’t scratch up your counterweight, and you can tighten as much as you want and the counterweight won’t crack.

Q. Can you use a small bearing?
A. Yep. I forget what size is best, but if I recall 3/8 is best. Really though, C sized bearings work better.

Q. Where can I get some good counterweight materials?
A. Right here!

These are great delrin balls for counterweights. Pick some up.

You’re gonna need a drillpress! There are really hard to get right by hand.

There work real good for the beads too. Really hard to work with, but you can get it.

Also, don’t pay attention to the pictures. The measurements are 100% correct. The one inch is one inch, the 3/8 inch is the 3/8 inch, etc.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it. I hope that I was able to give you guys some ideas and that you enjoy a new 5a accessory :slight_smile:


Great guide!! I wanna buy the Chrome balls lol. And are you sure those are the right size for a cw? There was a pic of it next to a pencil and it looked tiny.

They absolutely are. I experiment with tons of them. I have no idea where they got that picture from, but all of their sizes are correct.

Ya, you’re right, the one in the picture with the pencil looks to be just a few mm, but the description says it’s a 1 inch diameter ball. That actually sounds a little large, but Jake has tried them and he says they’re OK, so…

First off, i know theres already a how to guide on this, but i just wanted to clear some things up. I read a million reviews about the yyj destiny, and all i really wanted was the cw. I heard their cw was poorly designed, and i wanted to make my own. I followed the how to guide that was posted october 10th, but i cant see why he drilled the “shim”. All you need to is one drill. Not three the way he did it. I find that even if you dont care about a bearing in the cw, it adds some weight to the die, and makes it heavier, the way i like it. This definetly does add weight. Be warned. I made a bearingized counterweight using a blue duncan die, .5 inch drillbit, drill (duh), c sized bearing, a sharpie, and some sandpaper. Heres how.

First i drilled a .5 inch hole about halfway into the already drilled duncan die. Do not go all the way through. .5 inches is exactly the same diameter of a c sized bearing. At first i tried to pressfit the bearing in. do not try this! the bearing gets almost stuck, you can crack the plastic, but more importantly, the bearing will not spin. Instead of trying to pressfit it in, wrap sandpaper around a sharpie and sand the inside of the .5 inch hole you just drilled. You dont have to sand it too much, because if the hole is too big, the bearing wont stay. The trick is to sand for a few seconds and check if the bearing fits. Repeat until the bearing stays in, but still spins. Once you do this, you are almost done! Next, find a bead, like one of those cheap plastic ones you used when you went to summer camp and made a stupid necklace for ur mom that she never wore. (you know what im talking about ;)). Put the end of the yoyo string through the bead, then through the end of the die where u can see the bearing. Attatch the string to your favorite 5a yoyo and youre ready to go! To test this out, do a ufo with the yoyo, and hold the string only by the die. If the finger loop spins, it works! By the way, the die WILL be able to slide down the string, so use caution. Good luck!!!

P.s. I did take some pics, ill post them tomorrow morning. Im still trying to find a better bead.

Instead of posting on my guide about your concerns, you decided to make a whole other guide…?

Anyways, to address your concerns.

I added a shim because not having one impedes performance. I’ve tested it quite a lot. There are times when the inner race of the bearing rubs against the bottom of the plastic. Doesn’t happen with every counterweight, but it can drastically improve performance if it does.

Secondly, I used the 3rd drill bit because some duncan dice have a small ridge on the inside which makes getting the string through a little difficult at times. It’s generally a good thing to check for regardless if you’re making a bearingized counterweight or not.

Also, if the bearing gets suck inside of the counterweight, use a yyf removal tool to get it out. I find that it works best.

which side does the bead go in and can it be made to not slide down the string

Great guide. I just would’ve preferred you either using Standard or Metric measurements… not both, gets confusing

The bead should be resting inside the bearing

That is basically Eliot’s guide, only a lot worse.

Yeah duhh. I thought that was quite obvious. I just posted this to clear up some confusion about the other holes which were drilled. Also to clear up that you shouldnt try to press fit the bearing without sanding it. If it was “basically” eliott’s guide I wouldn’t have posted it. Also, eliott, why did you drill so many holes? I only needed to drill one.

If you’re going to try to rewrite my own guide on my own thread, at least read my posts.

oh, i originally meant to put it as a new topic, i dont see how it ended up here. i was reading this beforehand, and i had to make my computer go back and forth a page to reload. nd about ur post, sorry i didnt see it. it didnt give me a notification for some reason. btw thanks for the thing about the shim. also, did u ever try pressfitting the bearing into the cw without sanding it? i did. took an hour to get it out. btw u used a duncan die right? it looks like its smaller in the pics.

I know that you put it as a new topic. It still was better off to be posted here, if it was to be posted at all.

No, press fiting always seemed like a really bad idea.

And yes, it is a duncan die.

i have everything but the drill and bits :’(

What is the shim for ?