Over the last few weeks I’ve purchased and tried several spin tops, and I thought I’d take a moment to share my experiences with trying them from the perspective of a beginner.
This was the first top I purchased and started with. It is light and durable (I banged it around a bit). The lightness of the top was not very good for me while learning as it was not very forgiving of bad throws and would bounce off my catching hand. As this was my first top I tried, it kind of isn’t fair to “pick on it”. Interestingly enough, after working with heavier and better quality tops, I can boomerang and catch it pretty well.
These fixed-tip tops come in a set of three for relatively cheap. Bigger and heavier than the Duncan, this was the first top I was able to balance on my hand. I still enjoy messing with it, especially if I’m learning something new as it can take a good beating. Well worth the few dollars they cost.
Spintastics Trompos Grande
This is the top I’ve messed with the most. I don’t drop it very often as it is a bit bigger and heavier than the others I have. The fixed tip seems to allow me to correct easier when it is on my hand, and the weight makes practicing some moves and tricks a bit easier it seems. At this point, it is my favorite of all the ones I own.
I haven’t messed with my bearing tops as much as the fixed-tip tops, but I can say that this top needs a more accurate throw and seems a bit harder to correct when it is on my hand. The size and weight are about the same as the Grande. I plan on tackling bearing tops when I’m a bit more experienced with fixed-tips.
This has become one of my favorite tops to carry around with me. The squat little pocket-sized top has a great spin due to the weight ring and is very easy to throw, catch, and balance. This is the perfect top for beginners in my opinion. The point is a bit sharp, though.
Turner Toys Wooden Throw Top
This is going to be one of my Renaissance Faire tops as it has a more “period” appearance to it. It is hard to throw and catch. It is quite a bit heavier than a plastic top and takes a greater tug to boomerang. When you do catch it, it spins nicely and is easy to correct. Getting the right throw for this top will take some work. This is probably not a good first top to get.
This is the one of the more expensive of the spin tops I’ve bought. It is a bearing top, so I haven’t messed with it much yet. I can say that it isn’t that easy to throw correctly and the bearing doesn’t appear to spin very well (it probably needs adjusting or cleaning). It is pretty cool looking. Not really a “beginner” top in my opinion, unless you don’t care about beating up a more expensive top.
So those are the tops I currently are messing with. I hope it helps someone who might be looking at these. I’ll give more details on some of these as I mess with them more. I have a couple more on order, and I’ll write about these after I’ve messed with these. Coming are the YoYo Factory tops, the Strummel8 2.5, and the 4” wood Watts Top!