Brands of Tops (From a Beginner's View)

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.

Duncan Imperial
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.

Jumbo Cobras
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.

Spintastics Bearing
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.

Spintastics Sidewinder
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.

Trompos Jupiter
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!


You are missing one key item in your collection,

You need a fixed tip Spintastic Quicksilver Hybrid.

IMO this is the best top to learn regeneration and play ‘regen’ style. The trompo grande is too light for me. I can play with it but it’s not fun.

The other thing is that the STRING is very very important and most compagny ship with too short string or barely long enough…


Watch out with this one :slight_smile: I personally don’t trust me enough with it to throw it inside :slight_smile:


I have a ton of tops and the Short Circuit is definitely one of my faves. You’ll like the YYF tops I think. And looks like that Strummol8 STB 2.5 should be at your house tomorrow!


I totally agree about the string. I’ve made quite a few strings since I got my tops (I like the different colors anyway).

I actually do plan on a Quicksilver in the future, thanks for the tip!

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Yes this will definitely be an outdoor top! :smiley:

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Yes, I’m really looking forward to the YYF and Strummel8!

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For the Watt top, if you get a ‘old tip’ which isn’t a diabolo style of tip, you can make a 6 cotton 10 x 4 ply… it works well…

I received a diabolo style tiped watt this week and I can pull all my tricks on it but I can’t throw it… I have to work on finding a good string for it. right now I only snapstart it :crazy_face:

Most tops you can get are okay tops, all of the ones from this fine establishment will be okay, but when you are learning, it makes a huge difference (especially with the inexpensive tops) to have it set up right. The string length is critical, and on some tops, a little ‘modding’ can make a big difference.
Just as with yo-yos, different sizes and weights will make all the difference on what you enjoy throwing, based on your style and the kind of tricks you are trying to do.
the Strummol8 tops are amazing. The YYF tops are little work horses.


On my end, I find the shortcircuit too small… + is a dangerous top to learn corkscrew with it… But … Some would say I’m advanced :slight_smile: and I tend to do only super regenerative tricks :slight_smile:


It’s very interesting to me how individual the experience is when trying to learn a skill like this. By far, the best luck I have had trying to learn regens is with a Giulia and a Short Circuit. Even though the throw and feel are totally different, I get more reps with one of these than with a large wood top, any spintastics (I have a variety) my Duncan’s, or any of the Mexican brands of tops I have.
It seems to me that the difference between tops and how people can handle them is way harder to pin down than it is with yo-yos.
If someone asked me which tops were best for a certain type of trick, I would have to tell them to try them all!


As an experienced spintop player my favourite brand is Strummol8. They make awesome tops, and they can switch between fixed and bearing tips in minutes. However, they are expensive, but IMO they are worth it.


The S8’s are great. They are super smooth and well balanced. The difference with the weight is kind of like the difference in horsepower between high performance motorcycles and beginner bikes. For an experienced player it allows for some amazing potential, but if you are learning and just trying to do some basic tricks, the weight and power can amplify your mistakes. Also it feels a bit less disappointing to be constantly dropping a 6 dollar top.
I would agree they are the best all around high end tops I have ever played.

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Yeah. They are bigger and more weighted, and it is easier to learn with other tops.

The S8 is fantastic. I had to mess a bit with the string length when I got it (it was a bit too long) and now it throws perfectly. I’ll only practice it outside on the lawn though, expensive top.

Yeah. They are too expensive…I did the same as you: use them only on grass. However I had an orange giulia that I used everywhere as my daily/beat throw for years. It is destroyed but spins perfectly(dead smooth) and the tip is almost new(scratched but not deformed at all). Delrin imo is the best material for tops because it does not break like other type of plastics and has the perfect density. They also use top quality stainless steel. You would be surprised by how durable those tops are. I hope you enjoy them!

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Uhm…I am still traumatized by this, although I must add, after absolutely exploding my S8, Andre did promptly replace it with a shiny new one.

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Yep, I think that video did traumatized a lot of top spinner!!! Afaik, it was a machining fault in the STB 2.0!

I really feel like a black sheep now! In fixed tip, I don’t really like S8 that much!!! I am a spintastic boy so it seem!!!

But as bearing top, yes S8 is unbeatable!!!

That’s what I said the giulia. It is made in one piece so it is almost unbreakable haha

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