Complete Beginner's Guide to Yoyo's

Ultimate YoYo Noob Guide

Hows it going everyone.  Iv been yoyo’ing for about 3-4 months now, before that, all i remember is playing with Yomega Raider about 10 years from now. I got interested in yoyo’ing again after i received a random Duncan Imperial for Christmas. I starting looking around and the more i looked the more i saw the amazing yoyo’s and yoyo tricks and very talented yoyo players that just left me WoW’ed. This search also caused me to ask A LOT of questions, in which i will try and tackle here.

When i started, i found forums, and investigated and learned a lot, Now, i come to find a lot of people with the same questions i had then. I decided to make this to help anyone who has a question.

This is a guide that i will try to keep updating until it is sticky worth, hoping that it will be helpful to all new members that come around

Everything mentioned in the guide is here to describe items. There is no better or worse. It all comes down to personal preference.

If you have any suggestions of things i should add, please PM them to me and i will add them.

Yoyo Styles

-1A - String tricks.
-2A - 2 Handed yoyo looping tricks.
-3A - 2 Handed yoyo string tricks
-4A - Offstring yoyo
-5A - Counterweight yoyo.

First off. Yoyo’s


Wooden yoyo’s

Made entirely out of Plastic materials. Eg (Celcon, Delrin, Polycarbonate)

Consists of being part plastic and part aluminum, usually, the metal part consists of the rims.

Made Entirely out of metal (Aluminum, Magnesium, Titanium)



Axles (Fixed, Transaxle)
Ball Bearings
Side Cap Bearing
Response Systems
Rim Protectors
Weight Rings


These are the most known yoyo companies. Im sure there are a lot more that i missed, so if you know any that you want me to add, PM me.

SPYY (Saturn Precision Yoyo)
CLYW (Caribou Lodge Yoyo Works
ILYY (I Love Yoyo)
OD (One Drop)
String Theory
RecRev (Recreational Revolution)
Chico Yoyo Company
Turning Point
Dream Yo
Yoyo Recreational

Next… Stuff used to play with a yoyo!



Steel - Most yo-yo ball bearings are made from steel. Some are stainless, but since stainless steel is much softer than ordinary steel, this reduces the life time of the bearing. That’s why many manufactures use non-stainless bearings.

Ceramic - A more expensive variety use ceramic silicon nitride balls inside, but retain a stainless steel race and exterior. It is supposesed to sleep even longer but can cost a lot more.

-Ceramic Hybrid - These bearings have stainless steel races, retainers and shields with ceramic balls. Ceramic hybrids are lighter, have less rolling resistance and can sustain higher operating temperatures than traditional bearings.

-Chrome ball bearing


-Size A - The A bearing fits most Duncan, YoYoFactory, and many other yo-yos. Measures 5mm x 10mm x 4mm.

-Size B - This bearing fits small bearing YoYoJam yo-yos, including SpinFaktors (but not the HG), Kamaitachi, Sunset Trajectory and Matrixx. It also fits the SuperYo Renegade, and the Spintastics Revolver and Eclipse. Measures .250 x .375 x .125 (1/4" x 3/8" x 1/8").

-C - Large
Most YYJ,YYF, Etc
Measures .250 x .500 x .187 (1/4" x 1/2" x 3/16").

-X-Large Belongs to the YYJ Big Yo

-OS - (Im guessing stands for Off String) Belongs to the YYJ Fiesta

-N - Also known as the “Narrow” bearing. It is the initial bearing that YYJ ships with (ALL?) Dark Magic 2. Im sure thats why they send you the extra “Speed” bearings (Size C).

-Size D - Fits B.I.S.T., HSpin and SPYY yo-yos. Measures 5mm x 11mm x 5mm.

-Size E - Fits the Spintastics Tornado, Tigershark, Riot, Great White, Comet, Torch, and Firefly, and Yomega


  • 8 Ball
    Standard bearings consisting of 8 balls inside of them spinning, they make KK, CT and flat bearings with these.

  • 10 Ball
    From One Drop, features 10 balls compared to the standard.

  • Center Track
    8 ball, with shape like this ___/. The steep helps the string from touching the walls of the yoyo and prevent slowing the yoyo down

  • Konkave
    Similar to CT excet the shape is more rounded.

  • Flat
    Standard bearing, it spins.


-50/50 (Can be a mix between polyester, cotton, nylon, kevlar and other materials to make string)

As far as i know, they really dont make much of a difference in play. Cotton is the most responsive material and polyester is the most unresponsive. I wont comment on the other types of strings since i havent used them.

Response Type

A starburst is a star or asterisk shaped figure around the axle, that slightly protrudes from the inner wall of the string gap. It is meant to provide a good grip, once the string touches it.

-Brake Pads
Playmaxx refined the reverse starburst by adding rubber pads with arrayed “teeth” that encircled the bearing. This Brake pad technology (BPT) was also patented by Playmaxx and was one of the first modern systems that used replaceable pads/sticker. The rubber pads (resembling cork) with adhesive backing are set into the yo-yo halves, and provide an additional level of friction to catch the string thus providing responsiveness.

-Friction Stickers
Unlike reverse starbursts which are permanent and Brake Pads which require a yo-yo machined to accept them, these thin circular sheets of rubber or cloth can be applied to the inner surfaces of almost any yo-yo to increase responsiveness and then, if desired, removed

O-rings are rubber rings that sit in a groove around the axle. Their function is basically the same as that of a friction sticker but last much longer.

-Silicone rings
Similar to O-rings, but these are thinner and made out of silicone.

-RTV (Stands for room temperature vulcanization silicone) Many players prefer this because it is very similar to the silicone rings, but one tube costs a lot less than buying pairs or silicone rings.


Thin Lube
Many argue that thin lube will make a bearing more unresponsive, this is not the case. Thin lube protects the bearing and makes it run quiet, itt wont make the yoyo responsive, but it will be a bit more responsive compared to running it dry.

Thick Lube
Used to make the bearigns in yoyo responsive, ideal for looping yoyo’s

How to Mod a yoyo.

Got your new yoyo? Plays great, but you think it can play better? Need to clean the bearing or Silicone it?

Common Yoyo Axle Sizes 
Flowable Silicone: FAQ
How to clean your rusty ball bearings
How to Clean Your YoYo Bearing
How to dye a yoyo
How to get great recesses with a drill
How To Paint A YoYo
How to properly care for TA-Tas
How to remove a stuck bearing.
How to tune a yo-yo with a set screw axle
How to tune a yo-yo with a hex bolt axle
Lathe Buying Guide
Paper cleaning method for bearings
Tutorial on how to make shims

Links to all the above are mentioned here.


Why doesn’t my yo yo sleep very long?
There are a lot of factors that affect sleep time on yoyo’s. Your throw is the most important thing to check, you can have the most expensive yo, but if you cant throw it right, its not going to do anything for you. The Design of the yoyo is also important. Yoyo’s now a day have most of the weight concentrated on the rims, so thats why they have better sleep times, another thing to check is the bearing, make sure it is lubed with thin lube. In some cases the response system will slow the yoyo down, but that is why you need to break it in (use it so it wears the response down).

Why does my yoyo tilt?
Because of your throw. Practice straight throws and adjust the flick of your wrist when you throw it.

My yoyo doesent sleep at all.
Clean the bearings and the bearings seat, sometimes, dirt/flint and even the strings material will get stuck in there, making the yoyo come back instantly or making it die faster.

What is siliconing a yoyo?
Siliconing is the process of applying RTV silicone in the groves of the yoyo where otherwise you would fit O-rings and other reponses

When or how often should i change my string?
This is personal preference as well, my advice is that you change it when you notice that the string is wearing down. You dont want your yoyo flying into a wall or the floor.

Is a metal yoyo better than a plastic one?
NO. Plastic yoyo’s in some case play just as good as metal ones. It all comes down to the player. If you can do it with a metal, you can for sure do it with a plastic. It all comes down to YOUR preference.

This is all i have for now. I will keep updating this as time follows. If you have any questions about anything written here, or something not here, ask.


This should definitely be stickied. You can post a link of how to clean a bearing and links in shop for string types. That would help.

Seems sticky to me I would stick it in looking for help though but I’m not a mod so I don’t really know where it should be stuck.

But anyways great job I can tell you really to your time on this. ;D

I decided to create this here since it is the formu with most traffic.

True most beginners won’t look in the “looking for help” section they will go here.

Great idea! you did a good job with this!
you could add BBYY (Big Brother Yo-Yos) to the company list
and you could show the konkave bearing shape like this )___(
just sugestions :wink:

Good job dude on the noob guide. I definitely learned a lot about yo-yos from your guide. I never knew their were so many components in a yo-yo. Very cool stuff you incorporated into the noob guide. I will recommend this guide.

Where did my last post go?.. Anyways

I smell a sticky!

You can add links for lube, that would help.

Necro Bump?

Is this still usefull?

I don’t know… it looks like a reiteration of the Wikipedia page… except with less info.