Endgrain walls versus facegrain recessed response in wooden fixed axle yoyos

Those of you who are regular fixed axle throwers, which kind of response do you prefer and what kinds of characteristics do you find both have?

When I say ‘endgrain response’ What I’m referring to any fixed axle yoyo that relies on endgrain orientation in it’s innermost wall for it’s response. Those included are Yoyofactory Legend Wing and TMBR woodthread yoyos.

When I’m referring to ‘facegrain recessed response’ I mean any yoyo where the halves where the engrain of the wood is perpendicular to the axle. These include O.U.T yoyos, early TMBR models (pre woodthreaded axles), Hildy Bros. yoyos and my Spinworthy yoyos.

Here’s what I see as the characteristics of both without taking into consideration gap width, wood species of axle and body and thickness of axle.

With endgrain response yoyos, there can be better initial grab on returns, but do not wind as tightly. This means that regens are not as powerful and there is a greater potential for ‘slip thud’ on the throw in the final stage of the yoyo reaching the the of the string. Recessed facegrain however has a much tighter wind, translating into more powerful throws and regens, and a far lessened ‘slip thud’ effect (if implemented correctly).

They tend to also feel that they are spinning smoother than facegrain recessed yoyos because the wall is completely flush. You will sometimes hear a buzzing sound with facegrain recessed yoyos depending on the position of the string and the smoothness of the recesses.

They can be thrown more easily out of various stall mounts because the walls ‘bite’ a lot less into the string. Facegrain recessed yoyos tend to bite in on the string a lot firmer, which can give delayed throwouts from stalls.

Any thoughts? Anything to add or dispute?

Please give me your thoughts.


I’m particularly interested in hearing responses from those who have a lot of experience throwing both, like @edhaponik, @AaronW, @Exmime and @Myk_myk.


I’ve not played any modern wooden fixies. I grew up playing wood yoyos, I still have a lot of them. The one I’ve always loved most is the no jive, which maybe isn’t exactly a true fixed axle, but I certainly liked its response the best. The others I have are various wooden duncans, laminated BCs, a philipino twirler, and a couple others. I’d have to pull them out to see how the grain was oriented, but I’m sure you already know.

It looks like the people I mentioned have little motivation to reply. No problem, I was just interested in your thoughts.

I played a lot of fixed axle today with several different woods from the last 20 years to offer an objective answer to this question. However some of my favorite players don’t have either response system and are just smooth wood or paint like my old BC/ What’s Next and legendary Tom Kuhn Flying Camel. What they have in common are maple axles and gaps around 2.75mm. I played some “Facegrain Recessed”, like the Hildy Brothers Azalea with one of the smaller diameter response areas but has 8 drilled response holes per half, compared to an OUT Cheap Thrills with only 3 drilled holes per half, but they also have gaps around 2.75mm. As far “Endgrain Response” I always enjoy YYF Legend Wings, they feel consistent out of the box but also play great once broken in after a while, the ProFly and ProYos are also just classics with great consistent response and playability. The newer TMBRs walnut axles are tight at the center around 2.2mm when I measured some spares axles. I think gap does have the most impact on the consistancy of response. Hence if you look at yoyo design history of the early 2000s it was all based on gap adjustments which lead to the unresponsive movement. Even the TK SB2, one of the earliest gap adjustable throws lack of response with a widen gap, lead to the release of Turbo Disk a precursor to the Friction Sticker and modern silicone pads. In one of @edhaponik YYE tutorials he mentions his preferd gap width as 2 US dimes which is also equal to 2.75mm. So for me I have no real preference in response type as long as its executed and not shredding strings. My real preference is gap width, and I’m a fan of gaps close to 2.75mm, when gaps get around 3mm and above I start having trouble with response.


It could argued that the Flying Camel has endgrain response because the the axle sleeve has an area on endgrain around the string gap. I know it’s a very small area, but it would make a difference with the inital grab. I’ve also noticed on my BC yoyo that the is a small recess around the axle. I’m not entirely sure how that works, because that shouldn’t really help with grip.
If you are getting good consistent response on yoyos with smooth facegrain walls with a gap of 2.75 then the axle must be fairly rough.

It’s a holiday weekend here in the states…

I’ll post my limited input when I get some time.


It’s something I’ve honestly never thought about. If I ever feel that “slip” you mentioned I just adjust my string tension. Yoyos from both groups are some of my favorite yoyos. Lately I’ve been favoring a wood thread Sullivan and 2018 eH, not sure when I last felt the slip. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.


Yeah I’ve been camping w my family.
So I guess my “motivation to reply” would have been pretty minimal.

Add to that the fact that I don’t really have an opinion on the matter. I’ve played lots of different wooden yo-yo’s (including what you’ve mentioned along with painted, spectra, and response stickers), and I don’t find that there’s a specific “feel” which applies categorically to any type. I think the fact that most of the yo-yo’s I play have some type of finish applied negates much of the effect - not that there isn’t any, but not enough of a difference for me to notice, especially after the yo-yo/axle have broken in.


Thanks for your responses @Exmime, @AaronW and @edhaponik. I apologise, I didn’t realise it was a holiday weekend at the time I posted.

Yes fair enough. I think most players just have their models that they love and work well for them and they stick with them. I just think about it a bit only because I make yoyos.

I’m still interested to hear what you have to say @Myk_Myk.