Grind machine or metal drifter?


I don’t know which one to buy. Please help


OK, this depends on what you’re looking for.

First, I’m not sure if you’re talking the stackless Grind Machine or the regular PGM.

So, let’s start with the Metal Drifter. The current Metal Drifters aren’t too bad, actually. I mean, I won’t comment on the metal itself. These don’t use spacers. Clean out the bearing really good and it went dead unresponsive, at least the one my kid uses, that’s what happened when I cleaned the bearing. He does use it for 5A. Since it comes with the CW, it’s a complete 5A kit in a convenient package. It’s a fun yoyo, a bit light for my preferences, but not bad.

I have an older Metal Drifter. I need to re-clean the bearing. Mine uses spacers in the design. I may need to dig into my spacers and find something else as well.

How can you tell? If the CW matches the rim color, that’s the newer Metal Drifters. Do know what you’re ordering. Ask if you need to.

Once properly cleaned and set up, the Metal Drifter makes a good 1A and 5A yoyo. I suppose a pair could work fine for 3A. This is a good budget way to go for 3A. Other upgrades might be an A-sized KK or centertrak.

Onto the Grind Machine. While YYF is definitely “in protest” over the whole Duncan 5A patent thing, these yoyos are pretty good at 5A. The Stackless is a great 1A performer as well. Good weight, good balance and good performance. It plays way more than the $12 being charged for it, easily. The regular PGM adds hubstacks. Some people say stacks get old after a short while. I disagree, but to each their own. Having options is a nice thing, that’s what I say. Both the stackless and PGM are loads of fun, great 1A players and excellent 5A yoyos, but you’ll need to add a counterweight. Out of the package, these are ready to go, no cleanings required. As they are plastics, they use spacers in the design. They both use C-sized bearings which can get stuck on the spacers, just so you’re warned, as they can be difficult to remove. You may want to upgrade the bearing, but there’s no reason to do so unless you want to, as these are fin as-is. However, these do need counterweights to be purchased as a separate item if you want to go 5A.

It comes down to what you want, what shape you want/like, and what performance features you need or desire as well as price. The Stackless Grind Machine is I think $12. The Metal Drifter I think sells here around $24, but I could be wrong, I’m just too lazy to check prices. The PGM sells for $30.

If you want metal, then the Metal Drifter is the way to go. If you want a complete 5A package, the Metal Drifter wins again. If budget is a problem, the stackless Grind Machine takes it. If you want stacks, the PGM is the winner. If you don’t care about metal or plastic, well, then it gets strange. The Stackless Grind Machine has the advantage of low cost and fantastic performance, mated with either the Takeshi dice or the Duncan CW set, you’re still at the lowest price point I think. The regular Grind Machine is the most expensive of this batch and for 5A still needs a CW, but that’s assuming you need the CW. I don’t know your motivation or needs With the extra option provided through the stacks, you add another potential element of fun into the mix. I think the Metal Drifter could be modified to be stacked if you wanted to.

There’s also a lot of other items in those price ranges. Great stuff too. But I don’t want to confuse you.

I feel if you’re going for “out of the box” performance, the Metal Drifter falls short. The bearing needs a cleaning and the stock string sucks. For me, I’m not opposed to cleaning bearings and trashing the stock string, it doesn’t bother me in the least. This gives the edge to the YYF offerings. But, if you’re willing to put the work in, then there’s no advantage, just make sure that bearing is completely clean, which may take multiple cleanings.

If it was me, wow… hard decision. I have all three. I’d probably go PGM just for more options, C-sized bearing, good grinding surface, and plastic hides most little nicks and dings. Then the stackless grind machine. I don’t feel adventurous enough to go metal for 5A, even if it’s a Metal Drifter.

I hope I’ve further confused you. Just kidding.


Thanks a lot. This was really helpful. I think I’ll first buy the pgm, and then maybe the stackless

(Waylon) #4

Pgm is an excellent choice. I just got two new ones. Versions one and two.