Help! Adjusting response of wooden axle

I’m getting into fixed axle and want to play like Ed and Drew. I have an Eh and a No Jive but their responses are completely different. The Eh is almost unresponsive. I throw a breakaway and it barely comes back. The No Jive is great, but if I give it any slack it comes right back.

How can I make the Eh just a little more response and the No Jive a little less?

First thing you can try is different strings. I find the type-10 thick cotton sold here to be almost a requirement for larger gapped fixies. If you aren’t using on the Eh I would recommend picking some up. The regular type-8 cotton sold here are pretty thin and could help reduce the responsiveness of your No-Jive.

Another thing you can do for the Eh is add response pads. I have had good results with worn out Duncan friction stickers and new Duncan silicone stickers.

Finally, you can try adjusting the gap. To make the No-Jive less responsive just shim the axle. A lot of people use small O-rings for this. For more response on the Eh remove the wooden axle sleeve and shorten it a tiny amount by sanding with a fine grit sandpaper. Remember to go slow and test. It’s a lot easier to sand a little at a time than it is to stretch a wood axle ;).

Oh, yeah. Don’t forget string tension makes a lot of difference.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a few more questions.

What type of string is sold here? I bought the 25 pack of cotton (white), but it does not say if it is type-10 or type-8. I think it is type-10 because it looks the same as the one that came with the Eh. Any idea where can I find type-8 (or 10)?

I just saw on Ed’s blog that he used friction stickers and manually scratched off all of the tacky material. Is the tacky material on the inside (will contact the string) or is that what is used to stick it to the yoyo body? Do you know what size silicone sticker to use? Will these leave a sticky mess on the yoyo if I remove them?

I thought about sanding the axle sleeve, but worried about messing it up. The friction sticker is at least removable. I see that TMBR sells axle kits, and more exotic ones one their own website. I’m guessing that since I have the Ed x SPYY x TMBR x YoYoExpert version that one of these axles would be a good replacement. Do you know what the Axle tool is (TMBR website)?

Thanks for the help.

P.S. I think my sidewinder is my most consistent trick.

My Eh was the same way, and so was Ed’s for that matter. I followed the advice yooldman presented… took out the wooden axle sleeve and sanded it just a HAIR shorter. Worked like a charm! As yooldman says, go SLOW! I didn’t go as slow as I should have, and lucked into the right amount of material removed… if I had sanded just a few seconds longer, I would have made it too responsive.

Note about the TMBR sleeves: mine seemed “stuck/glued” to the actual metal axle. But this was an illusion. It just took a little bit more pressure than I originally anticipated, and it came loose.

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Just found out that YoYoExpert only sells the type-10 cotton string in the 100 count packs. Otherwise, the string is type-8.


Let’s see what questions are left. The material you scratch off of the friction stickers is on the side that contacts your string. If you have a Duncan that uses friction stickers you can just wear them out on your Duncan yoyo and then move them to your Eh. This is what I do. I haven’t had any trouble with them leaving residue. I use the standard friction stickers or the 12mm silicone available here.

The Eh uses the regular TMBR axle so the axle kit would work good for experimentation. I don’t think you should need the axle puller. I just hold the wooden sleeve firmly and twist while pulling. I haven’t had any trouble removing my axles.


I don’t know a lot about it, maybe that is the root of my problem…
Tuning a wood axle yo-yo is a bit of a black art, and it can be effected by humidity, planet alignments, blood-alcohol levels. Anyways, I have been throwing fixed axle since the late 80’s and I’d like to play like Ed and Drew too… I think I gotta get my yo-yo tuned right, break out the Dennis McBride VHS tapes, and maybe practice non-stop another 25 years.

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