How to get great recesses with a drill

I know there is a video on how to recess a zero but this is a much safer and accurate way to do it.
what you will need- a few small clamps (the cheap c clamps work great), drill, sharpened screwdriver, yoyo, extra nuts and bolts, block of wood, sili/pads.


Here is a picture of the whole setup-

Now obviously the yoyo would be flipped around to do a recess but i didn’t feel like taking the caps off. The way to clamp it is to get the caps off, put one of the extra bolts through the inside of the yoyo and screw it through one of the extra nuts. Make sure the nut lines up in the slot where it normally goes. Put the bolt as far into the drill as you can and tighten it, then turn the yoyo half so it tightens itself. You will need to run the drill in REVERSE and cut on the RIGHT SIDE of the axle if you have it set up like the picture, if you don’t the yoyo will loosen when you cut it.
The drill is clamped to the table and the block of wood is the same height as the center of the yoyo and is also clamped to the table (the ruler under it is just a shim to get it to the correct height).

I would recommend a corded drill that spins both ways and has a trigger lock so you dont have to hold the trigger down

Get a bag or two of extra nuts and bolts for duncan yoyos at the hardware store (just bring your fhz along, see what nut fits and get them plus the same type of bolt) it will only cost a couple dollars but you can clamp down on an extra axle without worrying about the threads rather than using the axle the yoyo came with.

Now about the tools, they are fairly simple to make with sand paper but having a grinder is a big plus. I have found that the best screwdrivers to use are the small jewlers screwdrivers that have the little nut on the end. They are cheap and hold a good edge for a decent amount of time. Use flathead screwdrivers that are roughly the same width as the recess you want to make for sili recesses. If you are doing a pad recess use the same screwdriver as the sili recess but just make a bigger recess.

I like to flatten one side of the screwdriver and then make the bevel (the angled part) on the opposite side. The bevel angle really isnt critical so just experiment until you get a nice cut.

Here is a picture of the tools I have made to do recesses-

I use the one in the middle 99% of the time and the one on the left to even out the bottom of pad recesses because its nice and wide.
I do have one other tool that I sharpened on the side to allow me to make the walls nice and smooth and I will put pictures up of it soon.

To do the actual recess rest the tool on the block of wood and SLOWLY start to cut the plastic. The first cut is critical because that is when you set the space between the bearing and the recess (just look at a metal yoyo with a recess to see how big it should be). After the first cut its fairly easy, just take your time and take LIGHT cuts. I would recommend cutting for a few seconds then take the tool out for a moment to clear any chips or shavings, then continue cutting like that until you reach the desired depth.

Here are the results you can get with a little patience and practice-

If you have any questions post them or PM me and I will try to answer them as best I can.




Nice guide… sticky!

hey, good review, just one question, on average, how long does it take to recess one side?

With a drill maybe 25 to 30 seconds. Depending on how good you are.

oh, when i did it, it took me 20 minutes. eeek

also, i have that same exact drill

i took my time on the recess pictured because it was the first one i did for someone else, and it was a transitional fhz. it took a few min for each side

hey, would it be possible to silicon recesses a mosquito, fh2, and flying panda?


warning the mosquitos walls are very thin so be careful how deep you go

would using this method work on cutting the rim of the yoyo?
Like flattening the rim?

Yes, you could cut the rims down using this method.

As mrcnja said, it will work, but in my experience there is almost always some wobble when you use the bolt through the center of the yoyo (like I have set up in the pic) so it probably will not come out even

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you have to remember it’s Icthus

[quote=“yoyo jake,post:10,topic:14022”]
Yes, but you can look through the translucent plastic to see how far you are.

Bt the way. This should be added to List of useful modification and maintenance guides not stickied.

any ideas for useful items to measure how deep the recess should be/ to get the right amt. of mm’s?

Recess it to about 2mm deep, and 1.5mm away from the bearing seat, and 2mm wide.

Could you do it to a metal yoyo (drifter)?

I’m no expert, but I don’t believe this particular method will work on the drifter due to it being metal and I’ve been told that the walls are too thin on the drifter but no one has confirmed that. Check out my metal drifter mods thread; it might answer more questions about the drifter.

The Drifter has been recessed before, but can’t be done on a drill.

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