How to tune a yo-yo with a set screw axle

Most metal yo-yos use a set screw axle. So how do you tune a yo-yo with a set screw axle? In this guide I’ll try to explain how to tune a yo-yo with a set screw axle. As a side note I’m going to go into mind numbing detail about all things. I just feel it would be best to answer all questions before they are asked.

Materials needed:

  • A yo-yo that vibes and has a set screw axle

  • A set of hex keys/pliers

  • Teflon tape / Loctite

The first thing you need to do is remove the axle of your yo-yo and find the side that has the hole for the hex key. If the hole for the hex key is facing out away from the yo-yo all you have to do is put the hex key in there and turn counter-clockwise, pretty simple. If the axle doesn’t have the hole for the hex key facing out; or if the axle doesn’t have a hex key (a metal zero) wrap the axle with a paper towel and use a pair of pliers.

Now wrap the end of the axle (the one that doesn’t have the hole for the hex key) with Teflon tape around five times. I say around because sometime you need more sometime less. Also it’s best to wrap the axle the opposite way it is threaded so the tape isn’t pulled off in the next step. The idea is to make the axle a very tight fit in the yo-yo. Alternately, you can put a drop or two of Loctite on the axle.

Now, screw the axle into the yo-yo by hand until it is finger tight. The axle won’t thread very far into the yo-yo since you wrapped it in Teflon tape or put Loctite on it. If you went the Loctite route, which I prefer, let the yo-yo sit as-is for about twelve hours.

Turn the axle a full turn. Put the yo-yo together. Throw it and touch your finger to it to remove any vibe caused by your throw. Is it smoother? If not then try turning the axle some more and testing it. Give it a half turn. Is it smoother now? If not, then try backing it out a quarter turn. How about now? Maybe go a quarter turn back in. Always test to see if the yo-yo is smoother after each turn of the axle. What you are doing is changing the alignment of the two halves relative to each other. Keep working with quarter turns until it gets smoother. Then try one eighth turns to find that butter zone that gives you a smooth yo-yo.


How do i take the axle out, and what do you mean by " the hole facing out and away from the yoyo"?

You can use a hex key or the jam nut method to remove the axle. A set screw has two different ends. One end tapers in slightly. The other end has a hole for a hex key that looks like this:


You want to have the hole for the hex key facing out from the yo-yo half you are screwing it into.

Can you post a pic of what you mean by the hole facing out of the yoyo half.

You see how this axle is threaded into the yo-yo? The tapered part is facing out. For tuning purposes this is not how you want to thread your axle in.

Now look at this second picture. The end that isn’t threaded into the yo-yo half has the hole for the hex key. This is how you want to thread the axle into the yo-yo half.

Simply put you wrap the tapered end with teflon tape (or put a drop of locktite on it). Then you thread that end into on half of the yo-yo. That puts you to the step on paragraph four.

Ok, I understand now, but why is it that when I bought my DV888 it came out of the box like the first pic?

Sometimes they come like that. There really isn’t much of a reason for it and it really doesn’t matter unless you are tuning it.

so your just taking the axle out putting loctite on the axle then putting it back in?

That is the first step. Then you have to tune the axle.

I’m bumping this cause it has to be so good :stuck_out_tongue:

i know this is old, but it deserves to be stickied, plus does anybody know what is wrong with north stars? mine is mint except for i satined it. it has ridiculous wobble to the point its almost unplayable. tuning seems to reduce it to a large vibe, but its still really disappointing.

I know this is old, but I recently saw this article and tuned a couple of my yoyos.  Worked out pretty well.  I blogged about it here:

… there are a few pictures that might help out.

All in all, it worked out pretty well! :slight_smile:

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super old thread i know and please dont whip or beat me for bumping it! any chance that you might be able to post the photos again from some that might not fully understand? i am going to work on tuning my rally to see if i can snake out that little tiny bit of vibe im getting.

thanks for taking the time long ago to post this and offer it to those of us that like to tinker!

I tuned my rally.
In my case, I had to pop out the nuts that secured the axe and bearing. Then all you do is insert your Allen wrench into the axle and adjust. There seems to be something holding the axle already, as I didn’t find the need to use loctite or Teflon tape. Try it out, it’s a considerably easier yoyo to tune.

What do your am you removed the “nuts” holding in the axle? Are you talking the black hub with the one drop logo on it that the axle threads into?

I know it’s an old post, but it helped me out and I feel someone else may benefit from a bump . Thank you mrcnja