Looking for new yoyo - intermediate skill, <$30


tl/dr: intermediate player seeking a quiet yoyo, butterfly shape, weight over 60 grams, switchable between responsive and unresponsive, hoping to spend less than $30 (and not a Velocity)

I was into yoyoing back in middle school (late 90s), and since then I’ve picked up an old yoyo every year or two for a few weeks, mostly to do looping tricks. I am currently a grad student and decided to buy a new Velocity to use in my spare time this summer, and I’ve very much enjoyed it. My main issue with the Velocity is that the adjustable side pieces seem to shift out of place at times, so it will unexpectedly become unresponsive and I will have to push on the outside of the adjusting ring to click it back in to place. It is also very loud, so my girlfriend complains about it a lot.

-Do you know how to bind the yoyo? (If you don’t know what bind means then you don’t know how)

I’m still new to binding, but I am getting the hang of it pretty quickly

-Do you have a yoyo that you own or played with that you have liked very much? Describe every detail. Eg. what kind of friction stickers you are using, cleaned bearing or not, and so on.

I own a new YYF Velocity, purchased about a month ago. All original parts. I’ve used it pretty heavily in the time. Haven’t modified it except to replace the string. I should lubricate it to keep the noise down, but have not yet done so.

I also have a YYF One (Gacek edition). I use the regular bearing, not the CenterTrac. I did also (foolishly) oil the bearing (YYF thin) not long after I got it to try to keep the noise down on it. As a result, the yoyo became less responsive. I’ve been practicing binding with it.

Back in the day I had a variety of yomegas (brain, fireball, saber raider) and some others (Turbo Bumble Bee from when it was still Playmaxx, Proyo ProFire, Spintastics Tornado). My favorite of those was either the Turbo Bumble Bee or the ProFire, and I recently found and restrung the Turbo Bumble Bee. Still good for looping.

-Do you have a preferred shape of the yoyo? Answer it by saying like the shape similar to this or that yoyo. Some people just hopping into the yoyo groove haven’t tried all the shapes and want to explore. When this happens its all about experimenting. Please try new yoyos at contests or anywhere you can get ahold of someone for those of you in this situation. The more yos you try the less likely you are going to order something you don’t like. for those of you who live in a cave. then buy a yoyo and live with it.

I’m trying to do 1A, so I want to stick with a nice Butterfly shape. Again, I feel the Velocity has a shape that I love and feels great in my hand and I like it quite a bit more than the One. I also really like that the body is curved, rather than straight, between the rim and the center.

-Do you have a preferred weight or weight distribution? Answer it saying similar to this or that yoyo.

Again, I like the Velocity here (62.4 g). I think the weight is nice, but a little heavier would be good, and a bit more weight towards the rim would also be good. I find the One to be way too light (56.5 g), so I think the lowest I would go is 60 g.

-Do you have a price range?

Hoping to keep it under 30

-Do you have a certain amount of yoyos narrowed down? List them.

Interested in the Dark Magic II and the DV888, but was hoping to spend less than those require.

-Do you prefer a certain brand?

No just want quality

-Are you looking for a yoyo that specializes a style? Like looping, off string, freehand, etc.

string tricks. Debating 5A, but probably won’t use this yoyo for that

-Do you prefer a certain response syetem?

I’d prefer an adjustable response system where I could go from responsive to unresponsive, either through spacers and bearing replacements or something else. My issue with the Velocity is just that the response system adjusts without me touching it.

-Do you want hubsstacks or z stacks?

no preference

-What trick are you currently working on?

I’ve completed the intermediate trick list, but I’m working on perfecting some of the later tricks (Mach 5, Ripcord). I’m also working on my binding, but I have a pretty good feeling that I’m almost down with it. Might try some of the advanced part 1 tricks soon.

-Do you want a yoyo to Thumb grind or arm grind good?

no preference


Probably the best choices are YoYoJam:

Classic with upgrades(YoYoJam SPeed bearing and YoYoJam O-ring silicone response or you can use flowable silicone after you yank the black rubber response rings): Cost estimate: $20. Heck, add another Classic and keep one responsive and one unresponsive and still be under $30

Legacy II: Comes with slim bearing pre-installed, YYJ Speed bearing in the package. Under $25. This is essentially an all-plastic DM2. The DM2 does perform better.

Chaser: Different shape as the Legacy II: heavier, more aggressive shape. Moves fast, despite being heavy, and also plays light on the string. Like the Legacy II, it has a slim bearing pre-installed and a YYJ Speed Bearing included in the package. Price: Under $30

If you don’t care about responsive play, then more options open up, including the YoYoJam Surge, Adegle YoYo’s PSG and Asteroid, C3’s Alpha Crash and a few YYF’s like the DieNasty, Plastic Grind Machine(stacked and/or stackless, your choice, it’s still under budget). Note that as much as I really do like and enjoy the YYF ONE, WHIP and OneStar, they are just too light for now, so get the some other time. I’m also not recommending the YYJ Lyn Fury since it’s smaller and you’d need to silicone it or use YYJ silicone o-rings to really make it be unresponsive.

Stepping up to the $35 range are the Protostar and Northstar. The YoYoJam Trigger is under $30. All three are noisy, with the Trigger being the loudest, followed closely by the Protostar, then the Northstar. I’m only not recommending the Trigger because of the thin rims, so it might be something you get soon. The rims have had a reputation of cracking when hit on the edge, typically during a 5A drop, and sometimes destroying the yoyo.

BTW: All plastics will have some noise issues. It’s not avoidable, but some designs are quieter than others.

If quiet is an issue, metal is an ideal way to go, but it costs a bit more. You might want to step into the $50 arena. Some of the God Tricks stuff is really impressive. At $50, the Bounty Hunter is over-sized, fun, easy to throw, catch and land and isn’t that bad at grinds. A winner at above $50 is the DiBase or Dibase II. For butterfly shaped, the C3 Capless at $65 is a winner. For the money, you could also get a RecRev Sine//saw or the sOMEThING Firmy.

The dv888 is rather small, very rim-heavy but also plays heavy(despite not being all that heavy). It is a yoyo to strongly consider getting, but might not be ideal just yet.

If you don’t want to shop at YoYoExpert, might I suggest the $30 Magic YoYo N12 Shark or the T5. WOW, AND super friendly on your wallet!!


Get the Trigger by Yoyojam.

It’s under 30 bucks and plays awesome.

Also the Duncan Flipside is nice.

And the Shinwoo dolphin looks like a nice metal throw.


I’d go yyj Legacy… It has a slim bearing for responsive play and a speed bearing for unresponsive play… Sounds like a good option for you, it’s in the low $20s :slight_smile: and you know it’s a good choice cause it was designed by andre boulay :wink:


I can’t believe nobody has said Duncan raptor, well its unresponsive, so… But id go trigger, or if you can go $35, protostar. There both amazing for the price. If you want really cheap, you could go with a onestar. Its loud but, the best yoyo ever for the price, i got mine for $15! again, unresponsive.


All of these guys have recommended great throws, but for future reference, ANY type of lube will make the bearing more responsive, not less. The YYJ Classic fits your preferences for under $30, and can be made responsive by getting a regular bearing, and replacing the O Rings. The YYJ Chaser and Legacy II come with responsive and unresponsive bearings, and are quite heavy, which usually equates to good spin times. Yoyojam makes some pretty great throws under $30, so I would look at their lineup.


I keep forgetting I have a Duncan Raptor. It is a great yoyo. No frills, simple lines, great on performance.