YoYoJam has quite a few yoyos in the range of very affordable.
If we’re talking just starting out and cost is a major factor, the YYF ONE is an ideal start. At $10, order the package with 2 bearings and you’re ready to start and move to advanced, but I would recommend the YYF Multi-Tool since the bearing will be difficult to remove.
Back to YYJ, there’s many choices un the under-$30, and in some cases under $20 price range. While I don’t “need” many of these because I am using “better” stuff, I still want them anyways.
The YYJ Prelude is under $15 and comes with the slim bearing. You can upgrade to the full sized bearing buy purchasing one later, but I would recommend at the beginning so you’re ready to move up when you’re ready. The regular C-sized YYJ bearing is $6.99, while the Speed bearing is $7.99 but you can go with any C-sized bearing, including YYE, YYF and even Terrapin X. The Lyn Fury and Kickside are popular starter models as is the Speed Maker and the Journey. Read the product descriptions and see which one sounds like the best match. Another option might be the new Pinnacle, which while intended for 5A play, can easily be used as a 1A yoyo by not using the counter weight.
Stepping up a bit, there’s the Legacy II and the Chaser. The Legacy II is essentially a Dark Magic II in an all plastic design and comes with a slim and regular C bearing. Since it’s all plastic, the price(just under $24 currently) is nearly half of that of the Dark Magic II. The Chaser is a brand new model at this point, and while the price is fantastic at $27, but is unresponsive, which unless you know how to bind or are ready for that, it’s not an ideal purchase just yet.
Stepping up a bit, a lot of options come out. The two that stand out to me is the Dark Magic II, which is what I personally use and recommend, even as a beginner. If you’re into a different shape, the Speeder II is also loads of fun, but at a slightly higher cost. Both of these ship with a slim bearing pre-installed, but also include a YYJ Speed bearing for your advancement into unresponsive yoyos and play. If you’re willing to still spend more, the XCon Pro is another option that also includes two bearings like the DM2 and Speeder 2. As we’re talking prices from around $41 to $56, see what you like and what you want to spend.
One of my kids just got a Legacy II for Christmas from a sister in law. It’s solid, it’s got a nice feel. I’d have to say, I’d have no problems recommending this yoyo over a DM2, especially if budget is tight.
Know yourself and be realistic. Also keep in mind I’ve only been recommending string trick yoyos. If you want a looping trick yoyo, I recommend if you’re being cheap, go with Shinwoo Loop at $10. If you want to spend more, then the Yomega Raider, then then YYJ Unleashed and the YYF Loop900 are the yoyos I’d recommend in order of least to most expensive.
Now, since you’re serious about diving in, the following recommendations:
Since you’re buying a new yoyo, you’re already paying for shipping. It’s time to add accessories without adding to the shipping costs:
If you’re beginning, you may want both YYJ Thick and Thin Lube. If you’re into looping, you may also want both to control how thick the lube is. If you’re string trick only and can bind, forget thick lube entirely.
You need bulk strings. 100 works best. Slick6 or 100% polyester. Pick a pretty color you dig and go for it! Neon Green tends to work best if you’re videoing yourself is all I’m going to say, but white 100% poly is $2 less.
Buy some replacement responses, at least 1 set. Chances are what comes in your yoyo will last you 3-6 months anyways, but be ready.
The YYF Multi-tool is great. While the string cutter is probably the most handy tool for you, the bearing puller is good to have and you never know when that hex tool is going to be handy for you.
My thoughts are to keep you throwing with minimal down time. Nothing kills momentum like something silly like running out of strings.