Metal vs Plastic

I am very much still a beginner and am considering a new purchase in the 50 to 80 dollar range. I have been reading a lot of the posts and find the information very helpful. My question is this, apart from personal preference what are the pros or cons of metal vs plastic.

Plastic is extremely durable.
Metal tends to be a little heavier, with better weight distribution, for better play, but it depends on the yoyo.

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Metals = Good Performance

Plastics = Good Value

Delrin = Performance aimed closer to Metals, and usually priced similarly.

Hybrid = Good Performance at a lower price.

For the most part, metals will outplay plastics of the same size. There are exceptions but the advantage that the plastics mostly offer is a low price. I also find plastics a lot more fun to throw, but I’m not sure why and it might just be personal to me.

Delrin/Celcon (Polyoxymethylene) is a more dense plastic that is able to be machined to finer tolerances and so generally play on a level closer to metals and with less vibe than an injection moulded plastic.

Hybrid yoyos (eg. Rally, Protostar) tend to perform closer to metal standard due to the fact that they are indeed part metal and can get more precise weight at the rims than can usually be done with plastic.

Looking at a $50-$80 range, I can’t bring to mind any non-delrin plastics that are that expensive. If you wished, for that price you could a decent metal and a decent plastic.

Personally, in that price range I can vouch for the Onedrop Rally (Hybrid) and the yoyofactory CZM84VK (Metal) as both being fantastic throw for their price. Really it’s a matter of finding one that you like the look of and taking it from there. =)


Metal has great look to it but it can get beat up or scratched while plastic is extremely durable.I prefer metal rimmed plastic and metal but plastic is good because you do not have to worry.I learned on a dark magic and I think it is a great yoyo for beginners to expert players.

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Keep in mind that if you’re not used to unresponsive throws this will probly become your daily carry and get beaten up a good amount so I’d at least go with something that already has a good amount of damage off the BST for a first metal so you won’t feel as bad destroying it.

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If the yoyo is made well and it works with my preferences, I honestly don’t care what it’s made of. I do have problems with fixed axle wood yoyos, but that’s a “lack of skills” issue.

With metal, due to the nature of the material, you can better decide where to focus the weight. If you want a metal to have more rim weight, it won’t be as bulky as it would with a plastic. Plastics will often try to compensate for some of this by adding metal weight rings. Great examples of this are the Protostar, Northstar and Rally. Other examples that are better examples of bulking up the material to make weight and put weight more or less where it’s wanted is the RecRev TA-1(metal) and TA-1S(delrin). The RecRev f(x) is supposed to be a delrin Freq.Wav, but could be a “@” as well. Not quite “Clean” examples are most YoYoJam metal/plastics, which use the different materials to focus weight where it’s wanted.

Metals can be finished in many different ways, such as blasting, tumbled, satining or other surface treatments to enable grinding. Plastics can often be treated this way as well. The One Drop Rally is a plastic yoyo that they ran through the CNC machine just to give the surface some texture for grinding. In general, most plastics tend to be rather smooth. Smooth isn’t good for grinding. Smooth means more surface contact, which means more friction. Delrin tends to be a bit slippery, so its often not surface treated, but sometimes it is.

When it comes to decoration, metal wins for the most part. Delrin tends to be a solid color. Plastics are usually solids, but there’s been some interesting combinations. With some of the amazing anodizers out there, aluminum has proven to be a very good canvas. Combined with ink, paint and laser etching, the imagination is truly the only limiting factor.

As far as damage is concerned, delrin seems to take the most abuse before it becomes noticeable. Plastic tends to be rather good too, mostly showing scuffs, but can also nick and crack. Depending on the yoyo, some plastics have some fatal flaws. With delrin being used for off-strings, and knowing how many drops those yoyos will take, delrin is pretty rugged. Unless something breaks, you can general just keep on going. Metals unfortunately show the damage the easiest. All the major materials will take tons of abuse before actually failing, and actual failure is rather rare, but not unheard of. Actual failure usually comes from blatant abuse. Some yoyos, mainly plastics, are the ones with a “fatal flaw”. Older YYJ’s with their older axle system tend to crack around the axle. This has been resolved with the solid spin axle. Not to pick on YYJ some more, but the Trigger’s thin rims coupled with the weight ring, has a reputation of self-destruction on a bad 5A drop. YYF has had some plastics that just didn’t hold up well, like the older Northstars, but I think a change of plastic fixed that problem once and for all.

When it comes to price, plastics tend to be the most affordable. Metal/plastic yoyos tend to be a step up in price. Delrin often has metal-type costs because it tends to be difficult to machine., so that keeps the prices closer to metal. Metal tends to have some of the widest price ranges, but in general tends to be the most expensive. With some quality metal yoyos can be had for under $12, and we’ve seen how far they can go in price. Don’t be fooled by the low prices either. There’s been a lot of amazing metals that have been at extremely low prices, such as the super inexpensive Magic YoYo T5. Similarly, depending on your preferences and needs, things in the $10-20 range for plastics have also proven to be amazing, which included but are not limited to the Classic, Speedaholic, PSG, Alpha Crash and even the WHIP, OneStar and Lyn Fury. There’s also many premium metals at reasonable rates. The bigger problem is really making choices and figuring out your preferences and not destroying your bank account! Then again, figuring stuff out is part of the fun.

A great yoyo doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. I think the Classic, Speedaholic and the Rally proved that with plastics. Magic YoYo and God Tricks both seemed to set the bar high on low-cost metals with great performance. RecRev has consistently kept mind-blowing performance a top feature while keeping their prices extremely low compared to their performance. Don’t feel you need to break the bank to get a great yoyo. If you want something, do some research and see if the opportunity exists to play it before you buy. Bad choices, such as buying a yoyo that just doesn’t mesh well with you, can be an expensive mistake. Nobody wants that to happen to you, themselves or anyone else.

What do I prefer? I do admit I prefer metals. I like how it feels and I like how it performs. However, a well made plastic is great too. Design is more critical than material in my opinion. If the yoyo is well made, that’s really the key factor. I have stuff up and down the price range from $4 to $350, and it includes full plastics, wood, metal/plastic, delrin and celcon, 6061 aluminum, 7075 aluminum, titanium and even multiple metals. I can have as much fun and enjoyment with an upgraded Classic as I can with a One Drop, CLYW or an Anglam.