Need some help with my Duncan Metal drifter/zero! [NEWB]

Hey guys!

A few days ago I found my 6 year old nephews YOYO and fell in love. I played with it and played with it, and it eventually broke. It was one of those 2 dollar plastic ones, but after it broke, I was memorized with yoyos.

I went online to find the best yoyo possible for the best prize - I’m totally going to master this thing and do some amazing stuff - and I heard the best place was here at YoyoExpert.

I bought the Duncan Metal Zero (or it says Duncan Metal Drifter on the yoyo itself, so not sure), and my dreams have been shattered.

While trying to master the Trapeze trick, every time I try landing it on the string, it immediately wants to wind back up and hits my free finger in the process - and let me tell you, a metal yoyo hitting a finger at high speed… HURTS LIKE A B*TCH! I have managed to get it to land on the string without it retracting, but the moment I do, the yoyo gets stuck somehow and I get a tangled mess. I’ve only managed to do the Trapeze ( a few times successfully for a very small amount of time.

Now after intense Google research, I figured out that my Yoyo is too “responsive”, and to fix this problem, I need to lube it. I have done so, but it still responds way too easily when trying a trick like Trapeze. I’ve managed to get a sleeping time of: 40 seconds max, which sounds kinda sucky from what Ive heard other people get with this yoyo.

I throw it correctly, its been lubed, string is not tangled, its brand new out of package a few hours ago, and everything should be working. All I get from googling “make your yoyo less responsive” is recommendations for lube.

Can you guys help me out here? What am I doing wrong? Why is this yoyo so responsive? How do I  fix this? I really don’t have thee money to buy special lube and everything, I’m in a pickle here.

Hoping you experts can help a newcomer newb like me, would totally appreciate it!



Actually, lubing makes your yoyo more responsive. What you do is clean your bearing. There are a bunch of good tuts on it too. ;D

Also one thing to keep in mind.
Everytime I’ve used duncan pads I’ve had this problem. I find that only using one of the response pads (the black ring on the inside), should help quite a bit. Although you wouldn’t be able to gravity pull as easily if at all, so binding would be a pretty good skill to have here.
One more thing, what type of lube did you use?
Also you may want to look into a new bearing, as YYE suggests for making it more unresponsive.

#1 - Wait, lube makes it MORE responsive!? CRAP! How do I remove the lube without damaging the yoyo?

#2 - Sorry, I’m still new with terms, when people talk about PADS and STICKERS - I have no idea what they are talking about =/

Sorry! Still learning! Thanks for all of the help so far…


THIS is how to clean a bearing
THESE are different response types, including pads

No need to apologize :slight_smile: We are here to help

#1 - Lube can make it more responsive, depending on the what type is used. Do you know which type you used? In order to clean the bearing of all lube please refer to this guide.

#2 - The pads/stickers are the two black (should be black at least :P) stickers, one on each side of the yoyo.

See the black thing there? That’ll be what you’re looking for. Try removing just one of them, and try to keep it semi-nice in case you don’t like it and want to throw it back on.

And lastly, if none of this helps your responsiveness problem, you may have to try out a new bearing. I can suggest a YYE bearing found here in a size A.
Or any of the other bearings would be fine, as long as they are in size A

@BaileyT Thanks!

@djbcide You know what, I don’t have a the thing for the lube I used, my brother in law gave some to me and took it back, now he’s sleeping and I cant get to him to ask xD (So not sure what he used)

So those are stickers… okay, so, mind telling me what removing one will do, or both? since I don’t really want to screw up my first and only yoyo, it looks hard to peel and preserve those things xD But if its going to fix my problem, I’ll try and go for it, just want to confirm!

Ill check those bearings out if the other solutions don’t work - they don’t look any special to me through (course, I never knew yoyo’s were this complicated anyways!) - are they just replacement ones? or is it the size that might fix it?

Appreciate all of the help I’ve been getting here, I never thought I would get so much help so fast! xD


DO NOT remove both. That would make the yoyo have no response and it just wouldn’t work. (sorry for the lack of a scientific reply xD but its true) However removing one, as I’ve come to find with personal experience, will make it less responsive since the yoyo will only have half of a response.
The best thing to do if you’re just taking one out to test and see how it throws, is to take a small pin and slowly pry it up being careful not to rip it, and gently place it on a piece of plastic wrapping or something similar to that and lightly press it down to preserve it.

As far as the bearing is concerned, I can’t really state from experience, but I’ve heard that the duncan bearings are pretty responsive. It has to be an A sized bearing because that is the size your yoyo takes. There’s pretty much three main sizes A, B and C respectively. A being the smallest of the group and C being the bigger. The YYE bearings are precleaned and are unresponsive right away. You won’t really notice a difference in looks since it’s pretty much all on the inside.
But there are a couple different choices for shapes (Konkave, CenterTrac) both of which are available here :slight_smile:

I removed one sticker, and WHOA, it certainly is much more unresponsive! However, as unresponsive as it is, it seems… to unresponsive, its become hard to use. It also seems to have affected the spin time/speed, it really sucks now. But on the other hand, I end up doing the trick much better now - so not sure what to do here. I don’t suppose cutting the stick in half and having one and a half sticker on the yoyo will help any? xD (Had to ask!)

Ill look into bearings more now…


I have a Drifter and found it far too responsive out of the package…my knuckles can tell me that too with the endless ‘trapeze bites’ I got. Here’s what I did:

First, I switched over to some poly string. Cotton breaks fast on me, lasts me about a week so I put it aside, saving it for my Imperials/2A stuff. Not sure what string to recommend though as mine’s homemade. It is 100% poly though, and this stuff is strong! Poly is less grippy than cotton, thus less bite on the response stickers.

I found the gap a wee bit narrow as it’s using the silver spacers. I borrowed the gold spacers from my Freehand 2 and is now unresponsive (until the string gets too much tension).

I did not clean my bearings or remove any pads. I’ve had it for about 3 weeks now and doing the above switches made it immediately unresponsive. So I’d try adding a thin shim to widen up your gap (but not too much), clean your bearing if you want (or break it in like I’ve been doing), and switch to a poly or cotton/poly mix.

You do not want it too unresponsive (as in no stickers at all) as the string needs something to grab when binding or even throwing. Without any bite, the yo-yo will just fall when you throw rather than unwind…found out when my pads wore out on my FH2…wore it down to the cloth.
Now, just work on binding. At first I wasn’t too crazy about it, was too lazy. I grew up with responsive yo-yos (yo-yo’d since 1996 with Imperials and Fireballs). It’s something you get used to. Hope this helps.

Ok first, stop cursing. Next cleaning the bearing will make it unresponsive and you will need a bind to bring it back.The reason its coming back is because your not giving the string enough slack so its starting to roll up, but dont give it so much slack itll come back. Land it into the string not onto when it hits bring your hands together so it will stay on and most likely wont snap back.I wouldnt recommend
taking the response out so you should put it back in.Taking the response out wont make it unresponsive, its gonna slip and your gonna end up dinging it. Then when it is unresponsive its going to be hard to bind.unresponsive and responsive depends on the bearing not the response it uses.

The reason ur yoyo is responsive is because u bought a responsive yoyo. If u want a unresponsive yoyo buy one. They have some for great deals but others are rip-offs and I have trouble with the trapeze too!

I’m going to be honest here and tell you that you don’t need to do anything to your Yo-Yo to make it land on the string without snapping back and hitting your finger :wink:

As soon as I took my Metal Drifter out of the package I was able to land a Trapeze easily without it rolling back up. So what’s my point? All I’m saying is that you just need practice. My Yo-Yos used to start winding up the second they hit the string. What did I do? I just kept practicing. Now after some time, I can land a trapeze with any Yo-Yo that’s willing to sleep.

On the other hand, I would like to point out that if your throwing a Sleeper and not a Breakaway, it’s going to be way harder to land the Yo-Yo on the string with out it winding back up. (Just trust me on that one. There’s physics involved)

Still, If you are throwing a Breakaway, then that leads right back to the whole “You need more practice” paragraph back there.

Don’t make the mistake of getting your Yo-Yo to unresponsive before you can land a Trapeze and bind. If you can’t get your Yo-Yo back up the string at all, your days of Yo-Yoing are gonna get much harder really quickly.

Anyway, I hope you don’t have to much more trouble trying to get Trapeze down. Don’t give up, and good luck! :slight_smile:

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I’m probably going to get flamed for this, but I don’t care. The Duncan Metal Drifter/Zero are some of the hardest yoyos to work with when starting out. Stock, they’re way too responsive, with one sticker off, its just a bit too unresponsive. Sorry to say, but you made the wrong choice. If you want a better (and cheaper) yoyo, try the YoYoFactory Velocity, or the YoYoJam Kickside. Kickside will come responsive out of the box, and as you learn binds, it will break in. Great yoyo for beginners, however, The Velocity is pretty much the best yoyo for beginners. it is adjustable, meaning you can choose whether you want it to be responsive or unresponsive by simply turning a dial. Once you get more advanced, it will handle any trick you throw at it. Don’t believe me?

Wow :-\ I really like the Drifter. I have no regrets on buying it.

(That being said, my favorite Yo-Yo is the Bassalope)

I’ve got to back up Ace on this one. We’re not talking about winning the nationals here, we’re talking about learning a trapeze. (Which means no binds yet).The Drifter is a fine yoyo for that, right out of the package. When you catch the yoyo on the string, the string has to be slack enough so that the yoyo has to “climb up hill” to get to your finger. Keep trying, you’ll get it. Everyone here means well, but sometimes they forget how it was to be new. You don’t have to mod your yoyo. Just practice with it.

Have Fun,

Hey guys, What size are the friction stickers on the drifter? And they’re silicone right?

12mm and the stock ones are not silicone, but duncan’s silicone stickers will work fine if not better.