I’ve been meaning to open a topic on this and Mr. Smiley of the Pants made me think of it again:
What makes a yo-yo quiet, and how? I have a few thoughts. First, material. The material the yo-yo is made of has a big effect:
- Plastic is more resonant and louder than Aluminum.
- Delrin is a little quieter (because it is denser, I think) but still has that plastic sound to it.
- Hybrid plastic with metal rings is almost always the loudest there is because that adds to the resonance of plastic – see Overthrow for an extreme example
- Titanium as a monometal isn’t loud per se but “sings” so it isn’t exactly quiet. Bimetal titanium does not sing nearly as much so if you want the quietest titanium, you want a bimetal.
- Very large aluminum yo-yos tend to ring a bit, e.g. Sasquatch 2018, Big Boi
Also the bearing has a big impact on noise in play, as you’d expect:
- If you like quiet, you definitely want a lightly lubed bearing and not a totally dry one.
- Certain bearing brands may be “smoother” and thus quieter than others
- But some bearings are inherently more noisy than others, even from the same batch and brand, there seems to be a fair bit of variance
I’d say if you want a quiet yo-yo… go for a normal sized monometal aluminum, and swap in the quietest lightly lubed bearing you have in your collection. And avoid plastics and hybrids at all costs