Thoughts on "Made in China"

A picture comparison of finishes from different countries would be an interesting thread.
Especially since some of us don’t get to see a lot of throws in the wild.

Let me take an example:

  • yoyofficer hatchet 2 is about $60 and made in China
    Then lets change the production to Japan or maybeUS.
    After that we change the price to $100 for an exactly the same quality of yoyo which is made in China. Would you still buy it, as long as its not made in China?

There has to be a healthy balance. There would have to be enough produced to not have a constant want like the yeti, but not too many that their high end stuff isn’t selling.

Chinese CLYW? Gross. Consider me out.

1 Like

They make things in China?

-Rico Norris

Yup they do

just take regular edition and premium splash yyf. d be obvious enough

1 Like

I disagree that there isn’t a difference in quality. In order to have a metal yoyo with a retail price of $40 means that something somewhere was sacrificed. Magic doesn’t exist yet so some corner or corners were cut. Could be cheap/exploited labor. Could be cheaper materials. Could be what level of tolerance is being held. Could be other things. Just be aware you aren’t getting something for nothing. Does this result in yoyos that play different? Generally not and that’s the sentiment I’m seeing in this thread. All that means is that the basic design and manufacturing principles have become standard. But that doesn’t mean the quality is the same. Performance is not the only quality metric. Ease of maintenance, feel of finish, how long they last, how smooth they are, etc.

On the topic of tolerances, the higher the tolerance, the higher manufacturing costs are because there is more labor and better equipment needed to achieve those tolerances. If you can find a way to lower the tolerance requirement, then you can save costs. But there is always a sacrifice. To make a modern high end yoyo that is considered smooth by current standards requires holding 2 ten thousandths of an inch on the bearing post diameter and other places. This is aero-space/NASA level. It’s very expensive, difficult and timely to do this. The bearing post diameter is one of the critical dimensions on a yoyo. If it’s too small then the yoyo vibes. If it’s too tight then the player can’t get the bearing off. What is happening in Chinese yoyo manufacturing is that they are not holding the tight tolerances required for the bearing post to be correct but rather biasing the margin of error on the side of the bearing being tight because the yoyo will ship smooth. There is a reason that companies who make high end yoyos in China also sell bearing removal tools. The hidden downside to this besides needing this tool to service your bearing is that ultimately when you force the bearing off of a tight post you are also damaging the post and eventually this leads to the yoyo being vibey.

Some other differences:
*At companies like One Drop and CLYW you can talk to the actual person who makes your yoyo and measures and cares for every half
*Before China was making high end yoyos, it was the small companies who were figuring out the designs and manufacturing methods that China now uses. So it’s not just “patriotic” to support these companies, but it’s more than that. You are supporting those that are responsible for the current state of things.

I think what’s missing from this discussion is that the high-end yoyo market is not the same as the electronics or other huge markets. It’s really small and still has small manufacturers and comparing it to those mass markets where you don’t still have a choice is not accurate. Currently you still have that choice but when you purchase you are essentially voting and perhaps someday that choice won’t exist anymore in this market.

It’s up to you to create the market you want. It really depends if you find these differences to be valuable or not. I’m interested to see what happens and it is my hope that our amazing customers continue to support what we do. Thank you to those that understand what we put into our work and give us love.


THANK YOU. I think that is the first yoyo manufacturer to actually come out and say straight up that the Chinese cut corners to hit certain price points.

It is not something I look forward to seeing more of.


Thanks for the insight Dave!

I never really thought about the bearing seat issue and the fact that it can wear down!

Yea I guess thats why YYF has so many bearing issues

only a select few manufacturers from China, yoyoempire for one, has demonstrated the ability to make smooth yoyos without overly tight bearing seats. However, smaller manufacturers seem to be actively seeking to step up their games to gain an upper hand in the arms race accompanying the bimetal outburst. I have seen many newer yoyo brands claim that their manufacturer is ‘on par with yyempire/c3’ which should show they’r at least trying.
However, due to the heavy yyr influence they put very little weight on surface finish quality until today. Most people there still seem to think that anodizing fading on 7075 is forgivable as if they v just been teleported from 2007. An obvious sign is that even yyf had to take raw products back into the US for their splash colorways.

Made in China isn’t necessarily bad. I have USA made throws and China made throws. I prefer to support the local (national) economy, but, if there is a product that appeals to me, I will buy it.

I trust Ben and YYF are honorable in the Chinese factories they use, that the workers are paid a fair wage, that the factory isn’t destroying the environment.

Companies exist to make money. One Drop and CLYW charge their prices because that is what they need to charge to keep the lights on and pay their employees a fair wage. YYF does the same.

I like the YYF, OD, and Spin Dynamics throws I own.

Not just Chinese - but anyone trying to get the price down. There are some immutable costs and it’s just basic math.

I’m also not pointing fingers and saying one thing is better than the other. I’m just pointing out that there is a difference and it’s up to the consumer to decide what’s important.

1 Like

I like the idea of supporting local inhouse operations when I can. Most of life we are basically forced to support outsourcing. In hobbies, collectibles, art, etc. I prefer not to if I can help it. Just a preference.

I collect musical instruments for example. Fender used to be great. Now, meh, their product line is muddied with cheaper alternatives so they can generate more revenue. If I’m looking at adding a piece to my guitar collection, any new Fender is out of question - they no longer have the same mystique.

Quality is a moot point. Country of origin is only sort of a determining factor for me. Giving any of my money to an economy or political agenda that I don’t agree with is kind of a bummer. CLYW will lose some mystique for me. They will seem more like any other business.

Some people make decisions that are solely business motivated, others make decisions just because the decision falls in line with what they love. A musician who writes a song to become famous is less endearing than a musician who writes a song because they love writing songs.

I guess, I like it when a company has blurred the line between business decision and love/internal need decision. Onedrop, good people, do it on their own, offer cheaper alternatives all while hitting that mark for me.

Meh, overall, I don’t care. They will lose some mystique for me but of course they will still make good yoyos. It will solidify my fanboyism for Onedrop even more. Whatev.

Everybody has too eat.

Putting food on Paul Dang’s table, that’s what!

I’m not exactly sure what Paul’s heritage is, but could he be considered Chinese labour? If so, I wholeheartedly support it. ;D


Man, had to read that post again. Da5id for president.

1 Like

many great points made, but this is a big one for me, and a great analogy. The YYF 888 used to be a VERY VERY cool/elusive throw; now there are tons. There is nothing like an 07 888.

Lots of good discussion in this thread.

No-one exists in a vacuum. We outsourced production of certain models as a direct response to a USA based manufacturer trying to get the price down following a manufacturer/retail model and leveraging this to a low cost/price position in the market. Our local vendors just couldn’t compete on price.

At the time, it did not reduce our USA production as it continued to run at capacity. It recent years we lost a vendor, who chose to compete with us instead of work with us and have continued to produce at the capacity of our single USA vendor. To this day we continue to produce yo-yos in America using a vendor we have worked with for over a decade. Lately it hasn’t been as busy. We are down to 4 or 5 USA models a year. I think this still makes us one of the largest MADE IN THE USA yoyo manufacturers in the business which makes it odd when we are called out point blank (or thinly veiled) for not supporting USA manufacturing.

is something I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse. I spent this morning at the machine shop kicking out a new prototype with parts are dropping off machines around me from other models in production.


It sounds like CLYW want to offer that choice too. They trust their consumers are smart enough to know what they want. Is Canada still considered a free country? God Bless the Queen.

Speaking of which, our latest USA made model DOGMA was released recently on YoYoExpert. Buy 4 and God Bless the star spangled banner!