Thread types! (Update Review on top page) Big updates


This question goes out to the string makers on the forums. I just bought about 4 new thread types that I am toying with for yoyo strings. And feeling the differences in each type lead me to wonder which one is the best. Then of course I realized it’s all opinion based, and varies with styles. Anyone tamper with a few of different thread types and find their favorite. For me I still feel like Coats and Clark all purpose, or Dual Duty (Depending on where you shop) is the bomb.

Update (Thought I would offer some review right here. )
So I recently bought a load of strings from Wawak,48647.msg474460.html#msg474460 (here’s the review I gave) and I said I was going to review the threads. Though it seemed more fitting to post it here. Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted on here. Anyhow here are my findings.

First off I got a type of thread called Gunold Embroidery thread. If you use Wawak it can be found by using the code THD2.

As far as thread itself you get 1100 yards of thread, which for me translates to about 22 strings(ish) and with it’s $2.00 price tag that give you a string that costs about 8 (almost) 9 cents per string. This thread it self comes off as a little bit thin. The reason I only get about 22 strings is that I need to make 16 passes instead of 12. If you really push to get the most strings and go for only 12 passes you’ll get closer to 29 strings.Thus making your strings about 7 cents each. I bring this up because the number of passes you have for a string makes a difference in how it plays. The differences are subtle and hard to explain, but are noticeable.

Personally I like the higher count threads so this thread works well for me. If you’ve ever used Coats and Clark embroidery thread, or Sulky Rayon then this stuff is fairly similar. Embroidery threads make for a string that plays similar to Alchemy Strings. As far this stuff individually I like it better than the other types of Embroidery poly since for me it holds the loop better in whips. I can’t say that it will do that for everybody, but it feels that way for me. It also felt like the loop was held better in suicide style tricks, and slacks weren’t bad though the control didn’t feel as smooth as I like for slacks. In particular it feels very light and fluffy. It’s not what I go for in slacks, but it certainly flows nice enough to pull off slacks.

(Coats and Clark)

(Sulky Rayon Spools)

As far as colors I thought the selection was okay, but it’s not the biggest out there (Coats and Clark is Bigger.) Though it does have a few neon colors, but be advised if you’re going strictly by name I think “Neon Green” looks like what most people would call neon Yellow, and “Neon Yellow” is just very Yellow, and “Florescent Green” gives you the best Neon Green color. You may want to verify color choices using the color chart (I used the Wawak catalog which only gave names) You can see the color chart just below the product when buying online.

I played this string on a small bearing throw,a modified FHZ, and loved how it felt. Though I think it would transition well into Bearing throws as well. The string it self did not bind on the yoyo until I did a bind.

Of course it is worth noting that nearly all embroidery thread make a sharp whipping sound when you do whip tricks. I personally like it, but I have had people offer feedback on strings saying that strings that do this are to fast, and that the speed makes it harder to do tricks. Gunold thread is no different though I feel the better sense of tension that I feel I get helps to compensate for this a little bit.

All in all I really recommend this string to any string makers with a little experience under their belt, and a love for speed when doing whips.
GUTERMANN MARA (30,70,100)
Next I would Like to Review a few different Gutermann threads. The types of Gutermann that I bought are Mara 30 Mara 70 and Mara 100 (I also have Skala 360, but that one is in an entirely different ball park altogether.) Upon initially looking at each of these types of thread I thought there would be little to no difference between them, but there is actually a significant difference for each type. From here on I to save from feeling to repetitive I will just call them 30,70, and 100.

(Mara 70 though they all look the same in pictures.)
First let’s cover a few stats for these strings. For 30 you get 328 yards of thread for $2.95 each. With the thickness I feel you only need to do about 5 passes which for me means I can make roughly 16 strings with each spool so each string comes out to about 18 cents. For Mara 70 you get 765 yards for $2.95 each. With the thickness I feel you need to do about 10 passes which for me means I can make roughly 24 strings for roughly 12 cents each. Finally for 100 you get 1094 yards of thread for $2.49. With the thickness of this type I feel that you need to do about 14-16 passes to make a string. I personally chose to do sixteen, but I’ve been told it feels a tiny bit thick. This translates to about 21 strings per spool and 12 cents a string. If your ordering with Wawak the order codes will make things much easier on these threads. GTDH is the code for 30 GTDP=70 and GTDA=100

The first thing you might notice is the making of each string is very different the thickness of each thread type is very unique, and for those of you who think that all strings are made with 12 passes you’d be wrong when it comes to this stuff. Trust me 30 and 70 are way to thick when you do 12 passes, and 100 is way to thin.

Each type of thread feels very different, but they all had a feel which I really like. Though each one is unique if I had to categorize how these feel I would put them along side Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP.

(Dual Duty XP)

This is fairly exciting for me since I have generally estimated that Dual Duty costs about 25-30 cents per string.

If you’ve never tried any of these types of strings then you are genuinely missing out. They pack a whip and tension that can not be found in plain Polyester. This is not to say that you can’t do the same tricks, and all the same goodies with a factory made poly string, but the feel I got from these thread types was very refreshing.

It’s also important to note the life on these strings is very long when you use Mara(any type). I’ve spun each for a fair chunk of time, and the string still looks, and plays amazing. I’ll post a little more about how long it takes to really use a string to it’s fullest when I know more.

As far as the differences go for these thread types it worth noting that while each one whips handles slack and holds well for suicide tricks each handles a little differently compared to other Mara strings. 30 generally handles slacks it kept great fluid control, and offered the kind of density that I look for in slack strings. Where as 70 packs slightly more whipping punch than 30 it’s golden attribute was the way the string didn’t compress as much. This allows for super easy tension allowing for great suicide play. Though it feels slightly lighter than 30 so I felt this made it a pinch less of a slack player. Finally 100 packs something of a swish when whipping where as 70 a whooshing effect. In plain English 70 is a tiny bit slower than 100 which means in my opinion 100 is the better whipper.

I actually want to bring up that 100 may be more of a laceration string. It’s light weight makes it easy to manipulate, so you can go from 0 to 60 in no time at all. The problem this presents in whips is that the loop it self looses shape a little easier than 70 so I think 70 may be a better whipper 100 is the best for lacerations. (I was thinking about this last night after my last post.)

Though again I would like to point out EACH string can handle whips slacks and Suicides pretty well. I just felt that each is slightly unique.

So I really suggest Gutermann Mara threads as well. Any of these three is a great thread, and definitely worth their Wawak price.
(Edit 9/25/12)
So I only want to put in a little bit of input on a thread that I have really been enjoying called Thread Tex 40 Cotton/Polyester.

This has code OTD1 Personally I would use this link to get your color in mind. Just be careful not to confuse this with the coats and clark product. I did that myself. With this product I got 6,000 yards for $7.79. I find that a standard 12 pass string works well. This means that from the spool you get 156 strings, and the price per string is about 5 cents.

Personally the reason I’m so excited is that the string itself is a Poly coated Cotton thread that feels similar to the Dual Duty XP Polyester coated Polyester. The cotton poly blend is lighter on the whip, but it’s way stronger than your standard Poly. I’m just excited so know there is more to come.

Edit 10/4/12(Still talking about tex 40)

I suppose it is a good idea to bring up some of the negative though you should note that in my opinion these are fairly small.

First off it is important to point out that color is fairly limited. In particular it appears that most of this will be in the darker and less visible colors. In particular it looks like it has 9 different browns where as it has 2 yellows 2 dark greens no orange, and a faded nearly white pink. Based on sales experience this spells out limited color options that succeed with people who are picky about color. For visibility seekers “white” is a very good choice for this thread since since it’s a classic, and this particular white seems to reflect light exceptionally well. You may also consider light blue to Royal Blue Red, and Gold (one of the yellow options.) They provide a decent visibility, but it’s nothing compared to the neon options available in the earlier choices.

Further I should also mention that unlike Dual Duty XP all purpose thread this particular thread does wear down to the point it feels like basic polyester. It is gradual, but where as Dual Duty can last for weeks this string will most likely last 2 or three good sessions before you start to notice a difference. Results may vary, but the point is the string does wear down quicker, but this is to be expected. A five cent string is bound to have flaws that it’s thirty cent counterpart does not. (I estimated that value from Wawak’s price for 125 yard dual duty xp spools for $.99. In some cases the price may be even higher)

In all honesty I highly suggest getting some Thread Tex 40 Cotton/Polyester. It’s coating style is similar one of my favorite thread types of all time, but the price makes it much more fun to use. I personally feel a twinge when I use a Dual Duty XP string since it has a price tag of about 5 factory made strings. It’s not much, but it does wear on my mind a little bit. Tex 40 makes for an awesome practice thread. It’s 6000 yard cone makes it easy to experiment mixing in other thread types since you will seldom run out of a cone of thread.

Before I start really putting my thoughts together on some other products I think I’d better put up a few warnings about thread types that I found haven’t worked. I personally will try any thread type once, and I believe each thread type can be of some benefit, and my last purchase from wawak was an entirely blind experience. I basically bought as many thread types as I could so I could offer some in depth review. Here are a few that I think may have some use, but they are horrible threads for strings by themselves.
First off I bought some Gutemann Skala 360 or Gütermann Hemshire Blind Stitch Thread - Tex 8 5,468 yds if your using Wawak.

This stuff is interesting at best. It has the thickness of a single hair, and a decent toughness. It’s pretty good for accents since you can put a lot of threads in with little change in thickness, but when I tried to make a thread out just this stuff after 30 passes I had a string that was really thin by flea string standards. So it’s not bad, but it’s no good by itself.
I also have two thread cones with the same problem. I bought some Bonded Nylon twist thread, and some basting thread.

Basting Thread

Bonding Nylon

Both of these threads are way to stiff to be used strictly by themselves. I haven’t really found a good combo for these thread types yet, but just note that make your fingers go a little numb if you have tough hands, and they will slice your fingers if you don’t. They pack a decent amount of whipping power, but the stiffness doesn’t make a good looking loop so your likely gonna miss the yo-yo. I will be trying accents since I have a lot of product to work with, but I do not suggest this thread type at all. I’m not mad that I got these, but I knew I would have a couple of products that I would not be turning into strings.

Finally I was a little shocked at how I did not like this one. Maxi Lock stretch.

This string comes off the cone feeling like Nylon so I really thought I would like it. It even seperates easier than Nylon what could possibly make it bad. It bounces really really really bad. I mean enough bounce to make an unresponsive throw come zipping back up the string like it was a looper. Some threads with a bit of elasticity often settle into a nice stretched feel when made into a string. This stuff retains all of it’s elasticity to make for a string that is just to bouncy to enjoy. I’m thinking of mixing this stuff with other stings to see if that helps it, but this thread alone makes for an awful sting. (I hope you enjoyed the heads up)

Coming up I will be reviewing
This review is almost coming to an end
Poly Wrapped Tex 40 Poly Core Thread 6,000 yds (Poly on Steroids)
And Spun Poly Thread (Brand Name says it all, but I never used this brand before. How will it compare)

Take Care Spike your Hair.


SRYUSLY! Nobody makes string? Okay to add to this what if I also said post what you want string to do, and I will offer my Buddy Jim Brain to be dissected for knowledge. I’ll recommend thread types to you based on playing style as well.


You might have a better response posting in the Mods and Maintenance section - that’s where all the kool kids who actually do stuff like to hang out…

I’ve made my own strings, but never really explored it much. I know I can make a playable string - but until I’m stuck on a desert island, I’ll leave the string making to others.


Aw but why stop at functionality. Yes I can use strings that function.

But where’s the love the expression, the THE THEFUN

Part of the joy in making string is getting exactly what you want how you want it. You want WHIPPY WOWY Zowey in RED BLACK AND AQUAMARINE. YOU GOT IT. You want the colors seperated er not or WHATEVER!!!
There’s also an element of saving money from not needing to fund shipping and slight profit from people who make string like myself.

OH, and I think you may be onto something with the MOVING. Meh I made a mistake


Skip the first 3 paragraphs to get right to the thread type breakdowns.

Hey sorry I didn’t respond sooner, this thread must have slipped through the cracks on me. I’ve recently jumped back into the yo-yo world about 9 months ago after a 13 year hiatus. Needless to say I was overwhelmed by not only the advancements of yo-yo design/play styles, but nearly equally by that of string design/types. Now being new once again to the scene, and being blown away by the amount of information available, I did what I see most newcomers do and scour the various forums/blogs for the “best” yo-yo and string available. After quite a bit of research I decided on a DM 2 and a 100 count 100%poly.

Fast forward a month and I’m just blowing through the trick list here on YYE, and starting to encounter more and more tricks involving slacks or whips. Those being my first real speed bump in my progression of unresponsive 1A play. So once again I hit the forums for more information on different string types and the effects they have on play, mainly those that cater more towards whip and slack style play. During which I stumbled upon a thread of yours Buddy Jim on how to make your own string. Being someone who loves to tinker, I jumped at the idea. Read more on string making and thread types for doing so then hit my local Joanne Fabrics. Snagged a few spools of different serger thread, a bit of wooly nylon, and a small spool of GITD thread(for the inner child in me), and so began string making journey.

Fast forward 8 more months to present, I’ve now amassed I’d say close to 20 different spools of thread, mostly polyester variations, and feel I still barely scratched the surface of what’s available. Here’s my breakdown on how I feel each different type plays(or doesn’t if that’s the case). This is also going off of my memory since I’m at work and not with my string, some information may be off I’ll verify later tonight when I get home.

I have to agree with you Buddy, the coats and clarks dual duty seems to match the best for me for overall use. It handles slacks/whips averagely, has decent longevity regarding tension and fraying issues, and binds nice and tight. Similar playing thread types I own include Gutterman and Maxilock serger threads, I find these two to be a bit worse with whips/slacks and fray quicker then the Coats and clarks.

The wooly nylon I have makes great string for whipping/slacks, almost to “whippy”, but is way to slippy to bind comfortably for me. Adding a few threads of this to any of the above makes them all quicker for whips and also fixes the binding issues of the nylon alone. But because of the different thread types mixed I find they can be prone to tension issues.

I also have a few different brands of 40 wt. Trilobal poly thread. This stuff is very similar to the wooly nylon in play, but with a stiffer feel and no bounce. They also are a bit slippy for binding but are workable compared to the nylon. They also work nicely when mixed into the Coats and Clarks, Gutterman, or Maxilock poly’s, similar to the nylon in this aspect as well.

The most recent thread type I’ve tried is called Polyarn, which is a texturized poly serger thread. This thread is more gimmicky then anything else. Though completely playable these things have insane amounts of bounce. I’m talking you get a good 4-5 inches of stretch per 1 foot segment of twisted string. Not so bad when you have the weight of the yo-yo keeping it taught but awkward for slacks and whips.

This is only some of the thread I’ve amassed in the past month, and I know I have more types that I can’t recall the brand of type of thread clearly enough to review at this time. I will update later once home.

So Buddy Jim, I guess my major question for you is have you found a thread type that plays a bit faster then the Coats and Clarks in terms of whips/slacks, but doesn’t have the slippy binding issues or tension problems that I find multiple thread types twisted together have?


Wow, I couldn’t have said it better myself. But, are you taking about dual duty xp? I have the xp type and it is very whippy and somewhat rough. Or are you talking about Coats and Clark all purpose? In every visit to Joann’s I have never seen straight “Dual Duty”.

Oh, and my favorite is Bulky Nylon. It is a bit slippy, but I can work with it.


Wow! Where I live I’ve struggled to find different types of thread, it’s really been limited to “spun polyester” or “cotton” - maybe that’s why I’ve never been motivated to explore string making, not much material for me to work with.


Well Im in the process of hopefully buying some thread to make my own string. Probably gonna twist it on a pencil until I get tired then stick a fish hook(tip removed) on a drill and use that. Where can I buy this thread? I have really very little knowledge on string making so any fingers pointing to tutorias or something is also welcome

(WildCat23) #9

I found overlock to work well for me


Yea I believe the dual duty is a poly core thread with twisted poly fibers around it, and the all purpose is just your standard poly serger thread. I find they play very similar the Dual Duty just happens to whip a bit better imo as well as not fray as bad as the all purpose through extended use.

I also haven’t played much with my spool of bulky nylon since I first started twisting. My skills have definitely improved, I’m sure I can work out some of the slippy bind issues I originally had with it.


As far as tutorials go check out the links that jhb8426 posted in this thread, has a few great tuts.;wap2

To start I would just head to your local fabric store and grab a few spools of 100% poly serger thread, Coats and Clark, Maxilock, Gutterman are a few common brands of this type of thread. Generally this stuff will run you about $3-4 for a 2700ish yard spool. That will yield you around 30 strings twisted. Just ask someone that works there and they will gladly point you in the right direction. You can also tell them your application and they may be able to suggest some other thread types that would also work for ya. Trust me the amount of threads available is quite overwhelming take all the advice you can get.


Awesome Breakdown if I do say so myself. Two trains of thought here first off in my experience the slippy nature of Trilobal and Wooly comes not just from the thread, but also the tension. Though Wooly is a slippy beast with Trilobal if you leave it looser (not to loose) you may obtain the desired result, and even make for better suicide play along with the whippy goodness. Another thread to consider is Viscose, but a word of warning add about 2-4 extra thread to you usual string. It comes a little thinner that Trilobal Polly. Also note I am currently in the tinkering phase, and I will update on some of the new finding that I get.


You know my only complaint with wooly is where I use a step of seperating the threads before I twist I find Bulky nylon bunches on itself, and trilobal can be a little bit of a problem as well as I think it’s Tri Lock from Joannes does give a little bit of trouble to.

Personally I use a fishing reel to twist with paper clips as the connecting part Simply loop your string through the clips or tie the string to the clips then hook the clips to the bell VIOLA inexpensive tool use. Also the clips make a great anchor as well.


I went home last night a played around with my trilobal threads with a bit less tension then usual and you were spot on with that one, almost all but fixed the slippy binds (very low speed binding can still be a bit tricky) and man is this stuff fast. I knew it was from previous attempts with it but having the issues with the slippy binds, I didn’t get to thoroughly enjoy it.

I’ll def have to try that Viscose thread you mentioned as well, man getting new thread to play with is almost as, if not as exciting as getting a new throw.

Happy Twisting :slight_smile:


GREETINGS string twister friends. I may found a new favorite in Embroidery thread. “Signauture” brand embroidery thread is one of the most interesting types I have used. It’s not quite as snappy as the coats and clark embroidery poly (Trilobal) but it does make stronger binds. Plus it’s a wee bit softer.
Edit I finally found a picture

(It’s the blue spools for sure possibly one of two of the green ones as well.)


One of my favorite types of string is a 50/50 % combination of bulky nylon and Coats dual duty (or XP) It’s a good all around string that lasts a long time and stays soft when worn.

A combo of bulky nylon and standard cheap polyester also makes a killer string better for slacks but not as good for whips.

I also like straight polyester embroidery string for fast play and easy whips.


^^^ Not bad, but I still find that dividing Nylon is not fun

Speaking of slack. Are there any really big slack fans. If you get some Guttermann silk thread. It allows you to control the string crazy good. It’s not bad at whips, but it’s a little heavy per coil. If you like slacks you gotta try it.


Hey anybody ever use guttermann Polyester “Extra strong” You don’t need to use more than 6 threads at most. I’m still working this, but I think it’s a little crazy.


Hey guys
I had one of my neighbors give me a huge spool of poly string that is 5 treads already spun.( he used it to tie up his tomatoes) I made a bunch of string with it. It plays very well. I used one of the thick stuff and two poly heavy duty. It looks even better because the two blue threads twist around the white differently then the normal thread types.
I also have been messing around with metallic thread. This stuff is friken awesome!


Ive enjoyed a few metalic threads. The whips are great, but just don’t go trying to make a hiroyuki suzuki style combo. You cut your fingers off. Still very good though.