TMBR woodthread axle feedback?

I have been looking for reviews on the woodthread axle yo-yos and haven’t been able to find much. I have a bunch of fixed axle and responsive bearing throws, but of course I am always looking for something smoooth, and adjustable. Is the response easy to dial in on the TMBR woodthread axle models? Is it a good design? Will it make me look cooler??
Any feedback or links to reviews from you guys that throw fixed axle would be much appreciated, thanks.


tmbr’s are amazing and the threaded axle system is excellent. The craftsmanship is top notch, they are small batch made by hand so quality control is A+. The Carlson CS is may favorite wood fixed axle. They’re about as heirloom as you. Can get in a wooden yo-yo for $50ish

*(haven’t tried Spinworthy or CavemanGo)


My yoyos don’t apply here because I believe that @kevinm in only looking for something adjustable. Spinworthys need no adjustment.



TMBR is my favorite! Hard to go back to picking knots once you get used being able to unscrew your fixies.


That’s one of the reasons for the holes in my Button model. Helps with this a lot.


Yes :+1:

As far as tuning they are interchangeable axles. Stock they come with 416 (1/2") Walnut. There is also a bigger 516 (5/16") diameter axle for more response. Then they come in different woods for other play characteristics Maple and Bubinga.


They are brilliant. My favorite fixed axle system. You’re not too far away. Swing by sometime and try out a bunch of em! :slight_smile:


You can adjust where the center piece sits inside the halves, but the gap is set inside this center piece, and therefore the actual gap and response is not adjustable. You can get different response out of the same yoyo, by switching out to various woods, or the 516, as @Exmime pointed out.

I have a 2016 EH, and a Twenty EhTeen or whatever it’s called. The 2016 comes apart no matter what I do, including all the instructions I received and followed, and with several different axles. The 2018 hasn’t ever come apart, and I’ve never taken it apart.

The 2016 must be an exception, as I have seen other complaints, but not many.

I would have thought I’d prefer something I could tinker with, but I’ve come to like glued-together best, and to just play different yoys to get different play.


It is a very good system, but imo nothing beats the smoothness of a finely tuned glued wood fixie. Though I think that if you already have a bunch of fixies, then buying a TMBR and finding out for yourself if you like it is the best bet. With all of the variabilities of wood, the slight increase in vibe is basically negligible, and all of the TMBRs I have are excellent players, so ill vouch for it. Im going to mess with axle combos today for the first time, so my experience modding them is limited.


I don’t think they are qualitatively better (i.e. smoother or more consistent) than a perfectly matched/set/glued fixed axle. The issue is that yo-yo’s like that are pretty ephemeral - they don’t always stay perfect for long. The reason Tom Kuhn initially pursued the No Jive design was his experience in glued yo-yo’s breaking, changing, or wearing out.

TMBR’s system takes it a step further because he’s made lots of different axle variations (material, width, diameter, etc) which all yield a slightly different play experience without sacrificing much in the way of play/smoothness. I’ve been playing them and testing them since he first beta-tested them, and there IS a learning curve associated with tightening them to make sure they stay together properly, but I’ve never owned one (out of 30+) which came apart consistently when tightened effectively.

Personally, I just think they are cool as all get out and emblematic of Colin’s attitude toward craftsmanship. Being the first all-wood, modular, take apart yo-yo system is itself a pretty cool achievement, and for me they also perform as well or better than anything else I’ve thrown.


Good point on the longevity. I havent had any of my fixies nearly as long as you have, and I have already noticed that seasons can slightly affect play. I was just messing with my TMBRs and some new axles, and the transition is surprisingly smooth. Dial in the outside hub vs one side, screw in the other yoyo half, screw in the outer hub, and hand tighten the yoyo snug. Done. You don’t even need to change the outer hubs to change the axle, which is really cool. I am surprised at how seamless the axle swaps were for me.


Maybe I’m dense, or extremely unlucky then…

I even tried this, and really cranked them tight:

I like to carry my yoyos in my pocket. That can mean a lot of changes in temp and humidity. That could be “a part” :smile: of the problem.


@edhaponik - how do you burnish your TMBR axles? I find them to be pretty grabby and unpredictable at first. Not having a lot of experience with the Walnut, I am reluctant to do the old school trick of rubbing a little beeswax on the string loop. Been just running through string at a high rate (wanting to avoid sending one flying when the string inevitably breaks).


No wax for me. I just break em in. I start by using a spent cotton string and pulling it through the gap a few times (slowly - not to scorch em). Then I throw some hard(ish) sleepers and use some trapezes to further grind down any tiny burs hiding. Basically I take about 20m or so when I want to break in an axle from scratch.


It’s a really fine system for sure. My favourite part about It is that it’s all wood.

I got myself tooled up to produce my own, but I stopped R&D for a couple of reasons:

The first is that Colin requested that I didn’t pursue a wood thread axle system. He is quite proud of his achievement and would rather that was left as his system only. I respected that, and stopped developing my own.

A problem I have with it is that it’s a system that locks your designs into a particular aesthetic. In all TMBR woodthread models, there will always be a 3/4" bore right through the body with caps. This also limits the possibility of certain designs. Designs like the KNack or Bloodcell just arent really possible with his system. Its what prompted me to develop my metal threaded axle system which still allowed deep pull start cups, which was successful but time consuming. I was pursuing a woodthread system where the axle didn’t go right through the body, but that presents some problems.

My yoyos will remain glued in for now and I have my aesthetics honed as well as the reliability. With a hardwood 8mm diameter axle, you aren’t likely to have a yoyo wear out on you for years.


Thank you all for the good feedback.
Took the plunge, really like it. This arrived today, really pretty throw, it has that new yo-yo smell, I really like it a bunch.


That shape really brings out the grain in the oak. So nice.