What differentiates one metal YoYo from another? 40$ vs 150$?

Hi! I’m fairly new here and have a question I didn’t find an answer to after a quick search.

I’m genuinely curious as to how a price of 150+ dollars for a YoYo is worth it, or even noticeable.
I understand that things like where the YoYo is made, multi layered anodizing and how big a production run is affect the price.

I have a few YoYos, all YYF because they were easily available and fairly priced. I can notice clear differences between plastic and metal mostly in spin time and balance. Differences between a plastic YoYo like the One and a Protostar are huge and comparing the Popstar, DV88 and CZM8 they also vary but I bet size is the culprit.

I don’t wanna come of as skeptical but having never tried a more expensive YoYo and I really don’t feel the need to either. Sure there are shapes that interest me and I would like to try a quality YoYo with hubstacks but other than that I don’t know…

Please share why you have spent or would be willing to spend a lot of money on a throw!


Wow, good question. I believe in what differentiates from those throws is ( I may not be correct): 1) quality of machining. 2) Design, it depends on how complex the design is and how much time it is spent on the lathe. 3) Colorways, usually the more intricate a color way the more it costs.

But all in all, not much.

There really isn’t much of a difference. You’re paying for uniqueness and a yoyo that fits your preferences more. Of course some stuff like titanium yoyos is more money because of the cost associated with machining it. Also when you get into bimetal yoyos you have increased cost due to machining as well.

YYFs are made in China. I dont think any yoyo produced, marketed and sold there has ever gone over $70, for example the Ares Star is originally only $60 and
this bimetal

is $65

But on the other hand YYF doesnt seem to want to cut their price on the genesis etc either.

  1. Where it’s machined. Japan yoyos are mostly expensive, Canada-USA-Europe varies, China-Hongkong-Taiwan yoyos are somewhat cheaper (this is generalization which is not absolutely true).
  2. How many it’s produced. Less produced usually means higher price (in case they are well received companies, not less produced because it’s a new brand).
  3. Machining difficulty and finish. Blasted and anodized finish with multiple colorways usually costs more.
  4. Hype.
  5. Material choice.
  6. Complexity, cost will be different each design but it won’t be massive, unless it’s some strange design.

If you simply want function, an $8 Chinese metal yoyo will be able to handle basically every tricks that can be done in $200 yoyos, as long as the spec is “normal” (the weight, diameter, bearing size, etc are not far from the majority).

Design? Like H, V, Organic, and all that rim, cup, catch zone, wall, and other terms. That’s the only thing for me, really. Of course the color, but I guess that more expensive yoyos are more specific to one type of need: Like grinding, competition, “float” and stable, etc.

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Especially #4. Clyw gets so much hype because not many are produced. Therefore they charge more, to match the hype.

but in reality they produce plenty but it’s just lots of small batches that add up into the hundreds if not thousands

Yeah but those small batches are what gets the hype up, and everyone doesn’t want to miss it, so they price it higher than other companies.

Cheaper yoyos tend to have more of a personality. It’s like the underdogs you see in the movies. They vibe like this, spin out after doing this trick, etc. Super expensive Japanese yoyos are like robots. Dead smooth, obeys every command to the twitch. Some people like quirky yoyos, other like performance machines. It’s all preference.

I disagree with this statement. I’ve thrown throws that are sub $70 that are smoother than several japanese throws I’ve owned

A lot of there stuff is made in the USA too.

Im generalizing. But I dare you to tell me that a Shutter with a SPEC bearing is smoother than a Draupnir.

Really there isnt much of a difference. The main reason expensive yoyos are more expensive is because the company has to offset the cost of making them. If the Draupnir could be made for $20, then there wouldn’t be any reason for it to be $200. The main reason it is, is to offset the costly machining process.

On the flipside the reason something like the Shutter or CZM8 is cheaper isn’t because it’s worse, but because YYF are able to outsource it to china for a fraction of the price, and therefore can afford to make it cheaper. If the Shutter was made in a local USA machine shop in small batches like a lot of companies can only afford to do, then it would probably be $100 or so. The cost of a yoyo isn’t determined by how good it is, but by how much it costs the company to make.

Onedrop is the best of both worlds really since they’re able to keep costs lower by machining in-house whilst keeping the quality control and precision very high. #nosuckupjustsaying

So really, are you missing out by not trying high end throws? No, not at all. The Draupnir is a work of art, but I put far more play time into my $30 Rally. Heck I bought a YYO Lava recently for $30 second hand, and it’s out-playing a decent amount of my high-end throws.

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Gambit is right. Cost of production is the most important factor(and pretty much the only factor) in determining the sale price.

I hate this thread.


From a play perspective, there’s almost no practical difference. You could spend thousands on a sleek, stylish ultramodern coffee table, or you could put a piece of plywood on some cinder blocks. Both will hold your coffee just fine.

With yoyos, the margin between gutter and glamor is very small, so a lot of us can choose to be connoisseurs. There aren’t a lot of other areas in life where I can afford to do that; I drink bottom-shelf wine, drive a vehicle with tons of miles, my TV is a cheap Chinese knockoff, but when it comes to yoyos, my pinkie is proudly in the air and I demand the best and most exclusive.


There is definitely a difference, but once you hit those budget metals, you hit diminishing returns very quickly. Is the OD Valor better than the YYF Shutter? IMO yes. But it’s not almost 3 times as good.

This is a good point, and also made me laugh out loud. Lift that pinkie!

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Any particular reason?

Because it’s always started by someone who doesn’t understand the business of yoyo manufacturing (which is great, they don’t understand and are asking a question), and commented on by a slew of other people who don’t understand it either.

The exact same “explanations” are thrown around, all of which are opinion masquerading as fact.

And then, if someone who actually understands the difference between a $40 and $150 metal yoyo comes in and tries to explain it, they are either argued with by people who have no idea what they are talking about or just ignored in favor of “Oh, it’s all hype.”

And then a few months go by and we repeat the entire process. I’ve been watching this play out, over and over and over again, for almost 20 years.

There is no amount of fact in this world that will ever convince someone of something that they would prefer not to hear.

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