What features make a good Kendama?

What features and specs make a good Kendama? I’m thinking of making one.


I’m barely an intermediate skill level at Kendama, but I have owed many. My favorite is a Sweets. I forget the model name, but it was literally the most expensive one on the site a couple years ago (70-80$). It doesn’t seem like they would change much between models, but I found this one was different in the ways listed below and the improvement in play was very very noticeable. I’m sure there are some spec standards that are not to be exceeded for competition purposes though, such as relative cup size and Tama hole size etc.

-Ken Cups that aren’t too shallow and just slightly deeper than Tama radius

-Flared out Tama hole that helps guide the spike in

-Horizontal lines on the Tama that help orient the eye

-Balanced weight on the Ken when gripped in the proper location

-A bearing (like premium counterweights) at the Tama tie on point is better than a bead to prevent string tangles/tension

-Tacky finish (my sweets Tama has some sort of finish that uses the oils on the hand to make it more and more tacky over time)

Good luck and happy Kendama!


Big bevel and white paint around it for tracking, big cups, balance bevel (a hole in the base cup for lunars), and a dope wood.

I think I’m out of my depth here. Lol


It’s not as complicated as you think.

Do you have a kendama? I would say just try to replicate one first, see how it comes out, and make adjustments from there. Like yoyos, I imagine hand turning a kendama successfully takes a lot of practice and refining of technique.