I have had a mixed relationship with most Chinese yo-yo companies. From sheer ambivalence to outright irritation over some of their obvious predatory pricing (Magic-Yo); and the dearth of new “Made in China” yo-yo’s that are coming from every established manufacturer; I have found that most are good values for the price. But many are not really good yo-yo’s; just good values.
Yo Yofficer, however, is unlike most Chinese yoyo companies. Yo Yofficer makes great yo-yo’s that just happen to cost half of what most domestic manufacturers would charge. Models like the Hatchet attest to their ability to design and produce yo-yo’s that stand out on their own. Their models do not compromise on manufacturing quality or the details like the response and the anodizing. In all respects, I find Yo Yofficer is as good or better than their peers in the quality of their product.
The Hatchet is one of their newest models, but as has been noted; it is destined to be a flagship model for Yo Yofficer. The Hatchet is touted as a Brave with a few design changes. To my eyes, however, the Hatchet is a completely new model. The only resemblance to the Brave can be found in the inner-catch area where the raised inner rim adds more weight to the outer edge. Unlike the slower, floatier Brave, the Hatchet is deliberate and speedy.
Many have compared the Hatchet to the CLYW Avalanche. While there may be a slight resemblance on the front, the raised inner wall is unlike the smooth catch-zone of the Avalanche. This is reinforced in comparative play. The Hatchet plays nothing like the Avalanche. Instead, its play reminds me more of the VSNYC Skywalker; who’s inner rims are raised much like the Hatchet’s. Like the venerable Skywalker, the Hatchet is both stable as well as incredibly forgiving. Indeed, most throws, whether sloppy or not; will result in a smooth, straight response from the Hatchet. It is almost difficult to throw it anything but straight.
Once in flight, the Hatchet is nimble, and fast. It can be thrown leisurely; or you can whip super-fast seasick’s just like Marcus Koh. With the Hatchet it is your choice. The design of the yoyo does not dictate any style of play. It is whatever you make it. One feature will stand out, however you decide to play it: stability. This yo-yo has stability that rivals the new CLYW BvM2; as well as a lighter, more nimble feel when in motion. It never seems to hit a string and continues to spin strongly far longer than I would have expected for a 6061 throw of this size and weight.
Aesthetically, the Hatchet is anodized in any number of mouth-watering color combinations. I can favorably compare their anodizing to any other company out there making production runs. I have both acid-washed and splashed and both are great looking. The bearing in one is concave and flat in another. If you get a Hatchet with a flat-bearing I would recommend trying a concave bearing if you have one. That is just my preference; nothing more.
The Hatchet is an amazing yoyo that is great for any style of 1A, 3A or 5A. The maneuverability, stability and overall enjoyment factor of this yoyo is hard to overstate. I really just love playing this yoyo. It is relaxing and wonderfully forgiving. It almost seems to know where to go on its own. In a bag full of YYR, YoyoMonster, CLYW, OneDrop and Sturm Panzers and… the Hatchet gets more than its share of play. It can stand its own among the most hyped and most expensive throws in my bag. When you take into account that its price is hallf to one fifth of the others, you begin to realize the incredible product that Yo Yofficer is bringing to the community. Not only is this a great value, it is a fabulous yoyo that everyone should have in their bag.
At the $70 $60 price point; get two