Speed cube pops are described as when you are turning a cube and a piece or pieces, "pop" out.
Many new cubers panic when their cube pops and immediately assume that it is damaged or defective when in reality, it is extremely rare for a piece to break during normal use.
Fixing & Avoiding "Pops"
- Tensions are set too loose and/or unevenly
- Lack of lubrication
- Rough, inaccurate turning
- Low-quality puzzles are more prone to popping
- Set your tensions as tight and evenly as possible while still allowing for reasonable corner-cutting.
- Note: Reasonable corner-cutting on a 3x3 would be about 45 degrees. Big cubes (4x4+) typically are expected to corner-cut about 1 piece when tensioned properly.
- Not sure how to setup your own cubes? We recommend our pro setup service add-on or you can shop for Premium speed cubes that are already setup for you!
- Properly lubricate your cube and keep it lubricated with a proper speed cube lubricant.
- Slow down your turning and work on being smooth and accurate. The less you rely on your cube's corner-cutting, the less strain is placed on the mechanism.
- Avoid cheap cubes. Cheap cubes are made of lower-quality plastics which are more prone to breaking. Additionally, the technology that goes into lower-end cubes is far less than a mid-high range cube.
Big cubes (4x4+)
It is important to keep in mind that big cubes such as a 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, or 7x7 have a lot more complex mechanism than a 3x3, for example.
Take extra care when speedsolving a big cube. While modern big cubes, do have improved mechanisms and anti-popping measures, inaccurate turning that causes the mechanism too much strain or flex will likely result in a "pop".
Are you sure my cube isn't broken?
More than likely, it isn't broken. Again, it is very rare that we see modern speed cubes break during normal use. 99% of the time, we see cubes break when they are dropped.
The easiest way to identify a broken piece is to look for stress marks or signs of breakage.
If you aren't sure, feel free to send a picture to our customer support and we will take a look!