What is Speed Cube Lube? The Best Speed Cube Lubes

What is Speed Cube Lube? The Best Speed Cube Lubes

Ari
5 minute read

Introduction

A common question we get asked all the time is "what is speed cube lube?" and "what does the term 'gummy' or 'fast' mean? We go over the common speed cube lubricant terms, the different types of lubricants, and which puzzles best suit each type.

Don't want to read? Check out the video on speed cube lube on our YouTube

What is Speed Cube Lubricant, and why would I want to use it?

Lubricants are commonly used in speed cubes and puzzles to achieve a couple of things

  1. Extending the lifespan of your speed cube by reducing friction where pieces contact each other internally
  2. Change the turn speed of a puzzle (to slow down or speed up)
  3. Change the feel of a puzzle (gummy, smooth)
  4. Reduce internal spring noise

A Brief History

When Rubik's brand 3x3s were at their height in popularity, cubers sought ways to make the turning experience smoother and more pleasant. Through trial and error, they came across now-dated lubricants such as WD-40 and Vaseline. These lubricants reduce friction within the puzzle where pieces contacted each other, creating a smoother, more desirable feel. However, these early lubricant solutions eventually degraded the plastic and would need to be cleaned out after a couple days of being inside a puzzle.

Speed Cube lubes nowadays are much more user-friendly, not requiring the user to clean the puzzle out after having it in a puzzle for a couple days. These lubricants are mostly comprised of silicone, with other ingredients added to both change their properties, although some lubricants such as stardust are water-based instead.

Application

Our Cosmic collection of cube lube comes in convenient 5ML, 10ML, and 15ML dropper-style bottles. To apply lubricant to a puzzle, simply screw the cap off the dropper bottle, and place a couple drops in contact points between the pieces. We recommend adding a small number of drops to start, as you can always add more lubricant but it is far more difficult to remove it, as this instead would require cleaning the puzzle out.

Application of lubricant from a dropper bottle on a 3x3

To lubricate the core, or sometimes called "the hardware", find the center screw (this is under the center cap on 3x3s), and unscrew the screw completely. Place a couple drops of lubricant onto the spring and screw, but be careful to not get lubricant onto the thread of the screw itself. Screw back in the screw - this is a perfect time to re-tension your puzzle if necessary. We recommend vortex to lubricate your puzzles' cores, thanks to its heaviness and speed factor.

Common Terms

  • Fast
    • Makes the turn speed of a puzzle faster
    • Our favorites include Lunar and Stardust
  • Slow
    • Makes the turn speed of a puzzle slower
  • Smooth
    • Most lubricants, usually add a layer of lubricant between the pieces that reduces friction and results in a smoother feel
    • Particularly effective on new puzzles, which can feel "sandy" out of the box
  • Control
    • Linked with "slow", generally used to describe lubricants that slightly slow down a puzzle to attain a more manageable speed. Useful for most puzzles nowadays, since most come out of the box with a very fast turn speed.
    • Our favorite control lubes include Nebula and Cosmos
  • Gummy
    • Is often referred to as "buttery" or "soft" turning feel
    • Our favorite gummy lubes include Galaxy and Nebula
  • Heavy
    • Thicker and usually smoother turning feel
    • Our favorite heavy lubes include Vortex and Nebula
  • Sandy/Dry
    • Turns feel like two pieces of paper rubbing against to each other (to an extent)
    • Lubricant is commonly used to remove the sandy/dry feel that some puzzles have out of the box

Lubricant Comparison

In our Cosmic lubricant collection, we feature the "stats" between each lubricant that we offer, so whether it be a fast lube to speed up your older puzzles or a gummy lube to give your speed cube more substance when turning, check out the statistics page here.

Helpful bundles

Can't decide which lubricants to get or what combinations work well? Want to try them all and save money? Check out some popular lubricant bundles!

Premium Pre-Lubed Puzzles

Not bothered to set up and lubricate your own puzzles? We also offer premium setup puzzles, with a variety of setups and a wide range of choices to fit any budget. We use the same cosmic lubricants to achieve an enjoyable feel when turning which also enhances the performance of each puzzle.

Read more about or premium puzzles here.

Conclusion

  • Speedcube lube
    • Extends the lifespan of your speed cube by reducing friction where pieces contact each other internally
    • Can change the turn speed of a puzzle (to slow down or speed up)
    • Can change the feel of a puzzle (gummy, smooth)
    • Can reduce internal spring noise
  • Terms such as "gummy", "fast", and "slow" can be used to describe different types of lubricants which are used for to achieve different speeds and feels
  • Save money on speed cube lube by buying in bundles
  • Utilize our premium pre-lubed and setup puzzles if you don't have enough time to set up a puzzle with lubricant yourself

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