For new speedcubers, the idea of choosing a stickerless Rubik’s cube over a stickered cube may seem like a simple aesthetic choice, but it is far more complex than that.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to think about when buying a Rubik’s cube. Sometimes stickerless cubes offer more benefits to speedcubers than stickered ones do. In this article, we will be looking at why that is.
When it comes down to keeping a cube clean, it is much easier if you have a stickerless cube. With a stickerless cube, you can simply take apart the cube, soak it, and put it back together.
This is not so easy with stickered cubes. If you try to soak your stickered cubes, you will notice the stickers start to peel off of the cube, leaving a sticky residue.
This residue is easy enough to clean off. The real difficulty lies in having to replace the stickers. These stickers have an average price of about $4.99. After buying 2 sets of replacement stickers, it becomes cheaper to buy a new cube (maybe a stickerless one).
After years of use, traditional Rubik’s cubes start to wear. One of the most common signs of wear and tear is the state of the stickers.
The only way to truly combat this aging is by constantly replacing the stickers. If you are going to spend money on replacing stickers constantly, then you should just buy a stickerless cube.
A stickerless cube will never show obvious signs of wear and tear. In fact, the stickerless design looks rather sexy. Don’t you think?
This is where the stickerless Rubik’s cube used to fall short. You used to be disallowed to use a stickerless Rubik’s cube in any official event or competition.
With stickerless cubes, every single piece is entirely colored. This means that solvers using a stickerless Rubik’s cube may be at a very slight advantage.
Stickerless cubes allow you to see the color of a piece from many more angles than were traditionally possible. Because of this, stickerless Rubik’s cubes were previously deemed unfit for competition.
Since then, they have been allowed in competitive use.
What is the Best Stickerless Rubik’s Cube?
There are plenty of great stickerless cubes on the market. The two that really hit home with most cubers are the stickerless Dayan Zhanchi and Moyo Aolong.
Moyu Aolong V2 Stickerless 3×3 Speed Cube
Moyu has been in the speedcubing business for a long time. That being said, they sure know what they are doing.
The Moyu Aolong V2 is an improved version of the original Aolong. The new Moyu Aolong V2 offers new mechanics and design features to give the ideal cubing performance.
The new mechanics allow for faster movement and corner cutting from intense angles. All of this while hardly ever popping.
The cube tension is obviously adjustable. You can tighten or loosen the cube to your liking. With the perfect tension setup, this cube will never lock up.
Lucky you! This cube comes tensioned out of the box. Another reason this is one of the best speedcubes for beginners.
Dayan ZhanChi 3x3x3 6-Color Stickerless Speed Cube
The Dayan Zhanchi is one of the most recommended cubes on the market. It is also my personal favorite. This cube excels in all areas.
The cube uses a torpedo design to hold itself together. This means that the cube will almost never pop. Even with loose tension.
With cut out inside corners, this cube has superb corner cutting. You can cut corners quickly without worrying about popping or even lockups.
Where other cubes would pop into a million pieces, the Dayan Zhanchi simply locks up. Sure, this can be irritating, but it is nothing compared to the difficulty of putting the cube back together.
How to Take Care of Your Stickerless Rubik’s Cube
There are some important things you should know before purchasing a stickerless Rubik’s cube to ensure it is always in tip top shape.
For starters, it is important to keep your cube tensioned properly. To tension the cube, you can take off the center cap of each center piece. This can be done with a flat prying tool or with your fingernail.
Underneath each of these caps is a small screw. This screw controls the tension applied to the corresponding face of the cube.
When tensioning, it is important to only make small turns on the screw. If you over tighten or over loosen, your cube will fall apart in your hands!
After the cube is tensioned, it is a good idea to lubricate it with some type of cube lube. Never use vaseline as lube, as it will degrade the plastic of the cube over time and cause it to fall apart.
Take apart your cube and lube the core along with the inside of all the pieces.
Our Favorite Speed Cube Lube
The cubes don’t really need to be lubed super often, so consider this a long term investment. After trying a lubed Rubik’s cube and comparing it with a Rubik’s cube that has not been lubed, you will be amazed at the difference it really makes.
Note: While we do think it is a good idea to have a properly lubed and tensioned Rubik’s cube, tensioning a speed cube and taking it apart to lube it can be extremely difficult for new cubers.
Do not attempt to tension or lube your first Rubik’s cube. You will likely make it worse than it already is. Many cubes come pre-tensioned nowadays, so avoid tensioning your first cube at all costs.