Mamba Metals • Thumbell • Work It Out

I have to say I was super excited to see this design enter into the Knuckler Roller scene. Maker Ted Spence goes out of his way in the description on his Mamba Metals website of his Thumbell to give credit original creator of the Knuckle Roller by including this text: “The Thumbbell is an adaptation of the Aroundsquare Knucklebone (originally designed by Matt Hiebert).” Props for the props given there. That says a lot about a product when the maker can be humble enough to give that kind of attention to giving credit.

That being said, it is a fast moving market with the Knuckle Rollers right now. Ted’s original inspiration  was to offer a lightweight, all metal alternative to the existing Knucklebones from AroundSquare at the time. Ted decided to release the Thumbell in not 1 but 3 sizes…but did not beat AroundSquare to the market on offering different sizes. After talking to Ted for a little I got the feeling that he felt misunderstood by some members of the Knuckle Roller community even though he went out of his way to give proper credit where it was due. That being said I can attest to his character after talking to him on the phone. He is a genuine guy just making these because of his own personal interest and because he saw a way he could elaborate on an existing concept. The thing is just nice to look at….and to roll with. 

The product is great! IF you are on Facebook you can find a Mail Call video on our Spinreview page that captures my honest reaction when opening them. Really impressed right off the bat. The large size is the one I personally love the most, just because I find that is what I have been using the past few weeks. I enjoy the lines and speed of a larger Knuckle Roller. I have to say both the models with and without the cutouts are great. Now if you are really into pushing the envelope with tricks and such I would have to say going with the cut out models on the medium and large will really add some extra grip that might allow you pull off a trick that you would struggle to do with the non cut out model.

There are a few choices on finish you will need to make as well. All of the models offered at the moment are cast out of bronze in the lost-wax method (hence some pitting will occur as seen in the photos). You can get high polish with no patina, or a natural bronze or a dark patina. As his product description states: “Each Thumbbell is sealed with a thin polymer coating specifically formulated to protect the finish; however, as with all bronze alloys, the finishes will naturally change with use, time, and environmental conditions. Therefore patinas may wear away or new patinas may develop.” I personally like the Natural Bronze and the High Polish the best.

So how do they perform? As you can see in that Mail Call video I could not put them down. In fact I was using them extensively for a few days straight and came to love them all, every size and finish. The main thing that I noticed mainly in the Large size and slightly in the Medium size is that the cut out in the design that starts on the shaft and is tear drop shaped can have a slight hotspot to it. Nothing that a little sanding with some 150 grit paper didn’t take care of but enough for me to mention it to Ted in our conversation. He was grateful for the feedback and will likely address this in the mold for future batches. Do not let that discourage you, in fact some of you real EDC people might be into the fact that you could use it as a single channel cheese grater in a pickle. For reals….I would not let a small child play with a large one that has not had the hot spots sanded down, which is not a tough thing to do. After 5 mins mine is uber soft on those spots. I used the Large extensively and never suffered any injury, but you do notice the wear on your fingertips more than you would a fully smooth roller due to all the texture of the cutouts. Very similar to using a Banksia Pod roller, those have a ton of texture on them as well.

For a collector of Knuckle Rollers I would have to say these are a must check out item. Super cool and a great addition to a collection because they are as much a treat to look at as they are to use in my opinion. Throw on that killer Mamba Metals snake head logo and add a nice black felt pouch that comes with every Thumbell and you have yourself a winner here kids.

Head over to the Mamba Metals site and check these out…oh did I forget to mention that he also offers some very unique Beglari items too? Well maybe it is because I am way way way behind on the Beglari scene but I am trying to catch up .They tricky little devices those Beglari. 

Weight with cutouts

  • Small: 25 grams
  • Medium: 32 grams
  • Large: 42 grams

Weight without cutouts

  • Small: 28 grams
  • Medium: 36 grams
  • Large: 50 grams

Metalworn • Turbine IV • Original In Every Way

This is the fourth installment in the Turbine line from Johnny Doueihi at Metalworn and it is not one to be slept on. This spinner is not for those that like them small, it’s 68 mm by 45 mm and weighs around 145 grams. It’s solid. Made from Titanium and Zirconium in a style that on Metalworn can bring you.

The anodizing on these is remarkable. Each one is one of a kind essentially. No one is exactly the same due to the way that Johnny does hiw work. The main body is Zirconium and has some nice hand done detailing. If you look close on the pics there is texture lines that are put in there by hand. Really nice.  

That being said the Turbine is hefty…as most Turbines are. The design of the piece puts it into the category of Art in my opinion. There are few makers that can deliver such a raw element combined with crispy clean elements all in one properly balanced and performing masterpiece.

 

Now the Tritium slots….they are big ones. It can hold a total of 4 vials (3.. X 15mm) sized ones. That would make it nice and bright for sure. I have yet to see pics of one upgraded with Tritium vials but I am sure that it would be great especially due to the large size you can install.

Let me tell you one thing I know for sure…Metalworn buttons are the BOMB! Look at the detail. There are holes with varying diameters and depths, and then look at the texture on the flat surfaces. These are just sweet. In fact I feel like the buttons are ⅓-½  of the reason to buy one of these or any Metalworn spinner for that matter. Amazing detail in th buttons. Have you seen the Beacon buttons lately? Oh man! Next level texture and detailing.

 

Metalworn is unique in everything that they do. THey have been doing Zirconium for awhile, well before the recent Zirconium craze that the scene is seeing. They do things with Zirc that not many bother doing and it is simply wonderful to hold these Turbine Iv’s in your hand. They also spin like a dream….all that weight…and the shape gives it a killer feel in hand and good spin times to boot, I am getting around….  This is the first R188 bearing spinner offered from Metalworn and I am sure it will not be the last.

Fidgety Uk • Spinet Pro • The Full Package

 

The Spinet Pro is an all around solid performer especially for the price, well worth it. The Stainless Steel model is just $68, $75 for the Copper and the Gold plated is $82….yes I said Gold plated. The Gold model is coated Stainless Steel.

For those that are interested in doing tricks with a metal tri-spinner this is a great model to start with. This thing has ZERO hot spots. It is completely smooth and rounded everywhere. You won’t get clipped by any hot edges when working on your ariel grabs. The weight we got on the SS model is 73 grams, Copper 79 grams and the Gold coated SS weighed in at 73 grams also. Keep in mind these are done is a UBER high polish. If you want to keep it that polished it will take some commitment from the owner.

I also like this spinner for straight up in hand spinning. It has a nice feel. I like that they use a bearing retention system so that bearing removal is super easy. The bearing that come in the spinner work great. They are not the quietest bearings on the market but they work very well, I personally like them when they make a little sound, the ultra smooth no sound ones are too smooth for me sometimes.  I get about 2 min on an in hand spin with the bearings right out of the box, should increase once they get broken in.

The buttons are really nice. Not super heavy, and have a great shape. There is a nice ridge on the outer lip and a perfect amount of concavity to them for all purposes. I personally have a lot of spinners that I do not use the stock buttons with, these are not in that category because these are really perfect to me shape wise….exactly what I like. One button has the logo and one is plain. The buttons work well for tricks I think because they are seated well above the spinner body and the body is so sleek in shape.

If you are buying as a gift this comes very well packaged and with a logo carrying bag. What more can you ask for? As I said in the intro, good spinner for the money all the way around. I think it’s cool to be able to get a gold plated version, and to not have it break the bank.

You can purchase these direct from Fidgety UK or from www.coolestshop.com

 

Mountaintops EDC • Superconductor Star • Mountains Above the Rest

It was back on June 23rd 2017 that I originally purchased this spinner from Mountaintops EDC .  Full price. $525 plus paypal fees…”What the hell did I just do?” I was thinking. I know I supported  killer talented artist, Blake Sancoff, in supporting his art by making this purchase but I just was not at the pace yet spending that dollar amount on spinners at all. Over $150 was a high price tag for me at the time.

Well it’s Jan. 1th 2018 and if you are following the reviews I have been posting here on www.spinreview.com then you know that right now…a $525 spinner for me is not by any means common place but I am not freaking out when I open the plastic wrapping for the first time. That is on detail I did not capture in a photograph but Blake sends everything he makes in separate plastic packaging that is sealed with a machine. He is the only maker I have run into that does that. If you never open the plastic there is NO WAY your spinner should ever touch air that is not already trapped in the packaging with the spinner. Ice touch Blake.

So this spinner weighs in at 46 grams. Not really hefty. The original posting had the following technical information posted about it:

1.85″ Titanium Body

-Machined cuts

-matte finish

Superconductor inlay

-colored

-matte finish

Fully machined buttons with Bottle cap cut Zirc and and superconductor.

To see the original posting on the Mountaintops EDc site clink the link below:

http://www.mountaintopsedc.com/product/titanium-zirc-super-conductor-star

I get about a one minute spin time in hand…that is with the Superconductor button facing up and pinching the spinner in between both fingers. There is a nice rumble to the spin torque that it gives. Maybe due to the deep etching on the superconductor making it virtually impossible to render a perfectly balanced spinner. For how funky this thing is it spins really nice. That being said…it rumbles a bit like a Harley….if you try to spin on one finger tip there is a jutter to it…just how she spins.  

 

Here is the problem. I bought this spinner to sell it. It came with magnetic buttons. I do not often like magnetic buttons and since there was a minor flaw in them Blake agreed to convert them to threaded buttons. So..it has come back to me from Blake. I spin it today in order to report on it for the review. I am now torn. Not sure I really want to sell it. Put so much time an effort into it and it is just darn beautiful to me. The colors on the Zirc. The variation of the coloring from side to side. The superconductor button to complinet the inner body of superconductor. Damn you Blake! If I do sell it it would be posted for sale on the Vault page at coolestshop

On top of it all Blake has been dropping these new spinner sticks that have been leaving my jaw dropping the past few months on them too. Holy hell in a handbasket Batman! Then….there is what his name is…TOPS….shoots man this guy puts out some AMAZING product drops. Guaranteed 1-of-a-kind item every time. No conveyor belts here kids. I highly suggest you check out his work at http://www.mountaintopsedc.com because it is more than just function…it’s the art part that is out of this world…he is Mountain Tops higher in quality and originality than most in the biz. Thanks Blake!

Aroundsquare Knucklebone Ti and Derlin XL Steady Rollin All Day Long

I recently purchased and reviewed the Stainless Steel Knucklebone on here back in late November….since then I have been hooked on Knuckle Rollers like crack. In fact this product inspired me to start making my own out of wood that I now sell under the nam Fidgetstyx, but we are here to talk about my new scores from AroundSquare by mastermind Matthew Hiebert and co.

From the moment I got the SS Knucklebone I was hooked, but I longed for something a little lighter. I finally scored me a Ti Knucklebone which comes in at a much lighter weight of 45 grams. Not only is it lighter it is media blasted or something because it has a great subtle texture to it so I feel that there is a little more grip when trying to push the envelope on new moves. Side by side this is the one I would have to take if I was to only choose one….but they both have great qualities to them so i think I might have to keep both. 😛 The other thing that I like about the Ti is the patch that it comes with is a nice blue/grey colorway. You can see it in the mail call photo shown below..

Next up is the Derlin Knucklebone in size XL. I already knew I was going to LOVE the XL size as I have been making some of my own rollers in that size too and found I really like them for learning new tricks and for a totally different feel and routine. What I was not sure about was the Derlin itself…how would I like it…and I have to say…it’s pretty freaking cool. It is not slippery like I was worried it might me like…there is a nice subtle texture to the Derlin as well, I think due to the micro lines formed from the CNC process? Matt correct me if I am wrong and I will update the post. The Delrin comes with a nice black drawstring bag that has the Aroundsquare logo embroidered on it. The Derlin XL shown here weighs 15 grams. It is a perfect size and weight for beginners and experts alike.

On a general note regarding size, I highly recommend trying out a larger size even if you are a beginner because I have found that some tricks are much easier to learn on a larger roller then adapted down to a smaller one…which did not occur to me originally I thought it might be the opposite. Again…this may vary from person to person but sharing my personal observations.

The last but not least thing I got in this most recent Aroundsquare mail call was my very first Beglari, you can see them in the mail call pic you already passed in this article….I will post on that later after I have had a few days to remember how to tie a proper knot. WEBELOS training don’t fail me now!!!

For those of you interested in following the product from Aroundsquare I highly suggest you follow the Aroundsquare  Facebook page…and follow the FB group Finger Skill Toys too while you are at it. There are sure to be a lot of amazing things coming from them in 2018.

Flyaway Toys • Malestrom • Love it or Hate it…it’s still a classic!

You really can’t deny that the Malestrom by Flyaway Toys is a unique design that people either love or hate….but I think most will agree that the Malestrom is one of the classic styles in the world of spinners. The Malestrom was introduced to the market in full size and mini size brass models. Flyaway Toys eventually released a Titanium model and soon discontinued the brass models. The Titanium was an instant hit and was the secret love of Rich and Alison at Flyaway because they love to do the customized Anodizing on the Titanium as many of you in the spinner community have come to know.

Personally I was sad to see the brass line go as both the mini and full size were really nice both style wise as well as the added weight in both size classes. The full size brass was one of the first nicer spinners that I ever owned back in my early days of collecting. My son and I started learning tricks using the Malestrom as one of the ones we likes to use due to the larger buttons that is has. Both the Mini and the Full size are GREAT for tricks!!

Back to the Anodizing…boy have they got that down to an artform and a science at Flyaway…each time they release some new styles they keep pushing the envelope and trying new things..it is a great progress to watch over at https://flyaway-toys.myshopify.com

There is also a KILLER selection of the Malestrom and other models at coolestshop.com as well!

They not only have a nice selection of the Titanium spinners that are anodized, they have a few new items on there like Beglari beads and other EDC items that they have custom anodized as well.

 

The Anodized Maltestrom’s that we have featured in this article can be purchased at https://coolestshop.com/collections/flyaway-toys

There they have plain non-anodized Ti Malestrom, Original Brass Malestrom along with some custom Anodized Malestroms and other models from Flyaway like the Tsunami and the Tri Falcon and the classic Mini Falcon.

In my opinion the Malestrom line is a classic. While I have moved on to other, more sophisticated models and makers the Malestrom will always have a special place in my heart and in my permanent collection, especially the full size brass on that I decided to custom hammer on. That one is mine for life now.

 

RedTools by Ric Robertson • Trinity • Titanium Custom Anodization w/ Mokume Weights • Exotic Realness

This is by no means a new spinner to the scene, in fact the days of this spinner have come and gone…and rumor has it might possibly be coming back again in the near future. What I can tell you is this piece in particular is a beauty! Personally I find it light, but it is Titanium it is supposed to be light. I think that since I purchased this spinner and now I have some to prefer spinners that sport a little more weight, but that is just an opinion.

The style of the spinner is top notch. I think the look of it is great, along with the large size pressed in mokume weights. As far as I know this was the 1st spinner that used mokume weights….but maybe there were some before it I can’t claim that to be a snopes-able fact! Needless to say, this was one of the 1st spinners on the open market that used exotic metals in it’s manufacturing…and that has to be noted as the market now is completely flooded with exotic metal spinners in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. For what you got this spinner sells for a reasonable price. Originally fetching $300 retail and only available thru the RedTools group run by Ric Robertson. Now you can sometimes find them used on the forums for $10-$150.

This spinner weighs 60.5 grams.

R-188 Bearing. The spin time in hand comes in just at 2:00 mins.

Comes with certification card.

There are some very slight hot spots on the corners but that is what gives it that look. It’s not much different then a Tri-Stubby in that regard…just slightly hotter.

If you are interested in purchasing this spinner head over to the VAULT section at www.coolestshop.com and see if it is still available. Who knows today might be your lucky day!

 

Titan Ring Designs • Propeller Spinner in Titanium by Trevor Hirschi • Collector’s Item all the way!

This is the epitome of a full on collector’s item only, which I pretty much knew when I got it..and was partially what fueled my desire to have one. The maker, Trevor Hirschi,  posted a pre-order page have a few variations but only two body color offerings, and the 1st run of 25 that had the anodized tips in blue with matching buttons had sold out by the time I had decided that I needed to check one out.

I contacted Trevor to see if he would drop a version that was essentially the opposite of he 1st run anodized that he did, having the majority of the body be blue with the tips being bare. He was happy to oblige therefore this is the story behind why the case I have here sports the 1/25 number.

The case is a killer, customized, mini pelican case. The spinner in the case and with attached carabiner weighs 206 grams, the spinner by itself weighs 17.5 grams. 25 seconds is the average in hand spin time that I get…so this is not for those that long for the lengthy spintimes.

This is however totally for the high end collector as the milling work is superb on this piece. If you are into aviation too is is a marvelous piece to have and appreciate. Trevor recently released information about designing a stand to host the spinner….he has also started to take pre-order for a tri-propeller redtitio of this spinner.

I had this spinner for sale at my webstore www.coolestshop.com, click over and take a look at the OWNER’S VAULT section that I am starting off with a BANG by offering this one. Gotta pay the bills. Take a look at the link for more specific information about the spinner.  This spinner sold in record time…smart move considering I forgot to mention how long it took for me to actually get the spinner after I placed the order for it. This will ship to the NEW owner today via insured USPS postal service from my shop here in Kula HAWAII. Thanks for the support…I have a lot of ‘research’ purchases that will be listed and sold on the same page so bookmark it if you like and check it often, you never know what might pop up there next. 

 

UPDATE 1-26-2018
There is #24/25 posted for sale now at a reasonable price from a well vetted seller.  Click HERE to see if it is still for sale. $499 was price when this was posted.

Focus Works • Revolver & Mag 4 Spinning Tops • Spin Quality & Good Value

Jordy Wallace at Focus Works is a designer…who likes to spin things. It is hard to ignore that obvious fact that Jordy not only makes tops…he spins them as well. Not to say that it is unique for a maker to also be an enthusiast in fact that is quite common, but you can feel the passion differently with some makers and with Jordy his passion for things that spin is very strong.

I have to admit I got into the scene more from the fidget spinner angle. I have purchased one spinning item from Chris Ables but since it had no stem it was not technically a top so I think that the Revolver might be the 1st in this category that I have ever used. That being said please take into account I am a novice at spinning top culture and history.

My Hopi friends make them by hand outta wood, as do some other artists I know that turn then out of wood on a lathe.. I have always love tops…what’s not to love. I guess I never realized that so much joy could come from a top that is oh so small.

The Revolver got its name from it’s design being modeled after a revolver bullet chamber. The Stem is shaped like a bullet. You can’t get more literal then that. Super well balanced and just a beauty when spinning and when sitting still. The body is made of Stainless Steel and a copper stem, the model that I have is  flamed and compliments the color of the stem very well. Spin times are over 5 mins if you can throw it good. The Revolver weighs 35 grams.

The Mag 4 is another beauty from Focus Works. In fact it is one in a line of Mag wheel inspired designs all having different amounts and shapes of the inner spokes. The Mag 4 features 4 spokes set on 90 degree angles form the outer round frame. It is machined out of a solid piece of brass and is very very well balanced. One of the coolest things about the Mag 4 is the sound it makes when you release it for a good spin. There is a nice chime sound it emits due to it’s design. I can get this to spin for 5 mins easy but someone with a little more experience can get 8 min or more from this little beast. The Mag 4 weighs 18 grams.

Focus Works recently took tops to the next level by releasing a top called the Tulle which is made to look like a dancer dancing. You can see that top here: http://www.focusworksedc.com/store/c5/Limited_Edition.html

It was originally a pre-order only item but I think he might have a few more to sell now…but not for long. If I didn’t have like a billion $$ into spinners I need to move I would be snagging up one of the Tulles for myself. If you grab one and you want to review it on spinreview….shoot me a email at garth@coolestshop.com. Aloha!

Bathgate • Ratchet • Instant Classic • (Addictive as &%^&!)

Damn I thought 2018 was going to be the year of the Knuckle Roller but with the Ratchet making its way onto the market at the onset of the year….I just do know what to expect because this thing is addictive as $^&@&! Straight up! I wanted to hate this thing…cause I can barely afford to justify keeping it, but after exploring it more I have found it harder and harder to put it down. I think we are becoming fast friends. What have you done Chris Bathgate?

Now let’s talk about size…it is a great feel in your hand….very substantial. That being said I do feel that it’s size and weight, it weighs  209 grams, I find it hard to imagine using this as an everyday carry. It is quite bulky in the pocket without any kind of case around it, and who is gonna not carry this protected so…I fell like maybe if this is popular enough it might warrant offering a mini version for those that want to pocket carry a ratchet more discretely….and I really do want to carry this thing because it is freaking great to use.

At first I wasn’t sold on its functionality…I took it out…click it around and all that and did not really freak out…but I needed to write a review so I took it out some more…started really going for it and eventually it had me hooked. See you can use it a few ways…you can hold it the palm of your hand and push the moving ratchet parts forward with your thumb…and no matter what direction it is facing it feels like you push your thumb forwards to make it move. What I find most interesting is that when you hold the Ratchet on the tip end, touching just the steel core, and spin the colored parts around there is a specific direction that it will go…so somehow my mind is playing tricks on me when I hold it on the palm of my hand. Hard to explain….might try to add a video to explain this better.

So as you can see I got the purple one….there were a total of 4 colors offered on the initial run. There was also a recent release of a uber limited run featuring different color combinations. Those are sure to show up for big buck on the aftermarket…or will they? I feel like this item is going to really become ‘used’ by its owners and that it’s release might just spark the industry to start looking more into the clickers and rollers scene more than just items that spin….but who knows. All I can say is mini Ratchet sign up please? Thanks Chris Bathgate for making this super addictive chunk of ART!