Is your cube very stiff and difficult to turn? Is it slowing you down?
We understand how pretty disappointing that can be and that is why we have complied a list of strategies you can use to make your cube turn faster.
Whether you’re planning to participate in a competition or you’re just looking to beat your personal records, these tips on how to increase a Rubik’s cube speed will definitely be very helpful.
You can see this video to know more.
Tip 1: Lubricate Your Cube
One of the biggest culprits to stiff, slow-turning cubes is friction, and the way to counter that is to lubricate the cube. Here’s what you need to do:
Turn the cube’s top layer by 45°. That means the layer should move until it’s halfway between two faces.
Use your thumb to pry out one of the edge pieces of the layer. Be sure to go for the edge pieces, not the corners. By wedging you thumb and lifting it up, you will be able to pop out the piece. In case your thumb doesn’t pull that off, use a screwdriver (a flat one).
Crumble the rest of the corner and edges. As soon as the edge piece you were popping with your finger is gone, popping the rest of the pieces around it will be a piece of cake. So, disassemble all the other pieces, using a screwdriver if need be but don’t touch the center pieces. Let the 6 center pieces remain intact.
Is there a logo on your cube? If you want it to remain intact and looking good, use a PVC sticker to cover it. This will protect it against damage from the lubricant. Where to find a PVC sticker? An office supplies store near you.
Sand the cube. If your cube doesn't get its colors from stickers, then use a coarse sandpaper to sand the sides lightly, then with a fine one, prior to lubricating it. A stiff cube, and especially one that wasn’t originally meant for speed-cubing, may benefit a lot from that. Brand new cubes, which are also normally a little stiff, need to be broken into first, and one of the ways of doing that is sanding.
If you’re afraid that sanding will ruin your cube, there’s no problem, you can skip but we can assure you that this strategy works perfectly as long as you sand only lightly.
See Also: Our Recommended Speedcubes
Use silicone for lubrication. The ideal lubricant is 100% silicone, as it doesn’t stiffen or damage your Rubik’s cube – that’s of course, unless your cube is stickered with paper stickers, in which case you should skip to step 6.
Be sure to apply the lubricant on all the pieces (on their interior sides) and on the central mechanism. But don’t apply too much lubricant; you’re only using a small amount of it. Also, focus on applying an even amount of the lubricant on the pieces; a clean piece of cloth will come in handy for the task. Ensure you wipe off any excess oil, so you’re left with just a thin layer.
The problem with excessive lubrication is that it makes the layers too slippery, making it very difficult to control the moves.
Seek an alternative lubricant. Is your cube stickered?
Or, is it that you just do not want to purchase a new lubricant? Here are some alternatives you can try:
These are not as effective as 100% silicone, but they’ll work. Some of these products eventually stiffen, and thus it’d be good to wipe them off after a while.
Don’t use these ones for regular lubrication: WD-40, petroleum jelly, and any other lubricant that’s petroleum-based, as it will ruin your cube’s plastic. You can use them for breaking into a new cube but you shouldn’t use them for regular lubrication.
Let them dry. Allow the cube’s parts around 10 minutes so they can dry completely before reassembling them. meanwhile, there’s another way in which you can optimize your cube’s turning speed – lowering the tension in the central mechanism. Let’s have a deeper look into this.
Tip 2: Lower the tension in the central mechanism
Follow these steps:
Remove the center pieces’ caps to access the central mechanism. Popping the caps might be a little difficult but a knife will definitely do it for you.
Majority of cubes have screws under the center piece caps, and to remove the caps, you need to loosen these screws. Each screw has a spring around its shaft, and these springs are the ones that affect the central mechanism’s tension. Here’s what you can do:
Try pulling two opposite center pieces in opposite directions. The ideal space of the center piece from the center mechanism should be 1 mm on each side.
Now, your task is to loosen or stiffen the screws till you achieve this space.
Remember, though it’s possible to loosen the screws further to make the turns faster, excessive loosening will make the cube very difficult to control, and it can even fall apart as you make your moves.
Is there a troublesome screw? Superglue it. Sometimes the spring will unwound and it will be scratching into the other pieces. Just secure the spring’s screw end using superglue. You’re not using a whole lot of it; you only need a drop.
Be sure not to add the superglue to the spring’s other end, as that might cause a blockage in the turning mechanism.
Once you’re done, reattach the central pieces.
It’s now time to reassemble the cube.
Reassembling the Cube
This step is very important so follow along closely. If you try reassembling the cube randomly, there’s a good chance you will render it unsolvable. Follow these steps to reassemble it properly:
The aim is to reassemble the cube in its solved state. So, create a single-color cross of edge pieces. This might seem a little tricky at first but just slide the edges into possible around their matching centers. Hold these edges in place to prevent them from falling apart.
There’s a piece that doesn’t want to go in? Try sliding it in the incorrect position, then twist it into the correct one.
When you’re done setting the cross in place, place the cube on the table, with the cross facing down.
Do the bottom layer. The corners should get into place without much trouble. It’s essential you start with these, as they will help greatly in holding the other pieces in position.
Reattach 3 pieces in the middle layer, ensuring they’re all in the right positions. Now, you have only a couple pieces left.
Create 2 rows in the upper layer, beginning with a corner piece, which should be easy to attach. By rotating the upper layer, slotting in the edge pieces should be effortless.
To finish up:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1.What was the fastest record for solving the Rubik’s cube?
4.9seconds. It was set by Lucas Etter, a 14-year old, in 2015.
2.How much do I need to practice to get faster with the Rubik’s cube?
If possible, every day. You could even take the Rubik’s cube with you to school or work and try solving it during your free time, like during breaks and over lunch.
By now, your cube should feel different; it should feel better. Scramble it and try solving it. How do the layers turn? Some cubes feel a little stiff after this process but loosen up afterwards, so if yours feels that way, give it some time. You will notice the layers becoming smoother and faster with a few solves.
There’s something you need to know though – some Rubik’s cube models are just poor, and no matter what you try to do, the cube will never support your dreams of getting faster. If your cube doesn’t improve after using our method, you should probably get a better Rubik’s cube. We’re sure you will find a super cool model here
What tactics do you use to make your Rubik’s cube faster? Feel free to share your secrets with us in the comments. Don’t hesitate to share this article with your friends.