So, I read somewhere about a certain brand of YoYos being hand-tuned by their creator (I think it was HSpin YoYos), and it peaked my interest – so what does tuning a YoYo actually mean?
After a quick google I found a great little forum entry over at YoYoExpert.com entitled, “How to tune a yo-yo with a set screw axle“. Have a quick read, and then come back here for my experience following these instructions.
The Dark Magic II has a hex/allen key slot, so to tune it I needed the appropriate sized allen/hex key – I’m not sure what size it is, but it was the smallest one I had! The Maverick did not have a hex key slot, so I just used pliers and a tissue to protect the axle when tightening it.
The next thing I needed was some Teflon Tape (also called plumbers tape) – I could have used Loctite (as mentioned in the forum post), however, I didn’t have any available, so I used the Teflon tape. If you can’t find any at home, any hardware should sell it in the plumbing section for about a dollar.
Once removed the sides of the YoYos, I unscrewed the axle (mine always seemed to be very loose previously!) by hand. I cut a small piece of Teflon tape with scissors and wrapped about a 3mm wide strip of it around the end of the axle.
Now that the axle had a good coating of Teflon tape (the forum post mentions about 5 turns, however, I found that the Maverick axle required a bit more), I hand screwed it back into one side of the YoYo – not too tight though.
Now it was just a matter of putting the bearing back on with the string, screwing on the other side of the YoYo, and then tuning the YoYo as outlined in the forum article. It’s really just a matter of tightening/loosening the axle until your YoYo is as smooth as you can get it.
I found the Dark Magic II much easier to tune – it probably took about 5 or 6 turns back and forth before it was really smooth. The Maverick was a little harder to tune, and I never really got it as smooth as I would have liked…. but it was better nonetheless!
So, I’ve now got two YoYos that have noticeably less wobbles, and they have the added benefit of the axle not flying off into the abyss when I unscrew the YoYo quickly, since the Teflon tape keeps the axle in place quite well.
I will try again one day with some Loctite and see how I go with that!
If you’re bored one day, you might want to tune your YoYos and see how smooth you can make them!