1. Right Size
- Although this is straightforward, a lot of people tend to miss it. Choose the cube that leaves a little space after it sits on your palm.
- There are good cubes ranging from less than 50mm to upwards of 56mm in size. You can find all 3x3 cubes on Cubelelo
- Generally, for a lot of people 55mm, cubes might be perfect. The 55mm cube that I would personally recommend is MF3RS3M 2020. That being said, if you are relatively younger (<14 years old) or have smaller fingers/palms, you can opt for 50mm options.
2. Decent Corner Cutting
- Speaking of corner-cutting, since One-Handed is an event where wrong turns are performed due to the instability of the cube or poor corner-cutting might end up taking a lot of time to reverse, it is very important to choose cubes that are efficient with corner-cutting.
- I have also observed cubes that are flimsy and extremely fast tend to fall short of performance with One-handed, primarily because it makes it very unpredictable at bigger competitions and more prone to overturns/ wrong turns. So striking a balance between both is the key!
3. Cube’s Weight
- This should be straightforward and logical. The weight of the cube can make or break your turning and very much affects your time.
- Choose a cube that is not heavy. Heavy cubes also cause your fingers to fatigue just a few solves into your session.
- The current world record holder, Patrick Ponce uses an Mf3rs3m2020 with some of its plastic weight stripped down from extreme places. Chris Tran, who was the first person to come up with magnets in Rubik's cube and popularize it through an American cube store, has also mentioned the world is moving towards lesser and lesser weighed cubes for One-Handed solving.
- I have observed cubes on the other end of the spectrum (the really lightweight ones), which also tend to take a little time to get used to (warning: this could just be subjective). The best way to decide is to use it in your practice sessions and measure the progress from different angles- times achieved, comfort, size, fatigue, corner cutting, etc.
4. Times Achievable
- This should not ideally be part of this list but it is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. For some reason, the one measure you need to verify if the Rubik's cube that you chose is the right one for you personally, is to get better times with it. That’s it, simple!
- I have had innumerable cubes with great potential for One-handed but falling flat when it comes to the best times I could achieve using that hardware. This could be because of the nature of plastic, corner cutting, friction, or just my general lack of me being able to get used to it. Whatever it is, if it does not work for you, it does not work.
- Another tip to evaluate this is to also look at what the other top solvers use and reach out to them to understand the WHY part. When it was launched officially, Feliks Zemdegs was never a fan of Moyu Weilong v1 and continued using the older cubes (Dayan still). If I remember correctly, Mats Valk (the then WR 2) had advised him to try this a couple more times. Feliks went on to break the first-ever sub-8 average for 3x3 with Moyu Weilong eventually.
5. Test it Out officially
- A crucial test to determine whether something is a good fit is to try it out in a competition.
- A lot of more minor (lesser but significant enough to affect averages) factors play a key role in how you perform in a competition and it is really important you find out what impacts it FOR YOU when it comes to hardware.
- This could all be in the form of the shades on the cubes (not being able to differentiate between colours, not being able to identify them during stress, how colours appear at poor, bright, or off-white/ yellow lights, etc).
- This could be in the form of the texture of the cubes (some cubes come with matte tiles/ stickers & slippery surfaces).
- This could be in the form of the ability to handle harsh turning – we tend to typically turn faster at official competitions with higher turns per second than normal, either because of stress or to make up for the lost time when we commit an error. The cube should be able to handle and not pop. We might not have been turning this way when we are relaxed at home, so it is better to test this part out.
That’s it! Now you have the hardware you can officially use at any competition/ event in the future. Since you have read this entire article, here are some recommendations from me for One-Handed cubes that you could consider -
Bhargav Narasimhan is the current 3x3 One-Handed (Average) National record holder from Chennai. He started his cubing journey when he was 17. He loves music, bodybuilding, and cricket. He has participated in 78 competitions and won a total of 379 podiums with 207 Gold medals, 42 National records, 4 Asian Continental records, and 1 major championship medal.