Whether you are a novice or a player well into cubing, you would have been overwhelmed choosing between a stickered and a stickerless cube at some point. Speed Cubes are generally manufactured and released in three different variants – Black, stickerless and white.
What’s surprising is that in July 2015, the World Cube Association or the WCA changed their regulations to enable the use of stickerless puzzles in speed solving. In this article, we shall look into each of these individually to help you make the right decision.
A stickered cube does look really nice, but given time, the stickers start peeling off. This means that you would then need to buy more stickers to replace them with the older ones that are peeling off. Once the stickers begin to get damaged, you might subconsciously not want to rotate them at the maximum speed as you can damage them even more.
This affects your performance, and your speed solves time. Especially when it comes to big cube, the maintenance can seem quite hard. Redoing the stickers on bigger cubes can be very exhaustive.
If you wish to apply the stickers on your own, there is a possibility that you could leave air bubbles that spoil the look of the cube. Another downside to owning stickerless cubes is that if you cannot find the stickers in the exact size, you see more of the black or white cube rather than the coloured pieces, which can be very distracting when you are speedsolving. Also these days white stickered version is not prefered as its appearance changes after some time.
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The stickerless cubes are made of six different coloured plastics and a split-piece design. This enables each side of the cube to be a different colour and does not need any stickers to be applied to solve the cube. There are many variations of stickerless cubes like stickerless bright and stickerless.
Stickerless bright essentially means that the plastic colours are generally brighter and more vibrant than the standard stickerless. The standard stickerless cubes are typically darker and less vibrant.
Stickerless cubes have gained a lot of popularity in the cubing community as they are easy to maintain, and there is no worry about the stickers peeling off with frequent use. However, the only downside is that you will not be able to choose custom colour schemes.
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It is important to understand that both – stickered and stickerless cubes perform the same. However, it comes down to one’s preference. Some brands provide only stickered cubes, while others may provide both versions. But the overall performance is not impacted. If you are planning to use a single cube for a very long time, then a stickerless cube is highly recommended.