Which yo-yos for yo-yo tricks are best?

Although the yo-yo was first patented in 1866, it didn’t become mainstream until 1928. Since then, people have gone from casually playing with this classic toy to performing professional tricks. If you’re looking for a great yo-yo capable of performing the coolest of tricks, there are a few solid options out there, including the Yomega Fireball. Not only does it look cool, it also takes yo-yoing to the next level.

What to know before you buy a yo-yo for yo-yo tricks

How a yo-yo works

Performing tricks on a yo-yo can be challenging, but all yo-yos work based on the same basic concept. Once you understand the basics of how yo-yos work, you’ll be able to perform virtually any yo-yo trick you can imagine.

When you let go of a yo-yo that’s attached to your finger, gravity makes the yo-yo rotate in a downward manner. When the string goes taut, the yo-yo reaches its maximum rate of rotations. Since the string itself is tied to the yo-yo, the yo-yo can continue to rotate when it reaches its lowest point (toward the ground).

Once it gets there, the built-up energy starts to decrease. A light upward pull of the string at this moment creates a moment of friction that allows the yo-yo to grip the string and return to you.

Yo-yoing styles

When it comes to yo-yo tricks, there are several styles to choose from.

  • 1a style: This style of yo-yoing is where you do tricks with just one yo-yo. It’s best for beginners or those who want to perform basic tricks.
  • 2a and 3a styles: These styles involve using two yo-yos at once. 2a style mainly involves looping tricks, while 3a involves string tricks.
  • 4a style: Sometimes called “offstring,” this style of yo-yoing doesn’t involve the string when performing tricks.
  • 5a style: Also known as “freestyle” or “freehand” style, this is where the yo-yo is not connected to your hand during tricks.


There are three main yo-yo shapes: classic, modified and butterfly.

Classic: The classic yo-yo is circular with slightly angled edges, making it look a bit like a cookie. These yo-yos have a narrow gap in the center where the string is. Since the gap is so narrow, it can be more challenging to perform more advanced yo-yo tricks that heavily involve using the string.

Modified: This type of yo-yo looks quite similar to the classic version, but all sides are equal. In other words, modified yo-yos are more rounded and have a slightly larger gap for the string to fit. Modified yo-yos are the go-to option for yo-yo tricks, especially for beginners.

Butterfly: Good for a wide variety of yo-yo tricks, this type of yo-yo resembles the letter “V.” Butterfly yo-yos also come in a range of sizes and often have a larger gap than the other two options.

The best yo-yo for you depends on the types of tricks you want to perform and master, your current skill level and personal preference. 

Types of tricks

Ranging from beginner to advanced, there are dozens of yo-yo tricks to learn. For the most part, you should be able to perform any type of trick on any yo-yo, but if your goal is to master the yo-yo, you may need to use different types of yo-yos for different tricks.

Here are some of the most popular yo-yo tricks:

  • Basic throw
  • Looping tricks
  • String tricks (any trick in which the yo-yo lands on the string)
  • Quick wind up the string
  • Walk the dog
  • Elevator trick
  • Rock the baby
  • Sidewinder (looks a bit like a snake in the air)

You may need to master certain basic tricks before moving onto more advanced tricks. 

What to look for in a quality yo-yo for yo-yo tricks


The materials used influence things like the grip, weight and rotation speed of the yo-yo. One of the most common materials used in traditional yo-yos is hardwood. If you’re going for aesthetics or want something smooth and reliable, a wooden yo-yo is the way to go.

Many modern yo-yos consist of a variety of plastics, including polycarbonate and ABS. These yo-yos are typically cheaper than wooden or metal options. They also come in a wide variety of colors and have a nice overall weight.

Another common material used in yo-yos is metal. These yo-yos are usually denser than other options and have less friction. Like their plastic counterparts, metal yo-yos are good for tricks.

Bearings and axles

The axle is what connects both sides of the yo-yo together; it’s where the string attaches and wraps around. The type of axle and bearings used in a yo-yo have a significant impact on the yo-yo’s performance.

Fixed axles, or axles where the string is loosely tied around the middle section, are most commonly found in wooden or metal yo-yos. These yo-yos don’t have any moving parts. Since they’re very simple in design, they’re a great choice for beginners.

Some yo-yos have plastic bearings and a plastic spool over a metal axle. These yo-yos have minimal friction and tend to perform better than yo-yos with a fixed axle. In most modern yo-yos, you’ll typically find metal ball bearings rather than plastic ones.

The size and shape of the ball bearing also have an impact on how smooth the yo-yo feels when performing tricks. In general, ball bearings are best for string tricks.


Not all yo-yos rely on the string for tricks. Still, most yo-yos at least have a string inside. Over time, the string may start to tear or break, so it will need to be replaced. Luckily, it’s usually easy and inexpensive to do this.

Most yo-yo strings consist of a cotton and polyester blend, so they’re durable and long-lasting. Some strings consist of synthetic materials like nylon and rayon, both of which are also durable.

Yo-yo strings come in different thicknesses, such as types 6, 8 and 9. Types 6 and 9 are most common in unresponsive yo-yos. Type 8 is more common in responsive yo-yos.

How much you can expect to spend on a yo-yo for yo-yo tricks

For entry and intermediate yo-yos, expect to spend $10-$15. Some higher-end yo-yos may cost upwards of $20, especially if they come with a carrying bag or spare string.

Yo-yo for yo-yo tricks FAQ

What are responsive and unresponsive yo-yos?

A. A responsive yo-yo is one that returns to your hand by pulling upwards as it spins. These are popular among newer players. An unresponsive yo-yo requires a special technique called a “Bind” or “Bind Return” to bring the yo-yo back to your hand. These types of yo-yos are favored by more professional or advanced players.

What are some of the best beginner techniques to learn?

A. One of the first techniques to learn is how to properly wind a yo-yo. This makes using the yo-yo easier and faster, thus cutting out some of the frustration many newer players feel. From there, start practicing the basic throw and some classic tricks like “Walk the Dog” or “Around the Corner.”

What’s the best yo-yo for yo-yo tricks to buy?

Top yo-yo for yo-yo tricks

Yomega Fireball

Yomega Fireball

What you need to know: This responsive, transaxle yo-yo is ideal for players who need a durable yo-yo that can perform looping tricks.

What you’ll love: The transaxle system makes it easier to achieve constant spins. Since it’s responsive, this yo-yo is great for all skill levels. It also comes with extra string and a limited, 3-month warranty.

What you should consider: It sometimes lags while looping.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top yo-yo for yo-yo tricks for the money

Duncan Toys Hornet Pro Looping Yo-Yo

Duncan Toys Hornet Pro Looping Yo-Yo

What you need to know: This modified-style plastic yo-yo is best for intermediate and more advanced players who want something reliable for all sorts of tricks.

What you’ll love: Great for looping and string tricks, this yo-yo is highly responsive and has a smooth performance. It comes with two extra strings.

What you should consider: There’s a little lag when performing certain looping tricks. The string quality isn’t the best.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Yomega - The Original Yo-Yo with The Brain

Yomega – The Original Yo-Yo with The Brain

What you need to know: Perfect for beginners, this yo-yo has a cool aesthetic and can perform simple and intermediate tricks.

What you’ll love: Available in several colors, this yo-yo is capable of spinning a long time before returning automatically to the player’s hand. It’s a great option for those learning basic string tricks, such as “Walk the Dog.”

What you should consider: The automatic return is great for newcomers, but it’s not ideal for more experienced players.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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