I had this cube for a little more than a week now and I’ve truly given it my best, but the cube just isn’t working out. I can pull off some good averages, but nothing seems to stick. To start off I would simply like to maintain an reemphasize what I said at the end of the review: this cube is fast.
This in due to how it was tensioned, lubricated, and of course designed. I haven’t taken the cube apart but my curiosity is enough to pry these un-popable pieces apart and stare within. Every section of these edges is sculpted and perfected, there is no chance of them locking up or popping. The corners remind me of some tall awkward skinny animal or person. I have not come close to popping it nor does it seem it will ever pop! If you’ve taken apart the GuHong the edge may look familier, however it has a new anchor and some ridges where the innards meet the sticker face. A quick word about stickers too: I replaced the green orange and yellow (because DIY cubes always have the worst hues of those colors) with cubesmith stickers, and they fit just fine.
However there is an interested catch I found while experimenting more with tensioning the cube. Little to some tightening, and this cube locks up like nothing else. Little to some, what exactly does that measure as? For me it was about a quater turn! That’s not a huge margin of adjustment. This cube is too loose for me sometimes, but if I tighten it, it locks up which goes against one of the main reasons why I used it, it doesn’t pop and it doesn’t lock up.
Staying in Control
A loose cube has its down side, a bad regrip or grab can disastrously result in making the wrong move or sometimes just dropping the cube completely. I had problems with the former, this cube is so fast sometimes my fingers can cannot keep up. As I stumble around trying to get a good grip and angle I loose time, and these corrections compound surprisingly fast. My average average of 12’s with this cube was around 17, a full 2 seconds slower than what I can already accomplish with the GuHong. If I try to go my “normal” speed that I can control on the Alpha V and the GuHong I still end up going too fast and when the cross is done I just stare blankly at the cube, amazed that I can actually turn that fast, but distraught that I don’t know where any of the pieces are.
The ZhanChi demands a lot from the user, I think it takes a certain handle to use everything it has. It was frustrating praising a cube that is definitely good, but being unable to use it. This cube at least helped me see the potential in myself, I now know for certain that I am capable of sub-15 averages and even further 13.xx averages of 5, a time that can win small competitions. I keep the cubes I use on my desk so whenever I want to I can just do an average, unfortunately today I got so frustrated with myself and my times I decided it would be best to retire the ZhanChi to the shelf where I keep unused cubes. And now one cube that I’ll have to try again later, when I’m faster and a better cuber. Hopefully that will be soon.
Update: I’ve been using this cube now for about year, I’m sufficiently sub-16 sometimes sub-15. I only use the cube when I’m sufficiently warmed up.