Fidget Spinners

[Update: Already have one of these gadgets? Check out my post on how to fix a fidget spinner]

Like having something to do with your hands while you’re waiting in line or watching TV? Fidget spinner toys keep your hands busy while your mind is occupied.

Here’s how fidget spinners work. While each design may be slightly different, they are balanced. The center and end of each arm or wing is made of a skate bearing. The center bearing of the spinner has a button that is held between the thumb and forefinger, while the second or third finger on your hand is used to flick the fidget spinner. Check out the video to the right of how to spin a fidget spinner.

Due to the weights on the ends of the arms, the gadget will continue to quietly rotate much longer than you would expect. Acting as a fingertip gyroscope, they will remain level on an extended finger while spinning! Some are able to spin on a table for three minutes without an additional flick! Personally, I’ve found the ceramic bearings to spin longer, but the standard ball bearings do work very well, especially if you just want to try one before putting money into a more expensive, durably designed spinner.

The best fidget spinners for adults and kids are just now hitting the market. Hand spinners became popular from a kickstarter program, but they wanted $70 (!) for them. Now that they’re more popular as gifts for fidgeters, the price has dropped dramatically.

fidget spinner with three arms

A three winged fidget spinner

The best fidget spinners are typically not 3D printed, and use ceramic bearings for the center axis. While ceramic bearings are more fragile since they’re ceramic, they are very hard and last for a long time under normal use. In addition, ceramic bearings don’t expand with heat and provide a smoother spin. Steel bearings will work fine, but won’t spin as long. There are also a couple grades of ceramic bearings. The least expensive is a Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2) bearing. These will provide a longer spin than steel bearings, but not quite as long as a Silicone Nitride (Si3N4) bearing.

Some just enjoy keeping their hands and fingers busy, but others with mild forms of ADHD use a fidget spinner to keep focused on task. When the hands are busy, it’s easier to stay focused. Studies show that with ADHD, fidgeting must be an intentional activity to be effective. Deliberately fidgeting allows one with ADHD to self-control their symptoms in a manner that’s least intrusive to those around them, but constructive. Some schools and universities have found that students with moderate ADHD perform better if they keep their hands busy. An effective fidgeting gadget doesn’t distract you from your current primary task because it is something you don’t have to think about performing. Even if not used to control a fidgeting habit, these look attractive spinning on a desk.

Rather than doodling during a lecture or engaged in a long phone call, a fidget spinner is quiet and unobtrusive. They can be held and spun under a school desk or at one’s side without becoming noticeable to those nearby.

Hand spinners and fidget cubes are made of different materials, depending on the quality you want to buy. There’s one model of fidget spinner that’s actually made out of titanium. Yes titanium. That model is a little pricey, but is really sharp to look at. Most models are made of plastic to cut down on production cost, but some are made of wood. A “throwing star” model spinner is one of the more common wooden fidget spinner designs. It’s not terribly expensive and looks good on an office desk.

cog fidget spinner

“AXLE” fidget spinner

For a more durable design, check out the AXLE by a company called Destroyer. It claims a lasting durability, built of a military-grade composite that can withstand being run over by a truck. The AXLE has three arms and the weighted ends fit like cogs into the center spinner bearing. It’s an interesting design I need to try out. The only drawback i can find with this design is that you have four bearings that need to spin freely for the fidget to keep moving.

The Most Expensive Fidget Spinner

One of the most commonly asked questions I’ve encountered is about the cost of the highest priced spinner on the market. The most expensive fidget spinner I’ve found is the Saming Fidget Spinner. Priced at a little over $200, it’s got the current title. Coming in at a close second around $185 is the tritium hand spinner. This thing has tritium embedded in it for years of glow.


Here's a breakdown of the best fidget spinners you can find and why!
RankFidget / Hand SpinnerDescription and BenefitsPicture
BESTTYZEST Copper SpinnerThe absolute best in fidget spinners. This model is made of Copper and includes ceramic hybrid bearings
Mid-LevelWeFidget's original EDCClassic look fidget spinner, good for general carry and even children.
InexpensiveGiggle Hands SpinnerInexpensive, fidget spinner, great for children that may easily lose them as they aren't too expensive


What model fidget spinners have you used? Have you had better experiences with ceramic bearing models?

Let me know in the comments!


By | 2017-05-05T12:25:58+00:00 January 11th, 2017|gadgets|0 Comments

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