Best yo-yo

Hobby & Collectibles

The yo-yo dates back to the Egyptians, but it was a Filipino immigrant in the US that popularized the modern yo-yo. Originally, it was used as a weapon by Filipinos hundreds of years ago.

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Which yo-yos are best?

Yo-yos are iconic toys, easy to learn but difficult to master. The beauty of the yo-yo is that you don’t need too much to enjoy it, just a single yo-yo and the patience to learn. Whether you are a yo-yo master or beginner, finding the right one can be tricky.

The best yo-yo you can get right now is the Duncan Toys Limelight LED Light-Up Yo-Yo, Beginner Level Yo-Yo with LED Lights. Not only does it have an awesome light-up mechanism which makes for interesting shows, but it also has a durable and sturdy construction. 

What to know before you buy a yo-yo

Different yo-yo playstyles

Each yo-yo has its own unique type. Mostly, it boils down to responsive or unresponsive. Responsive yo-yos are the ones you may be familiar with. Giving it a tug sends it back to your palm. Unresponsive yo-yos don’t come back with a tug. Rather, they return to you with a trick called a bind. This allows it to do more interesting and varied tricks. Some yo-yos allow you to switch between the two. There’s also something called an offstring, where the yo-yo can leave your string.

Learning tricks

Once you get the basics of yo-yos down, the interesting stuff comes with tricks. A bind is where the excess string is thrown into the gap of the yo-yo, sending it back to you. A Green Triangle is a common formation where your fingers hold the string up in a triangle shape. A Technical involves a lot of string hits or slack elements. Flow involves stringing together several formations that transition smoothly into each other. 

Yo-yo parts

While not necessary, it helps to understand the basic yo-yo-bearing systems. First, there’s the string, which is self-explanatory. This connects to the axle, which is a rod that goes through the yo-yo, holding it all in place and affecting overall looping speed. Spacers connect to the axle to affect spin time and looping quantity. Starburst is a bump on the inner wall that acts as a response system. The ball bearing houses small balls inside the yo-yo to reduce the friction between two rotating objects and is used to improve spin time.  

What to look for in a quality yo-yo


While yo-yos are not that expensive, you’ll want to find one that uses strong, solid materials put together in a way that won’t break apart when used. Modern yo-yos use more advanced plastics and similar materials that give them weight and stability. Remember, yo-yos are dropped often.  You don’t want to get a cheap one made of flimsy material that can break while you practice.

Responsive vs. unresponsive

Decide what type of yo-yo — either responsive or unresponsive — you want to get early on. We recommend choosing responsive for beginners because it allows you to get used to the motion of a yo-yo while making it easier to transition later on. That said, some yo-yos allow you to switch between the two, which is great if you want to learn more complicated tricks down the line.

Return system

Some yo-yos have special centrifugal systems that make the return easier without even needing a jerk of the hand. Consider if this is something you want for younger or beginner players, as it makes learning tricks a little easier. Then again, it may be harder to adjust to a modern yo-yo system if you become used to the automatic return system. 


This one doesn’t necessarily affect your yo-yo performance and is a matter of preference. Yo-yos come in all sorts of colors, sizes, and materials, which can help make for interesting performances or simply to show off your personality. Look for one that fits your tastes, not just one that performs well.  

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

Entry-level yo-yos start at around $10. The more premium yo-yos with rare designs or materials can go over $1000. 

Yo-yo FAQ

How long does it take for a yo-yo to sleep/come back from a sleeping position?

A. This largely depends on the type of yo-yo and the user’s level of skill. Overall, it can reach up to three minutes of sleep time. Beginners should practice getting it to sleep for one minute. 

How do I switch my yo-yo from responsive to unresponsive?

A. C This will involve taking the yo-you apart. Check the manufacturer’s manual or website to find out if your yo-you is able to switch between the two and the steps you need to follow.  

What are the best yo-yos to buy?

Top yo-yo

Duncan Toys Limelight LED Light-Up Yo-Yo, Beginner Level Yo-Yo with LED Lights

Duncan Toys Limelight LED Light-Up Yo-Yo, Beginner Level Yo-Yo with LED Lights

What you need to know: This is a great, affordable yo-yo for anyone looking to get into the world of yo-yos.

What you’ll love: The light-up mechanism makes for impressive displays and tricks, particularly in low-light or at night. The transaxle design makes it effective for looping tricks.

What you should consider: The store page advertises three yo-yos, but in reality, it only comes with one.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top yo-yo for the money

Yomega - The Original Yoyo with The Brain

Yomega – The Original Yoyo with The Brain

What you need to know: Fun for all ages, this yo-yo boasts one of the longest spinning times, making it ideal for people learning tricks.

What you’ll love: It has a centrifugal clutch that automatically returns the yo-yo so that learning tricks is easy and intuitive. 

What you should consider: The auto-return system may not be something that you want if you truly want to learn the modern yo-yo system.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

MAGICYOYO Professional Responsive Yoyo V3

MAGICYOYO Professional Responsive Yoyo V3

What you need to know: A high-quality yo-yo design made with aluminum and a slim responsive bearing that can be changed to unresponsive.

What you’ll love: This yo-yo can easily be switched between a standard slim responsive bearing but can be adjusted to an unresponsive 8-ball kk bearing. 

What you should consider: Switching between responsive and unresponsive can be difficult for a beginner, so be sure to check the video they provide.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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