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Yo-yos

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This page is meant to be a collection of all the basic information regarding yo-yo hardware and maintaining it. If you are looking for a review of a specific yo-yo, take a look at the reviews page.

What is a yo-yo?

A yo-yo is a skill toy made of two discs connected together by an axle. It comes with a string, that is used to spin and control the yo-yo. Usually this string is attached at one end to the axle of the yo-yo while the other is tied to the middle finger of the player's hand.

Note that for some modern styles of play the string is not fixed at one or both ends. This begins to blur the line between the yo-yo and the Diabolo.

"Normally" a yo-yo is thrown, "sleeps" (i.e. keeps spinning) at the end of the string. When the player tugs the string, the yo-yo returns to the hand, using the inertia stored in its rotation. Modern yo-yos sometimes do not return with a tug, but require a bind.

Types of yo-yo

Different types of yo-yo are suited for different styles of play. Factors such as the shape, response system and the string used are crucial in determining how well the yo-yo will perform in that style.

A46b

yoyo with ball bearing

Shape

Yo-yos typically come in three shapes; butterfly, classic and modified. For a more in-depth discussion of yo-yo shapes, please refer to yo-yo shapes.

Material

Most yo-yos are made of wood, plastic and/or aluminum or 24 carat gold See Yo-yo Materials.

Axles

These can be fixed axles (usually wood or polished metal) or transaxles. The latter come as sleeve bearings (basically a loose plastic sleeve around a metal axle) or ball bearings. For advantages and disadvantages of different axle types see axles. Most modern yo-yos can be screwed apart at the axle for maintenance and to remove tangled string.

Response

Response determines how easily the yo-yo returns to your hand. If a yo-yo just requires a light tug, it is said to be responsive. Some yo-yos, especially those with ball bearings or transaxles, have little or no response and thus require a bind in order to make them come back.

Yo-yo Parts

The following is a list of yo-yo parts that serves as an index to the respective detail pages. If you are missing something, you might also want to try the Glossary.

Maintenance

In order to work properly, a yo-yo requires constant care and maintenance. Things you can/should do include:

Modifications

Sometimes people like to change the yo-yo from stock, in order to improve them. These modifications are usually referred to as mods. Refer to the Yo-yo Modifications page for details.

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