Once you graduate from the 3×3 rubik’s cube the next logical thing is to go one level above. However, when it comes to 4×4 cubes there are things you should know about in order to pick the best 4×4 cube.
Your 4×4 speed cube is defined by the same characteristics as the 3×3 but because it is a dimension higher it is more difficult to design and manufacture a good 4×4 speedcube.
This is why most of the 4×4 speedcubes on the market are pretty bad. They can be slow, experience frequent popups and get stuck. All of this is what you want to avoid.
You don’t want your puzzle solving to be frustrating.
In this buying guide, I will go through those characteristics that make a good 4×4 rubik’s cube and I will cover the best 4×4 speedcubes below.
Table of Contents
If you read anything other than the reviews below please read this. The essential characteristics of 4x4s are quite important to understand. Even if you know about 3×3 rubik’s cube characteristics, you should still read about 4×4 because they are not all the same.
Speed And Smoothness
Any speed cube can be judged based on these characteristics. Speedcube can provide you with speed or smoothness or a mixture of both which is usually the case.
You will want to have a speedcube which resonates with your turning style.
If you like extreme speeds than you should go with the one that is very fast which will, in turn, sacrifice some control because of lack of smoothness. This can result in overshooting which is slightly more dangerous with 4×4 speedcubes compared to 3x3s because you have more layers to accidentally mess up.
However, if you want more control, then you should go for a 4×4 cube which is smooth. Meaning that there is more friction between the layers. This results in less speed but with more control.
Having said that, you should avoid 4x4s which require too much effort to rotate the layers because the whole solving process is longer and you don’t want to get your hands tired.
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to 4×4 rubik’s cube because you don’t want your cube to be rigid and difficult to solve.
Corner cutting is the speedcubes ability to make a turn in a case where the vertical face is not fully aligned.
This is going to happen very often and especially when you are speedsolving because you will overshoot when performing algorithms. No one is that precise and nor should you be.
Your 4×4 cube must have proper corner cutting which will not throw you out of balance and interrupt your algorithm execution.
Cubing is fun and beautiful hobby but poor corner cutting will quickly annoy you. It is way worse than when your online game lags.
4×4 Cubes Stability
Stability determines how much the cube can deform, does it flex and above all its pop up resistance.
Can you imagine speedsolving your 4×4 in front of your friends or casually on the bus stop and having your speedcube violently explode scattering its pieces everywhere?
This is not something you want to happen so you will want a stable cube. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Additional important characteristics:
These are not deal breaker characteristics but they will influence your 4×4 cube experience. You should read them and understand them.
If you are a serous cuber then it is best to get a speedcube which will do well when tested for these characteristics as well.
Catching happens when a layer catches on another layer on your speedcube.
Usually, it is the case when an edge piece catches on another edge piece and when a corner piece catches on a center piece.
Catching can disrupt the flow of the algorithm and mess up your solve or slow you down. You should avoid 4×4 speed cubes with a lot of catching.
Catching is more problematic on 4×4 speedcubes when compared to 3×3 cubes because there are more central and edge pieces to catch on. Therefore, it is very hard for any 4×4 cube to be as good as 3×3’s when it comes to catching but there are of course manufacturers who did their best to minimize the catching.
Lockups on 4×4 speedcubes
Since we are talking about a higher dimension cube you are to expect lockups unlike with 3×3 or 2×2 speed cubes.
It is very difficult to design a speed cube with more layers like 4×4, 5×5, 6×6 and so on without lockups but luckily for us advancements have been made over the years since higher dimensional speed cubes have first started appearing.
In most high quality 4×4 speedcubes you shouldn’t experience lockups at a frequent rate.
Reviews of the best 4×4 speed cubes:
These are the best 4×4 speedcubes you can purchase today. They offer the best combination of the above mentioned characteristics and you should pick one which matches your cubing style.
These cubes are not only the best in my opinion but also widely appreciated in the cubing community and also used by world class record cubers. You can’t go wrong with any of them but it is important to decide which one is for you based on your preferences.
1. Qiyi WuQue
WuQue is definitely one of the best 4×4 speed cubes available today. It is believed by many that it is even better than the Moyu Aosu which maintained its position as the best one until WuQue arrived on the scene.
The current world record for 4x4x4 fastest solve is held by Feliks Zemdegs and he used this cube to set it. And the second fastest solve was also made using this speedcube.
This speedcube will offer you excellent corner cutting and reverse corner cutting which is something not many 4×4 cubes can do. You will not even feel the corner cutting and it will not interrupt your algorithm flow.
QiYi QuQue offers excellent speed but with very little loss of control. In my experience it does not overshoot but this will depend on how rough you are when executing algorithms.
This speedcube is great right out of the box or at least it was for me and many other cubers but if needed you can adjust it for your preferences.
Considering the excellence of the design this cube is not expensive at all and you can find other 4x4x4 speedcubes in the similar price range which are not as good.
Turning: Fast and light turning, Corner cutting: Unnoticeable, Control: Enough control, Catching: Very Rare, Lockups: Very Rare, Popups: Very Rare, Speed Solving: Excellent
2. Moyu Aosu
MoYu Aosu is one of the best 4x4x4 speedcubes ever made. It set the ground rules for the quality when it was first launched and it still represents a positive example on which speedcubes are rated upon.
Aosu is highly accepted and appreciated in the cubing community and this cube is used by many world class cubers and was used to set some of the fastest solves.
This speedcube will offer you excellent cubing experience without noticeable corner cutting and with minimal lockups and popups which could happen if you are very rough.
Speed and control ratio is very good. It is very fast and smooth and has a clicky sound when solving.
This is one of those cubes that have a well established reputation and is an evergreen solution if you don’t know what to look for because you can’t go wrong with this one.
Turning: Fast and light turning, Corner cutting: Unnoticeable, Control: Enough control, Catching: Rare, Lockups: Very Rare, Popups: Rare, Speed Solving: Excellent
3. Yuxin Blue
Yuxin Blue is a very well made speedcube but in order for you to experience a full potential it offers it will need some adjustments and spring replacements.
This 4x4x4 is 2mm smaller than the regular ones which is good if you like smaller cubes or if you have smaller hands.
You shouldn’t judge it right out of the box because it will need breaking in in order to show you its potential and on top of that you should lube it too.
It will provide you with a pretty good cubing experience with solid corner cutting thanks to its florian style holes and very smooth turing, however this cube can popup and you shouldn’t be too rough with it.
Turning: Smooth turning, Corner cutting: Noticeable, Control: Good control, Catching: Can Happen, Lockups: Rare, Popups: Somewhat often, Speed Solving: Good
4. QiYi Thunderclap 4×4
This is a new release from QiYi from their thunderclap line and it is really a promising speedcube.
As the other cubes from the thunderclap series, this one provides you with a very good performance in the mid range price.
This 4x4x4 feels good right out of the box but depending on your preferences you may want to adjust it after you break it in.
Corner cutting is pretty good and it shouldn’t really throw you off balance when solving. The cube is very stable and it has the scratchy feel to it.
This cube is quite smooth after breaking in providing you with enough control with an understandable cost of speed. This is a great option if you are a beginner in 4×4 solving.
One thing I don’t like Is that the plastic of it feels kind of cheap but considering its price range and all of the other positives this is not a deal breaker.
Turning: Fast and smooth, Corner cutting: Somewhat noticeable, Control: Enough control, Catching: Rare, Lockups: Very Rare, Popups: Rare, Speed Solving: Very Good
5. YongJun GuanSu
This is the best 4x4x4 budget speedcube. At this price it is very hard to find a speedcube with better characteristics and overall quality.
If you are on a tight budget or if you are not absolutely dedicated to this hobby and need something cheap but good to try it out then this cube is probably for you.
GuanSu is quite fast and smooth giving you enough control for the speed it provides.
The corner cutting is noticeable but it is not a deal breaker and this cube can lockup and popup sometimes but nothing that happens too often.
You will probably need to tension it and lube it after you break it in so that you can adjust it to your needs but this cube in most cases is very good out of the box.
Overall this is one of the best budget 4x4x4 rubik’s cubes and it over delivers when it comes to the price and quality ratio.
Turning: Fast and smooth, Corner cutting: Noticeable, Control: Enough control, Catching: Rare, Lockups: Rare, Popups: Rare, Speed Solving: Very Good
There are many options when buying a 4×4 speedcube but most of them will not provide you with the proper cubing experience. As you can tell even the best 4×4 rubik’s cubes have some flaws but these are the best in their price ranges.
You should choose the speedcube that works the best for you considering your cubing style and how dedicated you are to this hobby.
If you are a serious speed cuber who really needs a proper speedcube to break records then you should probably go with the WuQue or Aosu because you can’t go wrong with these two.
Which is your favorite 4×4? Please comment below and share the article with your cuber friends. ?