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Preparations
Move Notations
Timing + Speeding Up Your Times
Lubricating Your Cube

Preparations

My stickerless cube.

First things first, you will need a Rubik's Cube if you want to solve one...
The one I have is an official Rubik's Cube™ with the hexagonal prism packaging. The prices range from $11 to $18 at most.

I do recommend buying it because it's really sturdy (doesn't break after big impacts) and the quality is very good. However, be aware that the stickers wear out really quickly. As you can see in my photo, the sticker peels off and is now in a disastrous state.

To prevent this from happening?
Well, I put on some tape as a temporarily covering, but other ways to protect the stickers from peeling are:

  • Buying replacement stickers from the Official Rubik's Online Store. Here.
  • Buying some coloured (other than white) adhesive tape and have them as backup. When the stickers are starting to peel (or already have...), you can apply the tape and you can start "cubing" again.
  • Buying pre-made tiles online (like Cubesmith) and use them as the faces. (highly recommended) Cubesmith here.
  • I found this on the web: apply nail polish on the stickers.*
  • Applying super glue on the stickers (seriously not recommended).
  • Buying a new cube, or at least buying an Eastsheen's cube.**
  • Not playing with it at ALL.

* The nail polish thing worked fine for the first week, but soon after it started to peel again (yes, after some intense cubing...). This meant that I had to re-apply the polish again. Not saying that its bad, but try the nail polish thing at your own risk I guess?
** Eastsheen cubes don't use the stickers as the faces, but use tiles instead. Tiles don't peel and if they do, you can glue it back on. Eastsheen cubes are also really good in quality and most professional cubers use Eastsheen cubes over official ones.
However, Eastsheen cubes can only be purchased online... Link here.

Once you've got your cube, you can start solving it! Back to top.

Move Notations

If you don't know what the notations (like R, L', B) are, then you better know them, cause cubers use them ALOT.
Also, algorithms are written in notations, so it's good to know them... Here's a list and an explanation on how to turn with each one... (Write them down if you want)

  • F means that you turn the front face (the face that is directly in front of you) 90° clockwise.
  • B means that you turn the back face (the face that is opposite from the front face) 90° clockwise.
  • R means that you turn the right face (the face that is right from the front face) 90° clockwise.
  • L means that you turn the left face (the face that is left from the front face) 90° clockwise.
  • U means that you turn the top face (the face that is at the top) 90° clockwise.
  • D means that you turn the bottom face (the face that is at the bottom) 90° clockwise.
  • ___'(Something that ends with an apostrophe) means Prime and you do the movement the other way (opposite direction).
  • Anything with 2 at the end (ex. R2, D2) means you turn it 180°, regardless of direction.
  • Also, under-case notations mean you turn 2 layers, not one. (ex. u2 - turn both top layers twice)

Also, there are notations that require you to turn the WHOLE cube... They are:

  • x - turn the cube up
  • y - turn the cube to the left
  • z - turn the cube right on its side (like F, but you turn the whole cube instead)
  • Also, the Prime (') and "2" turns apply to these as well. (Like x' or z2)

If you want to try it out, try this algorithm with a solved cube: F, U, R, U', R', F'
If you get it right, there should be a 'T' shape on top.
Also, if you REALLY don't get it... You can check this Youtube video out. Here. Back to top.

Timing and Speeding Up Your Times

One way to speed up your times is to time yourself and practise beating it.
I started out with an average time of 1:00 on the 3x3.
Then, I just timed myself and my goal was to beat it. And beat the beating score.
Now I average about 40-something seconds.

There are multiple ways and software you can use to time yourself.
I personally use either my watch (chrono) or the JNetCube timer.
You can download the JNetCube timer here.

You can also use something called Stackmats, where most professionals and tournaments use.
You can buy them at Toy's R' Us, but it comes with a cup stacking set.

Timing yourself is key to decrease your times.
Just keep practising and soon you'll be under 20 seconds... Back to top.

Lubricating Your Cube

Might sound wrong, but lubricating your cube actually help speeding up your times.
You've noticed when you first bought your cube and it doesn't turn very well, or at all.
To make it turn smoothly, you lubricate it with lubricant.

The recommended lubricant is silicone spray.
However, we don't sell any here, so the next best thing is Jig-A-Loo.
You can buy them at Home Depot, or Canadian Tire, and they should come around $10.

Applying the lubricant...
Well, you first need to pop open your cube. To do this, simple rotate the top face half way, so you have the corner sticking out. Then, use something you pry things open with and just pop open the edge piece.
Then, just spray some of your Jig-A-Loo inside the hole. Assemble the cube, and just keep turning it.
Cause if you don't, it'll turn stiff and that's just gross.

When you're done, it should be 10x smoother and easier to turn - have fun speedcubing!


I hope all the stuff above will help you speed up your times.
Of course, the best thing is to practise!
-Vin Back to top.