Speedcubers often employ some form of speed lube to make their puzzle solving faster and smoother, but selecting the appropriate lube could make a tremendous difference in solving times!
One effective strategy to speed up solve times and ensure algorithms run quickly is practicing CFOP and mastering all OLL/PLL algorithms.
1. Apply the Lube to the Core
Speedcubbers looking to reduce puzzle solve times should use an effective lube. A suitable lube can reduce friction between pieces, speeding them along faster. There are various kinds of lubes on the market with their own specific properties; thicker ones may stickier while others lighter may help speed the solving process along.
Cubbing-specific lubes such as heavy and light varieties exist specifically designed to reduce friction in specific parts of a cube. Proper application will ensure it has its intended effect.
Once your cube is clean, take one of its edge pieces and spray it with silicon oil (never use WD-40 as it can be toxic). Apply lube liberally along its length; once done, put back into its proper place in the cube before turning over for optimal distribution inside – this will help break in new lube effectively while breaking into its role within.
2. Apply the Lube to the Edge Pieces
If you have the Moyu Lube Set (or just silicone oil in general), use a small brush to apply some silicone oil onto one corner and edge piece of your cube, and place back together before turning it several times until all pieces have received some lube.
If the lube isn’t spread evenly across its edges, you may experience resistance or vibration when solving your cube. This is due to some areas not receiving as much benefit and creating friction between pieces of the puzzle.
Therefore, it is ideal to apply a heavy coat of lube on the corners and edges of your cube, since these parts will be working together the most. A heavy coating will prevent edges from sticking or vibrating too much while helping corners maintain their shape.
One popular choice is Traxxas 50K differential oil, designed for use on RC cars but equally applicable in speedcubes. This thick core lube helps reduce spring noise and friction between metal and plastic surfaces and will not make the puzzle too sticky to play with; additionally it comes in spray form making application much simpler.
3. Apply the Lube to the Side Pieces
Lubes are essential components of speed cubing, as they reduce friction between edge pieces and allow the puzzle to rotate faster. In its early days, many cubers used home-based solutions such as WD-40 or Vaseline to ease turning their puzzles, yet these often damaged the plastic over time and needed replacement or cleaning after use. As speedcubing became more popular over time, more sophisticated lubricants were developed that are much safer and more effective allowing speedcubers to achieve even better results.
At present, one of the most widely used lubes is DNM-37, a water-based solution with excellent speed and application speed. Also popular is LUBO Lube – a silicone-based formula with added silica particles for increased speed that comes in spray form for convenient application and drying times.
Lubicle Black is designed to last, providing superior results over traditional silicon-based lubricants. Safe to use on any type of cube, its perfluoropolyether formulation makes application simple; just apply a small amount directly onto each edge piece for improved rotational speed. After applying a coat of Lubicle Black evenly across your edge pieces and give it time to soak before scrambling your cube a few times to ensure it has been fully lubricated.
4. Apply the Lube to the Cross Pieces
Some cubers are so adept at solving the cube that they become known as speed cubers and compete in events. Many people wonder how such individuals manage to solve it so quickly; the answer lies within lubrication; applying lubricants on corner pieces, center piece, edges and the entire cube makes turning and snapping back in place easier and allows corners to snap faster into place.
To apply lube, take apart your cube and arrange the edge cubelets on an old newspaper with stickers facing downward. Use silicone spray and rub it across all sliding surfaces – including those inside edge piece! Remember to read your MSDS document regarding any potentially cube-damaging properties of the lubricant you select; petroleum based lubricants like vaseline and WD-40 may damage some types of plastics.
Now that the lube has been applied, reassemble the cube. To check its application correctly, pull on two center pieces that are in opposite positions to see how much they move when pulled; they should ideally move 1mm or less when pulled – if not, tighten or loosen screws to achieve desired slippage levels.