The Cubing Corner

Rubik's Cube Vs Speed Cube - What's the difference?

Rubik's Cube with lights

Rubik’s Cube Vs Speed Cube – What’s the difference?

The original Rubik’s Cube and the newer Speed Cube are two versions of the same puzzle. People often wonder if the Speed Cube is a better option for them, as it is newer and performs better. However, the answer really depends on the goal of the player, and what they intend to achieve. This article takes a look at the major differences between the Speed Cube and the Rubik’s Cube so that consumers can make an informed decision.

1. Purpose-related differences

The official Speed Cube was launched to help speed solvers focus on solving the cube, instead of losing time due to mechanical reasons. During a championship, even fractions of seconds matter. In addition, the strategy employed by the player is more important than the mechanical speed of their hands. As a result, speedcubers need a cube that moves quickly. The original cube is just as robust as the Speed Cube but does not move as easily and smoothly as the Speed Cube. It also has a tendency to fall apart under extreme tension, making it unsuitable for speedcubing events. However, it is great for beginners to learn and practice.

2. Tactile differences

The Speed Cube is a higher quality product and feels like a high-end product during usage. It also feels loose as it is designed to move quickly and flexibly. For beginners, this may be counterproductive as they will end up focusing on trying to control how the cube moves, instead of learning and applying strategies. However, for speedcubers, a cube that feels loose and moves quickly is exactly what is needed. This will help them to compete at championships while focusing on problem-solving, strategy building, and recognizing patterns.

3. Operational differences

The original Rubik’s Cube is almost 4 decades old, and was conceived as a toy for people to solve in their leisure. As a result, the speed of movement and flexibility of cube pieces were not a priority. However, as the Rubik’s Cube became popular and speedsolving became an actual sport, the need for cubes that are flexible and loose became more important. The major operational difference between the Rubik’s Cube and the Speed Cube is that the speed cube is meant for those who want to solve the puzzle as quickly as possible. As a result, the Speed Cube features a design that is less prone to tension, and will not fall apart during quick solving, which is a risk with the original Rubik’s Cube.

4. Design-related differences

The original Rubik’s Cube has stickers on top of the pieces, which are prone to peeling off, resulting in unsightly cubes after repeated use. As the puzzle requires colors to be easily identifiable, the cube requires restickering after a period of excessive and rough handling. The Speed Cube is made from tough plastic tiles that simply will not get worn out. They remain colorful and fresh even with extended periods of use. In other words, the original Rubik’s Cube has a vintage and dated feel to it, while the newer Speed Cube has a fresher and more high-end design.

5. Tampering-related differences

The original Rubik’s Cube makes use of stickers to highlight the colors on the pieces of the cube. However, this results in players being able to tamper with the cube. They can easily remove stickers, and place them wherever they want and claim that they solved the Rubik’s Cube. With the Speed Cube, this is just not possible. Players must apply their strategies, algorithms, and problem-solving skills to solve the puzzle. In other words, while the original Rubik’s Cube enables cheating, the Speed Cube is impossible to tamper with.

Rubik’s Cube vs. Speed Cube: which one to purchase?

One might wonder if Speed Cubes solve the issue of tampering, and are faster and look more high-end, what are the pros of buying the original Rubik’s Cube. The answer is quite simple: the Speed Cube is too flexible and fast for beginners to use. It is not exactly comfortable unless one already has had a lot of practice with Rubik’s Cubes. The original Rubik’s Cube is still the best bet for beginners. The Speed Cube is for those who wish to participate in official speedcubing events, where players are already able to solve the puzzle in under a minute.


For those looking for something more contemporary than the original Rubik’s Cube but are not yet speedcubers, the GoCube is a better alternative. It adjusts to the level of the player and provides statistics and data via a connected mobile application. It is perfect for both beginners and professional users and is a great tool to network with other cubers as well.

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