X-Man Tornado v3

3x3
October 22nd, 2022
Basillio Noris
TL;DR

A completely new direction compared to the Tomato2, it’s a great cube especially if you turn fast.

  • Weight & feel– average weight, slightly papery feeling when turning
  • Turning Speed – fast, but very controlled (thanks to core magnets)
  • Corner Cutting– very good, difficult to make it hard lock midsolve
  • Magnets – clicky even on lowest settings (mostly due to core magnets)
  • Lockups – Some lockups after slices, as they require a bit more force than normal turns
  • Sound – Definitely louder than its predecessor, but not a “loud” cube in any way
  • Looks – You had me at glossy plastic. It sports the same bevelled center caps of the v2 but the white internals give it a very different look. (Old grumpy me prefers the older look.)
  • Plastic – sturdy and sharp, glossy (yay!) and feels thick and solid.
  • Similar-feel cubes – Zanchi Pro (sharpness), Tengyun 1 (solidity), MG C Evo (paperiness)
  • Price – 25-40$
Solves Featuring This Puzzle
How to recycle a name for an entirely new cube

Tometo Threemato. The new version of a cube that has little in common with its predecessor, the X-Man Tornado V3 is a great cube that is both very fast and forgiving, feels solid and sharp and clickedly magnetic, all without feeling like the flimsy feathery constructs that brands like Gan have been pushing out lately.

The pieces feel solid and sharp in a way that reminds Dayan’s Zanchi Pro (although not as knife-edges sharp as the Guhong v4), but without the wonky springs and lockups (I tested the non-maglev Flagship version). It is very fast and requires minimal force to turn, but you do feel the friction of the pieces as you move things around (contrast this with the first Tengyun, where pieces feel similarly solid, but give the impression of hovering atop the core axis, rather than on the central slice).

The adjustment system inherits from its previous version with a twist : you don’t need the plastic bident tool anymore to adjust it, which is very practical (RIP fantastic multitool though!). Unfortunately getting the caps off the centres is so bad that you’re better off using a tool to pop them off (especially on higher tensions) which somewhat beats the purpose of not requiring a tool in the first place. With that said, the adjustment is even easier and more intuitive than before, as you can now feel the tightening and release as you rotate through the range of settings.

Magnet are quite clicky. Part of it is the noise (you can clearly hear a grigrigri sound as you turn even on the lowest strength), and part are the core magnets, that add an overall level of magnetisation that you can’t adjust away. That said, the fantastic stability they provide makes the clicks a very reasonable price to pay (if you don’t actually like them).
Quick Tip: The core magnets are clip-on, meaning you can simply remove them and  get a Standard or Standard-Maglev version with non-clicky magnets, as they remove a part of the total magnetic force, roughly equivalent to putting magnet strength to a theoretical -1. If you don't like strong magnets this might be a great thing to do! (You can put the core magnets back at any time, clipping them in is very easy, but be careful as they might unclip during solves and completely lock up your cube.)

Corner cutting while solving is excellent. I rarely find myself locking up mid-solve, even if it is possible to lock it up if you try to explicitly. The combination of stability, magnetic feel, corner cutting and springs make this a ridiculously forgiving cube, on which I’ve been hitting faster times than usual both in CFOP and Roux. I suspect people with very high TPS will find this cube very very nice.

On this latter, the slices require a bit of effort due to the core magnets making your life more difficult and yielding the only (rare) lockups I get on this cube. But overall the leniency of the cube overall makes me get good times for my mediocre skill level. If Roux is your main method, however, I would probably suggest to get another cube.

As for those who’d like to know how it compares with the Tomato v2, they are two pretty much distinct cubes with few similarities: It sports the same center caps and an even better adjustment systems. However the differences are more important: It is larger, louder and with a higher-pitched overall sound, it feels heavier and with clicker magnets. It is also more forgiving and less prone to lock up, and provides a more sturdy alternative to other TPS favorites like the newest GANs, which tend to be flimsier and more prone to damage. All this at 1/3 the price.

Update: What are the differences between versions?
I've been able to test all three versions of the cube, and I'd say that they are minor variations on the same theme. The main difference between Standard and Flagship is being able to reduce the magnet power even further. Difference between Pioneer and Flagship is less noise and a range of spring compression setting that is more shifted toward the "loose" (I've been doing a lot of OH on the Pioneer and I'm quite a fan). Oh, and you can pop off the center caps without getting your fingers to bleed. Imagine that.

If I had to summarize what to choose, I'd say:

  • Want something with non-clicky magnets? --> Get the Standard
  • Want something with super light turning? --> Get the Pioneer
  • Want something in the middle? --> Get the Flagship
  • Don't know what to get? --> Get the Flagship