The Dayan Zhanchi 3x3 is still considered as one of the best stickerless cubes for starters. If you are planning to enter the sub-30, this is the cube you should buy. It feels very smooth out of the box and with a little bit of time breaking it in, it should be more controllable.
It is available in 42mm, 50mm, 55mm, and 57mm. The Dayan Zhanchi was used by Feliks Zemdegs and Mats Valk in the 5.66, and 5.55 former World Record solves. No frequent popping, no corner twists and very smooth.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. However, the corner cutting is not entirely on par with many modern-day cubes. If you go too fast, occasional pops may occur.
That’s all for the brief overview of this cube. If you are interested to know more about this puzzle, stick around read the rest of the Dayan Zhanchi review.
Out of The Box
Back at 2011, when it was first launched, many speed cuber’s were pretty amazed at the quality and smoothness of the Zhanchi. The stickerless unit that I’m reviewing is still a great cube even to this day.
The plastic has a nice color shade. Trust me; you don’t want to put any stickers on this one. It feels more like holding a hand full of ice cubes.
Keep in mind that you need to spend a couple of days with this one because the mechanism isn’t the same as the standard Rubik's cube. But once you get the hang of it, you won’t go back.
The stickerless shades are pretty good, and contrast is good too. One good perk of having this cube is that they look pretty much new forever.
This puzzle has a very airy, slick and iconic mechanism that made a huge impact on the speed cube community. The edges are very rounded and have a torpedo for anti-popping.
The corners are also rounded and have some sort of scalloped parts for easy corner cutting. When fitted together, they create a large empty space between the pieces.
This cube has a combined mechanism of the GuHong and the Lunhui. Both of them have made some of the best cubes till date. Kind of like the people’s choice award for speed cubes.
This puzzle comes from the lineup of record-breaking cubes by two major solvers. So, the hype is real folks.
Both the corner pieces and edge pieces have this curve that allows this puzzle to rotate smoothly. It also feels “flush” with the rest of the pieces.
The biggest challenge for any speed cube manufacturer is to make speed cubes faster while reducing the chance of popping. I believe ZhanChi is the only company that is closest to the goal of creating such a cube.
Many previous 3x3 cubes had this space issue in between the pieces. But, that’s not the case with this one. Which is also an advantage. The edge pieces have this inward slope to the inside of cube which seems pretty cool and interesting.
It was a risky move for the manufacturer to go with an organic shape like this but turned out pretty awesome.
It does not damage the puzzle’s overall performance and functionality at all. The design of the torpedo also helps to prevent popping.
Similar to the edge piece, the corner piece is also more organic and curvier. Having that nice inward slope improves ZhanChi’s corner-cutting and turning.
The turning on this sticker less ZhanChi is buttery smooth with a very slight bumpiness on slow turning. The outer layers are extremely fast, and the end slices are very good as well.
Most of you have heard that the stickerless is much smoother than the regular black plastic. Though I cannot confirm that myself, many well-known cubers have made this claim.
As expected, this cube corner cuts incredibly well. Regular corner cutting is 45 degrees with ease and even a little bit over. Reverse corner cutting is just over half a cubie with minimal effort.
Due to this easy corner cutting, this puzzle does not lock up and rarely pops. It will be a wonderful starter cube for those getting into speedcubing.
I have to say I’m pretty impressed with this one. It’s everything you would expect from a three by three. The only drawback would be the rare amount of popping that occurs. Other than that, I’m pretty satisfied with this one.
Sometimes it comes pre-lubricated, other times you would have to do it by yourself. Takes some time to break it in. The best lube I could think of is the Lubix Cube Lubricant.
It’s the best lubricants for cubes like this. Many top reviewers also prefer to use the Lubrix because this lubricant doesn’t do any damage to the plastic and maintains the smoothness for a long time.
Who Is This For?
I would highly recommend this cube to anyone who is trying to get a beginner speed cube. Don’t get me wrong, professionals have used it in the past and still do, but the speed and corner-cutting are ideal for beginners.
It’s a steal for the price too. Not many cubes at this price point are widely accepted as this one.
I don’t know what kind of solver you are, but if you never tried a stickerless cube before, you missing out on a great puzzle.
The ZhanChi is smoother, very flush with other pieces and the flow of this one is amazing. That’s not all, at a medium pace you won’t have to worry about any popping.
Depends on your tension, if you try the over lubing method like “Cyo The King” does, I’m sure you can make a great cube out of it.
Also, if you are new to this whole concept of speed cube, the ZhanChi should be a great first speed cube. That’s all I can say for the Dayan Zhanchi Review. Have a great time solving this cube.