The Rotobow arrives with inauspicious packaging and a nice little paracord knotted around one end that gives it an almost multi-tool like feel and look. My initial impressions were that it was a bit utilitarian in appearance. There's something simple about Rotobow spinners. There's no fancy bearing retention system, rather plain buttons. Simple design really. It's brass. Boring brass. Copper's little brother. Not as annoying as his cousin aluminum, but certainly no titanium. But here's the thing, you don't need all the bells and whistles if you execute. If you make the spinner that you set out to design, and that design is solid, you can make something worthwhile. And that's what Fidget Gear has done here with another quality offer in their Rotobow line of spinners.
This is a rugged looking spinner. One you can throw in your pocket with your other metal EDC and not worry about scuffing up. The hollowed out bar spinner certainly does resemble a bow tie, but if you're familiar with spinners, that is lost on you. This is a hollow bar spinner to me. With more metal left on the ends than the sides, it slants towards a long spinning design, but keeps a fidget focus in mind.
It's nicely machined, if not perfect (this is a budget priced spinner after all) and the finish is smooth yet gritty giving it a used brass appearance which I really like. The threaded buttons are large, slightly concave and sit low to the Rotobow's body. They fit with the overall design and give ample fingerhold. You can see some machining marks underneath the buttons which doesn't bother me at all. The chamfering is done along both the outside and inside edges and there are no hot spots to speak of. Your fingers will appreciate this. The engine of the Rotobow is a nice looking little 10 ball stainless steel R188 bearing.
I would classify the Rotobow as an extra medium spinner measuring 2.6" in length and just over 1" in width and .3875" thick at the buttons. But, it is svelte weighing in at just 63g with all of its clothes on.
For a bar spinner of this length and relative light weight, I expected a lot of wobble or shutter in my spins. Especially since it's running an R188 bearing. And while the wobble is there, and noticeable, I really didn't mind it. I think an important design decision was hollowing out the body of the Rotobow. The lack of weight makes it really easy to flick while still be heavy enough to spin for 3+ minutes in hand. And the decision to use a steel bearing rather than a hybrid was solid as well. These steel R188 bearings are performing really well. This one in particular is very quiet. Light in the middle, heavy at the edges makes for an effortless flick and a long spin.
If you dig the warp effect, check out the videos below. This design gives off some pretty interesting visuals. Maybe one of my favorite for warping.
While I don't think there is anything novel about this spinner, there really doesn't have to be. At this budget price it's a very good deal, and if you're looking to move from cheap plastic spinners to a metal bar spinner, the Rotobow is a great place to start.