Reviews: Metal Worn Titanium Turbine v3
I've been looking to dip my toe into the premium priced, more exotic type spinners lately since my paper route is going so well. With that goal in mind, my sights were turned towards Metal Worn's Titanium Turbine v3 hand spinner. I'd been aware of Metal Worn for a while and have always coveted their Spinner Knuck, but since it is perpetually out of stock, I went for the Turbine. Maybe not such a great decision.
I was initially drawn to Metal Worn's products because they have a really distinctive look. One that I really liked. Something rugged yet elegant about their designs. The Turbine is an egg shaped spinner with slots running all the way through the body on the sides and just short of the perimeter at the ends which creates an almost see-through look. This intricate design manages to seamlessly bleed the metallic purple finish into the natural titanium color with shaped grooves and cutouts placed in an organized chaotic way. It's something better held than described unless you're Ernest Hemingway.
While nice on the eyes, it's generally not so nice on the fingers. The spin points on the Turbine are actually more on the sides or top/bottom of the spinner, not the ends where the edges are solid and not serrated. And while these slots do provide good grip and torque for spins, they're also quite rough on the fingers. I'd go as far to say that flicking this with the back of your finger near the cuticle is not really feasible for any length of time. Perhaps switching this to solid sides and serrated ends would solve that. Or even providing some unslotted areas on the spin points.
The bearing is set a few millimeters beneath the body's thickness and covered almost perfectly with a small metal cover sitting flush with the body on one side and retained with two small screws vertically on the other. This is bearing retention at its finest creating no radial pressure on the outer bearing race which is optimal for smooth and long spins. No tool was provided with the spinner to remove the screws, but a small flathead screwdriver will do the trick.
These large threaded buttons are probably the most well designed and give the best tactile sensation of any buttons on the market. A tapered outer edge surrounds 4 levels of concentric circled inners creating a deeply concave button with the Metal Worn logo milled heavily into the lowest level. They give a very secure grip, which is necessary for a spinner of this girth and size. They sit clear of the body by a good 2mm.
I'm not positive on the finish, but it has a powder coated feel almost like a very fine 4000 grit sandpaper. It is a very nice sensation and I almost wish the Turbine lacked the cutouts so I could run my fingers across this interesting surface without interruption.
But how does it spin? Not great is the short answer...with some explanation needed. Put simply, there is just too much play between the buttons and the bearing making for a rather rattle like spin. The 608 ceramic bearing is quiet and smooth while spinning for sure. It's just that you have to actually flick a spinner to get it moving, and that initial flick is clanky for sure. And even during spinning, the buttons seem to cause some noise during spinning when held at certain angles. Not something you expect in a spinner at this price point.
The Turbine is a large spinner and as such, this is a slow, methodical, lumbering type of spin. It's definitely made for someone with larger hands even though the titanium body and buttons and cutouts give it a light in hand feeling. It's neither long spinner nor fidget focused. It's hard to classify. It's sort of like spinning a fishing lure. Large and rattly. I discussed the problem with hotspots above and don't feel I need to go into that any further. It's the main drawback in the Turbine, and I consider it a major one unfortunately.
If you like large well crafted hand spinners in the same vein as the Maelstrom, this might be for you. The Titanium Turbine in its third iteration is more of a collector's spinner, than an EDC type of spinner. One that you get out when your little cousins come over on Sunday to make them oooh and ahhh about. It's incredibly well done from an aesthetic standpoint and that unfortunately overshadows its utility as a spinner for me. Your mileage may vary.