Reviews: Torqbar SB
The hand spinner world is young, too young perhaps for terms such as "classic" but maybe when it comes to the Torqbar, we can go as far as archetypal. Indeed, Scott McCoskery's design stands as the foundational moment in the development of these odd little fidget toys and a remarkable platform it surely is. The Torqbar is now being produced under the MD Engineering LLC brand rather than the original Scam Designs label and is as in demand as ever.
Part of the Torqbar's instant appeal must surely be down to its visually attractive design. Produced originally as a modular construction with the weights removable to facilitate Scott's wide range of custom material options, the SB (Solid Body) version seen here was a response to the overwhelming demand that pushed the customs to a point of unattainability. While said customs are now the stuff of dreams, the SB version loses nothing of the pleasingly ergonomic lines, mix of surface angles and compact feel that are the designs trademarks. The buttons, while beautifully made may be a point of contention for some; being small in comparison to many recent competitors designs and set low within the body (no table spinning here) they can feel a little cramped and may prove troublesome for some users. However, they do offer one clear advantage, with a lip and flange around the bearing giving a little more dust protection than I've come across before; a definite positive!
It's all very well looking the part of course, but these strange little devices are, at heart, all about performance and user friendly features. The aforementioned grip compromises aside, the Torqbar is a joy to handle and spin in any manner and orientation. The mixture of a relatively small hybrid ceramic bearing, outer weight loading and tight tolerances make this a fantastically free spinner with two handed spin times hitting 6 minutes with this Brass version. In addition to the smooth, balanced spin, the varied surfaces throw a hypnotic mix of reflections and the sound the Torqbar makes is difficult to describe but distinctively pleasing with a mid-pitched hum. Few complaints here but again, the stock buttons may irritate those with bigger fingers or a habit of finger swapping and hamper the overall feel very slightly.
I must confess, I was surprised by the Torqbar. I knew it must remain a passable device to have spawned so much interest in the hand spinner world to begin with, but where so often the formative designs in any concept are quickly surpassed, that simply isn't the case here. Certainly, for my personal tastes, the Rotablade Stubby remains the top performer by a hair but it's close and considerable praise must be lavished upon the Torqbar. Mr McCoskery's design and manufacturing have provided an incredible foundational concept and a beautifully considered spinner that is certain to endure. Here's hoping the promised additions of a "Fat Button", "Pointed Button", some exotic options and greater availability don't take too long to come to fruition, lest the Torqbar become swamped within an increasing competitive and capable marketplace.
Model Reviewed: Torqbar SB - Brass - Scam Stamp - Gen 1, Run 2, Blasted & Tumbled
Posted By: Stuart Robson