Reviews: Vorso Flat Top
U.K based Vorso already had a good early reputation when they introduced the Flat Top in August 2016. Their simply designed MK1 spinning top had debuted to widespread praise and the plan to follow this with a compact, modular hand spinner was exactly what the market was crying out for. In the short time since then, the hand spinner world has exploded with designs, increased availability and sheer interest. So, after a key update to the initial design; making the grips removable by the now popular threading method, does the Flat Top's formative feature set still hold enough interest to retain its place in the pantheon of available spinners?
Holding the Flat Top in hand, the first thing that strikes you is just how compact it really is. It's silhouette is smaller than something like the already fairly squat Rotablade Stubby, and given it's use of a 608 bearing for spinning duties this places the body's mass very close to the bearing indeed. With this in mind, we certainly aren't looking at a long spinning design here and this is potentially further compounded by the use of twin set screws for bearing retention. I do really like how the screws are implemented here though; they are heavily offset towards the edge of the bearing and having a pair allows the user to spend some time creating a delicate balance of pressure from either side. This feature doesn't entirely remove the issues of bearing deformation but it certainly helps in comparison to the single screw you find in something like the Axis Micro that I reviewed previously, and the inclusion of a nicely machined driver for adjustments is a classy touch. The aesthetic is very distinct here; clean lines and polished surfaces give it a well presented, instantly recognisable character. The decision to polish all the high spots, sides and grips looks beautiful but if you have a fear of finger prints then applying a light brush finish may be preferable. The lower section to the sides of the bearing has been left with a contrasting machine finish and in this area is my only, but significant fit and finish problem with this Flat Top; upon removing the bearing we find very notable, sharp and totally unaddressed burrs where the body meets the bearing. Where this a spinner at the lower end of the market I could see past this, given the discrete location of the issue but at such a price point as this, it's a real oversight from the maker.
From the outset, we aren't looking at a design intended for long spinning with the Flat Top and as such the attention goes right to the fidget side of things. The spin is rather satisfying though, with the bouncy quality common to 608 bearings and a level of stability on one finger that few spinners of this bearing type seem to have. I couldn't call this particular hybrid ceramic bearing hugely smooth but swapping it out for a NEAL Titanium Coated Bearingor a 2RS Pro Hybrid improves that aspect dramatically. Due to this, I have to say I would personally prefer to see a different bearing being used. The grips are beautifully made and finished, with a great feel between the fingers and in this recent iteration, are threaded for convenient removal. The grips diameter stops just short of the bearings outer race and while this looks lovely, it does seem to aid the Flat Top in being a rather noisy spinner though this does improve with the alternative bearings mentioned above and is all but removed with larger 608 grips. The feel in use is curious; as mentioned earlier, this is a very compact spinner and some ergonomic sacrifices must be tolerated where such a form factor is desired. A reverse flick feels great, very satisfying and easy to catch while forward flicks along the flat portion of the body result in some noticeable hot spots. A mixed bag indeed.
Summing up the Flat Top is a less than easy task. I really like how small, portable and modular the design is while aspects of the finish quality, supplied accessories and presentation are truly top notch. On the other hand, there's some real negatives in term of the overlooked burrs, noise and compromised ergonomics. In short, I don't love Vorso's first spinner design and think at this price it's been well surpassed by other market leaders, now feeling more like a significant collectors piece than a true user. However, there's enough quality, ingenuity and suggested passion here to make me very enthusiastic about whatever new designs and revisions Will Cutler comes forward with in the future. He's already shown he will listen to customer and community feedback by adding threaded grips to the Flat Top and with talk of a V2 spinner already surfacing on Vorso's Instagram page, the company remains one to watch very closely.
Model Reviewed: Vorso - Flat Top - Brass - Hybrid Ceramic Bearing - v2 threaded grips
Posted By: Stuart Robson