Cubing Records

I am not a serious speedcuber…I am just not good enough. That doesn’t stop me from trying! My best times and the cubes upon which I performed them are listed below.

2×2 00:09.66 LanLan 5 Mar, 2013 link
3×3 00:26.46 Gan 356 M 29 May, 2022 link
4×4 1:43.62 MoYu Meilong 2 Apr, 2021 link
5×5 04:12.93 ShengShou Sengso Magnetic 25 Mar, 2021 link
6×6 11:11.38 Moyu Meilong 30 Dec, 2021 link
7×7 16:15.72 MoFang MF7S 9 Feb, 2019 link
Pyraminx 13.80 QJ Pyraminx 7 March, 2012 n/a
Megaminx 4:16.92 YJ YuHu V2M 2 Jul, 2022 link

Lots to prep here but noteworthy items:

February 2011: Solved Rubik’s Cube
March 2011: Solved 4×4 Cube
April 2011: Solved 3×3 in 1:05
May 2011: Solved 5×5 Cube
June 2011: Solved 2×2 Cube in ~16 seconds
July 2011: Solved 3×3 in less than a minute!
August 2011: Solved 6×6 V-Cube
August 2011: 3×3 times consistently sub 1:10
Sept 2011: 3×3 times consistently around 1:00, 6×6 in 16 minutes, 2×2 in 0:13.
Oct 2011: 45.55 3×3 record! // 39.96 3×3 record!!!
Nov 2011: ShengShou 4×4. 4×4, 5×5, 6×6 new records
Dec 2011: 36.15 3×3 record! V-Cube 7×7
March 2012: 2:53.61 4×4 record and posted 7×7 and Pyraminx records
May 2012: Megaminx and Windmill Cube records set.
June 2012: Fisher Cube, 3x3x1 purchased – Still cubing, not as much for time.
Sept 2012: Dayan Zhanchi purchased – broke record by 1 second
Oct 2012: ShengShou 5×5 – broke old record by over a minute!
Nov 2012: Broke 3×3 record – New best is 31.98 seconds!!!!!
De 2012: Stickerless Zhanchi & 3x3x5 purchased
Feb 2013: Broke 7×7 record. Gigaminx & 3x3x7 purchased
Mar 2013: Broke 2×2, 3×3 & 4×4 records!!!
May 2017: Broke 3×3 & 4×4 records!
May 2018: Broke 3×3 record!
Jan 2019: Broke 7×7 record!
Feb 2019: Broke 7×7 record again!
Mar 2021: Broke 4×4 & 5×5 records!
Apr 2021: Broke 4×4 record again!
Dec 2021: Broke 6×6 record! (which stood for over a decade!)
Jan 2022: Broke Megaminx record (which stood for just under a decade!)
May 2022: Got Gan 356M – Broke 3×3 record twice with numerous sub-30 second solves
Jun 2022: Broke Megaminx record!
Jul 2022: New Megaminx & record shattered!

I purchased a Rubik’s Mini Cube many, many years ago but never solved it. Like most people, I figured, “Ahh, this can’t be that hard!” As most find out, it’s not all so easy! The cube I have is a strange one, as blue and green are adjacent, not opposite. In any event, just after solving my 3×3 in February, 2011, I grabbed my mini cube to figure it out. The thing exploded and I had to put it all back together again. Most cubers are used to this stuff, but it was a challenge for me. It doesn’t turn right now and so I just leave it as a show piece.

I bought a LanLan 2×2 in February for $1.75 and it’s great. My initial times were over a minute (at the time still lower than my 3×3 times) but nothing to be proud of. I don’t know the date, but sometime in June at the end of the school year I got my time to 16.46. Still not very good, but short of learning more, it’s not dreadful.

In September I managed a 13-second solve and that’s where my personal best lied for a year and a half. In March of 2013, I just tinkered around and managed my first sub-10 second solve, an overwhelmingly decent 9.66. I’ll never dedicate the time to really getting much better, but hey, sub-10!

Date Notes
June, 2011 Best Time: 16.46
September 18th, 2011 Best Time: 13.0
March 5th, 2013 Best Time: 9.66

A full write-up is forthcoming…

I’ve always had a fascination with the Rubik’s Cube but sadly never solved it. So, for my 35th birthday in 2011, I decided I was going to buy one and solve it as an easy bucket-list item. On the 21st of February, I solved the cube for the first time. I can recall the frustration with the last-layer and having to abandon it. The next day I returned to it and can remember the final turns to see I had actually solved the thing. Brilliant! It was the start of something magical.

Later in the month I bought a Guojia Alpha Rubiks Cube Type A for $9. This would later get broken by a student, but it was infinitely better than my standard Rubik’s brand cube (as every cuber knows.)

Over the next two months, I slowly improved. In April I hit 1:05. That would stand until late July when I got my first sub-1 minute solve. After that, average times got better, consistently under 1:10, then by September, frequently under 1:00

In early October, I fumbled to stop the clock as I watched the timer turn to 50, ending with a 50.40 time. In my head, sub-50!
Several days later, amidst the madness of parenting, my first sub-40 solve! Awesome!

For a while I swapped back to my original cube, lubed by a friend. However, as time went on, the slick turning ended up w/ more lockups and frustration. It’s still quick, but I went back to my Type-A cube and had a few lucky final steps to get my 36.15 time. I was pretty shocked by that one. Was so psyched!

After a long wait, I broke down and got myself a Dayan Zhanchi. I’d heard it was the best cube out there and with the price being reasonable, I took the plunge. Almost immediately I broke my personal best, but it wasn’t until a few months later I would shatter my record by more than 3 seconds. That was a good day! I later bested it a few times in search of a sub-30. That would have to wait a while.

I got new cubes here and there. A ShengShou Wind, but I hate the corner cutting on it. I got a stickerless and stickerless mini Zhanchi. I got a Cyclone Boys stickerless cube for free and that cube is ludicrously fast. But I also got a Formula Cube for free as well. It isn’t great by anybody’s standards, but I love the thing and using my own self-made last-layer strategy, in early 2017 I went back to speedcubing, just to see. Using Twisty Timer, a spectacular Android app, I charted my first 100 solves and finally broke the 30-second barrier. My cross and middle-layer strategies were improving and despite still essentially being a beginner’s method, I managed to break even that record a few days later. It now stands at 29.51, a time I am content with.

Precisely one year to the date after my record, I managed to break it again! I nailed a 29.03 on the 18th of May, 2018 and decided I ought to try again once 2019 rolls around!

After moving back to the United States, a student showed me her Gan magnetic cube and I decided I had to have one. As I described in my blog post, I ended up getting numerous sub-30-second solves with this new puzzle including an awesome 28.6 and then an amazing 26.46 afterwards. I genuinely don’t think I can top this without some luck and/or some new techniques. It’s amazing after all these years to accomplish something like this.

Date Notes
March 19, 2011 Best Time: 1:22
March 26, 2011 Best Time: 1:16.48
April 2, 2011 Best Time: 1:05.09
July 30, 2011 Best Time: 51.75
August 10, 2011 Best Time: 51.63
October 10, 2011 Best Time: 50.40
October 10, 2011 Best Time: 50.18
October 12, 2011 Best Time: 45.55
October 16, 2011 Best Time: 39.96
December 5th, 2011 Best Time: 36.15
September 9th, 2012 Dayan Zhanchi Purchased
September 9th, 2012 Best Time: 35.12
November 19th, 2012 Best Time: 31.98
February 1st, 2013 NOT Best Time: 33.67
March 5th, 2013 Best Time: 31.75
March 19th, 2013 Best Time: 31.50
May 7th, 2017 Best Time: 29.73
May 18th, 2017 Best Time: 29.51
May 18th, 2018 Best Time: 29.03
May 22, 2022 Best Time: 28.60
May 29th, 2022 Best Time: 26.46

On various dates I did average of 5 times. But the best resided within the 200 solves that led up to my two record-breaking times in May of 2017. As of then my best averages were (with May of 2022 times following).

Average Of 3: 32.76 / 29.03
Average Of 5: 34.06 / 30.97
Average Of 12: 35.11 / 33.05
Average Of 50: 37.29 / 35.25
Average Of 100: 38.21 / 35.87

As my fascination with the cube grew, my co-worker told me a local store had official Rubik’s 4×4 cubes for $7. I bought two. One I kept at school and one at home. Each is very different and they’re both horrible. I hate them. For months I toiled with this cube, disliking it, and therefore disliking the 4×4 as a whole.

In any event, I solved the cube rather quickly and set my record within a week and that record stood until mid-August. I struggled with popping and lock-ups but still managed a decent time. I knew I could get that time so much faster with a better cube so I tried my other, looser one. Two minutes better! Now that was pretty nice!!!

In November I purchased a ShengShou v3 4×4 and within the first day I had shaven another 75 seconds off my time. I lingered around 3 minutes for another week before finally breaking that mark.

The following year I did a number of speed runs. I would average any time between 2:50 and 3:40. Little by little I sped up my times (and avoided time-killing parities!) and finally got under 2:45 on the fourth of July! I broke this record (by less than a second) in March of 2013.

In light of the amazing success 2017 and Sweden offered me, I thought I’d tinker with 4×4 solves again. I ordered a new cube and managed to break my record just after doing so (still using my old ShengShou v3!) Not much else to say except that in two days in May of 2017 I broke two records that had stood since I broke them (in a three-day span) in March of 2013! Getting old isn’t that bad, I guess! Upon receiving the new QiYi MoFangGe Snow Leopard, I broke the record twice in just a few weeks.

Next, living in Italy, I made a huge order of cubes for Christmas. Now equipped with a new MoYu puzzle with magnets, in early March I finally accomplished sub-2 minutes. First a ~2:05 time and next a glorious 1:54.10. A few weeks later, I realized I could break that first sub-2 record. With ~20 seconds on centers, I moved on to matching white edges followed by yellow ones. The high-contrast edges make keeping track of things far easier and I looked ahead more than normal. This yielded a 10-second improvement and one I’m super proud of! Maybe my next goal will be sub 100 seconds!

Date Notes
March 21, 2011 4×4 purchased & solved
March 26, 2011 Best Time: 6:42.15
August 17, 2011 Best Time: 6:20.14
August 17, 2011 Best Time: 4:22.53
November 2, 2011 ShengShou 4×4 V3 Purchased
November 3, 2011 Best Time: 3:13.85
November 3, 2011 Best Time: 3:02.96
November 10, 2011 Best Time: 2:56.13
March 18th, 2012 Best Time: 2:53.61
May 14th, 2012 Best Time: 2:50.96
May 15th, 2012 Best Time: 2:49.17
May 25th, 2012 Best Time: 2:48.12
July 4th, 2012 Best Time: 2:41.40
March 5th, 2013 Best Time: 2:40.67
May 19th, 2017 Best Time: 2:18.18
July 27th, 2017 Best Time: 2:14.61
July 30th, 2017 Best Time: 2:12.70
March 1st, 2021 Best Time: 1:54.10
April 2nd, 2021 Best Time: 1:43.62

After some waiting and research, I bought my first 5×5 for $13 in mid-April, 2011. Immediately better than the 4×4, I loved my mini-YJ . However, as the year progressed, I became frustrated with its size (60mm) and a year and a half later I got a ShengShou; I love their 4×4.

Due to the lack of parity issues when compared to the 4×4, I find it much more enjoyable to solve. In fact, it’s a method of relaxation (as my fourth child was born several weeks before getting my first 5×5). I started around the 15-minute mark, then got it to about 10. There it stood for a few months until August of 2011 when I got my V-Cube 6×6 that I went back for speed. I shaved almost 90 seconds from my time, another dozen a few days later and finally got my time under 8 later in the week.

Initially my centers were about 2 minutes but now a good time is 90 to 100 seconds. My edges are still the slowest part of my solve, but upon purchasing my ShengShou, I reduced my time by 25 seconds and had my first sub-6-minute solve. Nice!!! A week and a half later, I broke that record by 6 seconds, reducing my centers to 80 seconds and getting my edges done in 2 1/2 minutes. The following day, I shattered my record and sub-5:30 goal by solving the 5×5 in 5:02.54! It was another 80-second centers solve but the edges must’ve been done in record time to make the record fall by so much. I was really hoping for a sub-5, but zero complaints about that solve. WOW!

After that, I didn’t really try for a new 5×5 record in years. However, after my massive Christmas puzzle order and my recent new 4×4 record I figured I’d take a stab at the 5×5, a puzzle I haven’t improved time on in eight-and-a-half years. The stickerless, magnetic ShengShou is a great puzzle. It never locks up, those magnets help tidy up those quick turns and it cuts like a dream, so I’m rarely ever stuck between layers. My first solve was almost 5:30 – not too bad with no practice and my second was 5:07, a mere five seconds off my record. Solve #3 was it: my first sub-five-minute 5×5! Clocking in at 4:51, I beat my old record by 11 seconds!

After a mess up and another 5:something time, the stars aligned and…OMFG??!! 4:12.93! That is fifty seconds better than the record which stood since October of 2012. FIFTY SECONDS! I don’t even know what to say! Beating this would require some serious dedication but, like the 4×4 before it, I’ve accomplished what I’ve always wanted to: a sub-five. The four-minute finish line feels way too far off. I think next up will be a new 6×6. Still rocking the V-Cube 6 I bought in August of 2011. Urgh.

Date Notes
April 19, 2011 Purchased Mini YJ 5×5
June, 2011 Best Time: 9:49.70
August 10th, 2011 Best Time: 8:35.07
August 14th, 2011 Best Time: 8:22.50
August 21st, 2011 Best Time: 7:52.94
October 8th, 2011 NOT Best Time: 7:58.4
November 17th, 2011 Best Time: 6:16.24
October 1st, 2012 ShengShou 5×5 Purchased
October 1st, 2012 Best Time: 5:50.69
October 10th, 2012 Best Time: 5:44.76
October 11th, 2012 Best Time: 5:02.54
December 25th, 2020 New 5×5 – Magnetic!
March 25th, 2021 Best Time: 4:51.24
March 25th, 2021 Best Time: 4:12.93

After several months of waiting (and trying to justify the $45 it would cost for another cube), I purchased my V-Cube 6×6 in August of 2011. I was amazed by its weight, clicking mechanism, the incredibly long time it took me to solve and the amount of times it exploded as I was solving it. With the summer off, I was busy watching four kids full-time and getting the quiet time to take nearly a half an hour to finish has continued to be rare. The few times I really tried ended with pieces flying everywhere.

In September I got an actual record time of 16+ minutes. My centers solve clocks at around 8:30, edges another 5, full solve 3 minutes later. Holding pieces together is part of the slow time and barring a sub-15 minute goal, I don’t really need to try for record times on the 6×6.

In November I tried again, clocking a minute faster than my prior solve. My centers were much faster, 5:30, but I slowed down elsewhere. In low light, I have a hard time differentiating blue/green and white/yellow. In daylight, there are no issues. Solving my V-Cube isn’t too enjoyable, really. I’m constantly monitoring how I move so that I don’t get any pops. Even-numbered cubes aren’t my favorite and if I ever get around to getting an actual 6×6, not this V-Garbage, there is simply no doubt this record would tumble.

It took over a decade to revisit the 6×6. My collection grew substantially in that time, but getting another 6×6 was never a high priority. However, a cheap Moyu Meilong helped me crack my 4×4 record, why not a cheap higher-order puzzle? I don’t like their 7×7 much, but this one turns infinitely better than my V6 so on my first try after Christmas, I got a no-parity solve and shattered that old PB by 4:15! haha. Not sure I’ll be too enticed to dive back in, but it’s a far more enjoyable solve with a puzzle that…well…not a V-Cube!!!

Date Notes
August 5th, 2011 V-Cube 6×6 Purchased
August 10th, 2011 Best Time: 29:44.97
September 9th, 2011 Best Time: 16:25.27
November 17th, 2011 Best Time: 15:26.62
December 30th, 2021 Best Time: 11:11.38

I did not need the 7×7 but then again, I really did. I waited for Christmas to arrive and got myself one. 2011 proved to be the year of the cube, getting and solving the 2×2 all the way up to the 7×7. The cube itself feels so different from the 6×6. It’s a beast, of course, but I’m so pleased in that it doesn’t pop like the 6×6.

After a few months of just playing around with it, my son played with it, drooled on it and I lost some stickers. In mid-March, 2012, I had a day alone. My family was with the in-laws, and I had the ultra-rare day without responsibility. In the evening, I listened to some Joe Satriani and took the plunge. It was about 10 minutes for the centers alone. 6 minutes were needed for the inner edges and another 10 (!) to finalize the edges. I messed some things up here, but let’s face it; even a good solve for me will require a ton of time! I ended up with a solve time of over 28 minutes. Crazy. The 8×8 is on the market. I don’t even want to know how long it would take.

Fast forward a little bit and another ‘speed’ run was attempted in February of 2013. The solve was 4 minutes faster, but still pretty long.

After my son dropped my V-Cube and shattered it to pieces, I never managed to put it back together again. I kinda hated that puzzle anyway. For Christmas in 2018, it was replaced with a MF7S, a smaller puzzle (69mm rather than 75). The thing turns like a dream and is a fun solve. So…why not a new speedrun? Clocking in at 19:33.52, it had a lot of issues but still beat my old record by five minutes! Haha. Anyhow, since it’s such a pleasure to solve, maybe one day I’ll aim for sub-19. Why not?

A few weeks later I returned to the cube and broke my record twice in a day! My sub-19 goal was shattered – now residing at a 16-minute solve!

Date Notes
December 25th, 2011 V-Cube 7×7 Received
December 2011 Best Time: far too long!
March 15th, 2012 Best Time: 28:24.34
February 23rd, 2013 Best Time: 24:49.59
January 29, 2019 Best Time: 19:33.52
February 9, 2019 Best Time: 18:21.73
February 9, 2019 Best Time: 16:15.72

I like the Pyraminx. It’s not difficult to solve but it’s rather fun. I figured a speed run would be a fun adventure and my current time is pretty quick, just under 14 seconds. This doesn’t seem like a puzzle I’ll do much for speed, but it can be fun!

Date Notes
February 18th, 2012 QJ Pyraminx Received
February 20th, 2012 Best Time: 20.15
March 15th, 2012 Best Time: 13.80

My first ‘big’ cube purchase was a Pyraminx, Skewb and a 3x3x2. All are cool, but they’re really just novelty for me. None are all too fun to solve and none are a challenge. So, my second bigger cube purchase was a Megaminx, a Void Cube and a Windmill Cube. The former and the latter are just awesome and are such great additions to my collection.

I find the Megaminx to be a nice, relaxing puzzle. It’s not hard, but it is enjoyable. One Saturday afternoon, a good month after purchasing the puzzle, I tried it out for speed. I clocked in at under 8 minutes. Now, I could probably get this time down, but since most of the time is spent finding things, I don’t see this as something that needs real consistent challenging. Maybe I’ll go for another run but I think I prefer the puzzle as a Zen type thing. It has, though, really sparked my interest in the Gigaminx. Hmmm, expensive!

I write these words just under a decade since setting that personal-best time on the Megaminx. As my QJ puzzle broke when coming back from Italy, I had to buy a new one and a cheap Qiyi suit the bill. As part of a large puzzle purchase (about 10 in all), it wasn’t a very exciting addition to the collection, but since it turned so well, why not try out a new record? In this shipment was also a Qiyi 6×6 which I used to break that decade-old record two days ago. So, on new year’s eve, I tried for time and solved it in about 8-and-a-half minutes. Not terrible, but also within range. The next morning, also a Saturday, coincidentally, I busted out a 7:21 time, breaking my record by 30 seconds and moving almost every record of mine to the modern era. 2×2 and Pyraminx speed solves just don’t interest me at all.

Later in the year I figured I’d try again for time and somehow, magically, I got incredibly lucky on my last layer resulting in an astonishing 6:00 solve. Wow! Wondering if I should get a magnetic puzzle next. The QiYi is good but perhaps I could get this time down with a better puzzle?

Those very thoughts plagued me and I kept pondering magnetic puzzles like the GAN 356 which helped me break my 3×3 record. Eventually I settled on a YJ YuHu V2M. Literally m y second solve on that puzzle yielded a new record and two solves later I cut my time down to 5:18, a 40-second reduction! Fast forward two days and on a calm Saturday morning I revisited the puzzle. My first solve that morning, documented on the site showed me just shattering my record by over a minute and bringing my time down to 4:16! I was just astonished. A record that stood for a decade untouched, simply decimated. From 7:52 to 4:16. Just remarkable. Could I get better? *shrug*. I just know I’m happy I grabbed that magnetic puzzle. It’s just a joy to solve.

Date Notes
March 27th, 2012 QJ Megaminx Received
May 11th, 2012 Best Time: 7:52.85
January 1st, 2022 Best Time: 7:21.33
June 6th, 2022 Best Time: 6:00.77
June 30th, 2022 Best Time: 5:29.48
June 30th, 2022 Best Time: 5:18.69
July 2nd, 2022 Best Time: 4:16.92

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