There are tons of manufactured spinners out there, but what if you’re not the type that likes to spend money on finished products? What if you’re like me and rather make your own fidget spinner? Fear not my dear fidgeteer, on this page you’ll find everything you need to know on how to make a fidget spinner yourself.
Before we begin, I think it’s important to point that there are a multitude of ways of making your own hand spinner. And yes, you can make a fidget spinner without a 3D printer. There is really no right or wrong when it comes to DIY spinners, so if you feel like using some other material, just go for it! Experimentation is key to getting something awesome.
Tip: Don’t fancy making your own? Check our guide to finding the best fidget spinners.
There are only three requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to create something that classifies as a spinner:
- Solid material (wood, metal, plastic)
- A skateboard bearing
- Small weights (optional)
Here you can use basically any material you can think of, as long as it doesn’t flex or twist. The most popular materials are wood, metal and plastic, some will be easier to work with than others. If you don’t want to spend time cutting out your own shape, you can get creative and use various household objects, I’ve seen spinners made out of sugru, popsicles, zipties, paracord and even rubber bands!
If you’re going to be cutting out your own shape, it’s highly recommended to use a CAD software to draw a 100% symmetrical shape, print it out on paper and glue it onto your material of choice. Even the tiniest bit of asymmetry will have a large impact (a negative one as well) on spinning time, so make sure to put some effort into the design process.
I should also add that there are special spinners that are asymmetrical, but these are not designed to spin for several minutes. They usually have one bearing and one weight and require constant work from you if they are to spin.
Next on our list are the bearings, without them this hobby would be a lot less exciting, that’s for sure. Bearings come in all all shapes and sizes, but for fidget spinners skateboard bearings work the very best. They’re the perfect size for your hand, they’re cheap and readily available.
If you were to ask the fidget community on which skateboard bearing is the best, you would get a ton of different answers. You will hear a lot of “This brand is the best one!” or “No way, that brand is just ripping off this other brand!” and plenty of other conspiracy theories. In my opinion, just go for something that you can afford, or something that you know is very popular. I have written an article on the best bearings for fidget spinners, check it out, maybe you’ll find something that suits you.
The last thing on your shopping list should be some kind of small weight. The weight will help the bearing to spin for longer. Make sure that you space these out evenly, otherwise the balance will be off and you will most likely not get the best spin time. Also make sure that they weigh the same!
Some of the more popular choices for weights include:
- Ball bearings
- Steel balls
The two most popular ways of making your DIY spinner
While I mentioned that you can literally create these in whatever way you want, there are of course more popular methods than others. These methods do not require barely tools or experience. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
Making it out of wood
Wood is one of those materials that is readily available all over the world, it’s also very cheap. Now there are a hundreds ways of making your own wood fidget spinner, but I do have my preferences. The best way to start is by designing your spinner in a CAD software, a free one is Google Sketchup. When you have designed your model, make sure to print out a blueprint of it on a piece of paper. Cut it out and glue it onto your piece of wood.
As for which wood to choose, it’s pretty much entirely up to you. Personally I would stay away from hardwood because it’s just so much harder to work with, unless you have the correct tools you’ll find yourself spending hours just to cut through it (trust me, I’m speaking from experience here). If you want something easy to work it, I can recommend popsicle sticks, you can get a 200 pack for less than $10 on Amazon.
3D print it
The second most popular way, is to 3D print your very own hand spinner. This is my favorite, as I don’t really have any fancy workshop to work in, and using power tools inside my apartment isn’t something my neighbors appreciate that much.
3D printing a spinner allows you to create the wildest shapes you can imagine, you don’t have to rely on power tools or experience to get a decent results either. The only thing you really need is some basic knowledge of a CAD software. Yes I know, you need to own a 3D printer as well, but these days you can actually get them for cheap if you’re willing to assemble everything yourself. I personally bought myself an Anet A8 back in December for $150 and have been really pleased with it.
If you find that designing your own spinner is too much work, I can highly recommend Thingiverse, here you’ll find over thousands of different spinners that you can download and print. Here are some of my own creations: Tri Gear Spinner & basic tri spinner with m8 nuts.
Tutorials for making your own DIY hand toy spinner
Down below you will find a list of my favorite tutorials for making your very own fidget spinner. Most of these tutorials can be completed by anyone with some basic tools.
Make one from posicles
Brains techKnowlogy on YouTube has made a really good video on how to make a fast and long spinning hand toy with basic household items.
This is without a doubt the most simple DIY hand toy you can make, the only thing you need is some glue and some bearings.
Use rubber bands
Another tutorial for the frugal people out there, turns out you can use a couple of rubber bands to get a decent spinner as well!
Nuts and bolts
If you don’t mind taking a trip down to the hardware store, the YouTube user Allrj has a really nice tutorial. By using some washers, locknut and bults you can get a really nice hand spinner for cheap.
Got some paracord laying around from your previous project? You can actually use it to make yourself a neat little dual hand spinner.
Got your own tutorial? Share it with us!
Have you made your own DIY hand spinner? Why not share it with us by commenting down below? I’m sure many of the readers here would appreciate it!