Introduction: Wooden Fidget Hand Spinner Under $1

Picture of Wooden Fidget Hand Spinner Under $1

I've always been obsessed by fidgeting almost everywhere, with anything from pens, begleri, zippo lighters and such, so it's no surprise that when I've first seen the idea of creating a spinner toy, I had to have it. Yet for such a simple toy, some people are willing to pay crazy amounts of money (which I think is unreasonable and unnecessary).

Also, as I have no 3D printer, I had to create my own from what I had around in my garage. You might also have all the necessary stuff laying around in your garage as well. So let's get into it, shall we?

Step 1: Gathering All the Parts

Picture of Gathering All the Parts

Wood - any scrap wood that you find

Files and handsaw - self explanatory

Power drill - to create the center hole

Nut and bolt - to create the protruding grip on the ball bearing

Ball bearing - 608zz skateboard ball bearing - I'm using cheap ebay 1 AUD abec 7 ball bearing.

Step 2: Wood

Picture of Wood

The scrap wood that I found was a piece of laminated wood, I thought it had nice texture so I decided to use it.

Not the best idea dare I say. The laminate tends to chip off when drilling and filing, and overall is a real pain in the butt to work with.

The basic shape is a simple equilateral triangle, where each side has 9 cm (3,5 inch). In the middle I drilled hole with largest drill bit I had (I don't have step drill bit unfortunately), yet I continued to enlarge the hole with circular rasp, eventually giving the ball bearing very snug fit in the center of the triangle. Then I marked approximate locations for the weights, which I got from old broken gaming mouse (Verbatim Rapier V2). They did also fit snug enough to work without any glue.

In center of each side, I filed a dent with circular rasp, just to give it a bit better look.

Next step is to balance the spinner. This gives you much smoother spin and enables you to spin it for much longer time. This way I increased the spin time from bare 20 seconds to over 40! I inserted all the weights and ball bearing into their places, secured the bolt with a nut in the center of the ball bearing and held the spinner vertically. Usually one side of the triangle will always point to the ground, and if you grab the triangle and move it, it will again align itself back. This means that one side of the triangle is heavier than the other one, which is a problem. I solved this by slowly taking excess wood off the sides with a rasp, eventually giving me very nice balance, that whatever tip of the triangle I pointed to ground, it stayed that way without moving itself. Also pay extra attention to the holes you drill for the weights in the first place, just a milimeter off and you may shift the center of gravity off the center so much, that you won't be able to fix it later by filing off some wood.

Step 3: Final Step + Thoughts on Fidget Spinning

Picture of Final Step + Thoughts on Fidget Spinning

The last thing I did was fitting all the weights and the bearing, securing each one with a drop of superglue, just to be sure.

What I've learned after building a few of these is that the spin time is going to depend mostly on quality of the ball bearing and the balance. The 1AUD 608zz bearing yields about 40-50 seconds to spin, and when it first arrived, the inside was filled with some grease, which made it unable to spin fast. I sprayed it heavily with WD-40 which washed away all the grease and it spins freely, just be sure to get it inside of the bearing. Then I wanted to create more of them, and I hesitated and bought 10 pack of 608zz bearings for 3USD on ebay. I can say that those are the worst bearings you can possibly buy. Even after WD-40 cleaning, it wasn't able to spin for longer than 15-25 seconds. If you're planning to go to the completly opposite side of the budget range, I'd recommend good quality ceramic ball bearings, the serviceable type (that the side panel can be opened for cleaning etc.). They are a bit more expensive, yet a friend of mine was able to achieve up to 3-4 minutes spin time with those bearings, and very similiar body and weight design. I guess that's all for this project. I hope you might find this useful to satisfy your fidgeting! :-)


jason hamilotn (author)2017-05-02

would someone sell one to me please?

deluges (author)2017-02-02

A piece of advice if I may - if you clamp your piece between two pieces of scrap wood when drilling your holes (or even just put one piece of scrap wood underneath it where the drill bit comes out) you will avoid splitting and get nice exit holes.

i wish i had done that with my spinner because it split and got really anoing

Kandrix (author)deluges2017-02-02

Thanks for the tip, I appreciate any advice, as I'm fairly new to any woodworking.

codemasterpopcorn (author)2017-04-09

I have everything but the weights and i do not know what to use, can someone help?

Ha, I should look at other people's comments first to get a answer.

babl3ck made it! (author)2017-02-09

Since I had a 3D printer at my disposal, I drew up the plans in AutoCAD and printed it out using RepetierHost. I used some 13 mm diameter steel ball bearings that I had lying around for counterweights, and a 24x8x8 mm bearing that I acquired from an old drill that I scrapped a while back. It spins fairly consistently in the 20-25 second range.

crazypj (author)2017-02-02

I looked at full ceramic bearings but they were more than 'just a bit more expensive' at about $17.00(US). The cheap 10 pack are pretty horrid though

robertbu (author)crazypj2017-02-06

I'm not sure what criteria you used for searching on ebay. When I search I find pages like this one:

They are ABEC 9 and ceramic. They are out of china, so you would need to wait a few weeks to get them. They run $2.13 for one or $9.96 for five.

robertbu (author)crazypj2017-02-02

If you look on ebay or other sites out of china, you can purchase ceramic bearings for around $2.00 each. This video: has a comparison between ceramic and steel bearings, and he goes through his ebay search criteria for his ceramic bearing purchase.

crazypj (author)robertbu2017-02-06

I just checked eBay (it's where I get a lot of cheap stuff)

Cheapest full ceramic 608 bearing is $6.99. Hybrid ceramic bearings are cheaper but it kinda defeats the purpose of having a bearing that can run 'dry' at high rpm. If I was making them to sell at the ridiculous prices I see I would use full ceramic though

TristenB3 (author)2017-02-05


TristenB3 (author)TristenB32017-02-05

cool i need a fidgit that is cheep

DanM6 (author)2017-02-02

Ii guess i don't get fidget toy... you mean all you do is spin disc with other hand? Please explain.

Drake88 (author)DanM62017-02-03

Some people, usually creative or active types, can actually think and focus BETTER when messing around(fidgeting) with something in their hands or on a table. This sometimes helps me and sometimes it doesn't, it depends on what I happen to be thinking about(for me anyway).

It's is a known psychological fact, and is often used my many people to focus during meetings, tests, etc. I got in trouble in school for doing this during tests, because a teacher thought I had answers printed or written on my "little toy".

TK Trooper (author)DanM62017-02-03

This may help Dan,

jvandeyacht (author)DanM62017-02-02

Dan, have you ever heard the old phrase; idle hands are the devils tool? This fidget toy is something that just allows you to keep your hands busy and occupy your mind so you don't drive everybody nuts by running around and being crazy. I have several fidget toys that I keep under my desk while at meetings so I can focus more on the meeting. It is amazing how it works something small and simple.

sssaksena (author)2017-02-03

Thanks for the idea, I've created a template to save your time in case someone wants it:

TK Trooper (author)sssaksena2017-02-03

Very handy cheers. Not sure if it was intentional, but you missed out the holes for the weights to go in.

mrsmerwin (author)2017-01-31

I keep seeing these fidget toys. I need to make a few dozen. My son has way too much energy. This could work.

I think I have everything I need for this project--even the time cause you explained it so well.

crazypj made it! (author)mrsmerwin2017-02-02

I made a different style for my grandson (he's only 15months) Used scrap I've had laying around for years. Because of his age I made a 'handle' out of a piece of branch neighbors had cut down. Used an old fan from Suzuki 80cc ATV as spinner with almost everything machined off to give it some texture and interest. 10mm stainless steel Allen bolt plus a wingnut to give him something else to fidget with. I should have paid more attention while polishing, even after removing almost all the fan blade plus rounding off, spinning at 10,000rpm (or more?) I managed to damage myself (tore out a piece of fingernail- see pic) Kept him occupied at least 5 minutes while coming home from daycare yesterday (usually toys only keep him occupied about 30 seconds) I think it's a 'win'

mrsmerwin (author)crazypj2017-02-02

He is a lucky kid to have custom toys made that are age appropriate. The other day care parent's may want to get to know you better.

Kandrix (author)mrsmerwin2017-01-31

Thanks, I hope your son will like it.

mrsmerwin (author)Kandrix2017-01-31

If he had had one last evening, everyone in the hospital would have loved it. He cannot help causing mischief because hospitals make him antsy.

DIY Dave (author)mrsmerwin2017-01-31

Hospitals always make me antsy too. I usually play with their wheelchairs

mrsmerwin (author)DIY Dave2017-01-31

he was playing with the nurse's chair--it was on wheels and went up and down. I forbid him from touching her computer. This is why we send kids to school every day. Somebody else gets to enjoy their quirks for a change.

Kandrix (author)2017-02-02

I've talked about that in step 2, sorry for not clear enogh instructions. But you can use anything you want really, if you stacked some washers of adequate size, it would work the same, or just take another nut and create hexagonal hole for it with precision file.

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