Fidget away with these unique and totally-still-cool fidget spinners

Cool fidget spinners
Molrudee Chanthatul/123RF

You’ve seen fidget spinners, although you probably hadn’t just a year ago. You woke up one recent day, backpack stuffed with pogs, only to walk outside and see that the times have passed you by again. Everyone you see has a fidget spinner, but what are these small talismans of obsession whirling between their fingertips?

Fidget spinners are alleged to help people with conditions like ADHD maintain their concentration — the science is still out as to whether this is true — and they have erupted in popularity, becoming a favorite toy among kids and even adults. While the typical fidget spinner follows a three-lobed design, people have come up with all manner of variations on the classic look, with some even redefining it. These cool fidget spinners are not guaranteed to cure your anxiety, but they may just alter the way you see the universe.

The Orbiter

cool fidget spinners raptor orbiter

The classic fidget spinner sports three lobes, with a bearing in the center. The Raptor Orbiter eschews that design completely. Instead, it consists of a smooth, metal base and an unattached ball. The base is magnetic, and the ball clings to it, gliding along the circumference when you apply force. An ordinary fidget spinner, with just a simple flick, can spin for minutes; the Orbiter does not seem capable of this, requiring constant movement to keep the ball rolling. For some, this might seem an annoyance, but those who try the Orbiter may come to appreciate the constant effort. As your wrist gyrates and the ball circles, moving quickly yet shackled to the base, we remember that the universe is composed of immutable laws. We are bound by the fundamental forces of the universe, prisoners of reality for whom the sentence will not be commuted. The Orbiters smooth finish also feels pretty nice in the hand.

Zentri Metal fidget spinner

cool fidget spinners zentri metal spinner

Adults may feel like fidgeting, too, but if you’re in a business meeting or defending a client in a high-stakes trial, it might be a little embarrassing to whip out a neon-colored, plastic toy. You need a fidget spinner with an elegant design, a spinner with class. This Zentri metal fidget spinner, with its sleek, metallic exterior and minimalist shape, looks like it could double as the logo for some futuristic megacorporation. It fits discreetly in the pocket of a suit, and should you pull it out while someone else is giving a speech, expect every eye in the room to turn toward you. See Mitch from accounting begin to sweat, his eyes wide, his mouth twitching as he whispers “Brushed steel…”

TheBackyardScientist’s rocket-powered spinner

The Cold War was a golden age for rocketry, as two of the mightiest empires in the history of the world raced to see which could expand their dominions into space first. Today, societies don’t seem to care much about racing to new heavenly bodies, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from strapping rockets to all manner of things, even fidget spinners. As documented on his channel, YouTube personality TheBackyardScientist built a fidget spinner by cutting the body out of aluminum with a plasma cutter. He then strapped a rocket to each lobe, mounted the spinner on a weighted tripod, and lit the fuses. As the first test demonstrates, this is not the safest toy to play with — but it sure looks cool.

Beyond the press’ giant, 3D-printed spinner

Is there anything you can’t make with a 3D printer? Probably, but a giant fidget spinner is not on the list. The people behind Youtube channel Beyond the press created a giant fidget spinner in their massive 3D printer, printing a central part and three lobes that attach to it via screws. The project used large, steel bearings as well, and the ultimate result is a spinner that requires both arms and will probably shred your biceps. We imagine that, hoisting such a colossal spinner as it carves the air, one must feel like a giant of Greek myth, hurling mountains.

Genji ninja star fidget spinner

cool fidget spinners genji spinner

This spinner — which, going by the name and design, is an allusion to the Overwatch character Genji — looks like it could be a deadly shuriken. While it is made of metal, and is thus a bit sturdier than the usual fidget spinner, the edges are dull, so don’t go trying to sling it at your foes; you’ll be as ineffectual as most silver-tier Genji players. It’s a slick spinner, though, and doubles as a prop if you’re into Overwatch cosplay.

The Knob

cool fidget spinners the knob

If you’re into steampunk, you probably like having gears on everything: Gears on your hats, gears on your prop revolver, gears on your airship. But could you imagine a having a gear for a fidget spinner? Could such a thing be possible? Yes, easily, but you shouldn’t skimp on quality. The Knob is an eye-catching hunk of steel, molded to look like a gear. The manufacturer uses “Damasteel,” and if that sounds like Damascus steel, that’s because it comes from a Swedish forge whose product evokes the famed alloy that was once used in Middle Eastern sword making. This gives the metal a distinct pattern, adding a little personality to a utilitarian design. Let it rip, and feel the power of a steam engine whirling in your hand.

If you’re looking for more fun toys, consult our roundup of the best ferrofluid toys or, if you want to get your hands dirty, these fun Arduino projects.