One Drop Gauntlet
Reviewed by Chris Rhoads
April 3, 2016
You know what I miss most from my childhood… arcades. Yes, I know we still have them today but they just are not the same. I miss those old palaces of video game glory where it was a simple quarter to play and the games were just so darn fun to play. The best part was the price. For a quarter you got as much game as your skills would allow you to play and the games’ designs were such that you kept returning for more. That being said, you never felt bad for blowing your whole week’s allowance, in quarter form of course, in those dimly lit palaces of light and sound. I must not be the only one who is pining for those days of old, the guys over at One Drop have been on a roll lately with their yo-yos that are named after those video games of yesteryear with the Vanguard, Gauntlet, and the upcoming Cabal. Today’s Gauntlet is carrying the banner for one of those arcade cabinets that drained my pockets of quarters nearly every weekend for quite some time. So, in my eyes, it has a lofty name to live up to.
• Diameter: 55.9 mm
• Width: 47.3 mm
• Gap: 4.44 mm
• Weight: 66.1 grams
• Bearing: One Drop 10 Ball
• Response: One Drop Flow Groove
The Gauntlet is quite unabashedly an organic shape, just modernized. It has the gap step design that keeps the string off the walls and a slight flattening of the inconspicuous rim on the outer edge. Other than those two features, it is a gentle sloping curve from rim to response that feels amazing in the hand. The face, on the other hand, is not so sparse in features. The inner walls mimic the profile’s rounded architecture, which does mean there is no IGR. After traveling three fourths of the way down the wall there are two steep steps down before reaching the slightly angled floor that guides the eye down to the ever so slightly raised hub at the center. The Gauntlet’s surface is One Drop’s tumbled Pyramatte finish that allows for decent grinds while refraining from getting sticky in all but the most humid of weather. Over all, the looks are a great throw back to older organic yo-yos while still having the modern flair to catch your eye.
The Gauntlet tips the scales at 66.1 grams, giving it a leisurely pace that can easily be ramped up when needed. The yo-yo is stable on the string, but has no problem going off axis when you want it to.
Response and Bearing
The bearing and response are probably the oldest tech in the yo-yo. One Drop has stuck with their superb 10-Ball bearing and Flow Groove response. This combination has aided One Drop yo-yos in giving excellent performance and that unique “One Drop feel” that many have grown fond of over the years.
As I said in the weight section, this yo-yo can play fast or slow depending on how you are feeling that day. It reminds me quite a bit of the MarkMont Classic in the play… a wider, fixed weight MarkMont Classic. This comparison is a very good thing in my eyes since the MC is what I consider to be pretty much the pinnacle of what One Drop has put out and this plays extremely close. Even though it is a little on the wide side the Gauntlet is very easy to maneuver it through tight tricks like Black Hops or whatever tight combo you would like to come up with. While I am not great at them, I was able to pull off some horizontal ticks as well, along with a finger spin or two… no where near as good as the pros but I still did it. Over all, the play is top notch.
Going back to my comparison of the Gauntlet with the MC, I cannot stress how much this pleases me. The Gauntlet is giving MarkMont Classic level play at almost half the price. Yeah, I sort of buried the lead on this one… the Gauntlet lists for $49 while giving signature yo-yo level performance. Where the MC wins is that it has a better blast finish, IGR, and Side Effects. If you can live without them then I highly recommend saving the $45 that it costs to upgrade to the MC and get this yo-yo instead. As is, they are almost interchangeable in my collection.