Achieving Top Spin Times - Bruce Charles Designs Spinning Tops

Did you know that the length of spin time for your Bruce Charles Designs Schulte top greatly depends not on you the spinner, but on the surface you use? It's true! On a soft, wood tabletop, a spin of a minute or two is pretty good. But those times will not compare to times you can achieve on a good spinning surface! On a hard glass or ceramic surface, the following times are good guidelines when spinning any of our Schulte tops:

  • Any beginner should be able to get more than 3 minutes with just a bit of practice. 
  • Intermediate spinners can get over 5 minutes, and with practice, regular spins of over 7 minutes are achievable. 
  • On an ideal surface with a powerful and balanced spin, both the brass and fusion tops have spun for more than 10 minutes.

As you practice to improve your spin time, we've discovered there are three components to achieving the longest spin, and the first two are all about technique:

  1. Impart as much energy as possible to the spin of the top. Practice spinning the top in different ways until you find the one that results in the fastest initial spin.
  2. Spin the top so that it starts spinning as straight up and down as possible. Anything less than perfectly straight up and down will cause a more rapid loss of energy as the top will travel in a circular path until it rights itself. This slows the Schulte down faster than when it is spinning in place.
  3. Reduce the friction between the top and the surface as much as possible. You can do this by keeping the silicon nitride bearing clean with a soft cloth and cleaning any lint or oils off the spinning surface. The ideal surface is a clean, dry, hard surface such as a mirror, lens, or glass. Our Bruce Charles Designs Teak Wood Spinning Base with Glass Concave Lens is the perfect surface for spinning (available on Amazon here)! A hard surface helps minimize friction between the top and the surface since it will have the smallest contact point possible. A moderately concave surface is good for general purpose use and learning, but the least concave surface possible will result in the longest spins.

The Schulte's longest spins have been achieved on a custom 10-inch concave mirror, and they were high-speed spins that started with almost no imbalance whatsoever (spinning goals, right?!). For every spin over 10 minutes, we had a dozen or more that were in the 9-minute range. When everything is just perfect, 10+ minutes is doable.

What's your longest spin time? We'd love to see-email us at or post on social media and tag us with #brucecharlesdesigns!