Ball vs. Point...and We Aren't Talking About Pens

"Why a ball and not a point, like my top had when I was a kid?"

We hear this comment a lot about our tops. Because tops have existed since antiquity, they are a classic! Traditionally tops were constructed of wood, sometimes with an iron tip. They spun with the help of a string or rope coiled around the top's axis, which, when pulled quickly, caused a rapid unwinding that would set the top in motion. 

But with all classic toys, developments and technology have shaped how they evolve. Today, many spinning tops are made from plastic or metal. And they are constructed with such precise balance that they can be set in motion by a simple twist of the fingers and twirl of the wrist without need for string or rope.

Sometimes technology isn't a bad thing, and spin tops are one example! Bearing tops, with a tip made of a small hard ceramic, tungsten carbide, or even ruby ball, have been one of the biggest changes in spinning top technology. Why do we use a ball and not just a point? Because a ball actually works better

If the top just came to a point, there would be a very small contact point between it and any surface. The metal would quickly wear down until the point was no longer sharp. The likelihood of the top remaining in balance is extremely low. If we had just machined the brass down to a sharp point, it would be much like the edge of a knife. And just like knives go dull with use, the top would do the same - quickly.   

If the tip is going to end up rounded off anyway, people quickly realized it made more sense to start with a perfectly centered round shape. The hard ceramic bearing lasts hundreds of times longer than a relatively soft metal would.

So that's why...people and technology got smarter with their tops...and now spin times are even greater! 

What's your longest spin time with one of our Bruce Charles tops? Sound off on social media by following @brucecharlesdesigns and using #brucecharlesdesigns– we'd love to see your pictures and videos!




About Bruce Charles Designs
At Bruce Charles Designs, we create beautiful yet functional pieces of art for people who appreciate clever designs and beautiful materials. Founder and designer Bill Strahan is an entrepreneur who has successfully launched and designed products and ideas for multiple businesses including Armored Fitness, Wayforward Adventures, and iFly GPS. Bruce Charles Designs came to be after Strahan discovered a love for machining, including his use of the lathe machine. Our products are elegantly functional, from our minds to your hands.