BilletSpin “The Vanguard” Top Review

BilletSpin has released a new top.  It’s named “The Vanguard” and they were kind enough to send one my way.  It’s gorgeous, too – a 3-color Mokume / Flamed Titanium top, with a Ruby sphere atop the stem.  Truly a stunning top.  Read on for some thoughts and most importantly, photos.


Official Specs

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Short Review

Whew this thing is gorgeous.  I don’t say that lightly; I have a ton of pretty things.  I also like the size – pocket space is limited, so unless you carry a purse size of your edc items is important.  This one occupies fortunately little space, but is great as a fidget.

Long Review

Package

Above you can see an absolutely massive upgrade from BilletSpin – a branded tin.  Now that might seem [whatever] but trust me, that’s a great thing for these tops.

It’s a bit oversized for a single top, but layered this tin would likely hold a number of tops.

This is how a single top ships.  There’s a little divot for the stem, and foam over the top, too.  With careful cutting, many more tops would fit in this case.  But this is a vast improvement over the cloth baggies they shipped in before.

Look

First of all, the shape of The Vanguard.

All of the above said – if this size is your thing, but the look isn’t, then remember there are a bunch of variations.  They range in price from $125 (All Stainless Vanguard with Black Ceramic ball) to $205 (Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with ruby stem ball).

Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard w/ruby stem ball
Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Copper/Stainless Steel Vanguard w/white ceramic stem ball
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with ruby stem ball
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball [DISCONTINUED]
Zirc/Twist Dammy Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with Ruby stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Treated Mokume/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with Ruby stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic stem ball
Bronze/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic stem ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with ruby stem ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with white ceramic ball
Twist Dammy/Titanium Vanguard with grey/black ceramic ball
All Stainless Vanguard with Ruby ball
All Stainless Vanguard with Black Ceramic ball
Tungsten/Copper Vanguard with Ruby Stem Ball

Feel

Here’s everything BilletSpin says about The Vanguard:

Newest 2-piece top, the Vanguard, features a 0.98” diameter blasted and treated 3 color Mokume outer disk with a treated Titanium stem. Carbide ball on bottom and a ruby ball on top. Weight is 28 grams.

Due to the fragility of the ruby ball we recommend not spinning this top upside down.

Why do I have that comment in this category?  Because the main way this top feels is a result of the blasted Mokume outer disk.  It’s very supple, and the blast provides just a bit of grip.  That’s nice if you choose to spin this top “upside down” but in my case, I didn’t because of the ruby sphere.  The hardness of the ruby would make for great spinning – but that hardness is exactly what also makes it brittle, which would not make for great results if the drop was careless….  (As a sidenote, the first top I was notably excited about was the Lambda by Prometheus Lights, which had a ruby contact point, and I never had any issues with it.)

The thumb stud.  It’s very grippy, and allows strong twists for long spins.

Spin Times

I got a bit carried away spinning this top during the photo session….. So sorry for the many photos on something that’s not an ideal spin surface (it’s a sticker from PhotonPhreaks).

It’s possible to notice the striations of the Mokume during spins.   Well… with a camera it is, anyway. 🙂  I thought that was very neat.

The table shown here is just for art purposes; it’s not the timed test surface. 😛  But the top is in fact spinning on that variegated surface.

I noticed a couple of things while spinning this top.  First of all, it wanders for a little while, looking for a comfortable spot.  Then when it finds that comfortable spot, it wobbles a bit.  Then it tends to get settled into a zone, and spins for a good while.  I had some great results on a glass surface, which has a very lightly convex shape.  Not a proper spinstation, but it worked.

I did some spintime tests and the results are as follows:

Spin Time (m:s)
1 (desk top) 2:24.32
2 (desk top) 2:16.89
3 (hard table top) 2:40.00
4 (hard table top) 3:21.23
5 (concave glass) 7:00.12
6 (concave glass) 6:20.36

I’m impressed with the 7 minute spin.  With a real, proper, spin station, I bet this would go for 10+ minutes.

Maintenance / Disassembly

There’s nothing that can be disassembled on The Vanguard.  The 2 pieces are press fit together.

Keeping the top clean should provide a long lifetime.

Size

Officially this top is 0.98″ in diameter, and 28g.

I measure the diameter at 24.9mm, and the height at 27.41mm.

Below is a US quarter.  The Connecticut version.

This is a very small top.  Not a micro top I suppose, but it’s very good for pocket carry, and could even serve as a good worry token substitute, or talisman.

Conclusion

What I Like

  • High quality build
  • Tons of metal options
  • This is really a beautiful piece.
  • Love the top-of-stem options, including ruby.
  • The improved package (ie the tin)

What I Don’t Like

  • Limited availability (to wit: when they’re gone they’re gone?)

I have a few more similar items that I’ll be posting in the coming weeks.  If there’s anything more or specific that you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments!


Notes

  • This top was provided by BilletSpin for review.  I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this item, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

1 thought on “BilletSpin “The Vanguard” Top Review

  1. Very nice review, appreciate you taking the time to give some honest feedback! Enjoy the Vanguard!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *