Today, and particularly this holiday season, a lot of people seem to be turning to fidget toys as a simple, low-cost means of reducing stress and anxiety. The fiddle-friendly baubles can also help address symptoms associated with ADD / ADHD, Autism, nail biting, hair twirling, and leg bouncing. Serving as grounding tools for excess energy, fidget toys may also help increase your focus and attention.
Or the focus and attention of the person whose stocking you're going to stuff a bender, flipper, bouncer, and roller or two into this year.
Here are my picks for The Best Fidget Toys (Note: All items' prices are listed as they were at printing. Prices are subject to change.)
Begleri Beads. $45. This pair is made to order and hand turned from solid 5/8" diameter brass by J.L. Lawson & Co. For those unfamiliar, Begleri beads are a type of worry beads. Often flipped and spun to keep the hands (and mind) occupied, Begleris originated in Greece as a derivative of the Greek rosary. For those both unfamiliar and familiar, here's a sick video of what you can aspire to do with your Begleris.
Polar Modular Magnet Pen. $44 to $49. Fidget, write, fidget, write, fidget, write. Fingers do double duty with Polar. The modular pen consists of an ink refill skeleton covered in 14 rare earth neodymium magnets of body armor. Magnets strong and durable enough to build into spinny, rolly, and bouncy toys, or to chuck at your fridge and file cabinet at the precise force and trajectory required to make them stick.
FidgetWorks Rollie Pollie Round Chain. $12. Made of 6 bicycle links connected into a circular chain, this quiet and discreet fidget toy glides through fingers and morphs fluidly into various shapes when you're not poking one of them through its center opening.
ForeverSpin Tops. $34 to $195. Boost your creativity, add some minimalistic art to your desktop, give a gift that will last forever, or just let the movement mesmerize you and find some serenity now! ForeverSpin spinning tops are made from metals ranging from aluminum and copper to black zirconium and tungsten, formed into solid billets, and then CNC-machined on a lathe. The resultant level of precision achieved in the company's expertly-spun operation is top notch (at least as masterful as my puns), as are the quality and durability of ForeverSpin designs.
Radioactive Isotope Spinners. $70 to $135. You can dance with danger, or you can fidget with it. Black Hills Precision makes a series of aluminum and brass spinners in the shape of the ionizing radiation hazard warning. Probably not a good choice for your ADD / ADHD kids as I'm pretty sure the whole point of this symbol is to advise people to stay away from it.
Stainless Steel Black Spinner Ring. $12.50. A more subtle way for dudes to herd the ants out of their pants, this black-on-black stainless steel band has a slightly protruding inner ring that rotates around the thicker section covering your finger. Comes only in full sizes, 9 - 12.
Bouncy Band for Chairs. $19. With massage beads! A strong rubber rope attaches to chair legs to give adults--and especially barefoot adults--with restless legs something to occupy and soothe them. The 6 massage beads are made of maple and the band's outer sleeves slip over and slide up chair legs. The downside: doesn't look like the Bouncy Band has a very diverse range of chairs it's compatible with. Pretty much only your basic 4-post folding or school room seat.
Vorso Flat Tops. $55 to $200. They're just as antsy across the pond as we are here in North America. Based out of Staffordshire, England, Vorso specializes (fine, specialises) in precision engineered, performance spinning tops. I think their Flat Tops are pretty sweet. Unique and desktop-worthy in appearance, sleek in design, and, according to Vorso, "a fidgeter's dream." You can spin an FT on a flat surface, sure, but you can also spin it in your hand, on the tip of your finger, or on the point of a pen or knife if you go the skillz. Flat Tops come in your choice of brass or stainless steel surrounding a custom built bearing.
United Bow Tie Fidget Spinner. $75. Oooh, a toy for the most dapper of fidgeters out there. United Machining's Bow Tie is made of a black hardcoated aluminum and employs a Hybrid Ceramic Bearing so it spins for a long, long time. From one to two minutes to infinity! Or maybe just long enough for you to calm down and relax.
Fidgetland Ring Toys. $7 to $13. Solid Stainless steel rings and colorful silicone bands designed and intertwined in a range of different styles--one for each day of the week, maybe?--make up Fidgetland's ring toys.
Rick Roemer Urban Fidget Toys. $17 to $65. Rick Roemer started out handmaking eclectic, steampunk, upcycled, and recycled lamps, but has since added industrial fidget toys to his repertoire. This one, his BioHazard Spinner, is 3D printed and has 6 chrome steel weights embedded around its inner disc for spinning inertia. Roemer also used a Ceramic Hybrid bearing to keep the danger whirling and tearing around for longer. Check out his store for Galaxy, Nuclear, and Gear versions.
EDC Fidget Spinner. $49.50. This EDC Fidget Spinner from Brian's Metal Shop is all precision machined bones and plugs with a Bones Red bearing. Assembly is done with cryogenic and press fits so there is no glue involved. No mention of spin times, but this highly detailed, finely crafted spinner is a great addition to any collection.