Review – Head to Head – PGM vs PGMv2

The new version of the Plastic Grind Machine (Affectionately referred to as the Chinese Grind Machine) has replaced its predecessor with a 10 dollar cheaper price tag. The question looms on many peoples minds, what all has changed? I don’t usually write a whole new review for a small version change, but this change has alot of people wondering…. What is the difference?
I have previously reviewed the YoYoFactory Grind Machine in a head to head with the YoYoJam Legacy. This time, I am taking the new version of the PGM, and pitting it against the old version.
Head to Head – PGM vs PGMv2


Version 1 PGM

Version 2 PGM

Weight (g)



Width (mm)



Diameter (mm)



Gap Width (mm)



Bearing Size (Inside x Outside x Width)

.250 x .500 x .187 in

250 x .500 x .187 in

Gap Type



Stock Response System

Turning Point K-Pad

Turning Point K-Pad


A hair thinner
An even smaller hair smaller in Diameter
Thinner gap
No more mold marks
Half a gram heavier
Thicker weight rings
New packaging

First Impressions –

The new packaging it awesome. This yo-yo is now ready to hit the shelves at Toys r Us, Target, and other boutiques.The cylinder that holds the Grind Machine rotates, giving you a 360 degree view of the yo-yo you are investing time and attention in. Once you get the packaging open, you will notice that the new PGM is a little smaller then the first release. Just a smidge, tad, spec, tiny bit. You will also notice that the visual branding has changed. I have to admit, the weight ring looks kinda naked now. The ring sticker is now on the inside wall around the hubstack, and just does not seem to stand out as much as the old design.
Winner: New version – The packaging puts it over the top for me, and I am sure that YYF will have more sticker and color options soon.

Comfort –

The feel in your hand of the PGM v2 is virtually the same as the PGM, except one extremely important thing…. No more mold marks! Yes! Gone are the little scrapes and scratches that the mold mark on the outer rim used to create when grinding. Gone are little winces upon a hard catch. Gone is the need to file down the mold marks after learning the hard way. The meat of the catch area is still there, but with a slightly smaller width and diameter, the PGM v2 hits the hand MUCH better. I always thought that the first version of the PGM just did not hit the hand the right way, but the new version, with the little changes, fells much more natural on both grip and catch. It just seems to sit in a more correct manner on the meat of your thumb. Also gone is the feeling of grippyness that the earlier versions had. This new version has a better texture to it, giving you the grinding surface you have been waiting for in a plastic.
Winner: New Version – The new version is more comfortable to hold, and does not feel as bulky as the original. Better grinding surface which also gives you a better grip.

Tech –

This is probably where some of my readers will do a double take… This yoyo was made in China, vs the original made here in the US. I have to say it; This version, the new version, made in China, is put together better then the US version. No mold marks, and no rubber weight rings to fight getting flush. The bearing in the new version does not feel or sound different than the YoYoFactory Spec bearing but it is lacking the YYF stamp on it. I am not sure what this implies, but as far as I can tell, I see no difference.  The bearing spacers are the same, which I never really had a problem with.  A little harder to take apart and clean the bearing, but if little Johny takes his PGM and opens it up, and inevetably drops the bearing assembly on the grass/bus floor/cafeteria floor/car seat/shag carpet, at least you will be helping him find one large shiney thing.
The gap is smaller, but not by much. This is a good thing. There was a little bit of slippage in the original version due to the “hands off” approach the K-Pads use in the recess. I have fiubd that K-Pads + deep recess = resposne doesnt want to grab that string unless it absolutely have to. Then there is the IRG. There is no way I am getting my thumb in there to do an IRG. On the old version, there was hope, but not so much with the new version. Unless you are a IRG master, or you pull off the hubstacks, I don’t see much IRG play in this versions future.
Winner – New version – Yoda says “IRG, a yoyo does not make.”

Play –

Ahh to grind without scratches. Ahh to grab stacks without the pinch killing the spin. Ahhhhhhhh. Okay, enough of that. The PGM played nice, but the PGM v2 plays better. The gap is still big enough to give you multiple wraps, yet thin enough to give you tight binds without the need to add to the response system. There is risk of tilt in a bad throw, but it is easily correctable. The new version also seems to find a nice balance between annoying floatiness and an awkward clunk. It may not be the smoothest yo-yo you own, but it certainly gets the job done in a fashion with no holds bared performance. The older version had a slight clunk feeling to it. The new version, it is still there, but not as much. I had no problems getting this new PGM  in and out of small knots and transfer tricks. It felt very natural, and gave me no resistance as I dropped kinks into GTs and whipped the string structures around.
I always thought that 5a felt very natural for the PGM, and this version is no different. I hate almost all light yo-yos when playing 5a, but the PGM (and this new version) has always been different. It just seemed to play heavier than the 63 (ish) grams it actually is. I was able to tangle, then reverse tangle without the yo-yo dying, and areal pops are so much fun to pull of over any surface without worrying about scuffing a pretty metal. I also really loved the grinds on this new version. It still shoots off the arm, but there is much more control with the new textured surface. I guess you could call it simulated beadblasting.
Winner – New version. Just feels better for all the little reasons that are hard to put into words.

Price –

New version is 10 bucks cheaper, with MSRP at $29-$34…..No contest here.

Final Thoughts –

YoYoFactory knows its players. They listen, and they respond. How would you like all those things you didn’t like about the first version of the PGM to change, and it will cost you 10 bucks less? The only catch? It is made in China….My response? Uhhh, how is that a catch? Here it is in plain language. I like the idea of Made in the USA products, but this is a global economy that we are in. Everything I own, from my Ford cars to my Acer laptop, is made either partially or entirely overseas. Not to mention that half of my yo-yo collection is made by an overseas yoyo company.  I bring this up because I know there are some who find this “Made in China” label frustrating. Well stop it. I love ILYY, CLWY, SPYY, HSpin, 44Creations, and my Nintendo Wii, and so should you.
When you figure in a substantial discount, better quality, and similar if not better play, there should not be any hesitation on your part. The new version of YoYoFactorys Plastic Grind Machine is a winner. Better price, No loss in play.  Now, here is the big question: Say you already have a PGM v1, do you need to pick up a PGM v2?   That is really a question every player has to answer for themselves.  If the mold marks, weight rings, and slippy binds were deal breakers for you on the PGMv1, then I would say Yes, get a PGMv2.  If you happy with the PGMv1, then stay happy, but try to get a hands on experiance with the PGMv2 to see what your missing.

TONS of stores carry the new version of the PGM, but here are a few that I found right away.

Bird in Hand
The YoStore

Overseas stores

Written by Chris “Dr. Yo-Yo” Allen who thinks the new packaging belongs in an art museum.

Thanks to Augie for letting me borrow his PGMv2 for two weeks.

Thanks to Alex (Cyc) for giving me the Idea


Chris "Dr. Yo-Yo" Allen is the creator and founder of He has been yoyoing for over 25 years and has a passion for the industry.

'Review – Head to Head – PGM vs PGMv2' has no comments

  1. May 27, 2011 @ 6:53 pm Nobody

    Spyy and Clyw are Candien, not made overseas plus Canada has basically the same standards when it comes to factorys (no child labor, $10.95 minimum wage, etc).


  2. December 29, 2009 @ 11:25 pm nick maddox

    great review, I just bought a pair of white PGM V2’s. I hope there good for 3a!


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