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How to Wind a Spinning Top

By Finn McCuhil ; Updated April 18, 2017

The spinning top was once a prized possession for most boys. It popularity has diminished with the passing years but its potential for fun still remains. Getting the top to spin properly requires some practice and persistence. First you must wind it properly. The steps are simple and will become automatic after a few throws.

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Hold the top with the point down in your left hand.

Press the knot at the end of your string against the middle or thickest portion of the top with your left thumb.

Loop the string around the cap of the top from right to left.

Bring the string back down across the top of the string held by your thumb just above the knot.

Turn the top point side up, while holding the knot under your thumb.

Pull the string up to the shoulder to the spinning tip. Wind the string tightly from left to right.

Wind the string in a single, continuous spiraled layer back up the body toward the middle or thickest portion of the top.

Place the end of the string between the second and third fingers of your right. Continue to wind until the button rests securely against the back of both fingers.


Steady tension and even winding are the secrets to success. Don’t allow the string to gap or overlap while winding. Hold the top with the point up when throwing. It will turn point down as the string unwinds.

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About the Author

Finn McCuhil is a freelance writer based in Northern Michigan. He worked as a reporter and columnist in South Florida before becoming fascinated with computers. After studying programming at University of South Florida, he spent more than 20 years heading up IT departments at three tier-one automotive suppliers. He now builds wooden boats in the north woods.

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