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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I'm very pleased with this set of two baoding balls in the traditional box of silk embroidery covering a pasteboard box. They're a good size for me, and chime nicely with minimum clanking. Service was fast and packing was excellent. Reviews of some competitor baoding balls have claimed they were scratched; not here. I can recommend the vendor, Japan Bargain, highly.

**Here's a little (I hope) useful info for those not yet familiar with baoding balls (and if you are already familiar, feel free to skip): These little orbs have an ancient heritage, and along with Chinese domestic consumption are also a popular export product. A typical baoding ball has little gongs on the inside, and when these spheres are gently moved, they give off chiming sounds reminiscent of Japanese wind chimes. Baoding balls come in a wide variety of shell: along with the usual stainless-steel and chrome-plated ones, also available are iridescent models, models with typical Chinese motifs (panda, dragon, etc.), and philosophical models like yin/yang. All kinds of coloring, even cloissone -- including red white and blue USA-themed balls! When shopping, be aware that not all baoding balls make music, and some of them are too pretty to risk damaging by use for the traditional therapeutic benefit: rolling two or three around in one hand to limber up the fingers (a type of accupressure, actually) and improve nerve sensitivity. For the chiming models, one challenge is to move them around the hand without clanking each other, which will result in a dull "clunk" rather than the harmonic and long-lasting sound of chimes. Other names for baoding balls are worry balls, stress balls, and chiming balls, but NOT ben-wa balls, which instead are a kind of string of anal beads for exercise of a different sort(!).**

This particular pair of baoding balls measures about 1.5 inches in diameter, usually measured metrically as 38 millimeters (same as 3.8 cm). At 38 mm, these are about the smallest size recommended for adults and are a great way to start out using them to therapeutic effect. A full line of baoding balls for adults will also clock in at about 43, 45, 48 and 50 millimeters^, beyond which most sets are solid, to deliberately increase weight, but lack chimes. Sometimes the size of baoding balls reviewed here are called Number Four (#4), and as far as I can determine, the size numbers appear to proceed in inverse relation to the size of the balls themselves -- thus a no. five is smaller and a no. 3 is larger.
^These measurements are fairly stereotyped but they are not of ball-bearing precision, so it may be awkward to mix balls from different sources even if they are called the same size (on the other hand, some people enjoy the challenge of manipulating differently-sized balls). It's quite easy to search out on the Internet for videos of baoding balls in use.

Baoding balls in general remain a great bargain for an item that has not only heritage but a little artisty, and offers the promise of therapeutic benefit too. In my opinion this model is a great place to start, and you can work up to larger and more challenging sizes if these become too easy. Based on my and others' experiences, the chance of receiving a shabbily constructed box containing scratched or defective spheres is minimal from this vendor. A really great deal all around!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2009
Verified Purchase
These were just what I ordered... I only wish now that they had been 2", but that was my mistake (the 2" might better fill my larger hands?). How they can make these, and ship them clear around the world, and then sell them for $ 6.00, I will never figure out. I love these little things.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2010
I bought these Steel Health Balls because I want to stimulate the area of my brain that controls the hands. Increasing the IQ of your hands promotes better guitar playing.

My hands are already agile since I was able to easily rotate the balls both clockwise and counter-clockwise.

According to the Chines it will promote a healthier, longer life. That remains to be seen, but if I ever reach 100, I'll come back and redo my review.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2009
Verified Purchase
These are fantastic little doodads -- you'll be amazed how twirling them in your hand (which isn't hard to learn at all, at least simple movements) exercises your whole arm (mostly the hand of course). This can be done when doing something else, like watching TV, for example. Once you get the knack of it (took me less than an hour to be able to continue on autopilot, as it were) it'll feel entirely effortless, yet like with any new exercise, next day you'll feel it, your hand will hurt. This is obviously a very good exercise 'cause I noticed the effects nearly immediately: the finger agility noticeably increased in a matter of days, and it probably helps circulation too 'cause I noticed my hands acquired a kind of healthy color (gotta be circulation, no?) Anyway, feels great; I'm addicted.

About the seller: they deliver very fast (like in three days in my experience) and the stuff is good: the balls aren't heavy, but they are weighty; the chimes sound very softly when you rotate the balls relatively fast and w/o them touching one another. Every pair comes in a box, a small coffret sort of thing, with depressions for the balls and a lockable cover. The box is a bit crude but does the job of holding the balls in place adequately. Price (less than six bucks at the time of purchase) can't be beat of course, so I'm not complaining. Great stuff, highly recommended, to anyone.

12/13/2011: Let me add one nuance: the chrome holds up pretty good on these balls. Funny, but apparently you can't take it for granted -- I also bought back then a bunch of very heavy, solid-iron but chromed too, balls from baodingballs dot com, and even thought they are much costlier, they darkened literally within a few days, like the chrome came off or something like that. These are not like that, they're still bright and shiny.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2011
Verified Purchase
I didn't realize they would be as big as they are, but that was my fault. I have fairly small hands--1.25 in balls may have been more my size. I just got them today, and I love them. I'm right handed yet I can maneuver them much more easily with my left hand--which, in many cases, is very convenient because I can do other things with my right hand in the meantime.

There are places where the reflective coating has chipped and copper color shows.

Takes only a few minutes, give or take, to get used to the size. Perhaps a few more minutes to get them rotating consistently. I've already gotten to a point I can rotate them without making them touch (except for occasional clangs). Mind you the chimes are louder when rotated without touching than with touching. But when they are constantly touching there's an annoying scraping sound plus light chiming. So it's a bit of a lose-lose that I can't rotate noiselessly.

Construction of the box is pretty shabby, but sufficient as long as you're gentle. Just need a place to store them while I'm not using them. Comes with a little business card with a brief description of the use of the balls and what to do with them. Green and gold box with red interior and bottom.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
my dad had a set of these a while back, and i couldnt help but love to play with them, being autistic, it was a great sensory release for me, with the combination of chimes, cold steel, and the smooth roundness of the balls, if you know a young adult on the spectrum, this is a great thing to use as a fidget without looking too childish, I personally plan to get some myself soon.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2011
Verified Purchase
Getting over Carpel's Tunnel syndrome. This is used as part of my therapy. It makes a lovely chime sound while rolling. Quite soothing when you're try to relax or not blow a fuse when you're deep in stress. :-)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2011
Verified Purchase
Although I had imagined them as being a bit bigger, they measure the same as they report. Excellent value, no seams or anything, nice calm sounds. They feel durable and are not too heavy, they are actually slightly lighter than I had expected. Not too light though, a comforting weight in my hands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2014
Verified Purchase
They are some nice balls. Very relaxing. I had a couple friends try out my balls and they seemed to enjoy them. I know I do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2014
Verified Purchase
I love this product, and it works well. There are only two things I would have changed. For people who are just learning about Baoding Balls, it might help to have an introductory leaflet that would explain the techniques for using Baoding Balls and their benefits (with possibly a bit of history as an added intellectual plus).
My other complaint is the box the balls are stored in. While the box looks nice, it is obviously cheaply made. I am not sure how it will hold up over time, and I wish I had something nicer to store them in.
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