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Begleri! A fun and simple pocket sized skill toy!

Discussion in 'Other Every Day Carry Items' started by shadeone, Aug 23, 2011.

    shadeone Loaded Pockets

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    ok, there are a few people on here who know what these are... these come from the "name one thing that you carry that you think no one else does" thread:



    and now here is mine:

    a Begleri is essentially a form of the Greek worry / prayer beads known as "Komboloi". they are used as a way to keep your hands busy and just as a general time waster or peace-of-mind creator.. in Greece i guess it is very common to see the older taxi drivers waiting for fares and playing with these... they typically have a lot of beads on the traditional komboloi but they sometimes have a fewer amount like six or so... a shorter version like this can be seen above in enki_ck's pic above...

    some of the longer ones:
    see wikipedia entry here for a brief history of the komboloi:

    the Begleri i will be talking about is a version with one larger bead on either end which is more commonly used for tricks and more like a skill toy such as a yo-yo etc. the most common type found in Greece has a small metal/aluminum barrel nut/bead on the ends with rounded corners:
    and this is the type that you will see in most of the begleri videos on YouTube.

    i started off by making one like enki_ck's by drilling out a dice and putting some paracord through it... this worked out pretty good but seemed a little light and was more uncontrollable than some of the YouTube videos i had seen, so i found a guy in Greece selling the authentic ones with the metal barrel nut beads on them and got a couple... when they arrived the string was way too long for the tricks seen in most of the YouTube videos and was kind of a "bouncy"string if that makes sense... i found the proper length with some paracord and used the beads and created my own that is now perfect. the beads have a little weight to them but not enough to crack your knuckles or anything. also try to find a bead or whatever that has some semi rounded corners... if you look at the real deal metal beads they have the edges slightly smoothed and this helps the corners not to catch when you are doing tricks.sometimes the dices flat edges can hook under the string during certain flips...

    for those of you wanting to make your own, I wouldn't start with the dice as they are far too light and you will have a tough time mastering any of the tricks shown in YouTube videos etc. and also because of the too wide surface area on the flat side and not enough rounded-ness as i mentioned above. also don't use ratchet wrench bits, these are way too heavy and do not compare to the real deal beads from Greece at all. I don't have a small scale capable of taking micro measurements but i think one of the real deal beads weighs about as much as two of the dice put together.

    for string length, I read instructions on here i think that said you want to be able to take one of the beads and put it in your palm, and run the string back out through your pointer and middle fingers and back up over the top of your pointer finger and then down through your pinky and ring finger, like this:

    you should have enough string between the back of your pinky and the start of the bead, to almost be able to fit another bead in there. also, pay attention to where the string sits... it should wrap around your first knuckles, not towards your palm, as this is the area that will be seeing all t he action when you are doing tricks.
    you should have enough slack to do this position well:

    now, on to the videos
    this guy shows a really really good example of some quick begleri moves:

    as far as instructional videos, it is far more fun to figure out your own moves but this video is probably the best out there at showing some of the basic fundamentals that some of the fancier tricks revolve around:

    and then some of the other instructional:


    also, you can leave the string longer as you can see in some of these videos, i just think it looks good when its nice, short and tight. although extravagant tricks can be done with very long string begleris:

    hope this inspires some of you to start carrying these things! they are really addicting!
    gazz98, Graywolf.dv, JoshTF and 23 others like this.

    Rainiers Loaded Pockets

    Great post. Never thought to replace the string with paracord...
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    I think I'll stick with my yo-yos, but those are cool.

    fl_vgren Loaded Pockets

    I got those in paracord whit two monkeyfist at the ends.works really nice

    cubegleamer Loaded Pockets

    cool stuff... those videos make me want to flip my balisong
    gstojinovic likes this.

    NonSenCe Loaded Pockets

    hmm.. i think i should get one or make one.

    its something easy and simple and cheap.. something to fiddle with when waiting. i tend to spend atleast an hour just waiting every workday.
    KB3UBW likes this.

    luckyadjustments Loaded Pockets

    If you don't mind me asking, where did you purchase yours?
    KB3UBW likes this.

    fast14riot Loaded Pockets

    I think I have to agree, although I may make one up to try out.


    shadeone Loaded Pockets

    got mine with the metal barrel nuts from a guy on ebay selling them in sets of three... just search "begleri" and look for the pic that has three of them... grand total shipped to the us still came in at under $10 for teh set of three...
    two of them come with metal beads and one of them has these sparkly clear acrylic beads on a much thinner string. they do ship from greece so it might take a while to get them. also, these are the ones that come pretty long so you might want to replace the string with paracord like i did after getting your measurements down... or just leave one long like it came and see if you can find any tricks that can be better done on the long ones versus a shorter custom "fitted" one!

    i love yoyos too but i can play with these things in the car, while sitting and waiting for a movie at the theater to start or while at my desk at work! ;)

    anyone who makes one, post pics here!

    gstojinovic likes this.

    psikat Loaded Pockets

    Great excuse for buying various lanyard beads.
    Mighty Max likes this.

    bwperdue Loaded Pockets

    I'm always fiddling with my hands - these would be perfect!

    enki_ck Loaded Pockets


    It's strange to see an interesting thread title from some time ago, open it and see your own pic and name mentioned in it. I'm sorry I didn't see this thread when it was still new. Great write up and demo videos. [IMG]

    Well it inspired me to dig that old pair out of the drawer and do some twirling, haven't done it in ages. I still have the one with the dice. Yes, they're a bit light, but still work ok for most things.

    Here's a short demo video, with a how to for the basic twirl

    Sly, Kripto and gstojinovic like this.

    gstojinovic Loaded Pockets

    This is great!!

    Now let's wait for those titanium flamed bagleri!!! :D
    sino2 likes this.

    Iolaus Loaded Pockets

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    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

    Some copper nuts and a strip of leather lacing, I have a brand new fidget toy!!!:bounce: (like I really need another fidget toy)

    Much quiter and easier to tote around than baoding (Chineese meditation) balls.
    Last edited by Kilted1, Apr 27, 2012
    Endless Fugue and Justinicus like this.

    enki_ck Loaded Pockets

    Yes, I believe we had that discussion in the "name one thing that you carry that you think no one else does" thread some time ago. I think someone made it but can't remember who. They were too heavy though if I remember correctly.

    tp2386 Loaded Pockets

    I will make a video of me flipping my begleri later for you all who are interested in these addictive things.
    gstojinovic likes this.

    tp2386 Loaded Pockets

    Here's a video I just made. I can do step by step trick videos if anyone is interested. I love these things!!! Ignore my little devil in the back.

    gazz98, dork, Erasergirl and 4 others like this.
    • In Omnia Paratus

    billybag Loaded Pockets

    Are those wooden beads?
    Great job. Thank you for the video.

    tp2386 Loaded Pockets

    They are amber. Got them off of ebay a couple of years ago.