I noticed there are weighted and unweighted tins. What’s the difference?

Ultimately, every bartender has to decide on his or her own. And there’s no right or wrong answer, just personal preference. I can tell you that my preference is the weighted tin. I find that they have a more deliberate spin to them. Most of the bartenders I know prefer the weighted tin. That being said, a couple of the most insane flair bartenders I know use unweighted tins. The difference really comes down to their spin as you flip them. Imagine the difference between flipping a hammer in your hand (with the heavy weight at one end) and flipping a drumstick (which is evenly balanced throughout.) That’s pretty much the difference. There’s no wrong answer. Eventually just pick one and go with it. Or…

Get a couple of both. They usually cost around $5. If you can afford to, get a couple weighted and one or two unweighted. See which ones you prefer. I will tell you this upfront: eventually, your weighted tin will likely become an unweighted tin. The weight is spot-welded on and has been know to pop off if it hits the ground just right. Sucks, I know, but it’s the reality. You can help prolong their life by not practicing over hard surfaces such as concrete or hardwood floors. Most of my weighted tins have lasted years, though I will admit that about 2-3 of the 50+ I’ve bought over the years have taken a bad spill and split apart in the first month I owned them. It’s not a terrible loss, the tin works fine, it just becomes an unweighted tin.

One note about taping your tins: most bartenders who work in a bar with other flair bartenders will oftentimes use different color electric tape wrapped around the bottom of their tins. This serves two purposes: 1) it helps secure the weight on the bottom, helping out if the tin takes a bad hop, but mostly 2) different colored tape helps bartenders identify who’s tins are who’s. Nothing like going to work with your five new tins and getting them mixed into your co-worker’s/bar’s tins. Set yourself apart and use some colored tape on your tins to declare which ones are yours.