A Guide to Ultramatte and AMS2488 Type II

November 16, 2021

A Guide to Ultramatte and AMS2488 Type II

I get a lot of questions asking about these two different finishes. I figured it would make sense to have a specific blog post I could send customers who ask in the future. Both Ultramatte and AMS2488 are titanium specific coatings, generally reserved for fasteners in the aerospace and medical industry. But for their functions as a coating for titanium yoyos, they offer very unique experiences as outlined below.

AMS2488 Type II Hardcoat

AMS2488 is a performance oriented low friction finish. It is classified as a "Type II Hard Coat" which as the name suggests, offers a very hard coating. This coating is generally used to improve surface wear by reducing friction and to protect the titanium underneath. Certain industries also classify it as an electrical insulator.

On a yoyo, this coating can be described as a slick, hard finish that feels like a smooth teflon frying pan. It feels incredibly grind friendly, slippery, and is extremely wear resistant (if you press your nail up against it, it feels very hard like ceramic). The first example of this finish found on a Luftverk yoyo was on the original Evora. Back then, I used the AMS2488 Evora as my daily carry and it unintentionally fell out of my pocket while getting out of my vehicle. It hit the ground and bounced - then rolled down a cement parking lot. I was shocked to not find a single scratch on it, after I was certain it would be covered with marks. Perhaps I was lucky, but it is an example of what makes this coating unique.

There is a lot more technical detail available as an SAE document for purchase. It outlines the process and attributes of this coating and for those interested here it is: https://www.sae.org/standards/ams2488


Ultramatte is definitely the more unique finish out of the two. Classified as an "anti-galling coating", I have never really tried anything similar before on a yoyo. I first released this finish on the Daytona, and felt that some customers absolutely loved it and some found it strange. The first thing to know is that the finish is somewhat absorbent - which tends to develop a patina of its own after handling it. You can clean off this patina with soap, but since your hands have moisture or oils, it comes back pretty quickly. It behaves similarly to brass or nickel plated yoyos that oxidises and develops its own patina over time. I think this is what polarizes a lot of customers because some people absolutely love this aspect of their yoyo building character, while others want a more pristine, "like new" experience for the duration of their ownership.

The feel of the finish is very soft and matte, somewhere between a soft touch plastic and a dusty chalkboard. The industrial designer in me loves the look of Ultramatte since it looks so much like poured concrete. As you use it more and more, the finish does loose some of its "dustiness" but remains soft to the touch. It is hard to describe without feeling it in person. With that said, there are constantly messages asking about this specific finish so it must have struck a chord with certain customers.

The comparison between the two are kind of like apples and oranges, which is why I really enjoy releasing these two finishes together. My advice is if you are looking for something performance oriented, slick, grind friendly, and more traditional I would stick to AMS2488 Type II. The Ultramatte would likely suit someone who is looking to try something different, something unique, and doesn't mind a certain level of patina buildup. Aesthetically though, I would personally edge towards the Ultramatte. To me it just looks so unique compared to anything else out there. Either way, hopefully this clears up any confusion or questions I get in the future! 

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