Best Spinning Wheels For Beginners & Experts (Reviews 2023)
Hand spinning wool or yarn is an old concept. It is an amazing pastime, a significant way to draw a connection with the past, and a great investment for those who understand the trade.
However, it is impossible to make beautiful yarn without investing in the best spinning wheel.
You probably don't need us if you aim to purchase a wheel based solely on its beauty. But if you are a beginner looking to get started, or a season hand spinner looking for the perfect machine to complement your style, then this article will help you.
Hold onto your seat, you are in for a good read!
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How To Choose A Spinning Wheel
You need to be careful when shopping for a hand spinning wheel. Knowing the key buying factors will help you acquire a wheel that looks good and capable of spinning a yarn that everyone will love.
The following are some of the most vital factors to consider-
Types Of Spinning Wheels
General appearance and age of invention determine the type and classification. Generally, wheels are broadly classified as traditional or modern.
A. Traditional Spinning Wheels
These are fairy tale wheels that have been in existence for years. They are storybook type of wheels that feature ornate constructions, hence are less portable and require a lot of installation space.
A few models incorporate modern components to improve versatility, performance, and convenience. While traditional options work well, they are bulkier and less portable.
Popular examples include-
B. Modern Wheels
There is now a diverse range of yarn spinning wheels in the market to choose from. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and shapes.
Their designs focus more on functionality than the nostalgic traditional shapes. They are customizable and will easily incorporate new trends, concepts, and ideas.
Besides, they feature a remarkably smaller footprint, are lighter and foldable. Such features give these models the portability current world demands. These new options are either manual or electric.
What is treadling?
Well, save for electric wheels, all wheels come with a treadle or two treadles often positioned at the base of the wheel. Deciding on single or double treadles is a significant decision for any user. Often times, this decision boils down to personal preference.
Single treadle options have a unique antique appeal, are simple in design, and feature fewer parts. You don't need both legs when using these models so you can always rest one foot.
Moreover, you can easily change foot orientation with the wheel.
On the other hand, double treadles bring an amazing rhythm and excitement in to your spinning. It is considerably easier to control if you are a beginner. While it allows to split the treadling between the two feet, you can easily treadle with a single foot once you muster the process.
Single Or Double Drive
This choice may be a difficult one to make. Particularly, if you don't know the difference between the two terms. So here we go-
A. Single Drive
If you are a newbie, then you don’t need to worry much. The more appropriate pick for you is the single drive type. They are simpler to understand and feature drive bands that wrap only once around the wheel and the flyer. They also feature a spring and band arrangement to help in breaking bobbin pressure.
Single drive options feature two types of tension-
B. Double Drive
Comparatively, double drive wheels have drive bands that wrap twice around the flyer and wheel. The bands help to drive the system. They also help to apply a breaking pressure to the machine's bobbin.
It describes the speed of your bobbin or flyer in relation to the speed of your treadling. They are classified as low drive or high drive and this factor comes in handy when you are spinning yarns of different weights.
A drive ratio of say, 10:1 implies that your flyer or bobbin will rotate ten times for every complete wheel rotation. You should use low ratios for bulkier yarns and higher rations for smaller or finer yarns. Interestingly, you can easily change ratios.
Maintenance And Availability Of Spare Parts
Like every machine, these pieces of textile equipment are bound to break down or wear off. So do you buy new machine or just replace the parts?
Whether you are going to buy a new or used spinning wheel, maintenance and availability of spare parts should be a top consideration. Know if you can replace the bobbins and others parts easily if needed.
Top 9 Best Spinning Wheel Reviews For The Money
1. Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel 3 Unfinished
It is impossible to review great spinning wheel models without mentioning any model from Ashford. You are probably in the know that the company is arguably the biggest spinning wheel manufacturers. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel 3 makes it to the list.
If you are a newbie, then the Kiwi 3 Unfinished is a perfect spinning wheel for you. The top-quality wheel is a double treadle machine that any beginner will find easy to control. You can control the speed through the treading.
The treadles are mounted on quality polyurethane hinges. The frictionless mounting mechanism is quite easy to use. Thus, the treadling is effortless and doesn’t take much of your energy.
Amateurs usually find changing bobbins a very complicated affair. This is certainly not the case with the Ashford Kiwi wheel. The bobbin features a snap-in mechanism which makes changing the system pretty easy. It has a scotch tension mechanism that ensures you can easily adjust the tension.
This Ashford model features a versatile flyer drive ratio of 5.5:1, 7.5:1, and a higher 9.5:1. This dynamism ensures that you can conveniently adjust the speeds to fit your preferred yarn weight.
The system is pretty modern. Despite featuring a robust 17.5-inch diameter wheel, it is foldable and portable. It is a travel spinning wheel that you can conveniently carry wherever you want to. Simply fold it and carry along.
2. Schacht Matchless - Best Spinning Wheel for beginners.
The Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel is arguably the most responsive yarning tool available in the market today. It is a double drive wheel that gives buyers the ultimate option between single treadling and double treadling. You will undoubtedly appreciate the wheel’s matchless capabilities.
Unlike most spinning wheels that are too complicated to put together and use, you won’t find any trouble with the Matchless model.
Almost the entire system comes preassembled. The remaining assembly process of pretty easy and straightforward. The high quality device is, therefore, the best rated spinning wheel for beginners.
The heavy-duty spinner has a double drive that is adjustable and easy to use. you can customize the variables to suit your needs. You can conveniently adjust ratios to spin bulk fine yarns. The lowest ratio is 9:1 while the highest ratio stands at 15.5:1.
The flyer shaft and wheel combination is supported by sturdy bronze bearings. The shaft is self-aligning and that enables unbeatable precision during operation.
The fact that you won’t have to fumble with the wheel and flyer shaft alignment gives immense productivity to any small or medium enterprise.
This is by far the finest quality spinning tool for professionals and newcomers. It features maple wood construction that will withstand frequent abuse.
Besides, the Danish oil finish ensures that the wood is resistant to scratching. It is a heavy-duty tool that is durable and will serve you for years to come.
3. Ashford Electric Yarn Spinner
If you don’t like the idea of having to treadle your spinner to make yarn, then the Ashford E-Spinner 3 - Electric Yarn Spinner will perfectly work for you. It is a completely no treadle machine. This electric spinning wheel, therefore, frees you from the labor.
It is incredibly compact and more lightweight than ordinary spinning machines. The model will fit in most travel bags. It is an ideal portable spinning wheel for anyone who is always on the go. The remarkably smaller footprint also makes the device ideal for people operating from small room spaces.
Many people think that controlling electric wheels is challenging, especially for beginners. That's not the case when it comes to the beautiful Ashford electric machine. It features responsive hand controls for adjusting both speed and direction.
The yarn spinning wheel allows you to achieve nearly anything that you intend to accomplish with it.
It features a versatile speed variability that comes in handy during a range of applications. the speed varies from as low as 0 rpm to a massive 1800 rpm. You’ll agree with us that the variation is suitable for users of all skill levels.
It comes with additional incentives like a well-cushioned bag that you can easily carry on your shoulders. It also comes with a bottle of oil and three massive bobbins. It is a complete set with nothing more to add before you use it.
4. Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel
Kromski has been in the industry for decades. Over the decades, they have perfected the art of churning out top quality spinning wheels. The company currently stands out as a leader in the production of travel spinning wheels.
The Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel is an affordable spinning wheel that is appealing to both newcomer and seasoned users alike. It is made from the best quality European birch and alder woods. Such a construction gives you the desired versatility.
It is an architectural piece of textile equipment that remarkably blends the performance and compactness, synonymous with antique wheels and modern ones.
Despite the large 19.5-inch wheel diameter, the Sonata is a simple spinning wheel that you can tag along to any destination. It features a height of 22 inches and a fairly compact width of just 19.5 inches. For better portability, the device comes with a protective carry bag.
It is a double treadle tool. Therefore, control should not be a problem regardless of your expertise level. The single drive comes with an impressive scotch tension mechanism, this you can control the tension by holding the thread and allowing the bobbin to spin along with the flyer.
5. Lendrum Double Treadle Folding Spinning Wheel with Complete Kit
If you are relishing the idea of owning a simple spinning wheel, then the Lendrum Folding Wheel Double Treadle is a perfect choice for you. It is a castle type of tool that brings together unimaginable features of modern wheels. The system brings an attractive clear finish that you will fall in love with.
Using this spinner is pretty convenient. Like most single drive models, the Lendrum tool features a Scotch tension mechanism that is a breeze to adjust. It is a double treadle spinning wheel, so controlling is easier. Even more, it features an angled design to help treadling.
With this small spinning wheel, you have the convenience to vary the drive ratio. It features a regular and a fast flyer.
The regular flyer features ratios of 6:1, 8:1, and a versatile 10:1. On the other hand, the fast flyer features ratios of 12:1, 15:1, and 17:1. The ratio variations helps you achieve a lot with this simple tool.
The wheel is a complete set that you can easily unpack and use without any trouble. It includes a tensioned lazy kate, a threading hook, a regular flyer, a fast flyer, and a set of four bobbins. What else do you need to put your basic level wheel to use, right?
6. Schacht Sidekick Wheel W/Flyer
Schacht has an amazing range of folding and non-folding wheels to choose from. The Schacht Sidekick Spinning Wheel with Flyer is among the latest models from this industry leader.
The affordable spinning wheel is currently a favored product for most workers in the textile industry. Since its release, the tool has been turning heads and shall continue to do so. Of course, it does this for all the good reasons that are credited to its versatile range of features.
It features a well-thought design and an incredible finish that will blend well with the rest of the tools and materials in your workshop. While this small spinning wheel stands vertically in a nostalgic way, the vertical profile ensures that you can use it even in a compact workplace setting.
The machine offers integrated storage for accessories such as whorls, bobbins, and flyers.
Since it’s a popular brand, chances are your workshop has other models of the brand. You can interchange the abovementioned accessories with models like Schacht Ladybug and Matchless wheels.
The Sidekick is not all about the shape and design. It excels in the appearance section too. It works so well that you'll make it a go-to tool for any spinning tasks. All in all, it is reasonably priced, highly stable, and works faultlessly.
7. Kromski Prelude Unfinished
Kromski is known for its outstanding quality design and craftsmanship. It doesn’t disappoint with the Kromski Prelude Unfinished spinning wheel. It is a perfect product for any amateur looking for a cheap spinning wheel.
But hey, don’t turn away because of the “cheap” tag. The affordable piece of tool is perfectly functional for your needs.
The company brings together unbeatable compactness and a nostalgic traditional appeal in a single device. The tool is an antique Saxony spinning wheel that nearly every ancient-design enthusiast will be attracted to. Yet, it features a diameter of a paltry 18 inches, which gives it a small footprint for the journeymen.
The ability of this wool spinning wheel to allow adjustability to various speeds and drive ratios is something truly useful. It is such features that give you the versatility and convenience to achieve nearly all the applications that you have at hand. The Prelude allows for such versatile adjustability.
With a wheel diameter of 18 inches and a mere 9-pound weight, carrying it should not be a headache. Just so that you know, the Prelude prides itself as a single drive spinning wheel. It employs the Scotch tension mechanism. Therefore, you should have an idea of what to expect.
The fact that this tool is a single drive model, affordable, and easy to assemble makes it a perfect tool for a newcomer.
However, professionals should also not shy away from this textile equipment as it has a combination of convenient features for a lifetime spinning tool.
8. Ashford New Joy 2 Double Treadle Combo with Bag
Another Ashford spinning tool makes it to the list. This time it is the Ashford New Joy 2 Double Treadle Combo with Bag. It is a newer version of the infamous Joy model that marveled users for several years.
The new design features a standard sliding hook flyer and larger capacity bobbins. These two additional improvements add to the functional versatility of this spinning tool.
The original Joy wheel was phenomenal when it came to beauty and character. Interestingly, the new model doesn't sacrifice any of these impressive features but instead improves on the design with a higher orifice height. It also comes with carrying handles that were not present in the original version.
Additional improvements include extra room for tension springs and a two-piece rod bearing. These remarkable improvements add to the versatility and convenience of this piece of equipment. Besides, the treadling is maintenance-free and features a smooth and quiet operation.
If you love portable spinning, then you rejoice at owning the Joy 2 machine. It is an ultra-lightweight portable design that folds up impressively to fit into a backpack style bag.
More impressively, the wheel comes with a well-fitting carry bag that you can conveniently put on your back and go. With all the impressive features and better design, it is arguably the best spinning wheel you can buy.
9. Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel
Here we are with another Kromski model. Well, we can’t help it, they have proven their expertise in producing high-quality spinning wheels with a versatile line of products.
Despite being a high-end model, the Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel is an affordable option. Amateurs will fall in love with its easy to use interface while professionals will love its competence. The simple spinning wheel is a heavy performer by all standards.
The Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel is an antique-looking model that features hardwood construction and stunning clear finishing. If you want to reminiscence on the older spinning wheel units, then this is a product that you should look for.
The Old World look is truly appealing and antique by every consideration. However, that should not deceive you that the Sonata comes with the clumsy characteristics of an underdeveloped model. It is impressively compact and portable. This is a spinning tool you can tag along to anywhere.
If you find putting together parts time-consuming and stressful, then you will find solace in this Kromski tool. This machine looks pretty simple and comes preassembled. Besides, it comes with a user manual to help you out whenever you need to replace any parts.
Comparison Chart For Spinning Wheels
Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel 3
Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel
Ashford E-Spinner 3 - Electric
Kromski Sonata Walnut Wheel
Lendrum Folding Wheel
Schacht Sidekick Wheel
Kromski Prelude Unfinished
Ashford New Joy 2
15 ¾ inches
Single and Double Treadle options
Kromski Sonata Spinning Wheel
Top Rated Spinning Wheel Brands On The Market
Ashford Looms And Wheels
Based in Ashburton, Ashford Looms and Wheels is a New Zealand company that was established in the 1940s. the company started as a small craftsman company that makes wheels. It is now a top-rated and arguably the most reputable company in the manufacturing of textile equipment.
It specializes in making weaving, spinning, carding, dyeing, and felting tools. The company also has a versatile range of fibers, yarns, and books.
Kromski and Sons
The company was founded by Leon Kromski in 1918. It made a short break in 1939 when the effects of WWII took a toll on it. The entire Kromski generation has mastered the skill of woodturning and more than 3 generations have perfected the craft.
The company was resurrected later on and produced its first line of spinning wheel in the 1960s. The family company prides itself of unbeatable quality and reasonable pricing.
Schacht Spindle Company is an American company founded in 1960. Its establishment founded the resurgence of craft. The primary motivation towards the establishment of this company was to help people in the neighborhood spin their wool.
The company has a long-range of products for clients to choose from. Their products are all about durability, performance, and efficiency.
This company has equally been in the market for many years. It is a company with an unbeatable reputation in the manufacturing and distribution of the best spinning wheel models and other textile products.
The company guarantees customer satisfaction and provides unmatched customer service. However, their line of spinning wheels is considerably more limited than that of the brands previously discussed.
Benefits Of Using Spinning Wheels
Before you consider looking for a spinning wheel for sale, it is vital to note that the ability to spin your yarns comes with a range of benefits. The following are some of the primary reasons why you may need a spinning wheel-
Meditation And Relaxation
A soothing repetition and the continuous touching of soft, warm fiber characterize a perfect spinning process. Such a process is a perfect way to relax after a tiring day.
You see, when you spin, your feet and hands get engaged. The concept allows your brain to soar and meditate. This makes spinning a perfect activity in the private or social spectrum.
Anyone Can Do It
Spinning is pretty easy to learn and implement. You can train your kids to spin during their free time. That way, they’ll spend their time in something productive while having fun. On top of that, you get to produce more yarn without having to perform the entire spinning process alone.
Affordable spinning wheels are immensely simple to use and maintain. More importantly, most options are incredibly portable. They fold nicely and will fit in most carry bags. Why not carry your travel spinning wheel to vacation and visits?
Spinning can be a good social activity where beginners and professionals meet to share ideas. This is, therefore, an enjoyable way to learn new ideas and modern trends.
When you spin on your own, you get an unlimited choice of fiber. If you prefer to save time, then you may opt to use ready wool and speed up the process. You can also try out card wool from the locality, or wool from rare breeds.
Adventurer spinners can also experiment with their fiber or go a notch higher and blend unique fibers to come up with high-quality and attractive yarn.
Produce Custom Yarns
Commercial yarns are mechanically regular and monotonous. They are boringly predictable and lack the diversity that comes with making beautiful yarns from home. Hand spinning gives you the convenience to come up with custom yarns that look more attractive and expensive.
You get the opportunity to vary the thickness and introduce an appealing unevenness to your yarns. The yarns are delightful to the eyes and give an unimaginable excitement with every surprising stitch. You decide on the color, warmth, thickness, strength, and twist.
How To Use And Take Care Of Spinning Wheels
Once you invest in a spinning wheel, you need to keep the tool running like every other functional machine. Also, you need to take care of the tool. Everntually, every tool will wear off, but with maintenance, you can delay it to basically a lifetime.
The following steps should help you maintain the wheel-
1. Clean Regularly
Wooden tools and machines will often get very filthy. Especially when you travel with them. For spinning wheels, they will get dirty whether you use them indoors or outdoors. Below are some tips to help you clean the machine more effectively-
- Put the wheel on a worktable or over a wide drop cloth on the floor.
- Remove the flyers and bobbins from the machine and clean off fiber and dust from all areas you often oil.
- Clean the wood properly using a wet piece of cloth.
- Use alcohol to clean off the orifices.
2. Oil All Moving Parts
All points of friction require oiling for frictionless movement. You can use commercial oil, olive oil, or essential oil. Make sure that you don’t use sticky oil. Take out the treadles and grease the hole beneath them.
Grease all the movable parts. These include the wheel axels, leather connectors, spindle bearings, crank bearings, rods, and any other points of friction.
Also know: Easy way to oiling your sewing machine.
3. Nourish and Seal The Wood
Protecting your spinning wheel involves protecting the wooden parts. Protect the wood from soaking in water and other chemicals which may lead to rotting. Depending on the type of finish of your wheel, you may use wax or any other wood preservative.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Should I Do When My Spinning Wheel Keeps Falling Off?
A: Most often than not, the belt falls off when the entire spinning wheel alignment is incorrect. So, you may need to look at the whorl, bobbin, and wheel alignment to ensure they are in proper sync.
If they aren't, then you should consider loosening most of the items. Then adjust them according to the wheel to ensure that the bobbin and the whorl are in line with the wheel.
2. My Wheel Spins And Goes The Opposite Direction After A Few Spins. What Could Be The Problem?
A: This is a common problem for many beginners. Well, you are not alone. It takes a bit of practice to master how to spin. Practice treadling clockwise without doing anything in particular so that you get used to the process. It will soon become an automated process with practice.
3. Why Do My Yarns Have Corkscrew-Like Shapes In Them?
A: This can be very frustrating. Note that this happens when your yarns have too much twist. Don’t worry, it happens to nearly all users. You can correct that by either speeding up your drafting as you maintain the speed or slowing down your treadling.
4. Why Are My Yarns Falling Apart?
A: Yarns falling apart is the exact opposite of the above situation. It means that there isn't enough twist in the yarn. You can correct this by speeding up your treadling. You can also choose a fiber that is easier to spin as you learn the concept.
5. How Often Should I Clean My Spinning Wheel?
A: You need to ensure that you clean your spinning tool frequently so that your wheel remains functional and durable. You can also perform minor cleaning and wiping before and after you begin working.
6. Where Can I Buy A Spinning Wheel?
A: Spinning wheels are relatively less common types of tools but that doesn’t mean that they are totally unavailable. Spinning tools are available in many online stores. Amazon is a perfect place where you can purchase quality spinning wheels.
You can also buy spinning wheel of your choice directly through the manufacturer’s websites. Local shops are another place where you can go, physically inspect and purchase this textile equipment.
It is quite challenging to find a spinning wheel that meets your needs and expectations. The market has several quality companies and their fine line of products. While nearly all yarn spinning wheels aim to achieve the same thing, each model comes in unique shape and style.
Often, a beginner wouldn't have an idea of what to look for. It’s not an incompetence, we all have to start somewhere, right? To help you with the selection, we discussed the buying factors.
Remember the main concept, the best spinning wheels are sleek, portable, and easy to use. Traditional design or modern look, either of them is fine depending on your preference.
Above all, they are meant to make your time productive and blissful, not the other way around. Happy spinning!