Spinning Wheels for the Beginner

Which Spinning Wheels are Best?

Which spinning wheels are best for the beginner? If you are a new spinner, you may be wondering how to choose. There are so many choices and types that it is confusing. To make the decision worse, each spinner is sure that her wheel is the best. By knowing what you will want to accomplish and how much you have to spend, the choices will be easier to make.

Spinning on an Ashford Traditional

Cost Considerations

Spinning wheels can cost a lot of money. Some will run well over $800.00. This expense is unnecessary for most beginning spinners. The cost of the wheel will be determined by the company, the type of wheel, the add-ons, and the material the wheel is made from. You can also buy used wheels on the internet. Be careful about these. I bought one used, a Louet S-10, for $100.00 and then had to replace several warped parts. The total cost was as much as a new wheel would have been.

Some companies for a new spinner to consider are:

  • Louet
  • Ashford
  • Babe's Fiber Garden
  • Baynes

All of these companies carry basic, reasonably priced wheels.

Styles of Spinning Wheels

Spinning wheels are classified by how they look.

Great wheels- Probably the one you are thinking of. A huge wheel at one end, the spinner had to walk from one side of the wheel to the other. Also called walking wheels. These are not used much any more except in historic re-enactment.

Saxony wheels -horizontally laid out wheels

Castle wheels- vertically laid out wheels

Norwegian- wheels- which are horizontal on a platform

Modern- more and more manufacturers are creating their own styles of wheel.

To some extent your choices are going to be based on the way you want your wheel to look. It was very hard for me to get used to a Louet, because it did not look like what I expected a spinning wheel to look like. Now, however, I love it.

Ashford Traditional
Ashford Traditional

Ashford Traditional

Ashford is a fantastic company that has been around a long time. The Ashford Traditional is a small, saxony styled wheel. It comes in an unfinished wood, allowing you to finish yourself for optimum savings. It comes in a single or double drive. The wheel currently sells for less than 400.00

Babes Fiber Starter
Babes Fiber Starter

Babes Fiber Starter

Babes Fiber Starter is a very inexpensive wheel that is made form pvc pipe. The idea behind it is incredibly simple. Create a wheel that is useful and affordable. Period. This wheel comes as a kit, with a lazy kate, six bobbins and even some riving to get you started. It is lightweight and easy to put together. It is made from industrial grade pvc and can withstand almost anything you can do to it. It is perfect for kids, or taking to shows. Because it is made from pvc it is lightweight, weighing less than 7 lbs. Since it is a bobbin, led system you can't spin really fine yarn on it but it is great for country style, chunky yarns as well as medium weights. It comes in a double or single treadle style and costs less than $200.00.

Baynes
Baynes

Baynes

Baynes wheels are inexpensive, castle type wheels from New Zealand. They are a castle type wheel, available in single or double treadle styles. The wheel is 16" diameter and you can get the wheel in different ratios for different needs. They have a patented flyer that allows you to change the bobbin without removing the driveband. There is a two-year guarantee. Unfinished, the wheels run about $325.00

Kromski Prelude
Kromski Prelude

Kromski Prelude

Kromski Prelude wheels are beautifully crafted in Poland. They are high quality workmanship and beautiful design, carrying a five-year warranty. The Prelude is perfect for the beginning spinner. It is a saxony styled wheel, with an antique look. As spinners have come to expect with Kromski the wheel has many turnings and fine details. The Prelude is about $350.00 unfinished.

Louet S-10
Louet S-10

Louet S-10

Louets are considered modern style wheels. I have a Louet S-10 and, although I struggled with the look of it, I love it. Louet is a company out of Holland that creates some of the most balanced wheels on the market. The wheels are made of solid wood with a single hole which helps to ensure a balanced flywheel. It also comes in single or double treadle. It costs just over $500.00 but if you can afford it this is the one I recommend.

Some Things to Consider

What type of yarn do you want to produce on the wheel? All of the wheels mentioned will produce average to a small bulky style yarn. For bulkier yarns, over 1/4" the ratios will need to be slower. Since you are just learning, plan on needing to make additions to your wheel, or, getting a more advanced wheel later.

Double or single treadle? This is largely a matter of personal taste. Double treadle wheels balance the work evenly between both legs and some people find them less apt to cause strain.

Consider all of the options and what your needs are. Take your time, read up on the individual wheels and make your decision based on what you know about yourself, your needs, and the wheels. Spinning is a relaxing hobby that takes time to master. Give yourself the gift of a quality wheel to learn on.

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

Lori Schafer profile image

Lori Schafer 5 years ago from Worcester, MA

I love my Louet S-10 also and heartily recommend to the new spinner. I borrowed one and learned on it for six months, than found a used one in great condition though it was 20 years old at the MA Sheep & Wool Festival several years ago. It is a no-fuss workhorse of a wheel, with a large bobbin that really makes a difference. I have replaced only two simple parts. The wood is holding up beautifully. I throw it in the car, strap the seatbelt across it, and I'm off to a spinning adventure. I like to subscribe to The Distaff newsletter out of New Hampshire for classified ads touting spinning supplies. Spin on!


Ealair profile image

Ealair 5 years ago from Dover, NH

I have been wondering about the art of spinning for about a year now and I've never seen something like this out there. I'm so glad I found it. I can't wait to start. I thought the wheels would be in the thousands, great tips thank you so much.


Dawn 6 years ago

I'm thinking about spinning my own yarn. I don't have a clue what I need or how difficult it is. I like the real bulky and thin look and they use everything from wool to ribbon. Am I way out of my league and need to set my sights lower? I've been looking at the Babe spinners and I also saw there's an electric one what are your thoughts on that?


jennifer 6 years ago

I'm looking to carry a line of spinning wheels in my ranch store, and I was thinking of the Louet(a lot t get use to the look, but I think their a great product), and I was also thinking of the Kromski or Ashford. Which brand would you carry in your alpaca ranch store? I'm very new to spinning, and I do not have enough experience for a sound decision yet, in my opinion. you can read books and articles, but experience is most helpful. Thank You! Jenn


apStumbo profile image

apStumbo 6 years ago

Thank you very much. I have been looking into spinning wheels for some time now, but I have not known which would be best. I fell in love with spinning when an old lady saw me crocheting and invited me to her house. She gave me sheep wool and alpaca. I used to go over to her house often and we would talk and she would spin.


roo bear 8 years ago

I have a question, my mom and I and I are thinking about starting a small yak business and since yak wool is expensive to send to a compnay to make the hair into yarn and thread. So we are thinking that we should get one of the spinning wheels so we can save money and we both think it would be fun. Neither of us have a clue what to do or what wheel to use. Could you help any????


Stephanie 8 years ago

Thank you for a very helpful article. I have llamas and plan to spin their wool so I can knit with it. You've given me a good basis to do further research from. Much appreciated.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

I bought my Baynes (single treadle style) used probably 10 years ago now for Can$25.00. I never realized what great deal I got. Marye you made my day, thanks.

Great HUB as always

regards Zsuzsy


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 8 years ago from Lancaster, Texas Author

Vickey, for me I know i can do at least 4 times more a wheel than a spindle. I think it depends on your proficiency on each.


VickeyK profile image

VickeyK 8 years ago

Thanks for the hub. I'm curious as to how much more productive you might be on a wheel, as opposed to just using a weighted spindle. Is there a comparison you can give me?

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working