So many choices! After carefully considering the variety available, I believe youll find a good assortment here of wheels "tried and true" with readily available parts, bobbins, accessories and most have been on the market long enough to withstand the test of time, with modifications made along the way as improvements.
The wheels are listed alphabetically by manufacturer. I tried to include important considerations for each wheel, but please do not hesitate to call for details if needed. If you do not have the opportunity to try out a variety of wheels, do call and we can discuss which wheel might be most appropriate for you. Yes some are better suited to certain types of yarns than others, but MOST are versatile enough (perhaps with an accessory or two) to handle any type of spinning. I cannot deny that I have my favorites, but thats ok selecting a spinning wheel is like buying a car the options, performance, price range, and ultimately personal preference all need to be taken into consideration.
Spinning Wheel Dictionary:
Saxony = what most people refer to as "traditional" style, the big drive wheel and the bobbin assembly are mounted on a "table" usually with the wheel at the right (left handed wheels are available on some models).
Castle = the big drive wheel and the bobbin assembly are in a vertical arrangement, takes less floor space and easier to travel with.
Double Drive = One long drive band is doubled around the drive wheel, with one part looped around the flyer whorl and the other part looped around the bobbin whorl.
Scotch Tension = Single drive band goes around drive wheel and flyer whorl. A brake band on the bobbin whorl controls yarn take up tension (how hard the bobbin pulls the yarn in).
Irish Tension = also known as "bobbin lead". The single drive band goes around the drive wheel and bobbin whorl. A brake band on the flyer controls yarn take up tension.
Ratio = Simple mathematical determination of the difference between size of active whorl groove and the size of the drive wheel groove. The larger the ratio, the faster the twist goes onto the yarn and vice versa. For instance, an 8:1 ratio means that for every time you treadle, the drive wheel goes around one time and makes the whorl go around 8 times. Most fine yarns require more twist, so to avoid having to treadle like mad, choose a wheel that has the option of higher ratios. Bulky yarn spinners need lower ratios unless their hands work very fast!
For Spinning Accessories, i.e. oil, orifice hooks, tension springs, etc. please go to the Spinning Accessories of the webpage.
|AshfordMade in New Zealand since 1934. Graphite impregnated nylon bearings ensure smooth and silent spinning. Bobbins are quickly changed with "click-it" flyer bearings. LOTS of optional accessories allow you to use your basic wheel in a variety of ways. Most wheels come in KIT form unless otherwise specified. Request a color brochure on Ashford products FREE with any order from this catalog or send a long SASE.|
Paul and Marilyn Knapp purchased the Columbine Spinning Wheel company in the recent past and made significant improvements to it. They have put together a lightweight, versatile, durable wheel that will enable you to produce large amounts of yarn. The huge 7 1/2" aluminum bobbins allow you to spin and ply large quantities without joining. What beautiful skeins you can produce without constantly stopping to change bobbins! The generous foot treadle allows you place your feet in any position that is most comfortable to you. It's lightweight - around 10 pounds is easily carried. The large orifice allows smooth spinning and plying of even the bulkiest of yarns. Although the look is extremely contemporary don't let that stop you from looking at an extremely easy, productive wheel!
For a short time the Knapp's are making an Special Edition Columbine. It has all the same great features as the regular Columbine AND it comes in a beautiful sparkly purple finish! I will have pictures up very soon- if you are interested please call.
The Kromski Family of Wolsztyn, Poland, have been wood turners and wheel workers for three generations. Now, for the first time, their recently re-engineered wheels with characteristic "old world" styling and charm are available outside of Poland. They have combined excellent craftsmanship and features for today's demanding spinners. These wheels are an exceptional value, spin beautifully and are beautiful to look at!
New from Kromski- the latest addition from the Kromski family is the Sonata folding wheel - now available.
Gord Lendrum makes three spinning wheels, two of which are his original "slanted" version (single treadle and double treadle) and his "dream wheel": a truly beautiful Saxony style double treadle, double drive showcase wheel.
Lendrum Original "If you only have enough space or budget for one wheel, then this is the one for you" - Gord Lendrum Made in Canada since 1976, the original Scotch tensioned "slanted" wheel has a legion of loyal fans because it offers three outstanding features: versatility, portability and most important, it simply works well! The slant of the wheel helps the momentum of the treadling. The accessories available add to the versatility and the "fold-up" feature adds to the portability and storage options. You can actually fold a Lendrum into a large suitcase for travel - but we have beautiful bags from The Bag Lady designed just for these wheels.
"An artisan can only be as good as his or her tools allow." Louët Louët wheels have been made in Holland since 1974, with continued researching, designing and consulting with handspinners to create a line of well-engineered, easy to use, durable, low maintenance, productive wheels. Among the best features of Louët wheels is that they are easy to learn on and can be modified to satisfy expert spinners.
Though there is a variety of styles, most Louët wheels work in a similar way. Very uncomplicated wheels, they utilize the "Irish tension" system a single belt drives the bobbin and an adjustable flyer brake regulates the tension. The wheels are 20" in diameter and turn freely and quietly on the maintenance-free ball bearings in the main hub and at the footman connection. Except for an occasional oiling of the treadle hinges, no lubrication is needed! They come complete with three bobbins and built in Lazy Kates.
Dont let anyone tell you Louët wheels are only for bulky yarns! Although bobbins and flyers are great for bulky spinning, their standard wheels have been redesigned to be more suitable for spinning the fine to medium yarns popular today.
Most Louët wheels come with 3 standard bobbins with ratios of 5.5, 7.5 and 10.5:1. Most require minimal assembly.
"Majacraft wheels are made with pride and we are constantly striving to produce the best" Majacraft Every Majacraft wheel is individually crafted, assembled, thoroughly tested, numbered, and then partially disassembled and carefully packed for its journey to its new owner complete with a charming card attached to the wheel with the testers signature. New Zealands Majacraft is largely responsible for the popularity of double treadle spinning wheels today. When their "Suzie" wheel made its first truly national debut at HGAs Convergence in 1992, it was one of the only modern double treadle wheels available. It is not by any means a "traditional" looking wheel, but thats because it was a wheel designed from scratch. Ergonomically correct treadles minimize stress on the top part of your feet and shins during treadling. On the Suzie and the Rose, the entire head pivots so that the orifice is exactly where you want it so you avoid contorting your body to accommodate your drafting style. Made of rimu a lovely native New Zealand timber and oil finished, each Scotch tension wheel comes with four large (6oz) capacity boilable bobbins.
Matchless Spinning Wheels - This wheel is one many
spinners decide to "graduate" to, with only one regret they didnt
go ahead and get it when they first started spinning. According to Schacht Spindle
Company, the Matchless is the most responsive spinning wheel available
- with matchless
capabilities. It offers the options of double drive, Scotch tension, or Irish tension
(bobbin lead) method of operation. The generously sized treadle(s) allow placement of feet
comfortably for the spinner.
The Schacht Matchless wheel also comes with its own adjustable carrying strap for handy portability. Price includes four bobbins, two drive bands, a tensioned lazy kate and threading hook. The wheel is beautifully constructed of hard maple and walnut with a hand rubbed Danish oil finish. Available in single or double treadle.
Wheel diameter is 19.5", orifice diameter is 3/8". Two flyer whorls included provide ratios of 9&11:1 and 13&15.5:1. Other whorls with ratios ranging from 4:1 to 27½:1 that significantly increase the wheels capability can be purchased separately. A note about Schacht whorls: theyre designed with special square holes which makes mounting them on the flyer shaft very quick, and prevents them loosening whether youre spinning S or Z twist yarns.
Another significant technical feature is that the drive wheel and flyer shaft are supported by self-aligning bronze bearings for precise action.