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Picking Your First Spinning Wheel

Hey Future spinners! Kyle and I have been working together figure out the perfect wheel for you he made an awesome video to walk you through the basic elements and I’ve brainstormed some questions you should ask yourself before you pick your wheel.

Kyle’s 4 tips for buying a spinning wheel

Still want to know more? Here are the questions you should ask yourself first!

Do you have physical limitations?

This is a super personal question, but one you should consider. Do you have any health limitations? Are you going to need certain angles for your body or hands to be in to be able to comfortably spin? Think of what you need and go from there!

What do you like visually?

Castle style, is often modern looking and upright looking. Saxony wheels are the “classic spinning wheel” where the wheel is to the side of the orifice and you spin off center to the wheel.  Portable wheels or travel wheels are designed for the spinner always moving from event to event and taking there wheel with them. All three have their limitations.

How important is easy travel?

Most wheels travel okay, but some wheels are designed for the spinners who travel all of the time and need something that takes up less space in the car. The Lendrum Folding Wheel is an example of a wheel that spinner who travel in shows, work farmers markets, like because it is a full size wheel that allow production level spinning for compact storage. Or the Louet Victoria might be what you need, I know a spinner who travels in a motorhome in the summer and it is a very small wheel. This size makes it so it can be more difficult to have a consistent speed and therefore ply and it also has smaller bobbin that fit less yarn on them. The Victoria is the smallest wheel that we sell, it fits in the overhead storage of air planes. If you think you are going to travel with your wheel here’s a compare and contrast of the folding wheels we carry.

Size? How big or small of a wheel do you want?

This is a personal question for you. Some short people don’t like wheels that tower over them when they are spinning and some tall people don’t like to free like they should bend over to draft. However I have a 6 foot+ friend who spins on an Ashford Joy with an orifice height of 22.25 inches. It is a personal preference issue that should be considered. Also how much space do have for a wheel, they don’t take up as much room as grand piano but you will need some room for some wheels.

Double Treadle vs Single Treadle?

This is one of the things that for some people is an easy question, and other much harder, consider your plan for spinning. Is your goal to be a production spinner? Double treadle lets you spin with less work faster, are you going to want to just sit back and relax either works, but I cross my ankles and use a single treadle for lazy day spinning.

I would really suggest you try a few wheels before picking single vs double.

What kind of spinning are you going to do?

If you answer that you plan to spin heavier yarn, you most likely don’t need a wheel that has a fast flyer adaption. Lace spinners must have a high ratio. Higher the ratio numbers that faster the flyer will turn, the more twist or energy is added to the yarn and the finer yarn you can spin.

However a jumbo/bulky/art yarn flyer might be worth your while. The smaller numbers like Louet’s Jumbo Art Yarn Flyer makes every treadle of the wheel turn the flyer slower which can let you make fat yarns with low twist. This makes balanced fluffy yarn.

See if there is a local guild in your area, and remember weavers often spin and if you go there you might learn something. Ask to spin on some different wheels, it is best if you come with a few ounces of fiber so that you can spin without using someone else’s stash, but spinners are friendly and they like to show off their wheels, there will be people there to help out.

We are also more than happy to help you figure out what you need and what works best for you, so if you have questions please feel free to give us a call at 1-888-320-7746 or email us at and we would be more than happy to help you figure out just what you are looking for!

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