When you are shopping around for a spinning wheel, you’ll quickly see that not only are there quite a few choices of brands and types of wheels, there are also vastly different price points.
What is the cost of a spinning wheel and what makes the prices differ between them?
To get you started, when looking at spinning wheels you should know that:
- the more versatile the wheel is the more it will cost
- wheels have different features, spinning speed, portability, volume, etc.
- both modern and classically structured wheels spin equally well
Read Find The Best Spinning Wheel For You to get an idea of which type of wheel will suit you and your spinning needs the best.
|Beginner wheels||low cost and mid range|
|Lifetime wheels||mid and high range|
|Most versatility||mid and high range|
This article has examples of wheels that are easy to find and should be available at most retailers. There are many more wheels available, this is list should give you an idea of options and cost.
The list is ordered from lowest to highest price and divided into low (up to $700), mid ($700-1,000) and higher ($1,000+) price groups.
Is Spinning Your Own Yarn Worth It? goes over the costs and benefits of spinning your own yarns and art yarns.
|Low cost wheels||Cost|
|Ashford Kiwi 3||$669 ($519 unfinished)|
Lower cost spinning wheels
The lower cost spinning wheels are the simple and easy to use beginner style spinning wheels that are also lower in cost. These wheels are easy to operate as well as adjust.
Lower cost spinning wheels are:
- great beginner’s wheels
- simple to set up and adjust
- made for spinning medium to bulky yarns
The reason that these wheels are easy to use is that they are limited in their abilities, generally they have lower spinning ratios and less addons.
This makes them less versatile wheels than wheels that are more expensive, which is fine for a beginner or someone who likes to spin the the lower/slower ratios most of the time.
You can happily spin for years with wheels in this lower cost group. I have a Louet S15 DT that I purchased about 20 years ago and it works great for just about anything I want to do.
Louet S17 is $494
Pros: easy to set up and change spinning ratios, inexpensive wheel
Cons: limited spinning ratios (low) and single treadle (which may be fine with you)
The Louet S17 is a fairly basic modern style wheel that is $494. It has a single treadle, on board lazy kate and comes with 3 bobbins.
This wheel has Irish tension, meaning the drive band spins the bobbin. Irish tension is easy to set up and change spinning ratios, you just move the adjustable band to a new whorl (groove).
It has ratios of 1:5.5, 1:7.5 and 1:10.5. These ratios are on the lower end, making it a slower wheel, which is more suited to medium or bulky yarn spinning.
Spinning fine is tough with these ratios, this wheel will be frustratingly slow without the additional fine spinning kit, which is $247.
Ashford Kiwi 3 is $519-669
Pros: easy to set up and change spinning ratios, sliding hooks on flyer, double treadle, portable
Cons: limited spinning ratios (low)
Price: $669, unfinished for $519
The Ashford Kiwi 3 is a modern style wheel that is $669. It is a double treadle, has a built in lazy kate, folding treadles (for portability) and a sliding hook system.
The sliding hook is a great feature, it eliminates snagging on all of the other hooks as you spin, which is especially useful for bulky or art yarns.
The Kiwi 3 has beginner friendly flyer ratios of 5.5, 7.5 and 9.5:1.
If portability is a concern for you or you just need a wheel that fold up and can be kept neatly in an out of the way spot, the Kiwi 3 might just fit the bill.
Kromski Prelude is $615
Pros: beginner friendly wheel with easy upgrade for higher spinning ratios
Cons: single treadle, unfinished (if that matters to you, finished is $735)
Price: $615, fast flyer add $86
The Prelude offers simplicity for the beginner as well as an easy upgrade to higher wheel ratios, making this a wonderfully versatile wheel that you can use for a lifetime.
The Kromski Prelude is a saxony style wheel with single drive (one loop of the drive band) scotch tension, meaning the tension is on the flyer.
The Prelude is billed as a portable wheel, something you would take to events or meet ups, which is great, but to me overlooks the real gold here-the easy upgrade to higher spinning ratios.
Higher wheel ratios takes a beginner friendly wheel and gives you the versatility you need to use it for all your spinning needs as you become more advanced.
This means that you don’t have to buy another wheel as you get more skilled (unless you want to, of course!), you can just use more features of the wheel you have. Nice!
The basic spinning ratios are 6:1, 10.5:1 and 13:1. If you also purchase the fast flyer (+$86) you expand those ratios to 12:1, 16:1 and 18:1, which are fairly fast and would be great for fine yarn.
Spinning fine yarn is where the beginner wheels tend to be lacking, but with the upgrade the Prelude should be great for fine yarn, too.
The only drawback, at least for me is the single treadle, but if you are fine with a single treadle, and plenty of folks are, this wheel sounds super!
|Mid range wheel||Cost|
Mid range priced spinning wheels
The mid range priced wheels are going to be the group of spinning wheels that gives you the most bang for your buck.
Mid price range wheels are:
- more versatile (can spin fine to bulky)
- lifetime wheels
- perfect for most casual spinners
From the wheels in this group, you’ll still get ease of use and add plenty of versatility, all in one wheel, so that as you grow in your abilities, your wheel can keep up with you!
The increased versatility is why the price of these wheels is a bit higher than the first group, they can do more for you, so they cost more.
This was the group that is the most challenging to choose wheels for.
There are scads of wonderful wheels in this price range, I picked the ones that “called to me” to keep the list at a reasonable length, which resulted in leaving quite a few nice wheels unlisted.
Ashford Traditional is $829
Pros: classic spinning wheel look, is double drive and has a good range of wheel ratios
Cons: single treadle
The Ashford Traditional is a classic, with Scotch tension and 4 bobbins. The bobbins come with a tower style lazy kate.
The Traditional has wheel ratios of 7.5, 9.5, 13 and 16:1 and has options available including a jumbo flyer with sliding hooks.
Interestingly enough, there are also unfinished Ashford Traditional wheels in both single and double drive that would drop the price from $829 to $695 for double drive and $659 for single.
Schacht Ladybug is $949
Pros: fun look, portable, double treadle, good range of wheel ratios
Cons: purchasing options for versatility
The Schacht Ladybug is a cutie, for sure, and one of the more recognizable wheels. It’s quite popular and frequently seen at fiber festivals, highlighting the built in portability of the wheel.
The Ladybug has spinning ratios of 7, 9, 10.5 and 12.5:1 and comes with the medium and fast whorls. This wheel uses Scotch tension and also has double drive option.
There are many additional options available for purchase including a bulky flyer, high and low speed whorls, high speed bobbin, a tensioned 4 bobbin lazy kate and a carrying case.
The Ladybug is priced at $949 and is a double treadle wheel.
Schacht Flatiron is $988
Pros: double treadle, tons of spinning ratios, very versatile wheel
Cons: interesting look, on the heavier side at 15 pounds, bulky flyer is expensive
The Schacht Flatiron is a beast, with spinning ratios of 4.6 to 26:1, this wheel can spin just about anything!
I’ll have to admit, I’m still on the fence about the look of this wheel, but wow, there is no denying the capabilities!
The Flatiron is one of my top choice wheels as I am looking around while considering if I should buy a second, more capable wheel for myself.
Kromski Sonata is $989
Pros: classic spinning wheel look, double treadle, portable, large range of wheel ratios
Cons: castle or upright wheel (which is fine if you like it)
The Kromski Sonata is a lovely wheel with a ton of bang for your buck!
This wheel is also portable and comes with a carrying bag, so if you love to travel to spinning events, this might just be the wheel you need!
The Sonata is a double treadle wheel with ratios of 6.7, 12.5 and 14:1 with available whorls of 5, 7.5 and 10:1 and with a fast flyer you also get 12, 16 and 18:1.
If you are interested in finishing the wheel yourself, the Sonata is available unfinished for $879.
Louet Julia is $990
Pros: double treadle, good amount of spinning ratios, sliding hook
Cons: modern look you may not care for, not foldable
The Louet Julia gives you a lot of versatility in a clean looking wheel that comes with three bobbins and a stand alone lazy kate.
The Julia has built in spinning ratios of 6, 8, 13 and 20:1. Many wheels require additional options to get the higher, in this case 20:1 ratio, with the Julia it’s built in. Nice!
If you want a portable wheel that is very similar, look to the Louet Victoria S95, which is also a double treadle but does not come with the 20:1, that is an additional purchase.
|Higher cost wheels||Cost|
Higher cost spinning wheels
The higher cost spinning wheels are where you get into some real gems with some serious spinning power!
Higher cost spinning wheels are:
- production oriented
- best for more experienced spinners
Most folks, especially new handspinners, will be better served to look in another section for their first wheel, try the looking in the mid price range wheels.
While these wheels would be wonderful to have and use once you have some experience, they are going to be a bit more complicated to use, so they are not beginner wheels.
Schacht Matchless is $1650
Pros: tons of versatility and spinning ranges
Cons: getting up there in price
The Matchless is a beautiful and super versatile wheel, with spinning ratios from 4:1 to 21:1. This is a lovely wheel for any handspinner looking to up their game!
This is the other wheel that I really like for myself, the Matchless is lovely and a beast as far as abilities. Wow, what a wonderful wheel for any lucky handspinner to have!
Schacht Reeves is $2090-2350
Pros: traditional spinning wheel look, super fast spinning ratio options
Cons: price and is large wheel that will take up significant floor space
The Reeves is truly a powerhouse, it comes with an 18:1 and a 24:1 whorl and has available spinning ratios up to 38.5:1 with the optional super high speed whorl, that’s crazy fast!
I listed the Reeves so you can see what more of a production wheel is capable of, you could really produce some yardage with this character!
While, most folks reading this article are not going to be interested in this wheel, since it is more of a professional wheel, but it’s still interesting to see what top end producers can do!
If you are interested in an overview of basic spinning wheel styles, read The Joy Of Handspinning Styles Of The Spinning Wheel.