Which Spinning Wheel is Right for Me?

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Dear Tabby,

I’m in the market to buy a new spinning wheel, but with five different Schacht wheels to try, I’m not sure which one will be the best fit. Help!

—Indecisive Irene

Dear Indecisive,

How exciting! The decision to purchase a new spinning wheel is a big one, and it’s very personal. Taking the time to research, test, and think, will prove to be the best decision in the long run. To aid you in this process, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself when wheel shopping.

  • What kind of spinning do you want to do?
  • Does your wheel need to be portable?
  • Do prefer a saxony-style or castle-style wheel?
  • How much space do you have?
  • What drive system do you prefer?
  • Do you prefer a traditional look or a modern look?
  • What’s your budget?

Once you know the answers to these questions, use this guide to narrow your choices down, or you can take a look at our spinning wheel comparison chart.

What kind of spinning do you want to do?

  • For fine spinning, the Flatiron, Matchless, and Schacht-Reeves have great ratios that will give you more twist with less treadling.
  • For bulky spinning, the Ladybug and Sidekick can slow down a lot with large whorls—perfect for those art yarns.
  • For a mix of yarns, you can’t go wrong with the Ladybug or Matchless.

Does your wheel need to be portable?

  • The Sidekick is our folding travel wheel, great for cross-country or cross-town trips. The Ladybug is also lightweight, has convenient carrying handles, and will fit comfortably in any car.
  • The Matchless (though it has a small footprint) is a little heavy to carry around for some individuals; if you’re going to travel with it, you can use the included carrying strap or get the optional cart. The Flatiron (though lightweight) and the Schacht-Reeves are both great for more stationary spinners.

Do you prefer a Saxony-style or castle-style wheel?

  • Saxony: Both the Flatiron and Schacht-Reeves are Saxony wheels. The Flatiron can be set up with the flyer on the left or flyer on the right, while the Schacht-Reeves must be ordered as a flyer on the left or flyer on the right. Note: for spinners who hold their fiber in their right hand, a flyer on the left is ideal; for spinners who hold their fiber in their left hand, a flyer on the right is ideal.
  • Castle: The Matchless, Ladybug, and Sidekick are all castle-style wheels.

How much space do you have?

  • A lot: The Flatiron and Schacht-Reeves take up about 3–4 square feet of floor space
  • A little: The Matchless, Ladybug, and Sidekick take up about 1–2 square feet of floor space.

What drive system do you prefer?

  • Every wheel we make can be set up for Scotch tension (flyer lead).  The Schacht-Reeves, Flatiron, Matchless, and Ladybug can also be set up for double drive. Only the Flatiron, Matchless, and Ladybug can be set up for Irish tension (bobbin lead).

Do you prefer a traditional look or modern look?

  • For a more traditional aesthetic, the Schacht-Reeves and Matchless are great choices.
  • For a more modern approach, the Flatiron, Ladybug, and Sidekick will suit your needs.

What’s your budget?

  • $700–$800: Ladybug or Flatiron
  • $800–$900: Sidekick
  • $900+: Matchless or Schacht-Reeves

Once you’ve gotten your list of wheels narrowed down, call your local Schacht spinning wheel retailer to schedule a time to try spinning on the wheels in person. Many spinners collect spinning wheels for their looks as well as their functions. It’s hard to say no to a spinning wheel.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company, Inc. was founded during the back-to-earth movement of the late 1960's and its accompanying craft resurgence. Their first loom was a simple tapestry loom, a version which they still make today. Over nearly 50 years, Schacht has developed a broad range of high quality hand weaving and hand spinning tools, including their popular Cricket Loom and Ladybug Spinning wheel. Schacht’s mission is to create beautiful and well-designed products that enhance customers’ weaving and spinning experience through innovative problem solving, creative ideas, skilled woodworking and craftsmanship, and friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Schacht’s family owned business is located in Boulder, Colorado.