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A Technical Comparison Between Some Common Spinning Wheel Types

  • 4 min read
Spinning yarn on Schacht wheels
Spinning yarn on Schacht wheels (Image credit: Schacht Spindle on Instagram)

Spinning wheels have been pivotal in textile production for centuries, evolving from simple drop spindles to sophisticated machines designed for efficiency and versatility. Among the various spinning wheel types available in the market, models from Ashford, Louet, and Schacht are popular choices. This article aims to provide a technical comparison of some common spinning wheel types, shedding light on their features, specifications, and unique characteristics.

What are the Differences Between Ashford, Louet, and Schacht Spinning Wheels?

In these comparison charts, we'll break down the technical details of each spinning wheel, helping you understand the features and advantages of each model. Whether you prioritize portability, traditional design, or compact efficiency, this chart guides you to find the perfect spinning wheel that aligns with your unique spinning needs.

Ashford Spinning Wheels

Ashford, a renowned brand in the spinning community, offers a diverse range of spinning wheels, each catering to different needs.

Brand Model Style Orifice Diameter Orifice Height Wheel Diameter Bobbin Capacity Ratios Foldable Drive System Tension System Treadle
Joy 2 Castle 1cm (⅜") 60cm (23¾") 40cm (15¾") 130gm (4-5oz) 6:1, 8:1, 11:1, 14:1 Yes Single Scotch Single or Double
Kiwi 3 Castle 1cm (⅜") 69cm (27¼") 45cm (17½") 130gm (4-5oz) 5.5, 7.5, 9.5:1 Folding treadles Single Scotch Double
Traveller 3 Castle 1cm (⅜") 80.5cm (31¾") 46cm (18") 160gm (6oz) 5:1, 7:1, 9:1, 14:1 No Single Scotch Double
Elizabeth 30 Saxony 1cm (⅜") 66 cm (26") 76cm (30") 100gm (3-4oz) 10.5, 13.5, 18:1 (22:1 bobbin lead) No Double Double
Scotch in Single Drive
Country Spinner 2 Castle 2.7cm (1⅛") 72.5cm (28½") 46cm (18") 1.4kg (3lb) 3:1, 4:1, 5:1 No Single Scotch Double
1cm (⅜")
69cm (27¼")
56cm (22")
100gm (3-4oz)
7:1, 9:1, 12:1, 17:1 No Single
7.5:1, 9.5:1, 13:1 (16:1 bobbin lead) No Double
e-Spinner 3 e spinner 1.5cm (⅝" 15cm (6") 225g (8oz) No Single N/A
e-Spinner Jumbo e spinner 2.7cm (1⅛") 23cm (9") 1.4kg (3lb) No Single N/A

The Joy 2 and Kiwi 3, for example, represent portable and traditional styles, respectively. The Joy 2, with its adjustable orifice height and folding feature, is a compact solution for on-the-go spinning. The Kiwi 3, on the other hand, maintains a traditional look while incorporating features like a sliding hook for enhanced functionality.

The Country Spinner 2 and Traditional models cater to those interested in jumbo or art yarn spinning and classic design, respectively. Ashford's foray into electric spinning is evident in models like the e-Spinner 3 and e-Spinner Jumbo, providing spinners with the convenience of variable speed and portability.

Louet Spinning Wheels

Louet, a brand synonymous with traditional craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail, brings forth spinning wheels that seamlessly blend heritage with compact design.

Brand Model Orifice Diameter Orifice Height Wheel Diameter Ratios Foldable Drive System Tension System Treadle
S10 12 mm (0.5") 70 cm (27.625") 50cm (19.75") 5.5:1, 7.5:1, 10.5:1 No, but easily disassembled for transport. Single Scotch or Irish Double or Single
S95 12 mm & 8 mm (1/2” & 5/16′′) 59 cm (23 1/4′′) 36 cm (14 1/4″) 6:1, 8.5:1, 13:1 Yes Single Scotch Double
S96 (Discontinued) 12 mm & 8 mm (1/2” & 5/16′′) 59 cm (23 1/4′′) 36 cm (14 1/4″) 6:1, 8.5:1, 13:1 Yes Single Scotch Double
S17 12 mm (0.5") 70 cm (27 5/8′′) 50 cm (19 3/4′′) 5.5:1, 7.5:1, 10.5:1 No Single Irish Single

The S10 and S95/96 models, both traditional spinning wheels, offer Scotch (or optionally Irish tension for the S10) tension and double treadle for a classic spinning experience. The S96 stands out as an upright and compact option, catering to spinners with limited space without compromising on performance. The S17, another traditional Louet model, shares similar features but at a lower price point, Irish tension and a folding option for added convenience.

Note: The S96 spinning wheel has been discontinued by Louet.

Schacht Spinning Wheels

Schacht, celebrated for its commitment to compact efficiency and precision engineering, presents spinning wheels that embody sophistication in design.

Brand Model Orifice Diameter Orifice Height Wheel Diameter Ratios Foldable Drive System Tension System Treadle
Ladybug 9.5 mm (3/8") 69 cm (27") 40.6 cm (16") Extra Slow 3.2:1 & 3.6:1
Slow 4.7:1 & 5.5:1
Medium 6.5:1 & 8:1 (included)
Fast 9:1 & 10.5:1 (included)
High 11.5:1 & 14:1
Super High 12:1 & 14.5:1
No Double / Single Scotch / Double / Irish Double
Sidekick 9.5 mm (3/8") 63.5 cm (25") 35 cm (13.75") Slow: 4:1, 4.8:1
Medium: 5.7:1, 6.8:1 (included)
Fast: 8:1. 9:1 (included)
High: 10:1, 12:1
Super High: 11:1, 13:1
Yes Double Scotch Double
Matchless 9.5 mm (0.375") 71 cm (28") 50 cm (19 1/2") Extra Slow: 4:1, 4.5:1
Slow6:1, 7.5:1
Medium: 9:1, 10.5:1 (included)
Fast: 12.6:1, 15:1 (included)
High: 17:1, 20:1
Super High: 18:1, 21:1
No Double / Single Scotch / Irish / Double Double
Flatiron 9.5 mm (0.375") 66 cm (26") 57 cm (22 1/2") Extra Slow: 4.6:1, 5.2:1
Slow: 6.8:1, 8.5:1
Medium: 10.4:1, 12.4:1
Fast: 15:1, 17.4:1
High: 20:1, 25.2:1
Super High: 21.2:1, 26.1:1
No Double Scotch Double

The Ladybug, a compact upright wheel similar in functionality to the Matchless, is ideal for those with limited space who appreciate a more modern look. The Sidekick, a portable and compact model, offers the convenience of folding and double treadle as well as a unique wheel design. The Matchless, a traditional spinning wheel, allows the spinner to swap between double and single drive (Irish/Scotch tension systems) and offers precise control over spinning speed and yarn tension. All three wheels come with the option to add on a bulky plyer flyer for spinning or plying larger quantities of yarn.

Choosing the Right Spinning Wheel For You

In the world of spinning wheels, Ashford, Louet, and Schacht stand out as reliable and innovative brands, each offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Choosing the right spinning wheel depends on individual preferences, spinning styles, and the desired yarn outcome. Whether you opt for the tradition of Ashford, the portability of Louet, or the compact efficiency of Schacht, each brand provides a selection of models tailored to meet the diverse needs of spinners. This technical comparison aims to guide spinners in making an informed decision based on their specific requirements, ensuring a satisfying spinning experience.

Download the spinning wheel technical comparison chart here.

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