Most versatile wheel?

Soo…I know that some wheels are only capable of a certain range of drive ratios which affects how much twist you can put into a yarn (If I understand correctly, that is.)
So which wheel has the widest range? Which type of wheel can spin just about anything?

Hi Aidan!

I’m actually in the pre-purchase learning stage myself, but I’m afflicted/blessed with some OCD so I have pestered zillions of people and learned all KINDS of stuff in the last few weeks. I will share what I know so far and maybe someone with more experience can elaborate.

I personally have been looking at Kromskis and I am just about set on the Minstrel, but one of the limitations of the Minstrel, as well as many other of the widely available brands is an orifice of only 3/8". From what I understand, the orifice, right off the bat, limits you in spinning and/or plying thicker yarns as they must pass through the orifice. Majacraft has a “delta” orifice, and if I’m not mistaken, that means anything goes, while Louet comes standard with a 5/8", and many manufacturers, including Lendrum and Ashford, have bulky/plying accessories you can add on to accommodate.

As for the ratios, it is about the twist, and typically the smaller the number, the thicker the yarn. I believe a 2-5 is recommended for bulkies, whereas laces and other fine fibers can require from 25-40. Again, many manufacturers offer add-ons for lace, as with bulky.

For me, since I’m on a budget, I am just looking to get the most bang for my buck with something I like the appearance of. Lendrum and Louet have wheels that may or may not be more versatile in the similar price range as Kromski, but I don’t particularly care for their appearance and dislike the required accessory buying, where as the Kromskis come with lots of stuff.

The Woolery has some wonderful information here

Someone here gave me this page, which was also informative: here

There is a page with statistics on wheels here although I’m not certain how updated

I have been advised by a few that the Lendrum folding is about as versatile as you can get and in a nice price range too. They were originally for bulkier yarns, but now range from lace to bulky.

Hope this helps!

p.s. there are a couple of user review sites for wheels, too, one for just ashfords here and for non-ashford here with some other good links on the left sidebar.

I took my lesson last weekend, spent the day on the South Coast of England learning to spin and came away still wanting the Ashford Joy - as I am limited on space.

Well I ordered it, but delivery time was wayyyy too long away. So I had to re-think and my result was to buy an Ashford Traditional (single drive). It is the one I learned on - I also went with a double treadle conversion kit as I found treadling MUCH easier with a double treadle than the single - I got to try both out.

The Ashford Traditional came across to me as one of the most versatile wheels since they have been around since 1939, its a bit like a VW you’ll always be able to get parts. Also it is the most upgradeable one - you can switch it to double drive, lace fliers, jumbo fliers etc. The only drawback to me is the size of it - I wanted something compact and bijou to fit in my small London apartment (just enough room to swing a cat in) but I didn’t want to wait the several weeks for the delivery of the Joy. So for less money than the joy cost and the kindness of my mother I’m getting the traditional and leaving it at her house to use there.

the lendrum! :slight_smile:

I think it’s known as one of the most versatile wheels… and it folds!

I have a Lendrum also, and I like it very much as a first wheel.

I was originally contemplating getting an Ashford Traditional or Traveller, since they were more affordable to me, and I liked that Ashford has been around for a while. However, since I wanted a versatile wheel that I could spin laceweight-bulky on, I would’ve had to purchase additional flyer units and such for the Ashfords, and the price then would’ve been comparable to a Lendrum complete. So I ended up getting a Lendrum because it had the added bonuses of being foldable and compact. I also read somewhere that the Ashford bobbins are teeny. When I can afford to, I would like to get a more “traditional”-looking wheel with a pretty finish (Kromski? Schact?) that would be functional AND have that old-world charm.

Spinning is addictively fun and satisfying…I wish I had more time to spin!!

Lendrum comes with everything with out the extra buying. Just about any modern wheel can be changed to fit your needs though, so consider price and style.

My Traveller :heart: actually goes very thin and bulky with out the special attatchments. I’m just beginning to get a fairly consistent single. So, I figure I’ll take one step at a time. When I’m better I’ll aim for a specific size of yarn. Happy hunting!