Knitting is a fun and rewarding textile art that anybody can learn. It can be used to create one-of-a-kind articles of clothing, accessories, and even soft toys. Though knitting is traditionally done with two or more needles (discover the best knitting needles), nowadays knitters also have the option of creating custom textiles with manual or fully automated knitting machines. These devices can be used to produce either flat or tubular knitted fabric, and they vary in their complexity, working via hand-manipulation in some instances and electronic pattern-reading technology in others.
For your perusal, here are the updated top ten best-rated knitting machines available on the market today. Whether you’re a beginner taking your first machine out for a spin or a more advanced knitter, we guarantee that there’s a device here that will suit your unique needs.
- 1 The 10 Best Knitting Machines And Looms (Updated 2018)
- 2 The Addi Express King-Size Knitting Machine – The Best All-Around Knitting Machine
- 3 NKOK Singer Knitting Machine – best for beginners
- 4 PowerTRC Smart Weaver Knitting Machine for Kids
- 5 Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio – best knitting machine for scarves
- 6 Caron The Ultimate Sweater Machine – innovations knitting machine
- 7 Prym Knittingmill Maxi – Machine Knitting Yarn
- 8 Caron Embellish-Knit! Machine Kit – best for making decorations
- 9 Curtzy Premium Flower Knitting Weaver Loom Set – ideal for use by children
- 10 addiExpress Professional Extended Edition – best top-quality machine
- 11 Dovewill Creative Loom – Best Manually Operated Machine
- 12 What’s the best knitting machine to buy
- 13 Conclusion
The Addi Express King-Size Knitting Machine – The Best All-Around Knitting Machine
As its name implies, the Addi Express King-Size Knitting Machine is ideal for creating larger pieces of knitted fabric. It’s designed to be mounted onto a tabletop for maximal anchorage and usability.
The machine measures 10 x 6 x 10 inches all around and weighs a mere five pounds, making it second to none in terms of portability.
Overall, users of this knitting machine found it highly satisfying, durable, versatile, and easy to operate even for beginners. It’s one of the pricier machines on our list, but you can rest assured that you’re paying for quality when you buy this one.
Yes. The Addi Express currently enjoys a 4.5 star our rating and overwhelmingly favorable reviews.
NKOK Singer Knitting Machine – best for beginners
Unlike the Addi Express, the officially licensed NKOK Singer Knitting Machine is fully manually operated rather than battery-powered. Simply by looping yarn through the machine and turning a crank, the user can make their own accessories including hats, scarves, and legwarmers. The machine measures only 5.8 x 11 x 8.5 inches all around weighs an incredibly lightweight 1.7 pounds. Since it has no electronic moving parts, it can be safely packed and taken anywhere.
This machine’s ratings are positive overall, and users report that it takes little time to complete a project. An adult cranking steadily for about 20 – 30 minutes can produce a sock made from a single skein of the enclosed yarn — hours less than it would take to knit one sock using traditional knitting needles.
Yes. Specifically, this knitting machine is ideal for younger users. Since it’s hand-powered rather than battery-operated, it can be safely used even by younger children without fear of injury from rapidly moving parts. Very young kids may need some help looping the yarn through the machine, but the cranking process is very simple and can be done without constant supervision.
Unlike the first two knitting machines on our list, this one is designed specifically with children in mind. Intended for ages 6 and up, the PowerTRC Smart Weaver allows young users to knit flat or in the round. The machine comes with two skeins of yarn, a crochet hook, a child-safe darning needle, and an instructional booklet. Younger children may need some assistance threading the spindles at first, but they can easily crank it themselves.
Some also found the enclosed instructions confusing and had better luck teaching themselves to operate the machine with video tutorials. Overall, however, the consensus was that the machine works as advertised.
Yes, with the caveat that it’s intended for children and therefore not of the same grade as the other professional-quality knitting devices profiled here. More experienced users will probably want to choose a different machine for themselves.
Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio – best knitting machine for scarves
The Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio is built differently than the other machines on our list and allows the user to make different sorts of textiles. Whereas other knitting machines involve multiple needles arranged in a circular formation, operate with a hand-crank or battery power, and lets the user make either flat or circular knit pieces, the Knit’s Cool works by allowing the user to loop yarn over two upright posts.
This machine comes with a total of three posts you can use interchangeably to produce three different knit looks, as well as all the materials necessary to create an infinity scarf, and headband, and a phone case. You get a total of fifty yards of yarn in three different colors, plus an assortment of buttons and charms for decorating your creations. The Knit’s Cool website also features numerous video tutorials to assist with the learning process.
The main thing to note is that the Knit’s Cool performs very differently from any of the other knitting machines on our list. It’s structured and operates in a completely different manner, which means its performance can’t really be compared to any of the other items we’ve reviewed.
It’s a more involved process than simply cranking or turning on a machine.
Yes, we recommend this machine particularly for those who like to take a more hands-on role in knitting with a machine. For those who value the automated aspect of other machines, this probably isn’t the best choice. However, those who enjoy more manual knitting will have a lot of fun with it.
Caron The Ultimate Sweater Machine – innovations knitting machine
Most of the other machines on this list allow users to make smaller knit items with a partially or fully automated device that works faster than you can knit with traditional needles.
With this device, you can make an adult-size sweater in a matter of hours, or even a full-size blanket in almost no time at all. It comes equipped with six key-plates corresponding to every knitting needle size 6 – 10.5 and is capable of producing a huge variety of stitch types.
If you peruse the online reviews, you’ll see that the Caron Ultimate Sweater Machine has many more critical reviews than any of the other machines on our list. Many users complain that it does not work as advertised, and that they struggled with dropped stitches and rows, as well as inconsistent tension. Some also complained that the carriage got stuck. However, others report that once they adapted to the machine’s idiosyncrasies, they were able to make it work with little difficulty.
We recommend this device with the caveat that you will probably have to learn through trial and error how to operate it successfully. If you have the patience to discover its ins and outs you’ll achieve better results than if you simply follow the instructions to the letter.
Prym Knittingmill Maxi – Machine Knitting Yarn
It produces 40 stitches when knitting back and forth and 44 when knitting in the round, and can be used with most yarns intended for hand-knitting. Do note that the yarn weight will affect the tension.
The mill works by dropping the end of a length of yarn into the center and then turning the crank. This allows the machine to grab onto the yarn, causing each latch hook to open and close and loop the yarn through. Some users have found that it’s best to start out slowly to avoid tension problems and dropped stitches.
The Embellish-Knit is a special inclusion in our list because it’s intended primarily for making decorations for your knit garments. The hand-cranked design allows you to wind your own decorative cords, frogs, and other closures. It allows you to knit up to 18′ of decorative cording in only ten minutes, and comes with all the yarn and other materials you need to create your own knitted embellishments.
However, as long as you go slowly and are attentive to your work, you should have little difficulty producing your own decorative cords and closures in no time at all.
Curtzy Premium Flower Knitting Weaver Loom Set – ideal for use by children
This handy loom set allows the user to create fun and colorful knitted embellishments for their textile creations. Six interchangeable loom sizes allow you to make a variety of items to decorate your clothing, hats, and scarves.
It’s also not ideal for use by children for this reason. Each of the six interchangeable looms fits into the base and can be swapped out as needed to change the dimensions of whatever you’re making. It takes a variety of weights of yarn.
addiExpress Professional Extended Edition – best top-quality machine
It’s equipped with 22 needles that allow you knit flat or round pieces, comes with a pattern book, hook, replacement needles, a threading tool, and an assortment of other accessories, and also provides instructions suitable for beginning knitters.
Like some of the other machines on our list, some users have complained that this one drops stitches. As with the others, we recommend taking it slowly at least to start to reduce the risk of tangling or dropping stitches or rows. If used correctly, you should be able to produce yards of knitted material in a short amount of time.
Dovewill Creative Loom – Best Manually Operated Machine
The Dovewill Creative Loom is a standout on the list for a very charming reason: it’s shaped like a penguin! This hand-cranked machine lets users make tubular scarves, socks, and other items via plain or loop knit. It’s made of sturdy plastic and intended for children, but should only be used with adult supervision to avoid injury from the sharp moving needles.
The loom is fully manually operated and doesn’t take batteries.
It stands upright and can be anchored to a table for added stability, and it can take yarns of many different weights, though the weight you use may affect the tension.
There are a handful of important factors to consider when you buy a knitting loom:
- The age and experience level of the user.
- The types of items you wish to make.
- The frequency with which you expect to use the machine.
Needless to say, a very young or beginning user will probably fare better with a knitting machine tailored to their skill level than one of the professional-grade devices we’ve included on our list, so keep the skill level of the intended user in mind before making your purchase. Also, be sure to ask yourself what types of knitted goods you want to make. Are you interested in knitting smaller items like socks or scarves? Or do you want to make larger pieces like sweaters or blankets? Consider the limitations of the machine you buy in advance. Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that machines intended for young and beginning users will not stand up to continued use the way more durable, professional-tier machines will, so if you plan to use it regularly to produce a high volume of knitted items, you’ll probably get better results from investing a little more in a pricier machine that will stand the test of time.
The Pros and Cons of Hand Knitting and Using a Machine for Knitting
- Machine knitting is placed in a certain location. Its size and weight depends on the material to knit. Therefore, it might need an ample space. Hand knitting, on the other hand, can be brought anywhere and does not use a huge amount of space.
- In terms of speed, hand knitters will take more time to finish their craft since they need to make sure that every stitch they make is full of consistency and of the same pattern. Because of its automatic features, a knitting machine can obviously create a huge number of stitches at a certain point of time, without even worrying about the consistency of its pattern.
- A hand knitter can come up with her own stitching patterns, or design her craft in the middle of the activity. Machine knitters, on the other hand, have a limited capability when it comes to patterns, yet, one can still design the craft afterwards.
- Complex designs can be made both in hand and machine knitting. However, if you are not that good in hand knitting, yet you wanted to create an admirable, multi-colored garment with a complicated pattern, machine knitting can be a great help for you! Although since it is a machine, there’s a limited capability for it; so better look for the perfect one that will suit your desired knitted items.
- Aside from being portable, hand knitting also calms the mind with the serenity of its sound. Machines can produce loud sounds while stitching. Yet, there are some products that have a minimal sound that isn’t that disturbing.
- In hand knitting, as long as you practice your craft, you’ll not just develop your skills, but you’ll also be able to come up with any knitted material you prefer to create. Whereas in machine knitting, each yarn and item of different weights and class require a specific device to use.
- A huge amount of money might be needed to invest in a knitting machine, whereas in hand knitting, you only need to buy a pair of needles and a yarn.
- For huge projects, the use of knitting machine will definitely be perfect. You can still stitch using your hands, but it will really take much of your time that you might not be able to finish it right awa
There are numerous knitting machines available on the market today, and regardless of whether you’re a novice knitter or a seasoned pro there is one that will suit your needs. We hope this guide has allowed you to narrow down the range of possibilities and given you pause to consider your needs before you make your purchase. Happy knitting!