Machine knitting is an extremely creative and fun experience. It’s the best way to express your creativity and make some money on the side. However, in order to do that, you will need a good knitting machine.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about knitting machines, including the general similarities and differences between hand knitting and machine knitting. We will also review some of the best knitting machines recommended by knitting experts on the market available for purchase in 2020.
What is a Knitting Machine?
First and foremost, for everyone who’s new to the craft, a knitting machine represents a device that we use for knitting in a fully automated or semi manner. Picking the right knitting machine can be hard with so many brands in the market and little experience. Also, there’s a wide range of knitting machine types.
From broad templates or simple spool without any moving parts to high-end electronic machines. Each one provides different types of knitted fabrics such as tubular and flat and varying levels of complexity.
You can pick and select pattern stitches with changing the needles by hand. Or by using dials and push-buttons, contemporary electronic pattern reading device, or computers, and mechanical punch cards.
What Can Knitting Machines Make?
You might be wondering: what can knitting machines make? And why do I need one? They can produce different types of knitted fabric which has been previously shaped to preferred dimensions like sleeves or a knitted parade that you can cut or sewn with different conventional sewing methods and patterns.
With a double bed knitting machine, you can make tubular fabric like sleeves and socks. You can use this type of knitting for other purposes. But socks are people’s favorite. They also use their knitting machines to make different things such as coats, suits, socks, Christmas stockings, baby items, sweaters and more.
Why Use a Knitting Machine?
For an old-fashioned knitter with years of experience, using a knitting machine feels cheating. However, knitting machines produce fabrics with more even texture unlike the fabric you can make by hand which isn’t noticeable on smaller items, but visible on larger ones. So, using a knitting machine has advantages.
Easy stitch pattern production is one of them. Some patterns such as tuck stitches are easy to make with a machine while others such as garter stitch take longer to make with a machine, but still faster than by hand. If you use a single-bed household knitting machine for the garter, you will have to work it by hand.
Or use an accessory known as ’garter bar’. Brother knitting machines use an electronic accessory known as ‘Garter Carriage’ which has single internally mounted needle which faces those on the central bed, so when a stitch is picked via the patterning mechanism, the needle lifts up the wanted stitch of its needle.
It creates the stitch through the back while making a purl stitch on the front of the material. You can use different models of Garter carriages on electronic and mechanical Brother knitting machines. A complex stitch moving such as cable stitches requires hand control to cross the sets of stitches over one another.
Cable stitches can be created automatically with an industrial knitting machine that allows an automatic stitch transfer. A standard gauge 200-needle knitting machine can produce the finest yarn up to a sport-weight (4ply UK), while a heavier yarn works more effectively on a bulky knitting machine or mid-gauge.
The reason why knitting machines have become so popular over the years is simple: easy operation and time-saving. Machine knitting will save you a lot of time. And you do not have to be an expert to use this type of machine properly. Still, you should keep in mind that some designs look better if made by hand.
Also, some designs take more time to make on a machine than by hand. If you have the experience, you probably know that hand patterns are designed to “flip” the material on every row, so you can use your dominant hand while machines offer continuous knit with the material facing the same way. The circular knitting process includes knitting constantly in the round, while flatbed knitting includes back and forth.
What Knitting Machine to Buy?
With so many knitting machines available on the market, it is hard to choose the right one. We can point out some of the important features and benefits you should look after when buying a knitting machine.
Capabilities (Knitting Machine Gauge Chart)
The more functions your fabric knitting machine has, the easier the knitting and creating knitting pieces. You can buy an electronic knitting machine, manual or punch card. High-end machines will allow knitting garments in record time. Electronic machines feature special software to adjust shapes and knitting.
The machine’s gauge matters as well. And you can choose between different types of knitting machines, depending on the gauge. If you want to create a chunky scarf, buy a chunky machine where the needles are 8-9 mm apart from each other. A mid-gauge (6-7 mm) is highly recommended for every hand knitter.
A standard gauge (4.5-5mm) modern knitting machine is ideal for working with commercial grade fibers. If you want to make clothing out of fine yarns, buy a gauge knitting machine (3.6 mm between needles).
Number of Needles
Machines with an adjustable distance between needles for making clothes of different size, design, and density are highly recommended. Almost every modern knitting machine comes with a row counter that helps new knitters follow the pattern accurately. So, look for this type of knitting machine for home use.
Size and Weight
Another thing you should consider when buying a knitting machine for home is the model’s weight and size. If you purchase a portable knitting machine, you will be able to make masterpieces in the comfort of your home. Unless you are starting a business, exclude industrial circular knitting machine gauge out of your list. Purchase something that not only you but your family can use and move around the home.
The last thing you should consider when buying a home circular knitting machine or some other knitting machine type is the instruction. Knitting machines usually come with extras including replacement pins. You can also get product patterns, a tapestry needle, a practice ball, and weight clip with your purchase.
Types of Knitting Machine
In case you do not have any experience with knitting machines, we will review the main types of knitting machines you can pick from. What you pick depends on your personal preferences and knitting wishes.
Flatbed Knitting Machine
This type of knitting machine produces flat pieces and is extremely popular among boutique producers and hobbyists. A garment made with a flatbed machine has side seams since there is no way to knit in the round with this type of machine. Flatbed machines can be computerized, manual and punch card.
Computerized models are very fast and have electronic impulses that notify the carriage which needle is supposed to do something different. Unlike electronic/computer ready models, manual machines force you to stop right after every row to check the chart and draw the suitable needles into pattern position.
Punch card knitting machines, on the other hand, feature punch cards of various designs that notify the carriage which needles need to act differently. For instance, which needles should grab the second color for fair isle knitting. Now: let’s learn how circular knitting machines work and what can they be used for.
Circular Knitting Machine
Circular knitting machines have needles implanted on a circular cylinder made to make a seamless tube of material by blending the stitches from the needles. When it comes to circular knitting machines, you can pick between single Jersey and double Jersey. Let’s explain what’s the difference between the two.
Single Jersey has a single cylinder that is around 30 inches in diameter. However, the diameter varies, according to the machine type and requirement. The fabric made on this type of machine is known as “single Jersey fabric”. The back and front side of this fabric are different than the “double Jersey fabric”.
As you already suppose, this type of knitting machine has a double arrangement of needles on both the cylinder and dial. This allows the material to be twice as thick as the one designed by single Jersey type.
Knitting Machine vs Hand Knitting
The difference between hand knitting and machine knitting lies in the speed and guilt of using a knitting machine. Hand knitting requires 2 needles to form a stitch that is passed onto the other needle so that the next stitch is ready to be knitted. But knitting with a knitting machine is totally different and better.
Ordinary knitting machines have 200 needles on the bed. So, they can knit up to 200 stitches in a single row. By passing the as cam box or carriage over the needles, knitting row is formed. And since you are making many stitches quickly, knitting rows build up faster than by performing these motions by hand.
Circular Knitting Machine vs Flatbed Knitting Machine vs Loom
If you are new to the craft, you probably do not know the difference between flatbed knitting, circular knitting, and loom knitting. Circular knit is made with a knitting machine that works in a continuous tube or circle. The fabric is thin and the weight is “light”. An example of circular knit fabric is the t-shirt fabric.
This fabric has a gauge of 12 to 22. You should know that the higher the gauge, the thinner the fabric is. Flatbed knitting, on the other hand, is produced with a knitting machine that works in sheets or flat and the gauge is 2 to 10. Meaning, it creates thicker fabric. The perfect example is the thick sweater fabric.
The basic design of knitting look is the same, despite the many brands and styles. It is set up with a lot of pegs on a frame. They are evenly spaced. Onto them you “knit”. Round knitting looms are usually used for making socks and hats, while rectangular knitting looms are perfect for making blankets and scarves.
Buy Knitting Machine Near Me
Are you new to the craft? If yes and you have no idea how to pick your first knitting machine, this article is for you. Picking the best knitting machine can be challenging for beginners who do not know where to look. However, that is why we are here to help. You might be wondering: where do I begin my research?
Open your browser and type something like ‘knitting machine to make blankets’, ‘knitting machine to make socks’, ‘knitting machine for beginners’, ‘knitting machine to make sweaters’, ‘quality knitting machine for hats’, ‘circular knitting machine for socks’ or ‘handheld knitting machine for beginners’.
However, if you do not have time for research, check out this map, write down working hours of every store you find. Note their best products and prices and pay them a visit when you can. If you still cannot find what you were looking for, review our comparison chart and buy your first knitting machine online.
Best Knitting Machines You Can Buy In 2020 – Comparison Chart
We have created this comparison chart in order to help you out pick the right knitting machine for you on the market. Check out the main specifications of each product before you make your final purchase.
Top 21 Best Knitting Machines Reviews 2020
Now that you have learned all you needed to know about knitting machines, read the complete reviews of every product in the comparison chart. After hours and hours of research, we have decided that these knitting machines can provide the best knitting experience, no matter if you are a beginner or an expert.
Addi Express King Size Knitting Machine
Addi Express King Size Knitting machine is one of the best knitting devices. Not to mention how cute it looks. It comes with a needle holder, 46 needles, 5 replacement needles, 2 screw hooks for stable table mounting, 4 base feet, digital row counter with memory function. You will enjoy knitting with this baby.
It is suitable for yarn count 4-8, flat knitting (around 18 inches wide) and circular knitting (approximately 10’’ to 15’’ diameter). If you want the best circular knitting machine design, you will get it with this cute knitting machine. However, before you make your final purchase, make sure to review the pros as well.
If you want to learn how to use Addi express king size knitting machine watch the Addi express tutorials:
- You will finish your projects fast
- Super versatile, durable and portable
- A lot of free accessories included
- Perfect choice for beginners
- Hook breaks easily
- Not for professionals
Prym MIDI Knitting Mill Machine
If you were looking for a semi-automatic knitting machine, this model by Prym will meet your needs and overtop your expectations. It has 20 stitches when knitting in the round, and 16 when knitting back and forth. 0,22 Lb of wool with a run length of 459 yards can be knitted in less than 15 minutes with this toy.
How amazing is that? This knitting machine will save you time and effort. The best part? It is a German product that will last for years. Now: let’s review the main pros and cons before you buy this machine.
- Compact and portable
- A great gadget for beginners
- Makes perfect knitted tubes
- Possible stitches issues
- Possible tension issues
Caron 20293 Embellish-Knit machine
Next on our list of top-rated products on Amazon when it comes to knitting machines is the Caron 20293 knit machine. It will help you embellish your knit or crochet projects and creations with fancy cords and closures. You will get tapestry needles, weight clip, 5 project patterns, color instruction and practice ball.
The best part about this knitting machine is not the set of accessories that comes with your purchase. It is the speed that amazes everyone. Can you believe that a knitting machine this small can knit 18 feet of cording in around 10 minutes? It is perfect for completing your knitting projects fast and without issues.
- Handy kit
- Great speed
- Easy to use
- Cute gadget
- Minor design flaws
- Unclear instructions
Addi-Express Professional Knitting Machine
(Best Value for Money)
Another product by Addi that will make you fall in love at first knit is the Express Professional. It is the greatest knitting machine that features 22 needles, designed and manufactured in Germany. It is perfect for making circular knitted items (10 to 15 cm/4’’ to 6’’) and plain knitted items (15 to 20 cm/6’’ to 8’’).
With this baby, you can use different kinds of yarns. However, the recommended yarn thickness for the best results is 3.5 – 8. It is made out of the finest materials available and will serve you for many years to come. But let’s summarize the important pros and cons of this machine before you make your purchase.
- Super easy to use
- A German product
- Best value for the price
- Compact and portable
- Fast and quality model
- Gets stuck easily
- Stitch problems
NKOK Singer Knitting Machine
(Best Knitting Machine for Beginners)
If you want to create the perfect circular knitting machine fabric, NKOK Singer Knitting Machine is the right choice for you. It is suitable for both beginners and professionals who travel a lot. However, pros might find this model too simple and lightweight. You can use it for making cool fashion accessories.
It is just perfect for creating scarves, hats, socks, leg warmers and so much more. If you want to teach your children how to knit, this machine will help you in the process and keep them excited.
This is why this model is suitable for ages 8 and up. You will get the plastic needle, tension arm, and instructions.
- Singer circular knitting machine
- Perfect for beginners and children
- Had crank operation needs no batteries
- Lightweight, portable and easy to use
- Might skip stitches
- Smaller than it looks
PowerTRC Smart Weaver Knitting Kit Machine for Kids
(Best for Kids)
Looking for something modern, simple and effective that can help you teach your children how to knit? If yes, PowerTRC Smart Imagination Knitting Machine will come to your rescue. It is the greatest knitting machines for kids on the market. You can surprise your child with this great toy for their next birthday.
However, it is not perfect for kids only. You can use it to learn how to knit as well. It is not the greatest choice for professionals but children and people who are new to the craft will have so much fun with it.
It is ideal for making hats, gloves and boosts brain function. If you buy this toy, you will make your child a big favor. This machine is not only a knitting toy but brain development as well. Made of ABS material, this baby has a round shape design which makes it convenient to use. Now: let’s review the main cons.
- Perfect for children and beginners
- Boosts brain function and creativity
- Made of ABS material and convenient
- Not the best choice for pros
- Might miss and skip stitches
Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio
(Best Knitting Machine for Making Scarves)
Instead of buying a knitting machine only, now you can buy a whole knitting studio! Knitting has never been easier than with the Knit’s Cool knitting studio that comes with enough yarn for creating a phone case, boho headband, and an infinity scarf. You also get 3 multi-sized knitting posts to help you design your first creation, buttons, and charms. The best part is that it does not need any batteries to operate.
- Knit’s cool storage studio
- A lot of yarn in various colors
- Instruction guide
- Perfect for beginners and kids
- A lot of free accessories
- Instructions difficult to follow
Caron The Ultimate Sweater Machine
(Best for Customized Knitting Projects)
If you want to purchase a knitting machine for children, this is NOT the machine for you. The ultimate sweater machine by Caron is for intermediate users and professionals only. It includes everything you need to create the perfect sweaters, cushions, afghans, coats, skirts, baby and children wear and more.
It features 100 needles. Meaning it can kit up to 1,000 stitches per minute. It comes with a set of four keyplates and hand tools for creating fancy design patterns, shaping, and ribbing. It is the perfect model that works with most handknit yarns. Persistent and patient beginners can learn how to use it as well.
- 1,000 stitches per minute
- A lot of free useful accessories
- The ultimate sweater machine
- Complains about cheap design
- Instructions too difficult to follow
Prym Knitting mill Maxi
(Machine Knitting Yarn)
Prym Knitting mill Maxi is one of the top-rated knitting machines on the market for a good reason. It can knit tubes with a knitting machine diameter of up to 33 cm and flat panels with a width up to 43 cm. You will get crank, yarn guide, tension piece, handle, plastic needle, legs and instructions with your purchase.
It works with most yarns and represents the best tool for hand knitting, including fashion yarns. But how about we review the crucial pros and cons before we determine if this is the right knitting model for you.
- Perfect knitting mill machine
- You get a lot of free accessories
- Great hand knitting machine
- Not the best choice for beginners
- Not the best sock knitting machine
If you purchase the Premium flower knitting weaver look set, you will get everything you need to start knitting right away and more. It includes six different size looms packed together in a safe, transparent plastic storage case, scissors, and some thick chunky or thin wool to get creative and realize your ideas.
It is the perfect gift idea for enthusiasts and people new to the craft who need a complete set that will boost their knitting skills and increase their supplies. You can create baby gifts, cotton animals, blankets, scarves, cushions, and so much more. You can create gloves, leaves, strands, stunning flowers and more.
- Free basic illustrative instructions
- Super exciting and very easy to use
- Perfect knitting set for beginners
- Some buyers did not receive instructions
- Some customers did not receive a needle
New Improved Version Of Addi Express Professional Knitting Machine
If you want to make the perfect round knitting machine patterns, the new and improved version of Addi Express Professional is the perfect choice for you. It comes with a brand new, improved mechanical row counter, ready to help you achieve your craft goals and take your knitting abilities to a whole new level.
It is easy to use and very comfortable to knit with. It will knit round and flat in record time. All you have to do is turn the handle and you are ready to go! If you are a beginner, this baby will make you proud of your custom creations and keep you excited about knitting. It is simply amazing and worth the money.
You can make scarves, gauntlets for legs and arms, patchwork pullovers, vests, and other small items in just minutes. If you purchase this machine, you will get 4 feet, 2 stoppers, 1 threading tool, 2 clampers, a pattern book, hook, and replacement needles 5 pack – it contains everything you need to begin knitting.
- Very easy and comfortable to use
- The perfect beginners’ knitting kit
- Great value for the price you pay
- Needles break constantly (expensive to replace)
- Skipping and dropping stitches from time to time
Dove will Creative Loom Penguin Shaped Knitting Machine Weaver Maker
The fact that this loom is shaped like a penguin makes it even more appealing to buyers, especially kids who want to learn the craft at a young age. It is a hand-cranked knitting machine that will allow you to make tubular scarves, socks and different knitting creations that will make you or your children proud.
However, keep in mind that you should assist your children the first few times they use this toy just to make sure that they do not hurt themselves from the fast and sharp moving needles. If you purchase it, you will get a fully manually operated knitting tool for newbies or children that do not require batteries.
- Interesting and cute design
- Perfect knitting device for kids
- Not the best choice for pros
New Improved Version Of Addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit
The New and Improved version of Addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit is a top textile machinery thanks to the mechanical row counter. It was released in 2018. However, it stands as the greatest one by Addi Express in 2020 as well. If you want an incredible starter kit for beginners and kids, this is the one.
You will get enough yarn to create a trendy summer loop scarf and other knitting masterpieces that will make you proud of yourself. It is also the perfect kit for teaching your children how to knit. If you worry about the complexity of this kit, do not because it comes with detailed instructions and free accessories.
- Fully automated tool
- Compact and portable
- Unclear instructions
- Drops stitches often
NSI Knitting Machine
Another knitting set that is worth mentioning is the set by NSI – one of the greatest on the market right now. It is made of plastic and includes 2 skeins of thread, a sewing needle and knitting machine that will help you realize your knitting dreams. Make clothes and surprise your family with personalized gifts but keep in mind that some assembly is required. It is the perfect learning device for newbies and children.
- Great knitting tool for kids
- Perfect for learning the craft
- Some assembly is required
- Hard to keep the yarn on the hook
Liberty Imports Girls Crafts Smart Weaver Knitting Kit Machine Educational Toy for Kids
Looking for the complete knitting kit that will unveil your true potential and boost your knitting skills? If yes, we have the perfect set for you. The smart weaver knitting kit for beginners and kids will boost your talent and creativity. It is the perfect kit for learning the craft as well. Simple to use and simple to learn.
You can create a round or flat stitch in seconds with hand crank operation. All you have to do is thread yarn into the spindles and turn the crank to create your custom craft. It does not require batteries, nor much effort to start knitting like a pro. If you buy it, you will get the best DIY circular knitting machine.
- Ideal for beginners
- Super simple to use
- Safe and durable
- Educational Toy
- Super versatile
- Needle heads might break
- Not the best choice for pros
Pumpumly Knitting Machine Kit
If you want to discover the delights of knitting, purchase the Pumpumply knitting machine kit made of plastic with 40 needles and a large diameter. It is best for creating custom knitting pieces only with a few turns of the hand such as scarves, hats, sweaters and much more. It is recommended for ages 8 and up.
It does not require batteries and you can create round and flat stitch in seconds. However, just like any knitting machine on the market, this too has pros and cons. Let’s review the main downfalls of this toy.
- It features 40 needles and a large diameter
- Perfect for creating custom knitting crafts
- You can create flat and round stitch fast
- It gets stuck in the yarn is too tight
Singer Knitting Machine
Another Singer circular knitting machine that will definitely make an impression is this one. It will help you discover the delight of knitting along with your creative side. It is the perfect knitting machine for making a round and flat stitch in a blink of an eye. Knitting your custom designs has never been easier.
With this baby, you can knit scarves, bags, socks, hats, forearm warmers and much more. In fact, you can knit whatever you wish. It comes with 2 skeins of fun fur yarn purple and pink yard, needle and do-it-yourself booklet that beginners will find of great use. Not recommended for kids under 48 months.
- A flat or round stitch in just seconds
- Perfect for custom fashionable designs
- Super versatile and great for beginners
- Not the best choice for experienced users
D&D Professional 40 Needles Knitting Machine
Another knitting machine that can help you discover the beauty and pleasure of knitting is d&d knitting machine. It is perfect for creating custom fashionable designs, just like most of the products on this list that we have reviewed for you today. If you order this set, you will get a yarn, crochet hook, wool and a booklet among other things that can help you create your first knitting masterpiece if you are a newbie.
- No batteries required for work
- 40 needles and large diameter
- It creates round or flat stitch fast
- Difficult to work with for some of the buyers
- Drops stitches easy according to some buyers
CARON-The Ultimate Knitting & Sweater Machine
Next on our list of best knitting devices that have the power of turning you into a professional knitter is the Ultimate Knitting and Sweater Machine by CARON. It includes everything you can possibly need for knitting at home like a pro. It features over 100 needles. So, it can knit up to 1,000 stitches per minute.
It is perfect for making coats, skirts, sweaters, children and baby clothes, cushions, and much more. The best part? You do not need knitting experience in order to master this baby. Just throw a short glance on the instruction book that comes with your purchase and watch tutorial videos, and you will do just fine.
- Instruction book included
- 1,000 stitches per minute
- An ideal tool for beginners
- Unclear instructions
- Hard to use for some
Studio Silver Reed SK-280 Standard Punch Card Knitting Machine
If you want a knitting machine that will have your back, no matter what project you throw at it, Studio Silver Reed SK-280 Standard Punch Card Knitting Machine is the perfect choice for you. It comes with a 24 stitch punch card pattern center which allows you to create beautiful slip, weaving and nice patterns.
It is the best knitting machine for sport and fingering weight yarn. And it will take your creative skills to the next level. It is a single bed knitting machine that will blow you away. Let’s check the pros and cons.
- Professional-looking knitting results at home
- Suitable for fingering and sport weight yarns
Bond Incredible Sweater Machine Knitting Machine
(Best Professional-Looking Results)
Last but not least on our list of top-notch knitting machines is the Bond Incredible Sweater Machine with 100 needles. It can knit up to 1,000 stitches per minute, has four keyplates and hand tools you can use in order to create the nicest patterns, shaping, and ribbing. Maybe it is made of plastic, but it will last long.
You can create full-size sweaters (check for ultimate sweater machine reviews online), coats, cushions or skirts. You can also make children and baby clothes, afghans, coats and so much more.
Whatever project you have in mind, this incredible knitting machine will help you complete it, no matter the complexity of it. You do not need knitting experience to learn how to use this toy. All you need is creativity and desire.
- Super versatile and easy to use
- It comes with free accessories
- Not the best choice for beginners
How Does Knitting Machine Work?
Machine knitting is both fast and exciting. You can create blocks of fabric and shape them as you wish afterward. Or while they are still on the machine by raising and lowering the stitch number you apply.
You can set your machine to sit or stand while working with it. Every knitting machine has around 150 needles in order to create a material that is a maximum of 150 stitches wide. The first step to knit on a knitting machine is to set the yarn cone on the floor and create a backward loop through every needle.
Next, you should place weight that will pull the fabric down as you go. Otherwise, you will get bad rows.
After, the yarn is passed through the shuttle. And in order to make a knitting row, just pull the shuttle by the handle on top once over the needles and knitting row will drop down. Play this video for details.
How To Use A Knitting Machine?
As mentioned before, when you practice hand knitting, you have a row of loops on your needle and you pull new yarn through the loops in order to make fabric. However, machine knitting is different. You will have to work with a shuttle and a row of latch hooks. Place the yarn in the shuttle and push it across the device. As the shuttle passes over the hooks, it pulls each, one by one, backward. So, it takes the loose yarn and drags it through the prior loop hanging from the hook. This is how you use a knitting machine.
How Circular Knitting Machine Works?
Knitting in the round we have mentioned a few times is a way of machine knitting that makes a seamless tube. The knitting is cast and the round of stitches is joined. The process performed in rounds in a spiral.
Circular knitting was performed by a set of 4 or 5 double-pointed needles. Over time, people invented circular needles. They appear like two short knitting needles joined by a cable in between. Now that you know how it operates, let’s learn circular knitting machine price and where can you buy one near you.
Now that you know everything about knitting machines and the best products on the market, you can make a decision. However, keep in mind that what you buy should meet your requirements and knitting wishes in full. Never buy a device that you are not confident about or that does not seem right for you.
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