Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: July 03, 2021
Knitting with the old double point needles can be super fun and a great way to unwind. But what if you just got a break in your career and don’t have the time? Or you are a new mom but would still love to knit? A knitting machine can help you do more with less time and effort. With the many knitting machines available in the market, choosing the best knitting machine can become a nightmare. But we are here to help.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have worked tirelessly to find some of the top knitting machines on the market. In our quest to help you find the perfect knitting machine, we reviewed 41 products. The Addi Express Knitting stood out to become our editor’s choice. We loved this compact machine as it delivers excellent results every time. It is also easy to use and allows you to make clothing items of every size. You will no longer have to take days hand knitting your clothing items.
We considered several features while reviewing the knitting machines including the needles number, warranty, weight, and dimensions. Other essential features also include the price, durability, and number of accessories that the machine offers. The review starts with a comparison table that outlines the six products that we discuss. It is then followed by an in-depth review of each product and lastly, a buying guide to help you make an informed choice.
Top 6 Knitting Machines Review 2021
Addi Express Knitting Machine – Editor’s Choice
Dimensions: 9 x 9.8 x 5.9 in
Guarantee: lifetime limited
Knitted items: 10-15 cm circular, 15-20 cm plain
Electronic row counter
More features: 1 AAA battery, spare hooks and needles included
Addi express is known to make some excellent knitting machines and the Addi Express Knitting Machine is no exception. If you would love a compact yet affordable knitting machine that does not compromise on performance then this is your best bet.
The Addi Express Knitting Machine comes with a base of 22 needles, which is great if you are looking to knit small items. It has an ergonomic crank and a fitting yarn holder that makes using the machine a breeze. The built-in row counter is mechanical allowing you to knit with excellent precision.
This knitting machine is perfect for you if you are looking for a versatile machine. It allows you to choose between plain and circular knitting using an operating switch that makes this an easy process. Under the circular knitting mode, you can only knit items that are 10 to 15 centimeters wide. However, the plain knitting mode allows you to knit materials that are 15 to 20 centimeters wide.
Made from durable plastic, the Addi Express Knitting Machine is a lightweight and portable knitting machine. It measures 9 x 9.8 x 5.9 inches and weighs a paltry 3 pounds.
This machine is ideal if you would love to make clothing items of various sizes or children’s clothing. The ease of operation and strong construction of this machine ensures you knit in a shorter time.
What stands out?
Quick and efficient
Knits both circular and flat patterns
Great for small projects
What cons did we manage to find?
The row-counter is not always consistent
Sentro Knitting Machine – Premium Pick
Dimensions: 16 x 15 x 6.2 in
Guarantee: not specified
More features: built-in row-counter, panel and tube knitting modes
Does your kid enjoy knitting? Or do you have a kid that is looking forward to becoming a great designer? This is one of the best knitting machines for beginners or kids. It is a great choice if you would love a quality knitting machine without having to fork out some extra cash. However, this does not that the Sentro Knitting Machine performs dismally or lacks unique features.
Sentro knitting machines are great for knitting smaller items such as children’s hats. This model, however, comes with 48 needles meaning you can knit larger items such as scarves, sweaters or even home décor. The extra needles really make a difference.
This machine offers you two knitting options including the plain and tubular knit. With the two choices, you can knit various types of clothing and even different patterns.
The Sentro Knitting Machine is not only easy to operate but it’s also easy to assemble. It is made of ABS plastic and comes with four legs that are fitted with suction pumps for better stability. The thread holder in the machine ensures the yarn does not tangle while still allowing your kid to regulate its tension. Also included in the package is a magnetic screwdriver, a tapestry needle, and a crochet hook.
You may have to lend an extra hand to your younger kids when they are sewing the pieces together or threading the yarn. However, the older ones can learn how to use the machines after a couple of tries.
What makes it special?
Offers three tension settings
Good quality and even knitting
Extra knitting width
What cons did we find?
A bit noisy
Prym Knittingmill Maxi – Best Value
Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.8 in
Guarantee: not specified
More features: nylon covering, tube and flat knitting mode, accessories kit included
Prym is a family-owned German company that has been making good quality products since 1530. The Prym Knittingmill Maxi is an automatic knitting machine that adds to the line of quality products made by the company.
This knitting machine takes the cake as our best value pick. It offers the same experience as other high-end models but at one-third of the price. It has 44 needles that can be used to make tube scarves, hats, and even sweaters. This knitting machine produces circular products with a width of up to 15 inches.
You can also knit flat pieces with the Prym Knittingmill Maxi by using 40 needles instead. To do this, simply place the lock to ensure the knitting does not continue in a circular motion. With this feature, you can knit larger clothing such as blankets with a width of up to 17 inches.
Aside from the great functionality of the Prym Knittingmill Maxi, the knitting machine also comes with various accessories. It has a yarn guide tension feature that enables it to design the perfect weight when you have just started knitting. This ensures that the finished material is not too tight or too loose to make any changes. Other accessories that come with the machine include needle legs, a comprehensive manual and plastic handles for extra support.
This machine is easy to use and operate. It is also quite portable as it is slightly under 4lbs and measures 11.8 x 9.8 inches.
What do we love it for?
A high knitting speed
Allows multi-color knitting
What were we disappointed with?
Needs caution when knitting to avoid dropping stitches
addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit – Best for Sweaters
Dimensions: 10.2 x 6 x 10 in
Guarantee: lifetime limited
More features: electronic row counter, yarn and hooks included, starter kit included
Addi is one of the most popular knitting brands on the market today. Thanks to the high-quality products that it has delivered over the past. Since the company is always seeking to improve its products, the Addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit was made with some extra features not available to its predecessors.
As you can probably figure out from the name, this specific brand was made for those looking to knit large items. While many knitting machines come with about 20 needles, the Addi Express Kingsize machine comes equipped with 46 needles. This is what allows you to make larger pieces of clothing. The electric row counter fitted in the machine ensures that you knit with precision.
This knitting machine is also easy to use, especially if you have some prior knitting experience. This does not mean that beginners are not welcome to use it. But you will have to go through a brief learning curve just like using any other equipment.
For such large equipment, you are probably wondering about its stability. Well, the Addi Express Kingsize machine comes with a couple of clampers and four mount legs. While this will be enough to guarantee you a stable experience, we advise that you mount it to a sturdy place. Having a wobbling knitting machine can easily mess your knits.
You can make large clothing such as jumpers, sweaters, adult and child hats and boleros among others. While knitting may take some time, you will be impressed by the quality of the final output.
What makes it special?
Easy to user-friendly
Comes with multiple accessories
What cons did we find?
The row counter may not always be accurate
Mostly works well with worsted yarns
NKOK Singer Knitting Machine – Best for Beginners
Dimensions: 5.9 x 9 x 11 in
Guarantee: not specified
Age limit: 8+
More features: tension arm included
One of the first things that you notice about the NKOK Singer Knitting Machine is how colorful the machine is. Your kids will enjoy using this well-designed knitting machine. The Singer knitting machine works well with knitting beginners and kids that have an interest in knitting.
With the NKOK Singer Knitting Machine, you get to choose among various sizes and shapes. You can use almost all types of knitting yarns without having any problems. This versatility makes it attractive to those who want to knit different items. You can get attachments and accessories that allow you to work with different yarn styles. This means that this machine allows you to use yarns that are often difficult to use on other machines such as ribbon or lace yarns.
This singer knitting machine is quite portable. It measures 8 x 10 x 4 inches, which is large enough to create bulkier clothing while also being easy to transport and store.
You can sew both circular and flat clothing patterns with the NKOK Singer Knitting Machine. The ease of use and ability to combine different colors can be great inspiration for kids that love to knit.
It is designed with no sharp edges making it safe for your kids to explore even when they are on their own. With that said, you should still mind how they use the sharp needle since this may pose a danger when kids are left unsupervised.
Why are we impressed?
A Do-It-Yourself manual is included
Best for beginners
What negatives must you be aware of?
Not so sturdy
SEAAN Knitting Machine – Best for Children
Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 4.7 in
Guarantee: not specified
More features: made of high-quality plastic, yarn included, circular patterns
Another alternative is the SEAAN Knitting Machine, and this option is great for children. As such, if yours is looking to start knitting as a hobby, this product would be a good fit. The knitting machine features high-quality plastic construction, which should be fairly durable. However, some components are relatively flimsy and may break apart.
The machine comes in a 40-needle configuration and thus will be better suited for larger projects compared to some of the 20-needle alternatives listed. Also, we felt it’s a pretty straightforward knitting machine to use. Once your kids have demystified how to add the yarn and knit the first row, they should be good to go. After that, it’s just a matter of cranking the handle.
Also, the device comes with two use modes and a button for activation on the side. P mode is meant for flat weaving and is thus perfect for projects like scarves, sweaters, and other flat clothes. This will involve cranking the handle both forwards and in reverse once you’ve reached the desired width for your scarf or other projects.
On the other hand, you have T mode for cylindrical projects like hats, sleeves, and more. In this mode, you can crank the handle in one direction continuously until you’re done.
Also, there are some accessories included with this machine purchase. They include three bundles of yarn in random colors so you can get started right away, a hand needle, and lastly, a crotchet needle.
What makes it special?
Easy to use
A few accessories included
Durable plastic construction
What cons did we find?
Some components need extra care; otherwise, your child may break them
Things to Consider
Knitting is a great way to relax while making beautiful items such as hats, sweaters, scarfs or even blankets. Regardless of your reason for knitting, you will always find a cool project to work on if you love to knit. However, it takes time to move from a beginner to a professional knitter. Even for the professionals, knitting manually takes quite a lot of time and effort. A knitting machine will not only reduce the time it takes to work on a project but it also produces quality material. These are some of the things you need to keep in mind before you pull out your credit card to get the latest knitting machine.
Knitting machines – pros and cons
While there are a lot of advantages of using a knitting machine over hand knitting, the latter also has a couple of benefits too. This is why we shall explore both the pros and cons of each.
One of the main advantages of the knitting machine is its ability to deliver excellent results over a short period. Need a gift for your niece in a few days? A knitting machine can help you accomplish that but it would take days to hand knit.
You can make intricate and consistent designs with a knitting machine. While hand knitting offers some great intricate patterns, you can still use a machine if you are a beginner.
Deliver large projects that may prove difficult with hand knitting.
Unlike hand knitting, it may be difficult to change patterns when knitting. The former offers greater flexibility in shifting patterns during a knitting session.
Hand knitting offers therapeutic benefits that machines won’t offer you. You can release stress and boost your creativity when hand knitting.
Some knitting machines are loud, which takes the fun out of the process.
Know your knitting machine by type
Knitting machines are categorized into various categories. First, it is possible to categorize knitting machines from how they run. These categories included;
Punchcard knitting machines- This type of knitting machine requires you to use a special punchcard that determines the pattern and style of knitting. These are simple to use and need little effort on the part of the user. They can also create complex patterns.
Manual knitting- These are either circular or straight knitting machines that are perfect for novices. They also need a fair amount of effort from the user. You can make clothes or other smaller outfits with such a machine.
Electronic knitting- these are knitting machines that rely on a computer or computer program to determine the patterns it knits. These machines are more versatile and work pretty faster than normal knitting machines. However, they can be quite pricey but they allow you to make larger knitting items.
How to use a knitting machine?
Using a knitting machine is quite easy, especially if you are a seasoned knitter. But what if you still don’t know how to use one? Well, here are a couple of tips to help you use a knitting machine.
The first step is to take your thin yarn and loop it through the guide.
After this is complete, you will then place the yarn in the knitting machine’s hooks. Remember to let the yarn thread fit on the first hook and skip the next hook in the first starting row.
Tie the first end of the yarn to something heavy to ensure it doesn’t get entangled in the knitting process.
Start spinning the handle to kick start the knitting process.
Features to consider while buying the best knitting machine
While there are a lot of knitting machines on the market, they often have different features and offerings. This means that not all knitting machines will be perfect for you. Here are a couple of factors to consider before making that important decision.
Needles it has
The number of needles that a machine has greatly impacts its performance and its knitting capabilities. However, you should pick the number of needles depending on what you intend to knit. Machines with more than 40 needles such as the Sentro knitting machine are great for making hats, boleros, scarves and other items for adults. Machines with about 20 needles such as the NKOK Singer are great for beginners. They can make scarves or small item clothing for kids. It is also prudent to get a machine that allows you to change the width of the needles if you want to work on a variety of items.
Size and weight
Do you want a lightweight and compact knitting machine that you can easily carry around? The size and weight ultimately impact the portability of your knitting machine.
Machines made from plastic such as the NKOK Singer and SEAAN Knitting Machine were generally lighter. The Prym Knittingmill Maxi is also an exceptional knitting machine that weighs slightly under 4 pounds. Professional knitting machines are much likely to be heavier since they are used for commercial purposes.
Like most activities, knitting can be an affordable or expensive hobby. But this will largely depend on your budget and knitting needs. If you are an avid user or want to use a knitting machine professionally then you should go for the high-end models such as the Addi Express Knitting Machine. However, if you are looking for an affordable knitting machine then our best value pick, the Prym Knittingmill Maxi can work well.
Knitting machines have different gauges since people have different knitting needs.
Bulky machines often have their needles placed 8/9mm apart and they may be great for making bulky items such as large scarfs. They knit the thickest yarns.
Mid-gauge machines have their needles placed 6/7mm apart. These are quite versatile and works well with those good at hand knitting. They can create sports items while also perfectly use a light worsted yarn.
For those looking to knit commercial fibers, getting a standard gauge machine with needles spaced 4.5/5mm is your best bet.
Lastly, there are fine gauge knitting machines that work best with fine yarn. They are perfect for casual or even business wear. The needles in the fine gauge machines have a 3.5mm space between each other.
There are popular knitting machine brands that have created awesome products for the last few decades. Household names such as Addi, Singer, and Prym knitting brands may first come to mind. These brands are popular for their high quality and reliable products. It is, however, worth noting that no matter which manufacturer you choose to go with, you will still have to learn how to use it. We also advise that you choose a manufacturer with good customer service and repair services.
A guarantee gives clients confidence when buying a product from a manufacturer. It will not only ensure you have peace of mind when operating it but it also protects your investment. Both the Addi Express Knitting Machine and the Addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit stand out with a lifetime limited guarantee. The other knitting machines do not have a specified guarantee period or terms.
Purchasing a knitting machine for yourself or your kid is an investment. You invest in the creativity of your child and you seek to get the best results possible. With that said, you need a durable knitting machine that will not break down on its first use.
Knitting machines are made from different materials. Those made from plastic such as the SEAAN Knitting Machine are not known to work for years. Getting a knitting machine from a renowned company such as Addi Express or Prym is a great way to ensure you get durable and reliable products.
Ideally, you want to unpack your knitting machine and start knitting without having to get any additional items. Some manufacturers take it a notch higher and include a bonus of accessories that make knitting an enjoyable experience. Some of the available accessories include tapestry needle, replacement pins, clips, various skins of yarn among others. The Prym Knittingmill Maxi is one of the knitting machines that offers multiple accessories.
If you have used a knitting machine then you know how much effort is required to knit. The machine may wobble in the process, which not only makes it unsafe but may affect the quality of the final output. This is why you need a stable knitting machine. Some knitting machines manufacturers factor this is during production. For example, the Sentro Knitting Machine is fitted with suction pumps on its legs for better stability. The Addi Express Kingsize Extended Starter Kit also comes with some clampers and mount legs to enhance its stability.
Knitting machine maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining a knitting machine is easy but it needs to be done regularly. These are some cleaning tips to help keep your knitting machine in the perfect state.
Make a cleaning solution with your knitting machine oil. To do this, simply add 8 oz of denatured alcohol to half a tablespoon of the machine oil.
Soak the needles and other parts that need cleaning in the solution. Remove them after some time and place them on a paper towel or any other good absorbent surface. Plastic parts work well with warm water and a soft brush.
Brush the inner side of the machine to remove any lint. Get a soft brush and dip it into the cleaning solution and clean the inner sides.
Ensure you wipe and dry your knitting machine before reassembling. Remember to oil your knitting machine too according to the instructions given.
Yes, kids can use knitting machines. Some machines can be used with kids as young as 6 and 8 years.
Our editor’s choice, the Addi Express Knitting Machine is our top pick. The strong construction, great design, excellent performance, and affordability are some of the reasons we loved this machine. Addi is also a renowned brand with durable machines that you can always count on.
In second place is the Sentro Knitting Machine, which is great for kids. It works surprisingly well and is fitted with 48 needles. We loved this machine for its great precision and good performance when knitting. It also has safety features to ensure your kids do not get hurt when knitting.
The Prym Knittingmill Maxi is our best value pick. This knitting machine would be a perfect choice for anyone that would want to get an affordable appliance without compromising quality. It offers great functionality but is still easy to use, which means you will not have to spend weeks learning.