Circular knitting also referred to as ‘knitting in the round’ is a special type of knitting or weaving for producing impeccable tube-style formations. Sweaters, pullovers, jerseys, and jumpers featuring planned openings such as neck, arm holes, and wrist cuffs are created using circular knitting. Circular knitting entails interlacing in rounds where you wind around in a corkscrew or spiral fashion for creating the tube.
Initially knitters used multiple double-pointed needles for circular knitting but with passage of time they switched to using circular needles. However later on the emergence of circular-knitting machines enabled seamstresses and embroiderers to complete their projects quickly without sacrificing quality. A special type of knitting machine, the circular knitting machine comes with built-in needles positioned on a cylinder in a circular fashion.
The circular knitting machine creates the knits by merging the stitch patterns produced by the individual needles. In this review we walk you through the top 5 circular knitting machines followed by a buying guide.
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- Best Circular Knitting Machine: Buying Guide
The original Express King-Size circular knitting machine from Addi, this hand-operated knitting machine comes with 46 built-in needles. The Addi Express circular knitting machine immaculately embodies versatility as you can create a variety of knitwear including socks, gloves, Afghans, hats, bonfire beanies, sportswear, and mattress covers.
You’ll be simply amazed at the speed with which you accomplish your projects when you use this Express King-Size Knitting Machine. This circular knitting machine from Addi not only impresses you with its aesthetics but comes equipped with numerous functional features. With this Addi knitting machine you have ready access to all the tools you require for fashioning scarves to headliners and everything in between.
The Addi king-size circular sewing machine comes with 46 needles, a needle holder, two mounting screws, digital row counter (with memory function), four base feet, and five replacement pins. Apart from knitting in the round, you can also use this unit for flat knitting.
- Fast and easy knitting
- Designed and made in Germany: Premium quality and performance-driven
- Includes free accessories such as electronic row counter, 46 needles, 4 feet clampers, and threading tool
- Hand-operated knitting machine: Features cranking handle for operating the unit
- Helps create circular knitted panels up to 35cm wide and flat panels up to 45cm wide
- Can be operated using batteries (AAA batteries included) as well
- Ideal for beginners
- Solid construction: Extended functional life
- Not quite suitable for professional knitters
- Many knitters have reported that this knitting machine drops stitches erratically
The NKOK Singer Knitting Machine comes across as the ideal circular knitting machine for beginner knitters. In fact this simple knitting machine from Singer is so user-friendly that even kids enjoy using this unit. This knitting machine comes in perfectly handy for executing knits in both circular and flat patterns.
To make the most of the NKOK knitting machine all you need to do is simply wind the yarn or thread around the circular cylinder. Thereafter you just spin the crank handle to start working i.e. knitting. You can give full to your creativity when it comes to knitting elegant fashion accessories such as leg warmers, socks, handkerchiefs, and hats with this Singer knitting machine.
When you choose the NKOK Singer Knitting Machine you get a couple of free accessories apart from the standard unit. The accessories include plastic needles and tension arm. You do not have to buy batteries or use electrical power for running the unit as it has a cranking handle for operating it.
- Quality knitting machine for making leg warmers, socks, scarves, and hats
- Best for those learning to knit
- Licensed and certified by Singer
- Includes instructions for creating a variety of knitting projects
- This knitting machine is so user-friendly that even kids can use it
- Comes with tension adjustment arm, plastic knitting needle, knitting hook, and 2 balls of yarn
- Easy to operate: To begin knitting simply loop the wool thread and spin the handle
- Drops stitches more often than not
- Constructed from inferior quality of plastics this unit is not durable
Regardless of whether you want to knit in a circular pattern or produce flat or plain stitches, interweaving is a breeze with the Addi Express Knitting Machine. You just have to rotate the winder or the crank handle and you are ready to go- that is start knitting. You’ll take immense pleasure in knitting and giving shape to your pet projects with the Addi Express Knitting Machine.
This high-quality and durable knitting machine by Addi can be used to good effect by not only beginners but by professionals as well. You’ll have pure unadulterated fun making scarves, jerseys, vests, leggings, patchwork pullovers and jumpers with the help of the Express knitting machine from Addi. Very similar to the Addi Express King-Size Knitting Machine, in terms of looks and functionalities, this unit offers online instructions for taking advantage of its features.
This multipurpose knitting machine is suitable not only for new projects but also for patch-up jobs. The Addi Express Knitting Machine works best with yarns or threads having a thickness varying from 3.5mm-8mm. You can also make good use of the digital row counter and 22 needles for handling both circular and plain knitting projects.
- Comes with 22 needles and a digital row counter
- Compatible for using with yarns with a thickness varying from 3.5mm to 8mm
- Use instructions available online
- Includes extra hooks
- Ideal for both pros and learners
- Appropriate for both circular and flat knits
- Fitted with clamps for installing on table with firmness
- Extremely durable
- Not as handy as claimed by the manufacturer
The Focket Knitting Machine is an extraordinarily versatile weaving machine equipped with all the bells and whistles for smart knitting. This knitting unit features 48 integrated needles installed impeccably around the circular dome at the top of the machine. With this knitting machine you can knit or sew in round as well as flat or straight mode.
A hand crank permanently attached to one side of the knitting-cum-sewing machine allows you to generate circular knits and plain stitches. All you have to do for pressing this machine into service is thread the fibers into the small rods or spindles and rolling the cranking handle. Once you switch from hand-knitting to this knitting machine from Focket, you bet you’ll never want to revert back to the former.
This Focket knitting machine weaves ten times faster compared to the conventional manual knitting mode. The dual mode functionality featuring T-ring looping and P-stitch plain weaving can effortlessly adjust fabric’s width as per your requirements. The knitting machine has been shaped out of premium plastic material which makes it extremely durable thereby guaranteeing long-term performance.
- High-quality knitting machine for creating round and flat stitches
- Lightweight and compact body
- Suitable for beginner knitters
- Comes with a host of accessories like crochet, brackets, long/short hand-knitting needles, and much more
- DIY dual mode knitting
- Includes 48 built-in knitting needles
- 12-month satisfaction guarantee
- Round the clock customer service
- Inferior quality of plastic needles
- The electronic row counter does not work properly
If you’re looking to make flat panels and tubes like a pro then bring home the Prym MAXI knitting mill. An enormously handy and user-friendly knitting machine, the MAXI comes equipped with 44 hooks for knitting rolls with diameters up to 12”. On the other hand the setting for flat panel features 40 hooks that come in handy for crafting a 17” panel.
You can effortlessly and quickly make trendy scarves, pullovers, and hats with the MAXI knitting mill machine. At the same time you can use yarns of various colors just by securing new wisps of threads and filaments. Additionally you can adjust and customize the tension for different yarn types with the yarn and tension guide having multiple positions.
The Prym MAXI knitting mill works with practically any hand-knitting yarn but you’ll need to adjust the tension for best results. This knitting mill machine includes a user manual which offers you thorough and simple instructions on how to use the device. Not only seasoned knitters but even novices will be able to make the most of this unit with effortless ease.
Guidance for precision threading together with a mechanism for ensuring customized tensioning for inbound yarns guarantee perfect pressure for an uniform stitch structure.
- 44 hooks for circular knitting
- 40 hooks for knitting flat panels
- Works perfectly with hand-knitting yarn, sizes 2-5
- Foam back covering
- Comes with many accessories
- Tension can be customized for different types of yarn
- Legs at the base for firmly positioning the unit
- Users have complained that the machine skips stitches easily and frequently because of very little tension
- No row counter for keeping track of thread path
- Circular knits are very small
Best Circular Knitting Machine: Buying Guide
A circular knitting machine, unlike a regular sewing machine is designed exclusively for creating specific garments like sweater, jersey, mittens, and the like. Of course you can knit manually but knitting with your bare hands takes inordinately long.
So if you want to become a professional knitter and establish a business then you’ll definitely need a circular knitting machine. However if you’re a beginner shopping for your first circular knitting machine then choosing the appropriate product could be challenging. Nevertheless the task becomes somewhat easier if you decide what you’re going to use the machine for.
Will you use the circular knitting machine for making sportswear like jerseys, jumpers, mittens? Or will you use the unit for creating a wide range of knitwear? The circular knitting machines are very popular and are being widely used all through the knitting industry to produce fabrics.
You’ll come across circular knitting machines with a diameter varying from 12”-60” that find extensive applications for making undergarments and outerwear. Dressmakers and clothiers chiefly use circular knitting machines for producing knitwear and sportswear with decorative stitch patterns and also for making fabrics. State-of-the-art circular knitting mills come with bolted needles that are capable of working with nearly all yarn varieties and also tend to be user-friendly.
Circular Knitting Machine Types
The cam system in single jersey machines is constant, while the cylinder that has needle and sinker can move.
When you go shopping for a circular knitting machine you’ll come across two distinct types of knitting mill machines-double jersey interlock- and single jersey knitting machines. The double jersey interlock circular knitting machine comprises of 4 track cylinder and 2 track cam dial setting. To enable this circular knitting machine to produce a range of textiles such as crepe, bubble crepe, polyester, and knitting fabric, you simply need to adjust the cam.
On the other hand, the single jersey circular knitting machine features a sinker and only one needle set. While the sinker and needles in a single jersey knitting machine can move, the cam mechanism remains static. Clothiers and weavers largely use this type of circular knitting machine for making plain textiles and fabrics.
The interlock circular knitting machine consists of 2 track cam set up dial and 4 track cylinder, by adjusting the cam, machine can produce various fabric such as bubble-bubble, knitting cloth, little jacquard interlayer gasket and crape.
What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Suitable Product?
Durable and Resilient
The first and foremost thing that you should ensure is the product should be durable and resilient. Premium circular knitting machines are made of heavy-duty materials like steel, PVC, and plastics, capable of withstanding wear and tear. And if you’re someone who attends training classes for knitting then also make sure that the unit is lightweight and compact.
Most circular knitting machines come equipped with multiple built-in needles that enable you to create both circular and flat knitting patterns.
Top-quality branded circular knitting machines of reputed manufacturers like Addi, Prym, and Singer come equipped with versatile components that makes the knitting process smoother and faster. Some of these components include digital row counter, hooks, spindles, and so on.
Choosing a circular knitting machine that includes a host of free accessories implies you don’t need to buy essential knitting supplies separately. If you buy a product that comes with vital extras including but not limited to crochet, bracket, hand-knitting needle, and needle threader, then you make savings.
So there you have it-the best 5 circular knitting machines from Addi, NKOK, FOCKET, and Prym. Both the Addi Express knitting machines come at a price but offer good value for money. However beginner knitters will find the NKOK, Focket, and Prym models quite handy as these are user-friendly as well as pocket-friendly.