As a spinner who enjoys her spindles as much as (and sometimes more than) her wheels, I know what I like in a spindle, but it wasn’t always this way. It’s taken me years to learn the makes, weights, and materials that work the best for me. Nowadays, I keep only my favourites, releasing the others out into the world to find homes where they will be better used.
For me, craftsmanship and the materials used in the making are a great part of how I choose my spindles, though I try to be open to trying out new-to-me tools in the hopes that, even if a tool or spindle isn’t right for me, at least I’ll be better informed on whether the item is right for someone else.
Which brings us to the popular TurtleMade Turkish spindle, a 3D-printed, extremely affordable cross-armed spindle available on Etsy. Please note that I purchased this spindle myself for this review. I opted for the Micro size, which has a 4” shaft, 3” arms, and typically weighs in at about a third of an ounce.
Below, I break down my pros and cons regarding this spindle. These are my own opinions. Your own experience may be different.
This is incredibly important. I believe that all spinners and want-to-be spinners should be able to engage in this hobby, and I love the fact that the TurtleMade line of spindles, which range in price from roughly $10 to $25 (US), makes this possible.
Flicking is easy.
Flicking a spindle can become hard on the fingertips the longer you do it. That’s not the case here. There’s a nice groove at the neck of the shaft, similar to those carved into the shafts of the handcrafted cross-armed spindles made from various woods, by other makers. This indented area is designed for the half-hitch to stay in place while the spindle is suspended and rotating. It also serves as a good grip for the fingertips to flick, providing just the right amount of “grab” needed.
Speaking of flicking … the spin time of the TurtleMade Turkish spindle is quite impressive — an important element of suspended spindling.
It’s good on the go.
We spinners are often on the move and in need of a grab-and-go project. However, taking an expensive, hard-to-replace spindle out and about is risky, as it can be misplaced, lost, or broken. My Micro-sized TurtleMade spindle breaks down easily and its individual pieces are remarkably sturdy. That hardiness will come in handy for newer spindlers especially, who worry about dropping their spindles on the floor and breaking them.
Orders are customizable.
Options range from the sedate (like my grey one) to the bold, including gradient combinations and mix-and-match arm and shaft colours. Custom orders are welcome.
Overall pros? This is a low-stress, low-cost means of introducing a cross-armed/low-whorl spindle into your spindling repertoire to see whether this is a manner of spinning you’d like to further explore.
For me, there was just the one:
The spin can be wobbly/imbalanced
I think it’s important to be realistic here. These are incredibly affordable plastic spindles, and TurtleMade fans love them. This potential wobble may or may not be a deal-breaker for you. The spindle does have a mid-speed sweet spot. (If your spindle wobbles too much for your liking, try replacing the shaft with a shorter one from TurtleMade.)
Overall, I think the TurtleMade Turkish spindle is a super, beginner-friendly, entry-point Turkish spindle, in a category of its own. The price point also makes it possible for a spinner to own more than one spindle, styled to their liking.
Find TurtleMade on Etsy