How Much Does a Knitting Machine Cost: Circular & Flatbed

There are several types of knitting machines to choose from and which machine you choose will determine the price range.

Plastic circular knitting machines can range from $75 for a smaller machine to $250 for a larger machine. While a metal circular knitting machine can be $1000-$2500. A plastic flatbed knitting machine can range from $100 for a used machine to $500 for a new machine, while a new metal bed machine with electronic patterning and a ribber can easily be $2500. And don’t forget about the accessories that you may want to purchase for each machine.

Cost of Circular Knitting Machines: Plastic and Metal

Plastic Circular knitting machines come in various sizes and quality. You can find a cheap 22, 40, or 48 needles machine for under $100. This may be fine for a child or a beginning hobby knitter. For a more serious knitter who will be using the machine more often, you’ll want a better quality machine. The Addi Machine, which is the choice of most circular knitting machine users, comes in 22 or 46 needles and costs approximately $150 or $250 respectively.

The Addi knitting machines are very versatile and people have learned how to create all types of knitting with these machines. I personally prefer flatbed knitting machines but circular machines are a very popular option in lieu of hand knitting.

A Professional Knitter may be more interested in a high-quality metal circular knitting machine, often called a circular sock machine (CSM). Metal circular machines also come in different sizes and range from approximately $1350 – $2100.

Erlbacher Knitting Machine from erlbacherknitting.com

While circular knitting machines can produce flat items and larger items such as sweaters can be pieced together, they are not the best machines for producing adult knitwear.

Cost of Basic Plastic Flatbed Knitting Machines:

A flatbed knitting machine can produce a range of items including hats, scarves, socks, skirts, sweaters, and much more. If you a new to machine knitting you may want to start with a very basic flatbed machine.

My recommendation for a great machine to start with is the SilverReed LK150. It’s a plastic flatbed machine that can be purchased new and is a great machine for beginners. It’s a very smooth-moving and user-friendly machine. The SilverReed LK150 can be found online for $450-$550. Amazon sells other brands that look similar but I don’t have any experience with the quality of these machines.

I started with the Ultimate Sweater Machine, which can still be found today on Facebook Marketplace or eBay for around $100. This is not however the best machine around. It will test your patience and has many nuances but will get you started in flatbed knitting if that’s your budget. There are some Facebook groups and people who still love this machine and support its users.

Similar to the Ultimate Sweater Machine is the Bond Knitting Machine. This is perhaps a step up from the Ultimate Sweater Machine but everything from above applies with this machine as well. A Bond Knitting Machine will be a bit harder to find and cost more, approximately $300-$500. Interestingly, there are still accessories being created for these machines. So, it’s certainly not a lost cause, but if you are easily irritated by machines this is not the one to choose as you begin your knitting machine journey.

Cost of Metal Flatbed Knitting Machines: Standard vs Bulky

Metal flatbed knitting machines are in my opinion the best choice for anyone who would like to create their own or a loved one’s knitwear. These are also great for production knitters. Flatbed knitting machines can produce several different stitches including cables, tuck, slip, and lace stitches. A second attached bed called a ribber can also help produce ribbing and knitting in the round. So these machines are very versatile.

Flatbed knitting machines come in two main gauge sizes, 4.5mm and 9mm, standard and bulky, respectively. You can find used mid-gauge metal machines but they are harder to find. Metal bed machines are still being made today but you can find many used machines on Facebook marketplace or in local ads. They can be found on eBay as well but be sure that the seller knows how to package the machine for shipping correctly or you’ll end up with a heap of trash. New standard gauge machines are slightly cheaper.

If you aren’t sure what size machine you’d prefer, check out our post here. (Coming soon!)

A new standard-gauge machine, that uses thinner yarns like US size 1, 2, and 3 yarns, can cost anywhere from $1000-$1300 for a main-bed machine and a ribber will add an additional $700-$1000. You can knit with just the main bed but can’t do automatic ribbing or knit in the round.

A new bulky-gauge machine, that uses thicker yarns like US size 3, 4, or 5 yarns, can cost anywhere from $1000-$1800 for a main-bed machine and a ribber will cost an extra $1000, approximately.

If you are ok with a used machine and a little adventurous and open to cleaning and possibly servicing a machine then you can find a machine local to you for likely under $500. You can find YouTube videos on how to service and clean a knitting machine with no problem. TheAnswerLady on YouTube has a lot of videos of servicing and cleaning machines as well as others.

If you don’t want to have to clean or service it you should still be able to find one in working condition for under $1000. Usually, these deals will include both the main bed and ribber and sometimes a stand, pattern books, and yarn.

Standard and bulky gauge machines can also come with a punchcard system or an electronic system that makes patterning easier on the machine. A 12-stitch punchcard isn’t as convenient as a 24-stitch punchcard which isn’t as convenient as an electronic machine. Similarly, electronic machines will cost more than punchcard machines.

Another type of flatbed knitting machine is the Passap/Pfaff machine. These are very different from the Singer/Studio and Brother machines. Passap machines range from $1000-$2500 for a used double bed machine.

Passap Knitting Machine

Cost of Accessories for Knitting Machines:

There are lots of accessories that can be purchased for knitting machines. You can probably spend another $2000 on optional accessories for a standard gauge machine. There are just more carriages and accessories that were made for these machines. Accessories are not needed to create beautiful garments but they can make your knitting faster and simpler. You can even get a garter carriage that automatically does purl stitches on a standard gauge machine. How fantastic!

You can also purchase computer software to design your own knitwear that you can hook up to your knitting machine to make patterning easier and faster which will cost around $450 for the software and $400 for the cable.

Here are some various accessories that you may want to acquire depending on the machines that you choose:

  • Needle pushers ($10)
  • Machine Drill adapter (Plastic circular machine-$20)
  • Row counter (Plastic circular machine-$20)
  • Stands for flatbed knitting machines ($200)
  • Extra needles ($15)
  • Intarsia key plate (Bond-$60)
  • Cast-on comb (Bond-$75)
  • Needle Beetle ($90)
  • Garter Bars ($100)
  • Lace carriage ($350)
  • Intarsia carriage ($100)
  • Color changer (for some metal bed machines-$150)
  • Transfer carriage (some brother standard machines-$50-$100)
  • Garter carriage (some standard machines-$200-$800 used)
  • Punch card set ($10-$50 second-hand)
  • Punch card machine ($20-$60)
  • Shadow lace carriage (standard machines-$50)
  • AYAB (for electronic machines-$200)
  • Drive motor (for metal flatbed machines-$500)

All prices found here are approximate and in US dollars. Knitting machines vary so much but this should give you a good estimate to be able to decide on whether or not to start this amazingly fun, imaginative, and flexible hobby of machine knitting.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *