About Knitting Machines...
have limited most of my research to Silver Reed/Studio and Brother/KnitKing
Machines as they are the most popular, most bought and sold in the
market and the ones I have the most experience with. While Brother machines are no longer made, Silver Reed is
currently manufactured. In addition, Silver Reed is also known as
Studio, Singer, KnitMaster and Empisal, depending which country they
were sold in. They are all the same machine so parts and accessories
are interchangeable within the same gauge only.
Brother Machines are also known as KnitKing and CompuKnit and
while they are no longer manufactured, they generally are well
maintained and still have a long life left in them. Get lucky enough
and you can, every once in a while, find ones that were not used at
There are also TOYOTA/ELNA models, an Artisan line and PASSAP, a Swiss made knitting machine. Recently I heard about Taitexma, a Brother clone out of Taiwan and China but do not have any information on these knitting machines.
****FYI: As more information becomes available I will update the site, or if new machines are being made and hear about it. I update the site only a handful of times a year.
Very old knitting machine
TOYOTA knitting machines are Japanese made, the name was later changed to ELNA, and are no longer made. While I could not find a ton of information about these knitting machines I have included this brand on my website. I have heard that these machines are well built, some models more than others, but overall a very good knitting machine. You can read about them under the area labeled "About TOYOTA". I have heard that you can exchange components of this machine with other name brands, but I would point you into the direction of a knitting machine dealer to make sure you get the correct information. I am not sure which brand works with TOYOTA, it is either Brother or Silver Reed/Studio, maybe both.
I have even less information about ARTISAN knitting machines and have heard mixed reviews on this model. There are models that come with a ribber that is permanently attached and other models that have separate main beds and ribber beds, information is under the "About Artisan" area.
PASSAP is a Swiss made knitting machine of very good quality but I have absolutely no experience with this machine. What I have heard has been very positive and while this brand is no longer made finding parts and accessories is not an issue. It is one of the three most popular knitting machine brands out on the market, along side Brother and Silver Reed/Studio knitting machines. I have the understanding that no machine comes even close to the PASSAP as far as double knit fabric and owners of this brand have only great things to say about it and are very loyal to the brand. You can find information on this brand in the "About PASSAP Machines" section and also about the different, most popular knitting machine models. The computerized models have a staggering option of 40,000 stitch and design options.
Old Industrial Knitting Machine
A WORD ON TAITEXMA MACHINES:
TAITEXMA is a Taiwanese company that manufactures in Taiwan as well as
Mainland China. The TAITEXMA is very much like the Brother knitting machine. I can't say positively that this one is an exact
duplicate but from what I hear it is very close. At least some, if not all of the
Brother attachments will work with the TAITEXMA. I have had mixed reviews on the quality of this brand of knitting machine. More information is on the Brother Price List Page.
MY OPINION: Finally, there is a another hobby machine called BOND "The Incredible Sweater Machine" which I would NOT recommend under any condition. You will see these sold all over the place and for very little money because they are not made well and were ill conceived. If you do start out with a "hobby" machine, pay a little extra for a used Studio/Silver Reed LK150-140 or a Brother KX350 or KX400, or even a PASSAP VARIO hobby machine. They actually mimic how an actual knitting machine works, are well made and when you do upgrade to a full metal bed knitting machine you probably will still keep this machine as most people do, and if you sell it they hold their value.