Hey there, creatives! Today I am taking you on a journey to another craft, and we will spark our imagination with slightly different tools than those you are used to.
I recently heard that tufting rugs is becoming quite popular on TikTok. As it seemed interesting to me, I decided to check it out. It turns out making your own carpet can be super fun!
Therefore, my idea here is to check out what tufting is and what equipment would one need to start doing that. As the main tool for making carpets is the tufting gun, I focused on them, and compared several products that seemed like great buys to me.
The ability to make your own rugs sounds so amusing to me because that would give me an opportunity to make great gifts to family and friends. And at the same time, I believe it is a great business idea as well.
In case you are searching for a new original hobby, you know you are in the right place. Here is the summary of products I reviewed in more detail later on.
- Cut Pile Rug Tufting Gun, Electric Carpet Weaving Flocking Machine Handheld Knitting Rug Gun Machine 100V-240V 7-19mm
- Best for beginners, as it allows many adjustments to experiment with and has all protection systems in place.
- TWSOUL Electric Carpet Tufting Machine, Cut Pile Rug Tufting Gun Loop Pile Carpet Tufting Gun 12-22 Steps/s for High-Speed Weaving of Carpets (Cut Pile)
- Best budget option for beginners.
- Price not available
- Carpet Tufting Gun, Carpet Weaving Machine Flocking Machine Knitting Machine Industrial
- Best choice for those willing to make cut pile carpets with a bit longer threads.
- Price not available
- Electric Hand Tufting Gun Rug Machines 220V Industrial Grade tufting Gun Both Cut Pile and Loop Pile
- Best for professionals, as it integrates both cut pile and loop pile options.
- MXBAOHENG Loop Pile Tufting Gun Rug Tufting Machine Electric Carpet Weaving Flocking Machine Handheld Knitting Machine 110V-220V 9-21mm (Loop Pile)
- Best for trying out or even kids, or anyone with low workload at hand.
Everything You Need to Know About Rug Tufting
Put simply, tufting is a technique for making carpets and rugs. There are several ways you can make a rug. Traditionally, people (mostly women) made them by hand, using needles and latch hooks. In some traditions, they even made the yarn and colors by hand.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have industrial machines. These are of course most efficient, but are usually very expensive and bulky – not something you can just order from Amazon and install in the corner of your workshop.
Somewhere in between, we have tufting guns. As they are relatively affordable and easy to use, tufting carpet guns are gaining popularity. They enable you to make custom carpet designs in no time.
In general, there are two types of carpets, a categorization based on the characteristics of the pile (the carpet surface):
- looped carpet – top fabrics are uninterrupted and keep weaving through the backing. These carpets are less soft but much more durable.
- cut pile carpets – their fibers are cut on top. Usually, these carpets are fluffy and quite soft, but hard to clean at times.
If you’re thinking about making some DIY carpets, here is the list of tools you want to have around.
One thing is for sure: there’s no tufted rug without a tufting gun. I focused this entire article on these amazing power tools, so we will speak about them in more detail later on.
Backing and Frame
The backing is a piece of fabric that will hold the yarn. It probably won’t be visible so it doesn’t matter how it looks like, it is important for it to be strong and durable.
A simple wooden squared frame will hold the backing tightly, and in a vertical position while you’re working on your rug. It should be as stable as possible, and the backing should stay stretched as tightly as possible.
Then, we need yarn for carpet tufting. It is usually made of either wool or acrylic, and each thread is made of two thinner threads, spiraled together to make the yarn more resilient to the heavy footing. In case you can’t find yarn best for carpet tufting, no worries. Any yarn you can find in the local supply store will be just fine as well.
We could say that where there’s yarn, there are scissors. Make sure to have sharp scissors, as you will be making a lot of trimming, especially if you’re doing looped carpets.
Having some kind of multi-purpose oil is not a must, but it will help your machine work more smoothly and prevent any yarn jams.
A brush is also recommended for cleaning the gun from excessive yarn dust. Any simple, medium-sized painting brush could do the job.
Finally, you will need a threading tool. As you will often need to fit yarn threads into the gun. You can easily make one with a piece of thin wire or any kind of a bit stiffer rope.
Tufting Gun Explained
This power tool that enables making DIY carpets at home exists for several decades now. The technology behind a tufting gun is very similar to that one of a sewing machine. The two main parts of the tufting gun are the foot and the needle.
The foot leans against the backing, while the needle pierces the backing, inweaving the yarn through, back and forth. They usually come with two different heads, made to perform cut pile and loop pile work. There is an option to adjust pile height.
There are three basic types of tufting guns, that match the carpet types:
- Tufting guns for cut pile carpet will make fluffy carpets, but the yarn on the other side might fall apart if not properly glued together. This type of gun is better for beginners because it is easier to operate.
- Tufting guns for loop pile carpets will allow details in colors and design, and create a compact backside. The downsides are it needs frequent trimming and rotation, which is why it is recommended to those who have some experience
- Mixed or 2-in-1 guns – guns that have both options available.
Remember that you can use punch needles for extra detailed work, in case your design requires a high level of precision.
Which Is Better: loop pile vs. cut pile tufting guns
As 2-in-1 guns can be costly, people usually have to choose which one to pick. There is no objective answer to which is better, and the decision has to be made on entirely subjective premises. Both types are very useful and can help you do the job.
The question of which tufting gun to choose is a question of which kind of carpets you want to have. The difference between cut pile and loop pile machines is in the type of carpet work they produce, not in quality.
Tufting Gun Actuators
There are two ways the engine of a tufting gun is constructed. The guns can be run by electric or pneumatic actuators.
The former uses electrical power to operate, which means you can use it anywhere close to a power source.
On the other hand, pneumatic tufting guns are a bit more complicated. In order to use them, you will need access to an air compressor. As air compressor is not a common device we have around houses, this type is much less popular. However, what’s good about it is that it can help you experiment with longer pile yarn sizes (both cut and loop).
Whenever I make reviews, I write about products that have a good price-quality ratio. And in order to determine that, the first thing I need to check out is the price.
As for the quality, tools and machines are different, and each has their own specifications that show the characteristics and functionality of a product.
In the case of tufting guns, I took the following criteria as a basis for my qualitative comparison:
- customer ratings
Safety is important because although carpet making seems like a pastime activity, we are operating with a power tool that can seriously harm you unless properly handled. Therefore, in this case, I considered built-in protection systems against over-voltage/current and short circuits a must.
The speed of tufting guns is measured by the number of stitches per second. These usually vary between 5 all the way to 40 stitches per second.
As for the engine power, tufting guns usually vary around 60-80W, although there are exceptions, and there could be significantly weaker and stronger machines than that.
Finally, I took other users’ reviews into consideration as well. This is important because their experience could give us the information we could never have guessed just by reading the specifications and looking at the pictures.
Now that we know all we need to know, let’s check out some of the products I would recommend for those of you willing to start experimenting with tufting!
Cut Pile Rug Tufting Gun Machine 100V-240V 7-19mm
The gun we are starting with today is suitable only for cut pile rugs. It comes adjustable to all voltages and allows pile head height adjustment anywhere between 7 and 19 millimeters, which is a good span.
The speed is also adjustable, going from 5 all the way to 40 stitches per second. As in most tufting guns, the front handle can fully rotate. The mid-range price, along with good overall characteristics makes it a good purchase for beginners.
I checked the customers’ feedback, and people are generally satisfied with its functionality. Some do complain about the machine’s heaviness.
- adjustable speed and head height
- only for cut pile rugs
To Sum Up
All in all, this is a good price-quality ratio. The machine is especially suitable for beginners, as it allows many adjustments to experiment with. Over-voltage, over-current, and short-circuit protection systems are good news for beginners as well, as safety is guaranteed.
TWSOUL Cut Pile/Loop Pile Rug Tufting Gun High-Speed Weaving of Carpets
This model comes in two variants (both cut and loop pile tufting machines), but they don’t come together. That means you still have to choose which one you can use to make fluffy carpets or pay twice to have both models.
If you opt for the cut pile model, it has an adjustable speed range (again between 5 and 40 stitches per second) and pile height (between 7 and 18 millimeters). The other one, the loop pile model, has slightly different specifications: 5 to 45 stitches/sec and 4-13 millimeters pile height.
The other customers are mostly satisfied, although some complain it isn’t that durable and that it doesn’t work. However, notice that the seller warned not to start the machine before pressing the switch, as it might damage the system.
Like the previous model, this one also has full protection against short circuits and over-voltage/current.
- cut and loop pile models don’t go together
To Sum Up
Another great tool for beginners. It is a pity that it is not a 2-in-1 model, which would be perfect. Still, if you happen to work with one model and are satisfied, there is an option for you to order the other model from the same manufacturer.
Carpet Tufting Gun, Cut/Loop Pile Models
This power tool comes with a bit stronger engine, already drawing attention. Again, the same manufacturer offers both models, although separately.
For the cut pile model, the pile height is adjustable and a bit broader than what we’re used to (7-21 mm). The adjustable speed is standard (5-40 stitches/sec), and the price is quite acceptable. The loop pile model has similar specifications, one difference being the pile height range (7-18 mm).
As for the reviews, there aren’t many of them, however, people are generally satisfied and point out the good price-quality ratio.
The machine is built from stainless steel and has all safety options built-in.
- cut and loop pile models don’t go together
To Sum Up
This tool is a great choice for those willing to make cut pile carpets with a bit longer threads. Overall a good buy for beginners, considering increased power and adjustability, this is a very good buy.
Electric Hand Tufting Gun Industrial Grade tufting Gun Both Cut Pile and Loop Pile
Everything about this tool makes me convinced it is made for professionals. First of all, it has great input power (240w). Then, it offers both cut and loop pile options in one machine. For the loop pile mode, the height goes from 6-12 mm, while in the cut pile mode it is 9-18 mm.
However, I was a bit surprised when I checked out the reviews. Most people are satisfied with the machine, but the overall rating is quite low, 3.4 stars. This is because quite a lot of customers complain about durability.
- both cut and loop pile options
To Sum Up
This machine is best for professionals. Despite the high price, considering the fact that this is a 2-in-1 device, it isn’t that expensive actually. All in all, this is a great machine.
MXBAOHENG Loop Pile/Cut pile Tufting Gun
This manufacturer makes both loop and cut pile models, for you to choose from.
Both models have the same specifications. Their engines are weaker (only 50W), with adjustable heights between 9 and 21 millimeters, and 12 and 22 stitches/s knitting speed.
This sounds almost like a bad model until you check the reviews. People seem very satisfied with the overall quality of the product, although durability issues occasionally occur.
To Sum Up
Because of its lightness, this is a great device for beginners or even kids. Although a bit overpriced, people seem pretty satisfied, so I would say this machine deserves a chance.
I hope this review of mine managed to spark your interest in carpet making! I reviewed products that I think are best buys, but you will see there are hundreds of models out there.
Whichever you decide to buy in the end, make sure to carefully inspect all characteristics and customer reviews. This is important because these are not cheap tools, and it would be a shame to waste that money, and not manage to have fun making your favorite carpet designs.
Since carpet tufting hasn’t been so popular recently, there aren’t many resources to learn from. For that reason, I decided to include this short list of frequently asked questions, hoping it will help you learn more about this interesting craft.
How to use a tufting gun?
They are very easy to use. The thread should be placed in the rug tufting needle before plugging in. Once plugged in the power source, make sure to turn on the power switch before pressing the start button. Otherwise, the device can be damaged.
If that is done properly, you can simply bring it close to the backing, and let it stitch through the cloth. Remember that the side you are working on will be the backside of the carpet to be.
How to take care of a tufting gun?
While working with yarn and fabrics, there is a lot of lint that can damage the machine unless cleaned off. Therefore, tufting gun maintenance comprises cleaning it with a brush and lubricating it with oil if necessary.
What do I need to know before buying a tufting gun?
The most important thing to know is that not all devices are 2-in-1, so you should either decide which type of carpet you would like to make or find a machine that does both.
Also, scissors built inside tufting guns easily get dull, so be prepared to buy new ones after some time.