So you’re off to shop for a drop spindle, in a shop or at a fibre festival. You see a pretty awesome looking drop spindle. It looks so nice and pretty, but does it spin? A good drop spindle should spin well for a long time. A well balanced drop spindle will slow down as it runs out of torque but it should not reverse (or not much). If a drop spindle starts to reverse quickly it is going to lose all the lovely twist you have just added the yarn.
Some show vendors will have fibre in the booth that you can test on but if you’re not comfortable showing off you’re spindle skills or if your a newbie and don’t want to try that fibre just yet, what I would recommend is bringing along a length of yarn or string. It should be about 2 meters long (2 yards will do too) and tied together. You can put that loop of yarn onto the hook of the spindle, hold it by the top loop of the yarn dropping it a couple of feet and give the spindle a flick twist with your fingers.
Watch the spindle, does it spin? YES! For how long, more than a few seconds! YES! Is there a noticeable wobble in the spindle? NO! Does it quickly reverse direction? NO! Then it looks like you have a good spindle to spin on.
Like most I love a pretty spindle, but I also need for my spindles to do what I bought them for and that is to spin and spin well. I hope this helps you with your next spindle shopping experience.