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5 Best Rug Tufting Gun Kits to Make DIY Rugs

best tufting gun kit

YouTube/Lone Fox

Rug tufting is a growing hobby that is both easy to pick up and highly rewarding. It is a surprisingly straightforward process to make your own DIY rugs, especially if you can acquire almost all of the requisite supplies from one of these rug tufting gun kits. They make great gifts too. Find out what materials you need, what you can make at home, and how to put it all to use in our handy buyer’s guide.

Best Rug Tufting Gun Kits in 2022?

draywitt tufting gun kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2-in-1 tufting gun
  • Lots of included tools
  • Included carry case
Price: $219.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pretoee tufting gun kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2-in-1 tufting gun
  • Large tufting cloth
  • Included carry case
Price: $279.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
cabinahome tufting gun kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2-in-1 tufting gun
  • 12 skeins of yarn
  • Included carry case
Price: $169.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
blbo tufting gun kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2-in-1 tufting gun
  • Good documentation
  • Lots of included tools
Price: $179.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
artufting tufting gun kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2-in-1 tufting gun
  • Included decal set
  • Good documentation
Price: $156.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Draywitt Tufting Gun Kit

    Pros:
    • 2-in-1 tufting gun does cut pile or loop pile
    • Lots of included tools
    • Included carry case
    Cons:
    • High price tag
    • No backing, frame, or adhesive included
    • No warranty

    The Draywitt Tufting Gun Kit is the most comprehensive bundle of rug-making supplies I’ve seen so far, which makes it my first choice when recommending kits for new users. You get a high-quality 2-in-1 tufting gun capable of either cut pile or loop pile tufting plus a number of other useful supplies.

    You get 12 skeins of acrylic yarn, a 39×39-inch piece of tufting cloth, a set of tufting tools, and a hardshell carrying case for your tufting gun. If you have some or all of these supplies already, you could likely save some money by opting for a less comprehensive bundle, but if you are new to the rug-making game then this will all be useful stuff.

    You will still need to provide your own tufting frame, rug backing, and adhesive, but you are otherwise ready to go. I recommend getting these other accessories squared away before you order this gun so you can test it out right when you receive it. This is always a good idea when a product listing doesn’t mention anything about a warranty.

    Rug Tufting Gun: AK I/II Tufting Gun (7-19mm pile height; 5-45 stitches/sec)
    Tools: scissors, 40cm ruler, threading tool, poke needle, thread needle
    Yarn: 12 acrylic skeins
    Tufting Fabric: One 39×39-inch cloth

  2. 2. Pretoee Rug Tufting Gun Kit

    Pros:
    • 2-in-1 tufting gun does cut pile or loop pile
    • Large tufting cloth
    • Included carry case
    Cons:
    • No backing, frame, or adhesive included
    • High price tag
    • Limited tools included

    The Pretoee Rug Tufting Gun Kit may be a little pricier than the competition but for that extra dough you end up with a nicer ZQ-II Tufting Gun (I am using the model number from TuftingShop.com but this is an OEM product). It offers more control and durability at the expense of being a little heavier and, again, more expensive.

    What does added control mean for you, the user? It allows you to make higher-density rugs, especially if you crank up the adjustable speed. Like the AKI/II, it ships ready for cut pile but can be modified to do loop pile with the included parts. Notably, this machine only operates on 110v power while the other models use 110v or 220v. Consult this list of power voltages by country to ensure it will work in your area.

    As for the accessories, you get 12 skeins of acrylic yarn, a huge 40×60-inch sheet of tufting cloth, and a nice hardshell carry case for storing and transporting your tufting gun. The tool selection is a little sparse considering the price tag but at least you a get a threading tool.

    All in all, the Pretoee Rug Tufting Gun Kit is a solid purchase for any user with the endurance to handle its heavier weight. You get a high-quality tufting gun, a large piece of tufting cloth, and plenty of yarn to get started. Just supply your own frame, adhesive, and backing and you’ll have a lovely handmade rug in no time.

    Rug Tufting Gun: ZQ-II Tufting Gun (7-19mm pile height; 5-45 stitches/sec)
    Tools: threading tool
    Yarn: 12 acrylic skeins
    Tufting Fabric: One 40×60-inch cloth

  3. 3. Cabinahome Tufting Gun Kit

    Pros:
    • 2-in-1 tufting gun does cut pile or loop pile
    • 12 skeins of yarn
    • Included carry case
    Cons:
    • No backing, frame, or adhesive included
    • No warranty
    • No tools included

    The Cabinahome Tufting Gun Kit is a great option for yarn workers that already know their way around an embroidery machine. This kit gets you a high-quality 2-in-1 tufting gun, a nice bundle of acrylic yarn colors, a 39×39-inch piece of tufting cloth, and a nice hardshell carrying case for considerably cheaper than our most comprehensive pick.

    If you want to have all of the requisite tools out of the box and price isn’t an issue, then by all means get the Draywitt Tufting Gun instead. If, however, you are looking to cut costs, this Cabinahome kit offers a great price value. You will still need to provide your own frame, adhesive, and backing, but this is the case for all the kits you’ll find online.

    Rug Tufting Gun: AK I/II Tufting Gun (7-18mm pile height; 5-45 stitches/sec)
    Tools: N/A
    Yarn: 12 acrylic skeins
    Tufting Fabric: One 39×39-inch cloth

  4. 4. BLBO Tufting Gun Kit

    Pros:
    • 2-in-1 tufting gun does cut pile or loop pile
    • Good documentation
    • Lots of included tools
    Cons:
    • Yarn skeins come in random colors
    • No warranty
    • No backing, frame, or adhesive included

    The BLBO Tufting Gun Kit is one of the most popular kits of its kind on Amazon, making it an easy choice for any beginner looking to make rugs. It comes with everything you need including a standard electric tufting gun that comes out of the box ready to go.

    This kit comes with six skeins of wool yarn but you do not get to pick the colors, so expect to have to buy some for yourself anyway. You also get a useful selection of tools and a 39×39-inch sheet of tufting fabric. It does not come with rug backing, a frame, or any adhesive, though.

    The kit comes with printed instructions on how to use the tufting gun but users have mixed feelings about support. Additionally, its product page makes no mention of a warranty so shop cautiously and consider buying it with a credit card that offers buyer protection.

    Rug Tufting Gun: AK I/II Tufting Gun (7-19mm pile height; 5-45 stitches/sec)
    Tools: scissors, 40cm ruler, threading tool, poke needle, thread needle
    Yarn: 6 wool skeins (random colors)
    Tufting Fabric: One 39×39-inch cloth

  5. 5. Artufting Tufting Gun Kit

    Pros:
    • 2-in-1 tufting gun does cut pile or loop pile
    • Included decal set
    • Good documentation
    Cons:
    • No warranty
    • No included cloth, yarn, or tools
    • No backing, frame, or adhesive included

    While the Artufting Tufting Gun Kit is the most sparse in terms of bundled components, it is still a solid choice for users who are focused on the aesthetic qualities of their equipment. With its pink finish and sticker decal set, there isn’t a cuter tufting gun around. It almost makes up for the fact that this kit omits many essential components for rug-making.

    Indeed, you will have to supply your own yarn, fabric, frame, adhesive, and tools (save for a threading needle) to get going with the Artufting Tufting Gun Kit, but these can all be easily acquired with a trip to the craft store and the hardware store. This tufting gun does come with documentation, though, which is always nice to see when you purchase OEM products. (Not sure what an OEM product is? IBM lays out the details in this article.)

    Sadly, this won’t be a one-and-done purchase for most, but none of the kits I reviewed came with a tufting frame anyway, so there was no avoiding that trip to the hardware store after all. Plus, it is still a fantastic tufting gun.

    Looking for other fun crafting activities? Check out our roundup of the best mug press machines as well!

    Rug Tufting Gun: AK I/II Tufting Gun (7-19mm pile height; 5-45 stitches/sec)
    Tools: threading needle
    Yarn: N/A
    Tufting Fabric: N/A

What Do You Need For Rug Tufting?

Rug Tufting Gun

This is the most important and expensive component you will need for rug tufting. It isn't hard to use but keep in mind that it is a genuine power tool, so you should follow common safety procedures when working with one. If you don't already have protective gear, add some to your shopping list. You'll also want to periodically maintain your rug tufting gun by coating its moving parts with sewing machine oil.

Scissors

Sure, you likely have a pair of scissors lying around the house already, but I recommend getting a dedicated pair just for rug tufting. Why? Because you are going to cut a lot of yarn. You'll also be cutting your rug out of the cloth you make it with. And the backing. You'll pretty much be cutting everything all the time.

Yarn

You didn't think you could get away with making a rug without buying some materials, did you? Most of the kits I reviewed come with some yarn to get you started but you will quickly need more once you are bit by the rug-making bug. There are three yarn types: acrylic, wool, and cotton. Acrylic is the cheapest option and is good for beginners but note that it isn't as durable and will fray faster over time. Wool is more durable but a little tougher to work with and more expensive too. I do not recommend using cotton yarn for rugs as it is quite delicate. It does, however, work well for wallhanging pieces.

Monk's Cloth or Tufting Fabric

When making rugs, tufting cloth is your canvas of creation. This material is also called monk's cloth so a product by either name will work just as well. Consider the dimensions of the rug you want to make before purchasing additional fabric. Be sure not to confuse tufting fabric with embroidery fabric. Embroidery fabric will tear far too easily and is not suitable for use with a tufting gun.

Carpet Adhesive

This is an essential part of the rug-making process as this locks the yarn fibers in place once you have threaded them into the fabric. Any sort of carpet adhesive will do but you can snag this Roberts 6700-0 (which I use) on Amazon. You might as well also get some putty knives for fast and easy application.

Felt or Rubber Backing

While backing for the underside isn't 100% necessary for making a rug, it goes a long way towards making your rugs more durable and presentable. If you are on a budget, you can just use some felt from a fabric store but I have had the best success with a rubber non-slip backing like this one because it helps keep the rug in place when you walk on it.

Frame

Although a wooden tufting frame is arguably one of the most essential components for making a rug, most kits don't include one. And that's because they are quite large and difficult to ship depending on what size you need. You can find a few tufting frame kits online like this one from TuftingGun.com and this one from Amazon but the cheapest way to get ahold of a tufting frame is to make one yourself. If you follow these instructions from Tuft the World then can make a tufting frame for cheaper than an online kit and to your exact specifications.

How Do You Use a Rug Tufting Gun?

Using the rug tufting gun is for sure the most intimidating part about making rugs. But using the rug tufting gun is fairly straightforward. There are a few settings that you should know about but all of these tufting guns come from the factory ready to go.

If you have a 2-in-1 tufting gun like the ones we listed above, then you can either keep it in cut pile mode or change it to loop pile mode with the included components. This video from the Rug Babe provides more involved details on how to do that. Here is a picture showing the difference between cut and loop pile:

cut-pile-loop-pile

There is a dial towards the front of your tufting gun to adjust the stitches per second that it will make. Start slow and then work your way into max speed. You can optionally adjust the depth gauge as well, which adjusts the pile of the fabric. I usually leave mine at the standard 1/2-inch size, though. Additionally, you should check that the needle fully retracts behind the front foot, otherwise you will need to adjust this.

Once you have configured your tufting gun then you will need to thread it with the little metal needle threader that hopefully came with your kit. Be prepared to do this every time you switch colors. If you want to cover more ground, you can thread up two lines of yarn at once, but make sure to use more pressure and guide the gun faster when you do so. The rest has to be learned by hand, so next, let's go over the rug-making process.

How Do You Tuft a Rug?

Rug tufting isn't hard, and once you know what you are doing, you'll be able to make a rug start-to-finish in under a day. Some steps require advance preparation and others require working with power tools, but as far as crafting projects go, this one is fairly straightforward. Step one is to gather all of the above materials and make sure your rug tufting gun is ready to go. The kits I've recommended have most of the essentials in one package but you'll want to double-check for supplementary items using our checklist above.

Step two is to fit the burlap onto the frame. Most frames use carpet tack or some other type of small hooks to fix the tufting fabric in place. I recommend using pliers to pull the burlap as tight as possible on all sides so the burlap weave shows straight, clean lines. During this time, you can use a marker to map out the finer details of your rug design. If you have a projector, you can alternatively project your image right onto the canvas (though be sure to mirror it since you are making this design from behind). Alternatively, you can just freestyle your design!

Step three is to get crafting! We've already covered some of the basics for running the tufting gun, so plug it in, turn it on, and start tufting! Like many power tools, your tufting gun will have a tendency to pull itself forward, so be sure to keep control over it by going in lines. You can pluck or cut out excess yarn if you want to redo portions. Make sure you are happy with your design before you move on to the next step, though, because you won't be able to change it down the road.

Step four is to bust out your carpet adhesive glue and spray it all over the back of the rug. You will want to wear a respirator at this point because the adhesive is quite smelly. It will dry overnight indoors or in a few hours outside in the sun.

Step five is to cut your rug design out of the canvas and glue the backing to it using a spray adhesive. You don't have to be perfectly accurate when cutting the rug out as you can always fold excess canvas back under the rug when you apply the backing. Apply the adhesive to both the back of the canvas and the felt or rubber backing then press firmly all over until the adhesive cures. From here, all you need to do is cut away the excess backing material then you're done! You can optionally use scissors (or if you're fancy a sheep shearer) to even out your rug pile but whether or not you do that depends on just how fancy you want to get.

If you prefer visual instructions, consider watching this video from YouTuber Shop Last.

Can You Make a Rug Without a Tufting Gun?

Making a rug with a tufting gun is pretty easy, although it can get a little expensive when you factor in the cost of the tufting gun and all of the supplementary supplies you need. So the ultra-thrifty DIYers out there may be wondering: is there a cheaper way to make a rug? Yes, there is.

If messing with power tools isn't your bag, you can consider a punch needle rug-making kit instead, which operates on the same concept as rug tufting except you thread the yarn into the fabric by hand. But lazy DIYers be warned: while it may be cheaper than using a tufting gun it will not be easier. That said, it is an option in your arsenal if you wish to make a rug.

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