Do you remember, as a child, watching the beautiful, multi-color blades of a whirligig spin as they caught the wind or your breath as you blew on it. Now imagine art meeting wind and whirligigs. Imagine the fanciful, wind-blown sculptures that could result. Well, you actually don’t have to imagine. Kinetic wind spinners already exist, and they come in so many different styles, sizes, designs, and colors that you should easily find one that perfectly complements your landscaping, the architectural style of your home, and the mood and décor of your outdoor space. All you need to do is choose. We did a little shopping, and we`d like to suggest some of our eight top picks.
Our top picks
|1. Stanwood Wind Sculpture||☑ Copper and bronze material;|
☑ Impeccable craftsmanship;
☑ Super strong 4-point pole anchoring;
|2. Evergreen Garden Kinetic Twirler||☑ Steel with rust- and weather-resistant, powder-coated metal;|
☑ Size: 82 inch. high, 4.7 pounds;
|3. Homeland Extra-Large Wind Spinner||☑ Made of steel with weather-resistant finish;|
☑ Extra large 23" wide and 83" high;
|4. Southern Patio Sunflower Wind Spinner||☑ Original Sunflower Design; |
☑ Made of metal with weather-resistant finish;
|5. Designs Bronze Leaves Wind Spinner||☑ Dual-pronged, extra long metal stake;|
☑ Size: 72 inches in height, 7.2 pounds;
☑ Solid metal construction;
|6. Wind & Weather Spiral Hanging Dual Product OneWind Spinner||☑Hanging design;|
☑Material: metal with copper plating;
☑Perfect yard decor;
|7. Magnificent Jupiter Giant Wind Spinner||☑ Watercolor-hued rainbow gradient; |
☑ Made of weather resistant metal;
1. Stanwood Wind Sculpture Dancing Willow Leaves Wind Spinner – Our Overall Pick as Best Large Metal Wind Spinner
Stanwood Wind Sculpture designed the Dancing Willow Leaves Wind Spinner with independent dual spinners that rotate in opposite directions to enhance the impression of the dancing leaves. Kaleidoscope-like shapes form as the leaves rotate and pass each other. This kinetic wind sculpture also swivels a full 360 degrees to capture breezes. With the exception of the willow leaves on the spinners, the spinners, hardware, and pole are coated with a weather-resistant finish. The copper willow leaves are meant to age and form a natural, weathered gray patina. However, if you prefer to maintain the bright copper finish that will catch and reflect the light, apply a spray-on clear coat lacquer or enamel before installing your spinner in your garden.
The spinner is mounted on a heavy-gauge copper pole with a four-prong anchoring system, a central prong on the pole and one prong at the end of each of three legs that radiate out from the pole in a Y-shape. This anchoring system is designed to withstand winds of up to 70 mph. The stainless steel ball bearings that enable the movements are contained within the wind sculpture’s brass hardware. The mounting system keeps the wheels well-balanced so that the spinner is maintenance free. Users find that this wind spinner is easy to set up, requires no balancing as long as the pole is perfectly vertical, and works in even a light breeze.
2. Evergreen Garden Kinetic Twirler -Our Runner-up Kinetic Wind Spinner
Evergreen Garden designed the two wheels of their Kinetic Twirler to rotate independently. Both the pole and spinner wheels have a rust- and weather-resistant finish. The supporting pole has a two-prong anchoring system. Some owners reported difficulty with getting the spinner wheels to rotate and one felt that the welds on the anchoring system looked weak. Two-thirds of those who posted reviews of this wind spinner were pleased with the design and the performance, however.
3. Homeland Extra-Large Reversible Wind Spinner – A Bold Design in a Large Garden Wind Spinner
This sunburst style wind spinner uses a different principle to capture a breeze or some wind for rotation. Rather than having a curved or angled surface for the wind to push against, the blades on this spinner are shaped like the wings on airplanes. The lift created by this wing shape produces the spin. This clever use of the lift-producing shape of an airplane wing allows this design to have its unique, front-facing blades.
The bold, striking, two-color design of this wind spinner is a good fit for a number of popular architectural and decor styles. One wheel is solid bronze while the blades on the other wheel alternate the elongated petal shaped blades in copper with the blades with the ball shape in black. The three-prong anchor system provides the needed stability. Owners report that this wind spinner spins even at times when they feel no breeze. Owners also state that it is easy to set up and has a required mini wrench included.
4. Southern Patio Sunflower Wind Spinner – Popular Yard Wind Spinner
Each side of Southern Patio’s Sunflower Wind Spinner features lacy sunflower petals that surround a solid, round center that is textured to duplicate the center of a real sunflower. The petals on each wheel rotate in opposite directions while the entire assembly can rotate a full 360 degrees to capture a breeze. One owner reports that even the two small sunflower petals on the pole rotate. This wind spinner lends itself well to rustic, country, farmhouse, and coastal architectural and décor styles.
A three-pronged anchor system provides stability, and the pole and spinner assembly come with a weather resistant finish. The manufacturer does recommend removing the sunflower spinner assembly if winds exceed 35 mph, however. This wind spinner is recommended for outdoor use only.
5. MJ Spinner Designs Bronze Leaves Kinetic Wind Spinner – A Strong, Bold Design Outdoor Wind Spinner
The bold, abstract shape of the leaves on MJ Spinner Designs’ Bronze Leaves Kinetic Wind Spinner creates a strong, bold yet elegant design that contrasts with more delicate wind spinner styles. This spinner’s sophisticated simplicity fits well with almost any architectural and décor style. The spinner and pole come with a powder-coated bronze, weather-resistant finish. The dual-pronged anchor system is meant to create a stable base, but owners report that the spinner has blown and fallen apart in a 50 mph wind.
Owners report that the spinner is easy to assemble and that the wheels rotate readily, even in the lightest breeze. According to the manufacturer, though, the leaves on the spinner wheels will rotate in the same or in opposite directions, depending on the direction and speed of the wind.
6. Wind & Weather Dual Spiral Hanging Dual Wind Spinner – An Attractive Hanging Wind Spinner
Swivel hooks allow the intricate inner and outer sections of Copper Wind Spinner to rotate separately for an eye-catching, intriguing display. The bright copper-plated finish reflects light beautifully. With its overall lantern-like shape, this is another wind spinner that complements most architectural and décor styles.
Some owners report that both the inner and outer spirals spin in even light breezes while others say that the outer spiral requires a stronger breeze before it will turn. Owners agree that this is an attractive sculptural piece even when it’s not rotating. We recommend applying car wax/polish to this wind spinner to protect the finish before hanging it outside. While this wind spinner comes with swivel hook with an S-shaped hanger, Dakota Steel Art recommends a swivel hook with a hanger that closes with a clip to prevent the wind spinner from being blown off from wherever it is hung.
7. Bits & Pieces Magnificent Jupiter Giant Garden Wind Spinner – An Unique and Attractive Wind Spinner
Unlike the other wind spinners on our list, Bits & Pieces’ Magnificent Jupiter Giant Garden Wind Spinner is a sphere, like the planet Jupiter. The upper and lower hemispheres of this rainbow colored orb rotate in opposite directions. Bits & Pieces uses metallic paint, reflective paint, and foil to create shimmering, light- and eye-catching colors for their wind spinners. Their Jupiter Wind Spinner; with each curving, frond-like blade shaded from metallic blue to purple to pink to yellow; is an attractive example of their creative work. The finishes on the spinners are weather-resistant, and the steel support poles are coated with a weather-resistant powder coating. The support poles end with an 11-inch, three-pronged anchor system.
Unfortunately, owners report mixed experiences. While some report that the two hemispheres of the spinner work perfectly, and the colors remain vibrant, many others report problems. Many report that the blades were bent upon arrival, that there are only three weak-looking welds in each hemisphere, and that the heads on the screws that come with this wind spinner are soft.
We wish we could recommend this unique spinner, but with so many complaints, we simply cannot.
Buyer’s Guide: Large Metal Wind Spinners
Kinetic sculptures add unique focal points to your landscaping and outdoor living spaces. You can choose wind sculptures in styles and colors that enhance your purpose for the area. A bright, colorful wind spinner encourages a party atmosphere with its dancing motion. A more traditional design sets a formal tone for dinner parties under a pergola. You can choose mandala like designs for a meditation area or a design that provides a surprising flash of color or of light reflecting off of metal in the midst of greenery.
Types of Kinetic Spinners
Wind spinners are differentiated by how they are mounted, the materials used to make them, and their added features.
One main difference between wind spinners is in how they are displayed. Many wind spinners are mounted on a pole that is pushed into the ground while hanging wind spinners are suspended from a swivel hook.
Another important difference is in their materials. Metal wind spinners are heavy and more expensive, but they also are more durable and environmentally sustainable. Plastic wind spinners are less expensive, lighter weight, and may come in a wider variety of styles and colors, but they also are less durable and are not as environmentally friendly. Given their long-lived durability, metal wind spinners may prove to be the better investment over time, with one possible exception. Those who own wind spinners note that birds and wild animals don’t find these kinetic sculptures to be as attractive as humans do. So, if you are considering using spinners to chase birds, rabbits, deer, and other wild critters out of your herb and vegetable gardens and away from fruit trees, the lower cost of plastic spinners will allow you to buy several to place in different areas.
Some wind spinners have features that allow them to do a little more than just spin. Solar wind spinners come with solar-powered lighting features. The lights illuminate the spinner so that you can watch both the spinner and the shadows it casts as both spin at night. Some of the lights in solar wind spinners cycle through a range of colors. Some wind spinners have wind chimes attached, but you also can hang a wind chime from a wind spinner that you already own. Finally, you can find wind spinners decorated with crystal and glass balls and gemstone shapes.
Choosing a Location for Your Kinetic Garden Sculpture
Obviously, your wind spinner needs wind, but when properly placed and balanced, most wind spinners start spinning even with just a breeze. Wind sculptures are designed to capture whatever breeze is available. In addition to access to wind and breezes, though, you should consider some of the same concepts when choosing a place for your wind art as you would when considering the placement of decorative items in your home décor.
The design and motion of kinetic wind sculptures turn them into instant focal points wherever you place them. You undoubtedly already have existing focal points in your landscaping and outdoor living spaces. For that reason, either you will want to find a way to incorporate your wind spinner into your existing focal point in a way that complements and enhances the effect of that space, or you will want to give your wind spinner a space where it creates an impact all on its own.
Another consideration to carry from indoors to outdoors is traffic flow. You will want to place your wind spinner in a space where it will be noticed. You might want to put it where the furniture, landscaping, hardscaping, and architectural elements in your outdoor space draw traffic flow and attention to it. You might also want to use a wind spinner, in particular, a large wind spinner, to draw attention to an area of your outdoor space that is currently overlooked.
Yet another issue to consider when choosing a place for your wind spinner springs from a combination of traffic flow and safety. Wind sculptures can be heavy, and some have pointed shapes in their designs. If you have a play area in your yard for kids or pets, you might not want to place a wind spinner in that area. If you do, you may want to give careful consideration to its design. You will also want to be certain that you have anchored it securely enough that it will not fall over if a child or pet runs or falls into it while playing.
Helpful Hints for Installing the Support Pole for Your Wind Spinner
One important suggestion for ensuring that your kinetic spinner spins is to ensure that the pole for mounting it is perfectly vertical. Use a laser level or place an old school carpenter’s level against the pole. If you’re using an old-school level, look at the bubble that is positioned crosswise on the level. If the pole is perfectly vertical, that bubble will be completely inside the two lines on the tube that contains the bubble.
Some users have noted that some welds on some metal wind spinners look weak. In particular, some found that the welds attaching the anchoring prongs to the mounting pole were weak. If you know how to use a soldering iron, you can reinforce weak welds yourself. In case you don’t know how to use a soldering iron but you know someone who does, you could ask them to reinforce the welds. If you don’t know how to use a soldering iron and you don’t know anyone who does, check the welds on your wind spinner and be careful of the ones that appear weak or see if you can get a replacement from the manufacturer.
If the ground where you want to place your garden sculpture is hard, you can make the process easier on yourself and the anchoring prongs by filling a gallon jug with water, pouring it on the soil, and letting the water soak into and soften the ground before you attempt to push the prongs into the ground. The prongs should be completely covered.
If you find that you will need to use a hammer to pound either the prongs or the mounting pole into the ground, avoid breaking welds and denting the end of the mounting pole by using a rubber mallet to do the hammering. You might even want to place a piece of wood between the mallet and the prongs or the end of the pole.
Suggestions for Metal Wind Spinners That Don’t Spin
Some users have reported that their spinners don’t spin, only spin slowly, or only spin in a wind but not a light breeze even though they made certain that their mounting pole was perfectly vertical. There are several solutions you can try to turn your static garden sculpture back into a kinetic one.
- Check the swivel hook and make sure that the blades on the wind spinner are opened out properly.Some wind spinners are packaged flat and require you to twist the spinner so that the blades are in position to catch the wind. This YouTube video demonstrates how to twist a wind spinner to open out the blades. It also shows the best type of swivel hook for a hanging wind spinner.
- Adjust the nuts and bolts that hold the spinner wheels in place.The nuts and bolts hold the wheel on the end of its supporting rod. The nuts are on the inside of the wheels toward the pole. They should be tight so that they keep the wheel balanced and don’t allow it to wobble or fall off of the rod. The bolt on the outside should be loose enough that the wheel turns freely. First, tighten the nuts completely, and then loosen the bolts by one quarter of a turn.
- Replace the nuts that came with the spinner.When adjusting the nuts and bolts didn’t work, one spinner owner reported success after replacing the nuts that came with the spinner with the type that have a plastic liner inside the nut’s metal exterior. This type of nut allows for making fine adjustments between allowing free play for the wheel to spin while also keeping it balanced.
- Lubricate the spinner wheels with WD-40 or a similar lubricant.
- Add weight or reposition the blades to balance a bottom-heavy wheel.If some blades on the wheel are always at the top while others are always at the bottom, you have two solutions.The first solution is to hide nuts, ball bearings, drapery weights, or some other type of small but heavier object inside the blades that always seem to be at the top. Use tape to test the positioning of the weight. When you have your weights in the best position to balance the wheels, use a silicone sealant such as aquarium cement to fasten them in place permanently.The second solution is to gently bend the heavier blades up to shift the weight upward. This YouTube video demonstrates not only how to bend the blades but also how to adjust the nuts and bolts.
- Carefully bend blades to an angle that helps them catch a breeze or the wind.If some of the blades don’t appear to be angled so that they catch the wind, first make sure that there isn’t some other design feature, such as the shape of the blade, that allows it to catch the wind even though the design of the wheel uses front-facing blades. Front-facing blades may use the same shape as an airplane wing to create lift and produce spin instead of relying on the wind to push against an angled surface on the blade. Remember that the blades should all be bent to a uniform angle to give your spinner its best performance. To avoid breaking the blades, very gently twist them slightly until they are all at a uniform angle that will allow them to catch the wind. Be aware that if you have a warranty, twisting the blades could negate it.
Wind Spinner Maintenance
Some owners report that they leave their kinetic wind sculptures out year round, and they continue to look great and perform well. Still, to ensure that you can continue to enjoy your kinetic spinner for years to come, you should perform some minimal periodic maintenance.
Checking the nuts and bolts that hold the spinner wheels in place and tightening the nuts if they have become loose prevents the wheels from falling off of the spinner assembly. You should also check the pole to make sure that the anchor system remains firmly in the ground.
If the weather forecast calls for winds higher than the wind spinner is designed to withstand, remove the spinner assemble from the post and bring it inside.
Regardless of what other owners say they do, you should bring your wind spinner indoors in the fall and store it in a dry place until spring. The ball bearings that allow the wheels to spin and the spinner assembly to swivel should be lubricated with either WD-40 or a general use oil in the fall when you bring the spinner in to store it for the winter and again before you put it out again in the spring.
While on our shopping trip for wind spinners, we found some versatile ones to recommend that will complement almost any style of décor and architecture. We found some that we to recommend that we felt uniquely fitted some popular styles. Unfortunately, we found some attractive wind spinners that had enough problems that we felt we had to comment upon them. In our buyer’s guide, we’ve offered tips and suggestions that will help you enjoy your wind spinner for many years. If you’d like to recommend other wind spinners, or warn people about one, or if you have other tips and suggestions you’d like to share, please contact us and let us know.