Deciding on the right product for your pet can sometimes be a difficult task, especially if you aren’t sure of the right things look for. Size, material, durability, and noise levels are all factors that should be seriously considered when looking for a quality exercise wheel to buy for your pet chinchilla.
Like shopping for a cage for chinchilla, the biggest concern among owners is safety; the wheels mentioned below are not only spacious and comfortable, but they’re also designed to keep your chinchilla free from accidental injuries.
1. Chinchilla Wheel 15″ Chin Spin –
Handmade in USA by Quality Cage Crafters
The Chin Spin is Highly Recommended by Owners
(Read our in-depth review of Chin Spin here)
The 15 inch Chin Spin is fully hand-made by a renowned maker known as Quality Cage Crafters. This item has five stars and several recommendations by users. Comes with free shipping, this product is described as “heavy duty and built to last”. The Chin Spin is made with a wood interior and metal exterior. Thus, there is absolutely no plastic used that may cause harm to your chinchilla.
It’s mountable to wire cages and creates little to no noise, however you’ll need a good sized cage as this wheel is quite large and needs space.
Don’t Let the Price Tag Deter You From the Quality of the Chin Spin
With this item, you can be assured that the quality beats the price because:
- The Chin Spin is a rare product that comes in 15 inch, which is just about nice for an adult chinchilla. Smaller wheels will cause your chinchilla to arch its back too much, which is bad for them in the long run.
- This chinchilla toy is constructed fully in metal. Other cheaper wheels generally provide less quality, will usually have some type of plastic part, which can cause health problems to chinchillas if chewed on
- Due to its sturdy material and construction, the big wheel is durable and stable when mounted by chinchilla. Other plastic wheels are usually flimsy and will tremble when used by an adult chinchilla which can even mean terrible noises in the night!
Many color variations available
This Product is Chinchilla Approved, Too!
Those who have left ratings on the store have also mentioned that their pets are able to stretch out and run. This wheel allows the chinchilla to move the way it would naturally, rather than being forced to hop in an uncomfortable position.
The surface is smooth, so you’ll never have to worry about your chin catching their toes in a grate. Of the three wheels in this rating the Chin Spin is the best one on the market!
- Shipping is free within US.
- The wheel is almost completely silent.
- Plenty of room for your chin to run.
- Comes with the chinchilla mansion cage if you purchase at least the starter bundle.
- The price is slightly higher compared to other wheels.
- Chins that like to run very fast may inevitably make light noise.
- The size also makes it a bit heavy, which might turns out to be more stable.
2. Exotic Nutrition 15″ Chin-Sprint : All-Metal Durable, Fast Exercise Wheel – for Chinchillas!
The Metal Wheel is Another Great Product for Your Chinchilla
The 15 inch Metal Wheel is designed to be virtually silent, while resembling a large pie dish. This product has received a fantastic reviews on most online stores, and comes with an additional free snack pack along with a fresh bale of hay for your chin.
Although it is designed specifically for chinchillas, this wheel also welcomes prairie dogs, degus, and other small rodents such as guinea pigs. The material of the wheel provides your pet with grip, so they won’t slip and fall off as they’re running. It is a long lasting, durable product that your chin won’t be able to destroy through chewing.
What Do Customers Have to Say About the Metal Wheel?
Consumers agree that this wheel is excellent as far as giving their chinchillas enough room to run and play. However, many have returned the Metal Wheel due to the size; those who have purchased it recommend that others be sure to measure their cages and plan accordingly before ordering this product.
Be aware that the Metal Wheel sells out quickly both online and in retail stores.
- The size is great for any chinchilla! Plenty of room to stretch out.
- Free bale of hay and treats included with each purchase. (please check availability)
- Some customers reassembled the wheel to make it fit inside of their cage.
- It is often out of stock due to high demand.
3. Felix & Fido Spin Safe 15″
Although this wheel may look familiar, with its all metal and wood design, it should not be confused with the superior Quality Cage Crafters “Chin Spin.” Measuring a large 15” in diameter with a 6.25” running surface, this spinning wheel is the perfect size for your chinchilla. But does it really “Spin Safe?”
The large size helps your chin run, jump and stretch without the added stress of arching their backs to properly fit. This can help avoid serious injury in the future. The running surface is also ample enough so your chin won’t misstep and fall off. Also, this wheel’s metal and wood materials helps deter chewing.
However, this is where the similarities to the #1 spot end. This wheel attaches to the cage with dual ball bearings, but many buyers have complained of these ball bearings coming loose with use. Not only do the loose ball bearings make for a very noisy cage, they can also cause the wheel to fall during use which puts your chinchilla in an unsafe situation.
Considered a knock off version of the “Chin Spin,” this wheel is not worth the $20 discount you get instead of paying full price for the Quality Cage Crafters’ handmade design. You are better off getting the real deal instead of the “Spin Safe” which just doesn’t live up to its name.
- Made of chinchilla safe materials
- 15-inch diameter
- Wide running surface
- Loose ball bearings may cause the wheel to fall off
- Requires a large cage due to its ample size
- Often mistaken for the “Chin Spin”
4. Kaytee 12 inch Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
If You Happen to Be On a Budget, Try the Kaytee Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel
At 12 inches in diameter and 2.7 pounds, this exercise wheel is light and should easily fit into any cage, either mounted or free standing. From rats, to squirrels, to chinchillas, this product is available in various sizes so you can pick the ideal dimensions for your pet and your cage.
Consumers say this “Silent Spinner” Is Not So Silent
Although it is advertised as a quiet wheel, customer reviews online seem to suggest otherwise. While the spinner is somewhat quiet when attached to the cage, it still makes quite a bit of noise when placed on the metal stand. Due to this irritating issues, the wheel has earned a collective 3.5 stars by those who have purchased the spinner.
Others have also added that this wheel is not as durable as they had initially hoped. Several people have commented that this wheel begins to loosen, wobble, and squeak after a week or two of use. One person who purchased the wheel mentioned that the entire setup broke after a few months of heavy usage.
- This product comes in more than one size.
- Great for rodents that are young and agile.
- Most online customers are unable to choose their color. (You may be lucky though!)
- Owners may have to increase the size of their wheel as their pets grow.
5. You & Me Chinchilla Wheel
This small, metal wheel comes in last for a reason. It simply does not offer anything a chinchilla needs in a spinning wheel. The 11” wheel is too small for chinchillas, even the smaller ones, and is made of a mesh material which can cause serious injuries.
The You & Me Chinchilla Wheel’s limited size can cause strain on your chin’s back which could be detrimental to their future health. In addition to its small size, wire and mesh materials are never recommended for chinchillas as they can cause serious harm to their feet. This material can cause sores and pain to your chin’s feet and also puts your chin at risk of breaking their toes, feet or legs. Its narrow running surface can also cause your chin to fall or slip off and hurt themselves.
This wheel comes with a metal stand but can also be attached to the bars of your cage. However, many pet owners have complained of the wheel coming loose and falling off, also putting your chin in danger. Regardless of the metal stand or attaching it the cage bars, the You & Me wheel does little to prevent cage rattling and its cheap design makes its especially noisy.
Although it is a budget option, this wheel’s size and material make it simply unsafe and unsuitable for your chinchilla. Coming in at under $15, this wheel is not worth even that low of a price!
- Too small for chinchillas
- Mesh material can cause harm to your chin’s feet
- Very noisy and causes cage rattling
- Has little support and can fall off easily
Ultimate Guide: What you need to know before buying a chinchilla exercise wheel
With the ever-growing popularity of chinchillas being pets we can now witness pet stores being flooded with all kinds of goodies for them, ranging from chew toys, treats, cage equipment and grooming tools. When it comes to chinchillas, their most basic needs are a safe environment with a stable room temperature, a healthy hay based food diet, an uninterrupted sleep schedule and most importantly – exercise and playtime.
Exercise and playtime
When it comes to exercise, chinchillas need a lot of it. Chinchillas are generally caged up throughout the day and some owners are not aware of how much exercise a chinchilla actually needs.
No matter how big your chinchilla cage is, your chinchilla should have some quality playtime outside of the cage on a daily basis. Having a chinchilla running in a room, supervising its activity and steering it away from harmful items is probably not something you can do through the whole day, an exercise wheel will help you get the necessary exercise and entertainment for your chinchilla while it is in its cage.
Here we will present you with different types of exercise wheels and with each of their benefits and drawbacks so that you can make an informed decision and choose the one that works best for your pet chinchilla.
Types of exercise wheels
Plastic wheels – The most common type of a chinchilla exercise wheel that you would find in a pet store is a plastic one. Although these wheels are appealing because they are budget friendly and come in a variety of models and colors, these wheels are not suitable for chinchillas. The first drawback is the material itself, even though some of them come with a label “chinchilla safe” a plastic item should never be put into a chinchilla cage because they are notorious for chewing and this could be very dangerous for them, causing serious injury or even death if the plastic is ingested. Another drawback is the size of the wheel, these plastic wheels are barely big enough for your chinchilla to comfortably fit and run. These wheels lack a sturdy structure and the vibrations from the wheel spinning can make them very noisy.
Metal mesh wheel
A better option for a chinchilla exercise wheel might seem to be a metal mesh wheel, also available in pet stores and with an affordable price and wide range of colors. Even thought that the metal mesh wheel is a better option than a plastic wheel, there are still some concerns regarding this product. The size of the wheel would also be an issue here because most of them are still too small for a chinchilla. The wheel diameter ranges from 8.5” to the “large” labeled ones being just at 11”, which is still too small for your chinchilla. The metal mesh wheels can also cause serious injuries to your pet. While running on a mesh surface of the wheel, a chinchilla’s toe or even its foot could be stuck in the mesh of the wheel. If a chinchilla could build-up enough momentum while running it can easily break a bone this way since it will not be able to break free.
These are a relatively safe choice for your pet chinchilla. You have to keep in mind that the wheel itself must be made from chinchilla safe wood (avoid evergreen trees, redwood, cedar, cherry, citrus fruit trees) and the wood should not be chemically treated in any way, glued or painted. Keep in mind that wood is chewable, it could splinter and cause injuries or it could be chewed over time in such an extent that it would no longer be usable. Another thing that you would have to keep in mind is that the wood absorbs odors, liquids and stains, making it very hard to clean.
Solid metal wheels
Lastly, you can find exercise wheels that are made with a solid metal running surface. These exercise wheels are sturdy, durable and silent, their surface is easy to clean and they come in sizes from 14”-16”. These exercise wheels offer your chinchilla comfort while running, enough space to curve its back in a natural way and are made from a non-chewable material. The biggest drawback is the price of these wheels as they are expensive. In addition, these wheels can be too big for some chinchilla cages.
You can find these wheels in two varieties available online or in specialized stores – they can be made completely out of metal or the metal running surface is attached over a wooden backside. Great examples of these wheels are Chin Spin made by Quality Cage Crafters and Silent Chinchilla Wheel by Pet Revolution.
What to consider when buying
When faced with a wide range of materials, the number one thing that you would need to take into account is the safety of that material for your chinchilla. The material should be chew-proof, so your best options are metal and galvanized steel wheels. These materials are easy to maintain and do not absorb odors. Make sure that the wheel has smooth front edges and is smoothly hemmed without any joints or seams.
Your chinchilla needs comfort and space while running. Chinchilla wheels that have a small diameter can end up causing harm or injury to your pet, or your pet might not even use the exercise wheel. The diameters that are sufficient for adult chinchillas are in the range from 14”-16”. The running surface size should also be wide enough so that your chinchilla does not fall off the exercise wheel. The width of the running surface should be at least 5”.
At first glance, it would seem that only the size and material of the wheel are important, but there is actually another very crucial aspect. You will come across exercise wheels that have a protruding middle axle. These kinds of wheels can cause serious injuries and discomfort to your chinchilla as it has to arch its back in an unnatural way to run. Chinchillas are known to jump out of their exercise wheels and anything that is in the way can hurt them badly. Always search for an axle-free construction.
One more model that you will come across are the ones with closed sides that have large holes in them so that the chinchilla can enter the wheel. If possible, these kinds of wheels should be avoided. The closed sides do not allow sufficient amount of air to circulate in the wheel and chinchillas can overheat while exercising. Another thing is that their droppings cannot fall out of the wheel and your chinchilla will be running with its waste, which is very unhygienic. Always go for the open design, as it is also easy to clean.
Freestanding or mount on
When faced with the decision to buy a free standing exercise wheel or the one you attach to your cage, you will choose the one that works for you best. The mount on wheels need to be put on the lowest level of the cage, with soft bedding in front of the wheel in case your chinchilla falls out. There should be a shelf or some other obstacle on the top of the wheel to prevent your pet from jumping onto it. Since these models are screwed onto the cage, they are quite stable.
With freestanding exercise wheels you will find it easy to place them anywhere in the cage and you can also take them out while cleaning. Be aware that while the chinchilla is running in the wheel it will probably move around in the cage. Make sure that it has a sturdy structure and cannot be flipped over.
While running in their exercise wheels chinchillas create a lot of vibrations, which can cause loud noises if the wheel is not constructed in a certain manner. You can find silent wheels that will reduce the amount of noise and allow your pet a peaceful exercise time. One aspect that you can search for when choosing a silent wheel is the ones that have ball bearings. This aspect minimizes the vibrations, makes the wheel more durable and is easy to turn and start spinning for your chinchilla.
Some exercise wheels will wear out over time and need changing. The good thing is that with most high-quality wheels you would get an extra set of replacement parts. The sturdier the material of the wheel is the longer it will last.
When buying an exercise wheel for your chinchilla the kind you choose will depend on the space you have in the cage for it and according to your budget. Keep in mind that the low-cost types of wheels can be made from dangerous materials and are less durable, whereas the ones that cost more, on a longer run will pay off.
Regardless of the type of wheel you buy and the amount of time your chinchilla uses it, you should not forget to let your chinchilla out of its cage to have quality daily playtime with its owner. An active chinchilla is a happy chinchilla.
Remember, These Aren’t Your Only Options
When searching for a wheel, it is extremely important to do your research before making a purchase. The great thing about most online stores is that you can review feedback from others who have bought and used any of these wheels and figure out whether or not it will suit your pet.
Rodent products are often sold as a “one size fits all” solution. So it is up to the owner to be sure that exercise wheels are specifically designed for their chinchilla, as they need space to stretch out and run properly. It always recommended that regardless of the brand, your chinchilla wheel should be between 14 and 16 inches to take pressure off of the spine and back muscles.