The term, bobbin, is often used interchangeable with Tama. However, Tama refer to a very specific type of bobbin, while bobbin can encompass a variety of devices used to gather and organize bundles of threads. Most braiding stands use a system of weights and counterweights to keep the bundles of threads under tension while braiding – which ensures consistency in tension throughout the length of the braid. As an example, the bobbins used in Chinese braids use coins hanging at the bottom as a way to weight the bobbin. The weight on each bobbin can be adjusted by adding or subtracting coins.
Flexible plastic bobbins (EZ Bobs) are commonly used on hand held devices such as the kumihimo disk and plate. In this case the bobbins are used to organize thread but not to add weight to it.