6 Best Yarn Ball Winder in 2023
Are you tired of your yarn cakes moving around when you are working with them? Looking for something that will make it easy for you to handle the center pull balls? Well, what you are probably looking for is a yarn winder.
Having the best yarn ball winder will make knitting different stitches an easier task for you. With those handling around the yarn balls will be a breeze for you. Alongside that, the well-performing yarn ball winders will also allow you to save quite a lot of time. You will be able to finish off knitting tasks pretty quickly with them, which is why getting one of the well-performing ones is basically essential for the knitters.
Also, the well-performing yarn ball winders will also allow you to keep your stash organized and tidy.
Get Your Facts First about Yarn Winders
Before jumping to any conclusion, you need to weigh the pros and cons of owning a yarn winder first. Go through them first and then decide do you really need one right now.
Benefits of Using a Yarn Winder
There are several benefits to using a yarn winder, including:
- Keeps your yarn organized and prevents it from becoming tangled
- Makes it easier to store your yarn, as you can wind it into balls or cakes that take up less space.
- Allows easier transport of your yarn if you need to take it with you on the go.
- Makes it easier to knit or crochet with, as you can simply pull the yarn from the ball or cake instead of having to untangle it first.
- Makes measuring your yarn easier, as you can simply wind it off into the desired length.
Limitations of Using a Yarn Winder
There are a few disadvantages to using a yarn winder as well, including:
- Can be expensive, depending on the brand and features
- These are typically bulky and take up space, so if you’re limited on storage it might not be the best option
- They require some assembly and can be difficult to set up, especially if you’re new to using one
- You need to be careful when winding your yarn, as winding it too tightly can damage the fibers
If you decide to not buy one, just follow our section on yarn winder alternatives.
6 Best Yarn Ball Winder
Getting the perfect yarn winder might seem easy at first, but it will be pretty hard for you to choose one because of the overabundance of options. To make sure that you do get one that is easy to use, we have selected the best yarn winders that the manufacturer has to offer to the market. They are as follows:
1. Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Ball Winder
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Birchwood
- Standout Feature: Utilizes anti-friction bearing
While looking for the best yarn ball winder, you will find yourself among plenty of units. But not all of the yarn winders will be able to provide you a smooth winding experience like this one from Knitter’s pride can.
To start with, the overall construction of the yarn ball winder is of a blend of natural birch wood. The woods have a lamination of a beautiful coating that makes them look elegant. This one will be an exquisite addition to your knitting tools. The lamination is also long-lasting and will not fade off anytime soon.
Apart from the looks, the unit is pretty simple to use as well. The yarn guide arm has an anti-friction bearing that will make the rotation smooth and quick. The spool side also has the same bearing, making it easier for you to work with balls of yarn.
Other than that, it is capable of making center pull balls that can retain their shape. It will not roll away when you are working with it, which will make sure that you get the best center pull yarn balls out of it. You can also make beautiful center pull yarn cakes using this.
Aside from that, the unit is highly capable. It has the capability of winding up to four hundred and fifty grams of fingering weight. The arms are heavy duty as well. Those will ensure that you face no difficulties when working with a hefty yarn ball.
On the bottom, it has anti-skid rubber pads. Those will make sure that the unit does not slide when you are working with it. They will also prevent scratches on your table.
- Features a construction of laminated woods
- The arms are heavy-duty
- Utilizes anti-friction bearings
- Sports anti-skid pads on the bottom
- Capable of winding up to 450 grams of fingering weight yarn
- Might be a bit large and bulky for some knitter
- The rubber pads keep falling off
2. Stanwood Needlecraft Umbrella Swift – Budget Pick
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Finished Birchwood
- Standout Feature: Capable of holding skeins that are up to 6 feet in circumference
If you were on the lookout for something that rotates smoothly and makes yarn winding a fun job, then you do not have to search any longer because Stanwood has got the thing that you were looking for.
First of all, the size of this yarn swift is medium. That means it will not be any hassle for you to accommodate this on top of your working table. Also, it is reasonably lightweight and compact, which will make it easier for you to operate it. You will be able to carry it easily from one place to another.
Aside from being small and compact, the overall construction of the unit is of solid wood. That material makes it achieve a high level of durability. You can expect it to last for an extended amount of time. Also, the exterior has a fine sanding, which is non-toxic.
Other than that looks, the wool winder is highly capable as well. It can hold skeins that are up to six feet in circumference. That means you will not face any difficulties when you are working with something that large in size. And the large metal yarn wires are hidden on the body. As a result, you will not have to worry about getting injured when you are handling it.
Setting it up will not be a hassle as well. It has a table clamp on the base that will make it easier for you to set it up on your table. Also, the clamp firmly places on the edges of the table, which is going to make sure that it does not move when you are operating it. Eventually, you are going to get the best yarn ball out of it.
- Compact and lightweight
- Equipped with clamps on the bottom
- Easy to set up
- The wires are hidden
- Can hold skeins that are up to 6 feet in circumference
- The included screws are not of high quality
- Does not spin that smoothly
3. U-nitt 10 oz. Metal Jumbo Yarn Winder – Best Value
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Mostly metal. Few parts are plastic and are of nylon
- Standout Feature: The cogwheels are of heavy-duty nylon
The hand operated winders are usually preferred by many. And there are not that many brands that offer well-performing manual winders in the market. But this one that we are going to introduce you to is one of those well-performing ones.
To begin with, the U-nitt implement high quality cast iron for the overall construction. That construction material makes it achieve a superior durability level. It will last for an extended amount of time without showing any signs of performance degradation.
Aside from the material, the cogwheels that it comes with are of heavy-duty nylon. The exterior has an electrostatic coating that makes it look professional. It is one of the ball winders that does not only look good but also offers excellent overall performance. The operational process is comparatively swift and simple as well.
Apart from the looks, the setup process is reasonably straightforward. You are not going to require any sort of intricated tools for setting it up. In fact, because of the tool-free setup process, it will take minutes to set it up on your table. And the yarn guide is of heavy-duty materials as well. They will not bend that easily.
Other than that, the parts are all modular. As a result, even if any of the parts loses its functionality and tends to malfunction after prolonged use, you will be able to easily get them replaced. That modular design of the parts will allow you to use it for years after years.
Lastly, the clamp on the bottom will enable you to securely set it up on the table. You can set it up on tables that are up to 2 inches thick without any issues at all.
- Features a construction of cast iron
- Boasts a durable electrostatic coating on the body
- The cogwheels are of heavy duty nylon
- All of the parts are modular
- The clamp is two inches thick
- The cogwheels tend to get stiffer over time
- Some of the units ship with defective parts
4. Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder – Best for Beginners
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Plastic but has few metal parts
- Standout Feature: Includes a cone
If these tools are relatively new to you, then you might not really know the ins and outs of the machine. And in that case, an instruction manual is essential, which Lacis provides with this unit.
To start with, it has a fairly straightforward installation process. The instruction manual that it comes with will include the installation steps, which are pretty easy to follow. And the clamps that the tool comes on the bottom will make it easier for you to install it on tables. You can even set it up on reasonably thick tables.
Other than that, it includes a cone in the package. You will be able to work with most of the types of yarn because of that. Whether you are planning to work with sock yarn or color changing yarn, this tool will be able to comply with all of them. Also, winding yarn into a ball will pretty effortless for you because of that cone.
Alongside that, it has a guide on the end of the yarn winder that will let you perfectly align your threads. Because of that, you can make perfect balls without facing that many difficulties. That will also help you to keep the threads in place. As a result, they will lose their shape when you are winding them.
Besides that, it has two swing arms, which is not that common. Because of those two, you can make a hitch knot using the threads if you prefer. Those will also make operating it an effortless task. And the overall construction of the unit is of durable metals and sturdy plastic. For those materials, the durability level that it achieves is quite up to mark as well.
- Sports a thick clamp on the bottom
- Features a yarn guide
- The overall construction is of sturdy materials
- Includes a cone
- Comes with instructions
- Mechanical arm does not rotate that fast
- Handle gets a bit stiff over time
5. Nagina Hand Operated Pull Thread Yarn Balls Winder (Best for Making Large Yarn Balls)
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Wax polished wood
- Standout Feature: Boasts thread holding towers
On the search for a heavy duty ball winder? Want something that creates center pull balls smoothly? Well, then you should definitely take a look at what Nagina has to offer here.
First of all, the unit utilizes thread holding towers. Those will hold onto the thread that you are working on, which is going to eventually offer you consistent balls every time you are operating it. And the center pull balls that it can provide are of high quality as well. They will not lose their shape that easily.
Other than that, if you had the thinking that using a yarn that is manual will be pretty hard for you, this one will prove you wrong. The operation procedure is pretty simple and straightforward. You will not have to be a professional to use it for making a perfect center pull ball using it.
Apart from the operational procedure, the surface of the unit is polished with wax. That polishing makes the grains look good, which will eventually make the overall tool look great. There is a center weight that will make it easier for you to align the yarns.
Alongside that, the holder is capable of making balls that are up to three ounces of yarn. That means you can make relatively large-sized balls using it. And setting it up is a breeze as well. You would not have to go through any intricate processes for installing this on top of your table. And the belt mechanism that it has will provide you ample amount of space to work with.
On that note, it includes a table clamp. The base also has a nonslip rubber pad, which is going to prevent slipping.
- Features thread holding towers
- Capable of making balls that are up to three ounces
- The surface has wax polishing
- Includes a table clamp
- Does not require that much assembly
- Belt is not that high in quality
- Handle requires a washer that does not come included with the box
6. Nagina Hand Operated Umbrella Table Top – Best for small Workspaces
- Type: Hand Operated/ Manual
- Construction Material: Polished Wood
- Standout Feature: Holds hanks in place
The manufacture Nagina has a lot of well-performing winders to offer to the market. And this one that they are offering is not an exception in that regard.
Unlike some of the other units, this one has a yarn hank holder. That will hold the hank or the threads in place when you are turning them into a ball. As a result, you will not have to hold the threads in place, which will lower the chances of the balls getting out of shape.
Alongside that, Nagina utilized maple wood for the overall structure. The base is also of the same sturdy wood. It is wide enough to offer you an adequate amount of support that is required to keep the unit in place when you are working with it. That means it will have a lower chance of sliding and moving when you are making balls with it.
Aside from the overall construction, you will not have to go through any assembly process for this. It will ship to you being fully assembled. You will not even have to go through any installation procedure because of the swift design that it implements. In fact, you will be able to start winding right after taking it out of the box.
Other than that, the exterior has a polished look to it. That wax polishing does not only make it look good but also makes sure that the wood does not get damaged over time. As a result, you can expect to use it for an extended amount of time without facing any issues in the performance at all.
Lastly, the overall unit is reasonably compact. So it will be pretty easy for you to accommodate on top of your table.
- Holds the hanks in place
- The base is reasonably wide
- Durable overall construction
- Compact and easy to accommodate
- Comes assembled
- Does not come with any instructions
- The treading on the bottom is not that smooth
Qualities Of A Yarn Winder You Shouldn’t Compromise With
Now that you are familiar with well-performing units after going through the list, you must be pretty excited to get one of the units for yourself, right? Well, before you do decide to make an investment in any of them, you have to keep these factors in mind:
The first thing that you need to consider is the type of yarn winder. There are usually two types of yarn winder available. One of them is the manual one, and the other one electric yarn winder. Most of the person prefers the manual one because it provides precise control over the movement and the threads. And they tend to be affordable, making them worthy as the budget pick.
On the other hand, electric yarn tends to be faster. With those, you can make multiple balls in a short amount of time. Those are the ones that you would want to shoot for if you are mainly looking to work with a large batch of threads. However, do keep in mind that these are going to be a bit expensive and might require too much maintenance.
Skein or Hank
After considering the type of the unit, you need to factor in whether you are going to use a hank or a skein (yarn count system). The fancier option is the hanks, which are usually hand-dyed. That’s because the hank form is perfect for hand dyeing yarn as it’s a comparatively open structure to allow even dye adsorption.
However, if you do not really care about using fancier threads, you can opt for the skeins, which are typically sold everywhere.
But do note that you need to wind the threads beforehand if you are planning to get the hanks. And skeins usually come as wind yarn, but there are many that will require winding.
Another thing you need to consider is whether you are going to require a yarn swift or not. This will basically depend on whether you are opting for hanks. As when you are going to untwist a hank, it will just look like a large cycle of threads. By using a yarn swift, you can make it into something that you will be able to work with. You will be basically making yarn cakes using it.
The material of the units is something that you should not skimp on one bit. For this, the first thing that you need to consider whether you are going for plastic or wood. If you are planning to shoot for the wooden ones, do make sure that the wood is of high quality. The higher the sturdiness of the wood, the higher the level of durability will be.
Also, do consider whether the wood has lamination on it or not. The lamination is not only going to make the surface look good but also will protect it from scratches and scuffs.
On the other hand, if you are shooting for the plastic ones, do ensure that the plastic is sturdy. If you happen to get something that is flimsy, you would not be able to get extensive use out of it. And a flimsy unit will be harder to work with as well. For that reason, you need to consider the quality of the material.
Assembly and Installation Process
Most of the units are going to come assembled. However, there are some that will require some assembly. If you are shooting for the one that does require some assembly, do make sure that the process does not require any intricate tools.
Alongside the assembly, do factor in the installation process. The units that are easier to install will let you start your winding process right after taking it out of the package. Some of them will not require any sort of clamping. The base would be wide to set it up on the table.
On the other hand, many will require clamping. If you are shooting for those, do make sure that the clamps are wide enough, or else you will not be able to set them up on your table properly. Also, make sure that the clamps are sturdy enough because they will move a lot when you are working with them if they are not.
As you are going to set one of these up on the table surface, which is going to flat, you need to ensure that the bottom has some sort of nonslip pads. Most will have rubber pads, which are going to ensure that the unit does not move around when you are working with it. The pads are also going to make sure that the table does not get scratched.
How to Use a Yarn Winder: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Gather your supplies. You will need a yarn winder and scissor.
- Pass the yarn through the designated guides of the winder.
- Wrap the end of the yarn around the shaft of the yarn winder a few times.
- Start winding the yarn by turning the handle of the yarn winder.
- Continue turning the handle until all of the yarn is wound onto the spool.
- Cut the yarn and slip the end through the hole in the spool.
- Your yarn is now ready to use!
Yarn Winder Alternatives
If you don’t want to invest in a yarn winder, there are a few alternatives that can help you achieve similar results.
For example, you can use a drill to wind your yarn into balls. This method is not recommended for beginners, as it can be difficult to control the speed of the drill and avoid tangles.
You can also use a fork or your fingers to wind yarn into balls, although this method is much slower and can result in uneven balls of yarn.
Finally, if you have a ball winder but it’s not working properly, you can try using a food processor or blender to wind your yarn. However, this method can damage delicate yarns, so it’s best to use it as a last resort.
So, these are the options you can choose if don’t feel like buying a brand-new yarn winder. And if you decide to make yourself one, you can learn how to make a DIY yarn ball winder.
Yarn Ball vs Yarn Skein vs Yarn Hank vs Yarn Cake
Knowing the difference between a yarn ball, skein, hank, and cake is important for any knitter or crocheter. Depending on the projects you’ll do, you need to select the yarn winder. Because one yarn winder can’t deliver all forms of yarn.
A yarn ball is the most basic type of yarn. It is simply yarn that has been wound into a ball. Yarn balls are typically used for small projects, such as dishcloths or baby clothes.
A yarn skein is a long, continuous length of yarn that has been wound into a coil. Yarn skeins are typically used for larger projects, such as sweaters or afghans.
A yarn hank is a skein of yarn that has been wound into a loop. Yarn hanks must be wound into a ball before they can be used. Yarn hanks are typically used for very large projects, such as blankets or quilts.
A yarn cake is a skein of yarn that has been wound into a flat, disk-shaped coil. Yarn cakes are typically used for medium to large projects, such as shawls or sweaters.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best yarn ball winder?
According to us, the Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Ball Winder is the best yarn ball winder. It has a lot to offer for the price that it is asking. The anti-friction bearing will make the arms rotate smoothly. Also, the arms are of heavy duty material as well.
Is a yarn winder worth it?
Making yarn balls are pretty much an effortless task if you have a winder with you. These will enable you to save a lot of time and will allow you to make multiple numbers of balls in a short amount of time. Considering all of that, we would say that they are pretty much worth it.
Do you need a swift to use a ball winder?
It depends. If you are winding a skein that is center-pull, then you are not going to require a swift. However, if your threads come in hank, you will need to use the swift alongside the winder. So if you mainly wish to work with skeins, you are not going to need a swift.
How do you wind yarn with a ball winder?
First of all, you will have to set up the winder on top of a working table. Make sure that the clamp is properly set and the screws are properly threaded. After that, if you have a hank, set the swift up. Then you have to connect the yarn to the winder. Once you have done that, you will have to start rotating the lever. Rotate it until you are satisfied with the size of the ball.
Now that you have made a yarn ball, you have to tie a knot at the end and tuck it into the ball.
Why are not yarn sold as balls?
Yarn balls tend to snag during transportation. And when they do fall apart, it is pretty hard to put them back in shape without using a winder. Also, after falling apart, they will just become a tangled mess. That is why most of the shops will sell them as hanks or skeins.
Hopefully, after going through the entire article, it is much easier for you to choose the best yarn ball winder for yourself. We hope that no matter which one you decide to purchase, you can make yarn balls effortlessly, and all the balls you do make can hold their shape when you are working with them, whether it’s for knitting or for weaving with hand-operated weaving looms.