If you are an avid knitter, you may relate to the intense use of yarn when making your clothing items. Oftentimes, you will buy hank or skein of yarn from the store and it is not ready for your knitting process because you may sometimes find knots and imperfections. With the best yarn ball winder, you can inspect yarn for unwanted knots, weak points, color changes, and other imperfections. Most importantly, you can wind yarn into a manageable and portable ball or cake with a center-pull convenient for your knitting tasks.
Now, given multiples of these winders on the market, how will you know you have purchased the best product? As an avid knitter and an experienced user of yarn ball winders, I handpicked the best winders based on durability and their capacity in winding yarn.
1. Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Ball Winder
Starting off my list is the Stanwood Needlecraft Metal Yarn Ball Winder. As implied by the name, this is a metallic winder and will, therefore, last you for a long time. Is that convincing enough that it is the best product? Well, let’s check…
Usability is perhaps the single most important convenience that most knitters are looking for. What we want is a winder that will be hassle-free to use with minimal sweat to figure out how it works.
One point of usability goes to its setup. You need no tools to assemble this winder, unlike others that call for a wrench to get started. Beginners may find this product very convenient to use.
Durability lies in the materials used in constructing the product. Since this one is metallic, I have no doubt it will be durable; thus, you will enjoy making plenty of balls before you take it for service or before you replace it.
Although the body is metallic, the cogwheels/gears are made of nylon material. One might think that is the downside of durability. However, a noise coming from winders can be a tad annoying. Unlike metal cogwheels, nylon cogwheels reduce noise. You will then minimal noise when operating this tool.
Capacity is also important to consider. With this winder, you can make yarn balls as large as 10 ounces. This capacity makes it 2 times larger than conventional winders, and so it is most suitable for heavy-duty use. If you are into big projects, this winder can help make large yarn balls quickly so that you don’t get inconvenienced midway.
Most winders clamp with ease on the table and so it is with this one. You can install it on any table up to 2 1/8” thick.
- Large capacity of 10 ounces of yarn
- Durable metallic yarn winder
- Fewer noise thanks to the nylon cogwheels
- Easy to use and install
- No tools needed for setup
- Metallic winder is heavy
- Relatively expensive
For anyone who is into big knitting projects, you can make large balls of yarn from skeins or hank using this heavy-duty winder. Its capacity is impressive and so it is with its functionality. Also, it is durable thanks to metallic construction and nylon material at the cogwheels. I consider this purchase worthwhile because winding yarn by hand can be exhaustingly tedious.
2. Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder
Knit Picks is one of the long-standing brands on the market: there is no doubt about their quality offerings as evidenced by this ball winder. This Winder has what it takes to make your crocheting or knitting hassle-free.
Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars by 1443 customers, I was convinced this is one of the most valuable ball winders that are pleasing to avid knitters. Its usability is top-notch. With a foldable yarn arm guide, it makes it easy to store it after use or to assemble. It is not often that you see such an affordable ball winder coming with impressive features.
If durability is what you are concerned about, this product eases your concerns. I’ve had my hands on the product and I must confess it felt premium in my hands. No flimsy parts found that could jeopardize its durability. Made of metal, rest assured that it would last you many yarn balls.
One consideration to make your products more durable is to take care of them. Handle it gently and take note of its capacity.
You can wind yarn up to 3.5 ounces (100 g) with this winder. Well, I know that this may be unattractive to heavy-duty users. I am an avid knitter too and I must say it felt a little bit inconvenient having to cut my skein or hank into two so I can wind them using this product. However, the capacity becomes really useful when you tackle smaller projects and you are on a tight budget.
For perfect operation, you need to clamp this winder onto a countertop or a table as long as its thickness is 1 ½” thick. Perhaps worth mentioning is that you need no tools to assemble this winder. It comes inclusive of all the components you need. However, for simpler operation, I recommend using the yarn ball swift in conjunction with this winder.
- Portable and user-friendly
- Very affordable
- Durable and less noise
- Easy to install
- Capacity of 3.5 ounces of yarn is bad for big projects
If you often take small projects, this product is best suited for your situation. It is affordable yet not compromising quality. Also, it is easy to install by clamping onto a tabletop with a thickness of 1 ½”. That said, I recommend this product for all knitters—inexperienced and seasonal knitters.
3. Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ball Winder
While this yarn ball winder seems so expensive, I find the price quite justifiable considering its capacity, material, and warranty. If you are prepared to invest more in your knitting tools, this could be your best buy.
With the yarn ball guide arm swiveling 180 degrees, the usability of this winder is top-notch. The arm gives you 5 angles of rotation so you can handle the yarn with easy and adjust the desired tension.Moreover, handling the winder I an absolute breeze. Use your forearm muscles to handle the rotational motion to avoid injuries when done using your wrist. These are pointers that I regard high when considering the usability of this tool.
Even without a manual, you can use this winder. Although experience can work to your advantage, the inexperienced can also use it without much of the hassle.
You will be forgiven if you thought that maple hardwood is a compromise of quality and durability. Oftentimes we think metallic winders are the only durable. Well, wood is also durable depending on the type and the care you take.
This winder is relatively durable: the manufacturer also gives you a 1-year warranty for this USA product. Although the product is heavily made of maple hardwood, it has steel shafts with 3/8” of diameter. The steel is of a commercial grade. These materials add to the durability of this product, thus reassuring you that it is worth the value of money.
One of the features that make this product worthwhile is the high capacity of up to 1 pound of yarn ball. This indicates that you can wind longer skeins and hanks, and you may take up huge knitting projects.
All you need is a tabletop whereon you can clamp the winder. The tabletop has to have a thickness of 2.5”. You need not purchase clamps separately because this winder comes with 2 heavy-duty table clamps (5/16” diameter L-bolts). They are easy to clamp and mount on the table.
- 1-year warranty
- High-quality Maple hardwood and steel shafts
- 2 heavy-duty table clamps included
- Clamps with ease and requires no tools to install
- Yarn guide arm swivels 180 degrees to adjust well with the winder
- Quite expensive
I recommend this product for avid knitters who often take up huge knitting projects. Imagine winding yarn ball over 1 pound! That is a huge capacity. No wonder it is quite expensive. The price might be discouraging but I find it reasonable though. With this winder, you get plenty of features. It can make you crocheting projects a marvel to do.
4. L2 Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder With Electric Rotation Counter
The convenience of using this modern yarn winder should not be underestimated. It comes with plenty of features to justify its price. L2 Jumbo is one of the digitally controlled machine winders on the market.
Using this machine shouldn’t be troublesome at all. It comes with the electric rotation counter and meter counter. These components take your winding to the next level because you can make many balls of equal sizes thanks to the meter counter with the LCD display.
However, you need to get AA batteries separately. Due to international luggage restrictions, batteries are not allowed to be shipped to you. Thus, you need to purchase them separately. Any AA battery should be fine.
Made of paulownia wood, this winder is fairly durable. Of course, you may not expect it to resemble metallic winders with durability; nonetheless, its durability is still fairly impressive.
It has electric components, which need extra care when handling them. The electric rotation counter and the meter counter call for extra care to enhance their durability. Depending on the frequency of use, you may have to occasionally replace the AA batteries if they run out of power.
I have not seen any capacity mentioned in this winder. I would guess it can wind plenty of yarn balls since it has an electric rotation counter. The meter counter counts 20 times per second; this reveals how effective the machine is.
The machine can be fixed with ease onto the tabletop. Its electric components do not restrict it to an electric outlet since you can use the AA batteries.
There are no extra tools needed except AA batteries that you need to purchase separately.
- Effective winder with electric rotation counter and meter counter
- Make yarn balls of the same size
- Made of lightweight and fairly durable paulownia wood
- Takes 7 to 14 days to deliver
- Purchase AA batteries separately, although I understand the restrictions with regard to shipping batteries
If you are a fan of electric components, this could be your favorite purchase. The power of AA batteries keeps your machine working efficiently. Compared to the previous product, this one is not that expensive. In fact, it is worth the price of money apart from a few downsides I have noticed.
5. Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift (with Skein Holder)
In this package, you get the yarn ball winder and the yarn swift. Isn’t that impressive enough? Well, let’s see what other features make this product a wow.
The joy of having a yarn ball winder lies in its usability. Is your machine user-friendly for the inexperienced? Does it come with the user manual?
This one is fairly simple to use. If your yarn comes as hanks, the yarn swift can come to your rescue. You can wrap the yarn on the swift and it can rotate while the yarn is wound into a desirable cake or ball. A skein holder is also provided if the yarn came as a skein.
Operating the machine is sweat-free. You need not have an operating manual: the inexperienced can enjoy winding yarn too.
Durability lies in the construction of the product. This winder has plastic components, which are not automatically less durable as many would think. These plastic components are fairly durable provided you take good care of them.
The swift too is durable; all it needs is good care. Fortunately, only yarn, which is lightweight, is wrapped around the swift and so any damage is rare.
CapacityThe capacity of this winder is not that impressive with 4 ounces of yarn to wind. Nonetheless, those engaging in small projects will find the machine quite useful and affordable. If you have big projects to tackle, you may have to divide the hank or skein into pieces.
Previously, users complained about a loose yarn guide arm and a weak clamp. With this revised version, the manufacturer has addressed those issues. You can clamp the winder firmly onto a tabletop with a thickness of 1 ¾”. The yarn swift can also attach to the table with ease.
What I like most is that you need no extra tools for installation or assembly of this product. All thanks to an improved design.
- A combo set of yarn swift and yarn ball winder
- Looks very attractive in blue and white colors
- It is affordable
- Attaches with ease onto a table top with the provided clamp
- Small capacity of 4 ounces per yarn ball
- Plastic components are not as super durable as metallic yarn winders.
Yarn swift is important particularly if you hank yarn. The fact that it is included in this package, I recommend this product. It is fairly cheap with quality not compromised. However, it is most suitable for those small projects; for big projects you may have to cut skeins or hanks into pieces to wind into small balls or cakes of yarn.
6. Darice Hand-Winding Yarn Winder
Darice Hand-Winding Yarn Winder could be a perfect gift for your close relatives who are into knitting and crocheting. It serves as a perfect inspector of yarn imperfections such as knots and tangles before the actual knit is done.
It is a walk in a park to use this product. It is actually perfect for skeins with a center-pull. If you have loose skeins and hanks, this winder will wind them quickly and efficiently.
You get a removable table clamp, which adds to usability. When you are done with it, simply remove the clamp and store the package.
Oftentimes, durability is compromised by multiple parts of a machine. This tool does not have multiple components. It is non-metallic but nonetheless one of the most durable products you can think of. It has some parts made of metal hence the shininess in it.
The best ingredient for durability is good care. I couldn’t find any information about the warranty.
Although there is no specific information about the ounces of yarn you can wind, I think it can make fairly multiple balls or cakes of yarn. It is not that huge, and so it should suffice for small projects. Even big projects can be catered for if you are willing to cut skeins or hanks into pieces.
At first sight, you would notice the product requires no extensive assembly. Thus, you need not have extra tools apart from the removable table clamp included. Take it out of your package, clamp it, and start winding yarn into desirable balls or cakes.
- Portable yarn ball winder
- Affordable and durable
- Removable table clamp
- Easy to install
- No information about warranty and capacity
Get this yarn ball winder to inspect imperfections in your hank or skein before knitting. The product is fairly affordable and durable. Also, it hasn’t multiple parts that could be problematic in terms of care and durability.
7. Nagina International Wooden Yarn Ball Winder
This product by Nagina International is the last in my comprehensive list of the best yarn ball winders. However, it is not the least. Its quality features are worth the value of money.
Create balls or cakes of yarn from skeins or hanks using this user-friendly ball winder. It may look small but it is efficient and effective. It comes with a thread-holding tower, which improves consistency and tension. What I like most about these manual winders is that you are in full control of the tension.
Further, only minimal assembly is required for this product. Even an inexperienced knitter can figure out how to assemble this item.
I try to refrain from thinking that wood-made products are not durable. This product is made with deep wood grains, which improve its durability. It will last you for a long time.
The surface is wax polished, which means it will not scratch your tabletop. By the way, you should always be careful of the surface of any winder you buy so that it does not mess with your table or countertop.
Wind yarn up to 3 ounces. Although this is not impressive to avid knitters in big projects, others may find it affordable and useful for their small projects.
Capacity is not really a downside but a preference for big yarns because you do not have to cut in numerous pieces.
The table clamp is provided with this purchase. There are no complicated tools to install it on your table. Its clamp is easy to fix and remove. Further, the winder is belt-operated; it requires no complicated tools to operate.
- Portable and affordable
- Clamp provided
- Made of quality wood with deep grains
- No complicated tools to install it
- 3 ounces of capacity not attractive to those with big yarns
Turn skeins and hanks into desirable cakes or balls of yarn as you prepare your knitting project. This portable tool is best suited for those into small projects. It can work for big yarns but you may have to cut it into pieces.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Yarn Ball Winder
Now that I have finished reviewing the handpicked products for you, let’s delve into the buyer’s guide. There are plenty of yarn ball winders on the market; from the size, brand to the models, you have a hard time selecting the best.
If you can be focused on some key features, you can buy the best without any regrets:
The construction of the product is worth considering. It tells you how durable and sturdy the product is. Oftentimes, you have to deal with cogwheels and yarn arm guides that are moving parts. If your winder is not sturdy, it may move around thus inconveniencing you.
Amongst my products, there is a range of metallic, wood, and plastic constructions. Many people would prefer metal to wood and plastic. Well, that is reasonable although misinformed because many consider plastic and wood as mediocre. That is not the case.
I have chosen high-quality wood and plastic products that are fairly durable, although not on par with metals. Metals have their cons, too: rust and corrosion. Unless your metallic winder is coated with rust-resistant materials, it may be prone to damage particularly if exposed to moisture.
So, which material is the best? It boils down to your personal preference. Wood can be wax-finished to give you an elegant appeal and also last you long. Plastic, too, can be more appealing. It is lightweight and its base will not scratch your countertop.
How much yarn do you want to convert into cakes or balls? Do you tackle small or huge projects? These factors play a significant role when selecting the winders based on capacity. Some winders may wind more than 1 pound of yarn whereas others may wind merely 3 ounces. None of this is better if not influenced by the size you need.
For winders with small capacity, you may have to cut skeins or hanks into smaller manageable pieces.
Do you need tools to install the winder? How does it clamp onto your table?
Consider these questions when considering this feature. Most winders come with clamps some of which are removable. Other winders need assembling; the inexperienced knitters may find that cumbersome because they may have to check video tutorials or read user manuals to configure the products. In my selection, I have made it a point to select those that require minimal or no assembling.
The base of the product
Because we put these products on our tables, we need to ensure that they do not scratch them. Look for bases with smooth surfaces for this purpose. Plastic ball winders often emerge victorious with this feature.
Should I buy a manual or electric yarn ball winder?
Well, I might say there is an outright answer to this question: it depends on various factors. Those from arthritis, for example, would appreciate electric winders because they use minimal hand operations.
Electric winders are great and efficient, however, they have their cons too. You need to be closer to the wall socket at all times when using them. In other words, they are not portable to travel with. Also, you do not get full control of the tension of your yarn when using electric models.
Manual winders, on the other hand, are portable. You have full control of yarn tension. You need no wall socket for them to operate. A simple hand operation can wind multiple yarn balls or cakes.
Sandwiched between the two options are battery-operated winders. You need to carry batteries around—perhaps consider additional batteries for in case the others get depleted.
Is the price worthy of selecting the best product?
Many people are deceived by the prices. Prices do not reflect the best product. You may have the best product that costs less and a mediocre one costing you an arm and a leg.
That said: do not select these products based on the price alone. The price helps when you are on a tight budget.
I have come to the end of this comprehensive review. I believe you have learned a lot on how to select the best yarn ball guide on the market. Choosing these products can be cumbersome. I have therefore handpicked the top 7 products I believe can be best suited for your knitting projects.
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