Top 10 Best Yarn Winders – Updated Review 2020 (Recommended!)

Only people who love to knit or work with yarn will understand the importance of having a good yarn winder on their craft table.

Winding your yarn with your hands can not only be time consuming, but also a tedious job; it can be quite annoying if you have to wind all your yarns by hand when you are in the middle of a complicated project. 

A good yarn winder will make your job easier, especially when you are working with multiple yarns. It will both save your time and effort, and help you a lot when you are knitting or organizing your craft table. Yarn winders are available in a number of sizes and price range, but you need to find the right one that fits your crafting table, need and budget. 

In this very detailed review article, you can learn the names and features of the ten most popular yarn winders available in the market at the moment, as well as everything you need to know before buying a yarn winder. 

Top 10 Best Yarn Winders For the Money

The importance of a yarn winder can only be felt when you are working with a large amount of yarn, or when you are in the middle of a big, complicated project. The right yarn winder can make your life much easier, faster and less complicated; all you have to do is to find the right one. 

1. Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Ball Winder

This is a metal yarn winder that you can easily attach to your crafting table, or any other table that you use for your work. It is a rather large apparatus, but still doesn’t take a lot of unnecessary space on your table.

The yarn winder is made from metal, but comes with a rubber padding so that your tables or wooden surfaces aren’t hurt or damaged. With an adjustable gear, you can attach this yarn winder to any table or surface that are thick or slim. This yarn winder is perfect for both traditional and modern furniture, as well as chair arms, counters and storage units. 

This is a center-pull yarn winder, which means you can start pulling the yarn from the center of the yarn ball. This is a technique that actually makes your knitting sessions neater, more convenient and faster - as someone with experience can tell you.

The Stanwood Needlecraft Ball winder has a capacity of 10 ounce, which is actually double the amount of any standard yarn winder. This can decrease the workload and the time by half. 

The Stanwood Needlecraft is an ultra heavy-duty yarn winder, with a metal framework and 3-mm thick steel rods in the body. The frame will neither rust nor break. Your yarn will stay organized and in place when you are winding the yarn, even when you are doing so in a high speed.

The apparatus is tough enough to handle high-speeding winding, but also soft enough that you won’t hear any creaking or squeaking sound. 

Features:

  • Ultra heavy duty framework 
  • Rubber padding won’t harm your furniture 
  • 10-ounce weight capacity 
  • Tool-less set up; you can install it anywhere and remove 
  • Center pull yarn-winder allows yarn to be pulled from the center 
  • Flexible reinforced nylon gear 
  • Durable and flexible framework 
  • Sound-less work even at high winding capacity 
  • 3-mm thick rust-resistant steel construction 
  • Cuts time and effort by half 
  • Twice the yarn holding capacity than regular yarn winders

2. Yarn Winder by Craft Destiny

It is extremely easy to set up or install this yarn winder from Craft Destiny; you won’t need the help of any tools to set it up permanently.

It comes with a metal clamp that you can attach to any kind of traditional or modern furniture, and has a rubber padding underneath so that the surface you attach it doesn’t get scratched or harmed in any way.

 Both the handle and the clamp is made from metal, as opposed to the plastic handles and clamps in other designs, which means the whole apparatus is sturdy and strong. 

You can wind your yarns in this yarn winder so that they can be used both from the inside and the outside. This choice makes your work easier, more convenient and faster. Besides, with the adjustable clamp, you can attach this yarn winder to any table or furniture, up to 1¾ inch.

The Craft Destiny Yarn has a holding capacity of 4 ounces, and comes with a knitting kit with multiple accessories that you might need regularly for your knitting projects. 

Features:

  • Tool-less set-up and installation 
  • Can be attached to any table up to 1¾-inch thickness
  • Clamp and handle made from metal 
  • Rubber padding underneath will save your furniture from scratch 
  • Comes with a small knitting kit 
  • Yarn can be pulled from the inside or the outside 
  • Adjustable metal clamp for sturdy and durable use

3. Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift

This yarn winder from Olikraft comes with an advanced and improved design: one that has been designed to get rid of all the issues previously faced with old-fashioned and traditional yarn winders.

It comes with a strong and sturdy clamp that keeps the apparatus tightly attached to your table, secured and adjusted with the clamp. It can be taken down and installed in less than a minute, and can be easily installed in a table up to a thickness of 1¾ inches. 

This is actually a set of yarn ball winder and an umbrella swift, both important in knitting and getting your craft table organized. The yarn winder has a holding capacity of 4 ounces each time you use it, which is the standard in yarn winders. The umbrella swift is a collapsible one that you can remove and keep aside in a drawer when you don’t need it. 

Features:

  • Set of yarn winder and umbrella swift 
  • Improved and advanced design 
  • Comes with an adjustable clamp that can be attached to any table up to 1¾-inch 
  • Can be installed in less than a minute 
  • Collapsible umbrella swift can be kept stored in a drawer  
  • Yarn winder with a holding capacity of 4 ounce

4. Sandwood Needlecraft YBW-A Hand-Operated Yarn Ball Winder

This is a new and advanced design from Sandwood Needlecraft that doesn’t take up a lot of space on your crafting table. You can use it to get your yarn from the center, which is the preferred technique by most knitters. It is a quiet apparatus, sturdy and smooth.

You can easily attach it to any table or surface with the adjustable metal clamp. The sturdy, unbreakable metal clamp will keep the apparatus tightly attached to your table, but the rubber padding underneath will keep your table safe from scratches and bumps. 

The handle and the clamps are made from sturdy metal but the rest of the body is made from durable plastic. The yarn ball winder has a 4-ounce capacity and comes with an 1-year warranty on parts and service. You can use this yarn winder separately, or with an umbrella swift; this apparatus makes no sound even when used at the highest speed. 

Features:

  • New advanced design 
  • Can be used to get yarn from the center of the ball
  • Comes with an adjustable metal clamp 
  • Can be attached to any table or furniture surface 
  • Quiet application even at highest speed 
  • Comes with a rubber padding so that your furniture aren’t scratched 
  • Has a 4-ounce olding capacity 
  • Can be used with a umbrella swift or separately 
  • Metal handle and clamp

5. LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Metal Winder

This yarn winder from LAMXD comes with both a yarn winder and a pair of scissors. This apparatus has a holding capacity of 100 grams to 10 ounces, and is quite large.

It comes with a metal clamp that can be attached to any table that you may have in the house. You can attach it to any surface that has up to 1.4” thickness. 

The framework of this yarn is made from sturdy metal, with a cast iron base and a metal crank. It has been designed to withstand heavy use, but always works in silence. However, the holding capacity of the LAMXD Needlecraft yarn winder is 10 ounce, which is much higher than any regular yarn winders. 

Features:

  • Comes with a yarn winder and a pair of scissors 
  • Holding capacity of 100 grams to 10 ounces 
  • Can be attached to any surface up to 1.4” thickness 
  • Framework made from sturdy metal 
  • Comes with a cast iron base 
  • Designed for heavy use 
  • Soundless operation 
  • Has a 10-ounce holding capacity

6. Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella

This is a premium quality umbrella swift from Stanwood Needlecraft, constructed from the branches of finely furnished birch.

It is a medium-sized umbrella swift that spins smoothly and doesn’t make any kind of noise. The 6” circumference of this skein creates a smooth ball of yarn, that comes with a clamp that you can attach to any edges of tables, chairs or other furniture. 

This umbrella swift has been skillfully created, furnished by extra sanding without any use of toxic varnish fumes. You can attach it to any surface up to 1¾ inches thick. 

Features:

  • Premium quality umbrella swift 
  • Medium sized swift with a 6” circumference 
  • Comes with a metal clamp 
  • Comes with a rubber padding 
  • Smooth furnished finish made from birch 
  • Can be attached to any surface up to 1¾ inch 

7. Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder 

You’ll find this yarn ball winder from Knit Pick extremely easy to use and use. It transforms your yarns into compact balls that you can pull both from the center and the outside; both suitable for crocheting and knitting, this simple yet effective yarn winder sits nicely on your tabletop when you pull the yarn from it. 

This yarn winder has a holding capacity of 3.5 ounces or 100 grams, which includes both bulky yarn to thin, intricate yarn. It is easy to install this yarn winder on any table or edge of chairs, or any kind of furniture that has a thickness of up to 1½ inch.

The handle and the clamp are both made from metal while the rest of the body is lightweight plastic. The apparatus comes with a twist on the spindle, so that you can position the guide arm in any way you want to. The spindle can be removed and the arm guide can be folded so that you can store the yarn winder away in one of your drawers. 

You can use this yarn winder to organize all kinds of yarns in a small, compact ball - from the very fine, intricate yarn to the bulky ones. 

Features:

  • Easy to install, remove and use 
  • Can be used to pull yarn from the center
  • Holding capacity of 3.5 ounces or 100 grams 
  • Can be used to organize both thin and bulky yarn 
  • Metal arm and clamp 
  • Can be installed to any table or surface with up to 1½-inch thickness
  • Can be removed, folded and stored away in a drawer 
  • Twistable spindle and guide arm

8. U-nitt NEW LOOK! ML702 Metal Jumbo Ball Winder 

This jumbo size metal yarn ball winder can come in handy when you are working with large balls of yarns or bulky, thick yarns. It is not only a large apparatus, but a sturdy and durable one made from heavy duty yarn.

The dark green metal body will last years of regular use without any kind of break or maintenance problem. You can install this yarn winder on any table top or furniture with ease. You don’t need any tools to install or remove this yarn winder from your table top. 

This yarn winder from U-nitt has a holding capacity of 10 ounce, which is higher than most other yarn winders in the market. You can pull your yarn from the center of the ball, i.e. the technique most preferred by knitters. This yarn winder is compatible with the U-nitt Yarn Swift, or the TH085. 

Features: 

  • Jumbo sized, sturdy yarn winder made of dark green metal 
  • Smooth, sound less operation 
  • Easy to install clamp and base 
  • Holding capacity of 10 ounce 
  • Easy, tool-less assemble, installation and removal 
  • Compatible with the U-nitt Yarn Swift TH085 
  • Nylon cogwheels doesn’t make any noise when used at high speed

9. MarryWindix Bobbin and Yarn Winder

This yarn and bobbin winder from Marrywindix is completely different from most of the models we see in the market.

It comes with a fixed clamp that can be used to attach the apparatus to any table or bar with a 1.5” thickness. Made mostly from plastic with a metal handle, this is a lightweight yarn winder that doesn’t make any noise when in use. 

The elegant design and bright colors of this yarn winder will make it fit in with any decor or style on your craft table. Within a few minutes, it will turn your disorganized and unruly yarns into compact little balls.

This yarn winder has a good, standard holding capacity and works with both thin, intricate yarn and bulky yarn. It comes complete in a packaging size of 8.6” in length, 3.3” in width and 8.6” in height, and doesn’t need to be assembled. 

Convenient to carry and portable, you can keep this yarn winder safely stored away in a drawer or on your crafting table at all times. 

Features:

  • Comes with a fixed clamp for 1.5” thickness 
  • Made from plastic
  • Lightweight and portable 
  • Large holding capacity 
  • 8.6” in length, 3.3” in width and 8.6” in height
  • Works for both intricate and bulky yarn 
  • Comes fully assembled 
  • Tool-less, easy installation 
  • Can be stored away when not needed

10. Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder 

This yarn ball winder from Lacis looks a little complicated, but is extremely easy to install and use. It comes fully assembled in a packaging of 6.75” height, 9.1” in width and 6” in depth and weighs only 1.79 ounces.

You need a screwdriver to install it to any table or furniture, and again when uninstalling it. This is not really a portable apparatus, rather one you need to install permanently on your crafting table. 

You can find a few minor problems with this particular model, i.e. it makes noise when in use, cannot be removed temporarily to store away, and doesn’t allow you to pull your yarn from the center.

It has a medium holding capacity and you’ll end up with yarn balls expanding up to 4 inches in circumference. This is actually a low-budget yarn winder that has the basic uses instead of the more finer features. 

Features:

  • Comes fully assembled 
  • Has to be permanently attached to a surface with a screwdriver 
  • Dimension: 6.75” height, 9.1” in width and 6” in depth 
  • Lightweight at only 1.79 ounces
  • Not a portable apparatus 
  • Makes sound when in use 
  • Doesn’t allow yarn to be pulled from the center 
  • Low budget and affordable model 
  • Yarn balls can be extended only to 4 inches in circumference 
  • Medium-level holding capacity

Yarn Winder Buying Guide: What Features to Look For! 

Buying a yarn winder is a small step for you when you are an expert knitter or work with large projects, but it can nevertheless make your life easier. It may be a small apparatus for your craft table, but you need to know the right features to look for in the yarn winder you need to buy. 

The following are the features the right yarn winder should have: 

  • Portability

You are not going to need a yarn winder for every day that you work at your craft table. Thi is an apparatus you are only going to need a few days of the month, at most. This is why, you don’t need a yarn winder stuck to your craft table all the time; you need one to be there only when you need it. In other words, you need a portable yarn winder that you can install and remove any time you want to. 

Most of the yarn winders in the market are portable. You can keep it stored in a drawer or a cabinet and take them out only when you need it.

The Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Ball Winder, the U-nitt NEW LOOK! ML702 Metal Jumbo Ball Winder, the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Metal Winder and the Yarn Winder by Craft Destiny are all portable yarn winders that are conveniently sized to store away in one of the drawers of your craft table or cabinets. 

The Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift and the Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella, on the other hand, are shaped like umbrellas. They are large apparatus but the umbrella-like shape can be folded into a much smaller form, and stored away. 

  • Easy Installation 

Almost all the yarn winders we see in the market are finished products and come completely assembled. All anyone needs to do is to attach them to their craft table, which they can do with the clamp that comes built-in with the yarn winder.

All the brands and models discussed in this article can be easily installed on a number of surfaces, namely: the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Metal Winder, the MarryWindix Bobbin and Yarn Winder and the Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder. 

It is only the Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder that needs to be installed with the help of a screwdriver. 

  • Adjustable Clamp 

If your yarn winder has an adjustable clamp, you can attach it to any tables, cabinets and counters, or any type of furniture. Most yarn winders have a built-in adjustable clamp that allows you to attach them almost anywhere.

For example, the Yarn Winder by Craft Destiny, the Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift and the Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella can be attached to furniture with a thickness up to 1¾-inches. The Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder, on the other hand, can only be attached to a surface with up to 1½-inch. 

Only the MarryWindix Bobbin and Yarn Winder comes with a fixed clamp and can only be attached to surfaces with 1.5” thickness. 

  • Holding Capacity 

With most yarn winders, you get two different holding capacities: 10-ounce and less than 10-ounce. The yarn holders with a 10-ounce holding capacity are perfect when you are using the thin, intricate kind of yarns.

They take up a little space, much can weigh more than when you are winding up thick, bulky yarns. The Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Ball Winder, the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Metal Winder and the U-nitt NEW LOOK! ML702 Metal Jumbo Ball Winder all have 10-ounce holding capacity. 

On the other hand, the Yarn Winder by Craft Destiny, the Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift, and the Sandwood Needlecraft YBW-A Hand-Operated Yarn Ball Winder have 4-ounce holding capacity while the Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder has a 3.5-ounce holding capacity. 

Some yarn winders are categorized by the highest circumference of the yarn ball they’ll allow instead of their weight holding capacity. The Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella, for example, comes with a maximum 6” circumference and the Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder comes with a maximum 4” circumference. 

  • Sound

You really don’t want a yarn winder that is noisy when working, and fortunately, most of the ones available in the market, are soundless in operation. It is only the Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder that has had complaints of being noisy. 

  • Pulling Technique 

Expert knitters prefer a yarn ball that allows them to pull the yarn from the center of the ball, instead of from the outsides. Most yarn winders allow that, namely the Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Ball Winder, the Sandwood Needlecraft YBW-A Hand-Operated Yarn Ball Winder, and the Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder.

Others give you an option to pull your yarn either from the inside or the outside, while the Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder only allows you to pull yarn from the outside. 

  • Other Features 

Some of the most popular yarn winders also happen to have these following features: 

  1. They come completely assembled and ready to use; 
  2. They can be installed without the help of any tools; 
  3. They have rubber padding underneath so that your furniture isn’t scratched or damaged; 
  4. They are made from durable steel; 
  5. They don’t take up a lot of space on your desk; etc.

These are the simple yet important features that you might want to look for when choosing a yarn winder for your knitting and crocheting projects. These features are what sets the best yarn winders from the dozens you can find in the market, so that you’ll know which one to get.    

Different types of yarn winders: Which one to suggest?

If you look for differences among yarn winders, there are a few to choose from. For example: 

  1. An Yarn Winder vs. An Umbrella Swift 

Both the yarn winder and the umbrella swift (a.k.a. Yarn swift) have the same job: to get your unruly stack of yarn into a tight yarn ball.

However, there is a small difference between their functions; a yarn winder balls up your yarn into a tight ball where you can pull the yarn from inside the center, whereas, an umbrella swift holds your yarn skeins under a bit of tension. With an umbrella skein, you can easily wrap your yarn into small, tight balls by using a yarn winder. 

A yarn winder and an umbrella swift aren’t exactly alternative apparatus; rather, they compliments each other on your crafting table.

Some models come with an umbrella swift that you can attach to your yarn winder, such as the Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift. With some brands, you need to buy a seperate umbrella swift that is compatible with the yarn winder you have. 

  1. Manual Yarn Winders vs. Electric Yarn Winders 

It is the manual yarn winders that are the most popular ones. When you are an amateur, a hobbyist or someone who only knits or crochets sometimes, you won’t need to invest in an electric yarn winder.

The electric ones, understandably, also happen to be much more expensive than the manual ones. However, if you only use your yarn winder every now and then, and not for a very long time, you won’t need an electrical one. 

Manual yarn winders, as the name suggests, comes with a handle and a lever. You need to turn the handle to make the apparatus work, which will, in turn, convert your yarn skein into a tight ball. Manual yarn winders are designed so that you can pull the yarn from the inside, and the speed at which you work depends on the speed of your hands. 

On the other hand, electric yarn winders work with electricity; some of them are also battery operated. You won’t have to manually make the apparatus work, but simply switch on a button of a level. Electric or automatic yarn winders come with different speed settings, and you can use an umbrella swift with these winders to turn your skeins into a tight yarn ball. 

  1. Affordable vs. Expensive Yarn Winders 

Of course, everyone wants a yarn winder that is affordable and reasonably priced. The ones that are affordable also happen to be the yarn winders that are hand operated or manual, have a medium holding capacity and aren’t too big.

These yarn winders are perfect for you if knitting or crocheting is a hobby to you, or if you don’t plan to use your yarn too often, or if you don’t use a lot of skeins. 

The expensive yarn winders, on the other hand, are the ones that are electrical or automatic. They run on either batteries or electricity, are usually heavier and bulkier, and take up a lot of space on your crafting table. Electric or automatic winders save your time, energy and effort while working, which is helpful if you are a professional or an avid user. 

  1. High vs. Low Holding Capacity 

The yarn capacity of a yarn winder is an important feature that you need to keep in mind when choosing a brand or a model.

The more affordable, low-end yarn winders come with a holding capacity of 3.5-ounce to 4-ounce, which means that they can only convert small skeins into small balls of yarn, nothing more than 4-ounce in weight. On the other hand, the high-end models come with a holding capacity of 16-ounces or more. 

The Olikraft Yarn Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift is actually a low-end model that has a 4-ounce holding capacity, whereas the Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder has an even lower holding capacity.

Models such as the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Metal Winder and the U-nitt NEW LOOK! ML702 Metal Jumbo Ball Winder is actually of a medium calibre and has a holding capacity of 10-ounces. These are good enough yarn winders for professionals and frequent users, and also of affordable prices. 

Conclusion

The yarn winder you should end up buying depends on a lot of factor: it’s performances, the frequency in which you are going to use it, the space on your table, the amount of money you are willing to spend, the amount of yarn you need in your work, the quality and type of yarn you use, and more.

All these factors will have to come together for you to settle on a model or a brand, so they are all very important. After finishing this whole article, you must have come to a decision regarding the right yarn winder for you and your craft. 

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