Has long been a teacher of English Literature, after the retirement focused on freelance copywriting. She’s now our full-time writer since our website allows her to know more about the hobby of her lifetime – sewing.
A professional fashion designer and seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step instructions on how to sew a summer skirt.
Last updated: May 23, 2021
Whether you’ve just started taking up knitting or you’ve been doing it for years, there are certain products that simply help ease the difficulty of the hobby. In this article, we’ve gone through various tools on the market designed to help ease your time. Fortunately, there’s such a great variety, choosing the best yarn winder was no problem at all! However, instead of letting you make a tough decision, we’re here to help.
After reviewing the top 30 products on the market, we’ve come up with our top eight products. From our Editor’s Choice, the Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Winder, with its ten-ounce yarn capacity, 3-pound lightweight build, and lifetime customer supportto our Budget Pick, we’ve not only separated the best of the best, but we’ve also created descriptions to help you choose which ones are best for you. Each of our products featured here on the guide are reviewed thoroughly to help you choose the right one for you.
To help give you accurate reviews of each product, we’ve outlined them based on various features, from weight to yarn capacity, and from warranty to dimensions. However, instead of having to read through each individual description, we’ve organized the guide to help you choose the best yarn winder for your situation. We have a side-by-side product comparison table, in-detail reviews of each product, and a buying guide to help you choose the right tool for you and your projects. We hope this guide helps you through the buying and selection process!
One of the best Stanwood Yarn Winders out there, the Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Winder beats out the rest as our Editor’s Choice.
Not only do its various features set it apart from the rest on the market, but the brand name and its reputation alone also have fantastic credibility. If you’re looking to have a heavy-duty ball winder, this Standwood Yarn Winder is a reliable pick.
Not at all expensive in price, this machine is also highly effective, and can handle up to a 10-ounce skein of yarn. This capacity is actually about over two times the size that some of the other yarn winders on this guide can do.
Holding a plastic spindle and a skirt unit, the Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Winder also works with cogwheels made out of nylon and a metal painted frame. Even though it’s on the heavier side of yarn winders on the market at three pounds, the design alone sets it apart—in a good way—from other winders on the market.
With the metal table clamp attached, it can fit onto most tables or flat surfaces with which you’re working with, which really raises its versatility.
What makes it stand out?
The machine can hold up to ten ounces of yarn
Upon arrival, you don’t need to assemble it
The clamp is capable of fitting on various table or surface tops
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The large size may make storage difficult
Users have complained that the yarn slips
U-nitt ML702 Yarn Winder – Runner Up
Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 15 in
Yarn capacity: 10 oz
Weight: 3.2 lb
Lifetime customer support
More features: clamp-on base up to 2-inch thickness, tool-less setup
The U-nitt ML702 Yarn Winder is our Runner’s Up when checking out the best yarn winders on the market.
Coming up to second place, the U-nitt ML702 Yarn Winder has similar measurements to our Editor’s choice—and comes along with a lifetime of customer support.
Renowned for its high-quality products, this brand is not only constructed to last an entire lifetime—but it also has various dependable and sturdy construction material, with metal gears and cast iron construction.
Whether you want to work with laces, yarn or cotton, the U-nitt ML702 Yarn Winder
is capable of winding through 10 full ounces.
The versatile machine can also work with a variety of different surfaces and tabletops, up to two inches thick.
One of the best parts about it? It doesn’t require assembly at all upon arrival—it’s ready to rock right out of the package once delivered.
The yarn winder also has various features that set it apart from other yarn winders on the market—like having a rubber ring that helps stabilize the yarn guide when in motion.
The machine also comes along with four cushions attached to it so it protects against damage to your own furniture while operating the yarn winder.
What stands out?
The sturdy metal construction is dependable
The yarn winder is not only easy to clamp-on, but it’s also easy to assemble
What cons did we manage to find?
It’s necessary to grease the gears to make it silent
Lacis MO77 Yarn Ball Winder – Best Value
Dimensions: 5.5 x 7.2 x 4 in
Yarn capacity: 4 oz
Weight: 1.5 lb
More features: built-in yarn feeder, tool-less setup
Rated as our Best Value, the Lacis MO77 Yarn Ball Winder gets the job done as the professional yarn winders do but without all that bulk.
If you‘re looking for a low budget option that is also physically lighter—and not just lighter on your bank account—this yarn winder only weighs about 1.5 lbs, which is about half the weight of other yarn winders you’ll find out there on the market.
The reason behind this lightweight build? The Lacis MO77 Yarn Ball Winder is designed with plastic.
However, regardless of its lightweight construction, it can still get some pretty major jobs done with ease. It can handle bulky to lace-weight yarns with no problems. The great part about its lightweight build? You can portably take it with you anywhere—especially if you’re taking knitting lessons or going away on a long-term stay.
This user-friendly buy is quite easy when it comes to working with first-timers. The center-pull is a tidy task that can be easily learned in this hand-operated winder.
One of the only “downsides” seen on this yarn winder is the fact that it is only capable of holding four to five ounces, which is less than half of some other yarn winders on this guide.
Why is it special?
Very lightweight and transportable
User-friendly and simple to set up
Doesn’t need cones or tubes
What are the flaws?
If you’re working with bulk amounts of yarn, it’s not the best
The arm can slip
LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Yarn Winder – Best Set
Dimensions: 13.7 x 8.8 x 9.2 in
Yarn capacity: 10 oz
Weight: 3.2 lb
Cast iron base
30-day return policy
More features: trimming scissors included, clap-on base up to 1.4-in thickness, tool-less setup
One of the best yarn winders on the market, the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Yarn Winder has various functions and features that make this machine truly a special one!
To help you make pull thread balls to ease the process of knitting or crocheting, the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Yarn Winder is a great tool to have. Some of the features that set it apart from others on the market include trimming scissors (portable cutter scissors with a cap) and a tool-less setup, which really increases the value of user-friendliness.
When it comes to durability, the LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Yarn Winder has an unbreakable metal crank, which is advertised as a cast iron base with all-metal gears.
Capable of threading through 10 ounces of yarn, this three-pound machine is pretty average when it comes to yarn capacity and weight.
If you have a thinner table, this machine is a great pick. It works on table thickness of up to 1.4 inches, which ups its user-friendliness. The 30-day return policy from the manufacturer is also quite confident in its product—it comes easy to assemble and disassemble if you need to transport it.
What stands out?
Has nylon, unbreakable cogwheels
Does not require tools to assemble
Edges of machine are smooth and won’t damage surface
What cons did we manage to find?
Only has a 10 oz yarn capacity
Knitter's Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder – Best Heavy-Duty
Dimensions: 10.3 x 18.2 x 6.3 in
Yarn capacity: 15 oz
Weight: 3.55 lbs
Laminated birch wood construction
More features: hand-crafted, anti-friction bearing
With one of the higher yarn capacities on the market—a full 15 oz—the Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder is definitely a heavy-duty machine looking to take on your biggest projects.
The Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder only weighs around 3.5 lbs, which is pretty normal size for a yarn winder, which means that the people at Knitter’s Pride have come up with a formula to hold more yarn without having to change the initial build and design.
Designed with a combination of colorful laminated and natural birch wood, the Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder works with center-pull balls and anti-friction bearing to help keep the winding as smooth as possible.
The machine also comes with anti-skid rubber pads, which helps keep your tabletop or surface un-damaged—which might be hard to find in a yarn winder. Handcrafted, the Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder is a great buy for beginner and expert, alike.
Why are we impressed?
It has extreme visual appeal and is handcrafted, which looks great
Works with 15 oz of yarn capacity, which is much larger than other machines on the market
What negatives must you be aware of?
The anchor is not heavy enough to stabilize the base
The cakes are quite loose, even though customer tried different speeds of winding
Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder – Most Versatile
Dimensions: 6.75 x 9.1 x 6 in
Yarn capacity: 8 oz
Weight: 1.79 lbs
More features: clamp-on base
If you‘re looking to work with a ton of yarn, the Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder can definitely get the job done.
Although it has a seemingly lesser capability of yarn with only 8 ounces, this machine works with a ton of yarn—especially for its size.
Measured at a weight of 1.79 lbs, this yarn winder is perfectly lightweight and capable of being transported—whether from just storage to the tabletop or to and from lessons outside the house.
The clamp-on base is a great feature to consider when looking for valuable features when it comes to a yarn winder. This convenient clamp makes it relatively easy to transport it to a surface or tabletop area before you want to work and after you‘re done using it.
The Lacis Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder works in a diagonal direction, which makes it simple to keep the yarn from snagging. It is also highly capable of winding cakes of different materials and weights, which make it great if you’re looking to work with various types of material— from superfine wool to cotton yarn.
It is also highly easy to assemble and disassemble.
What stands out?
Very easy to assemble and disassemble for transport
Can work with various thickness of yarn
Clamps great on various tabletops and surface areas
What cons did we manage to find?
The assembly instructions might not be very clear for some
The crank might not work perfectly
Craft Destiny Yarn Winder – Best with a Knitting Kit
Dimensions: 7 x 4.8 x 7.5 in
Yarn capacity: 4 oz
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Accessories kit included
More features: clamp-on base up to 1.75 in thickness
One of the best yarn cake winders on the market, the Craft Destiny Yarn Winder is a great pick for beginners and experts alike.
Simple to set up and get using, the Craft Destiny Yarn Winder helps you take on any project with yarn, knitting or crocheting. Ready right from the box delivery, the easy-to-assemble product is a great buy.
The Craft Destiny Yarn Winder works with a metal handle and tabletop clamp, which makes it extremely sturdy and durable when it’s in use. The clamp can be used in coherence with thick tables—up to 1 and 3/4 inches.
Using the Craft Destiny Yarn Winder, you can easily transform hanks of yarn to ready-to-use yarn cakes—usable from both the outside or from the center.
Unfortunately, you’ll only be able to use it compatible with 4 ounces of yarn—but the build is extremely lightweight—weighing only 1.2 lbs! The product also comes with a knitting kit, which has multiple accessories that you’ll be able to use with any of your daily knitting projects.
What are its best features?
Very lightweight and transportable
Designed with strong materials
Comes with a knitting kit
What could be improved?
Only capable of using 4 oz of yarn
Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder – Best for Crocheters
Dimensions: 5.8 x 5 x 6 in
Yarn capacity: 3.5 oz
Weight: 1.3 lbs
Removable yarn guide arm
More features: clap-on base up to 1.5 in thickness
The Knitpicks Yarn Ball Winder is a great pick if you’re looking for a product that is designed capable of being used by both crocheters and knitters.
If you’re looking for an efficient tool to use to help keep the skeins or hanks of yarn as organized as possible without needing an extra set of hands, this winder is a perfect pick.
With the mechanics of the Knitpicks Yarn Ball Winder, the winder will pivot so that it’s more comfortable to use. Even though it doesn’t hold a whole ton of yarn (only about 3.5 ounces), it is incredibly lightweight, weighing only 1.3 lb.
Straight out of the box, the machine requires little-to-no assembly, making it extremely user-friendly. The metal yarn simply needs to be folded up before use. Although there are quite a few plastic parts (which helps make it so light in weight), it still is incredibly durable and sturdy, capable of standing up to dozens of “winds.”
The Knitpicks Yarn Ball Winder is also extremely user-friendly, having a few directional arrows right on the machine to help direct you on your project—which is great if you’re a beginner. The small design makes storage and transportable a breeze. The guide actually folds away, making it even more compact.
What are its best features?
The build is small and portable
The pivot is perfect for comfort
Great for smaller projects because of its lesser yarn capability
What could be improved?
The spin is a bit slower
Doesn’t have a very large yarn capacity
Things to Consider
To help you choose the best yarn winder on the market, we’ve assembled this buying guide. As we go through the various features that are often associated with yarn winders on the market, we hope that it’ll become clear which winders are the ones you should be looking for. At the end of our buying guide, we’ve separated a few FAQs to help answer any questions you may have about yarn winders before you purchase one.
Why you should own a yarn winder
Especially if you’ve been in the business—or hobby—of knitting or working with yarn, you’re probably already familiar with the chore of winding loose yarn manually.
If you’ve done that before, you might have also already thought about investing in (or even inventing) a machine that can do that laboring task for you. Fortunately, it has already been invented: the yarn winder.
To help skip this manual chore, a yarn winder—which can get the job done that might even require two people—can help ease your worry, making the entire project much easier to do.
The machine also helps eliminate the tangled messes that you may encounter when directly knitting from a hank of yarn or a skein.
Even though you may not think it’s high priority for your hobby, there are some budget options on our guide, like the Lacis MO77 Yarn Ball Winder, which means you don’t have to break the bank in order to own one and reap the benefits.
How to use yarn winder
Especially if this is your first time working with a yarn winder or looking into investing one to make your hobby an even more enjoyable one, you’ll definitely want to inform yourself about how to work with a yarn winder.
If you need help, this section will give you a step-by-step guide on how to use a yarn winder.
First and foremost, you should secure the ball winder to the table—most of the yarn winders will have a clamp that will attach right onto any normal table or surface. If you have a table that is square or rectangular (with a straight-edge), this will work best. Depending on how much you value your surface area, you might want to place or lay a towel between the machine and the table.
When you’re finally all set up, you can find the end of your yarn (which might take longer than you would think if it’s properly tied up). Once the end is found, attach it to the notch of the winder. This is where it may differ from winder to winder—check the manufacturer’s instructions for help with this step.
Once the yarn is attached, start to wind it through—slowly. The process should continue in the same direction until it is all wound.
Lastly, decide whether you would like to work with a center-pull ball or an outside-pull ball.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you can refer to this video:
If it’s your first time using a yarn winder and you’re really not certain about the whole thing, you can check out this product, the LoRan Norwegian Knitting Thimble, which is a flexible wire coil thimble that has two yarn guides to control yarn.
No matter if you’re crocheting or knitting, this tool can easily come in handy.
Electric or manual yarn winder?
Especially with this day in age when it comes to technology, it might be difficult to choose getting a manually functioning machine over a digital one.
However, when you choose manual over electric when it comes to a yarn winder, then you can exhibit more control over the machine, which can help you avoid a mess of tangled yarn when it comes to using your product.
Features to consider while buying the best yarn winder
Before you choose the best yarn winder for your project, you want to familiarize yourself with the various different features that come with each product.
Once you know which features are most important for your projects, this can help you eliminate some of the yarn winders on the market that might not have the features available that you’re looking for.
So, in this section, we’re going to go through the various features that can (and should) be featured while buying the best yarn winder on the market.
The capacity of yarn able to be thread through the yarn winder is a very important feature to consider before you choose the yarn winder of your dreams.
If you normally work with smaller projects, you can get away with investing in a yarn winder that has a smaller yarn capacity of 3.5 oz, like the Knitpicks Yarn Ball Winder.
However, if it’s important that you get your money’s worth when it comes to yarn capacity, you might want to consider getting a yarn winder that can hold more yarn, like the 15 oz capable Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder.
Dimensions and weight
Before you pick a particular product, you should know if you have the space in your home or desktop to be able to fit the machine itself.
Especially when it comes to yarn winders, you already have a ton of other material that’s going to be taking up quite a bit of space. This is why having a yard winder that has a small enough dimension can make a huge difference.
Not only do dimensions make a huge difference while using the machine, but it also comes into importance if you’re looking for a place to store the winder. Although there are umbrella designs, which can be folded when placed in storage, you have to consider the size of the winder to begin with. The Amish style is another type of yarn winder you can invest in but it generally is built to handle large amounts of yarn—which means that it is bigger in space.
The weight also plays an important role in your purchasing decision.
If you’re planning on traveling and transporting the winder—even if it’s from the storage area to a tabletop, the weight can truly make a difference.
Fortunately, most yarn winders don’t stray too far when it comes to weight difference and are generally measured in the range of being as light as 1.2 lbs, like the Craft Destiny Yarn Winder, to as heavy as 3.5 lbs, like the Knitter’s Pride Signature Series Mega Wool Ball Winder.
Especially if this is your first yarn winder, you don’t want to encounter a difficult time when it comes to putting the yarn winder together.
Fortunately, quite a few different yarn winders come already fully assembled, which helps with the user-friendliness. However, there are certain products that actually come in pieces and require some sort of (if not all) assembly. The LAMXD Needlecraft Large Jumbo Yarn Winder, for example, requires a “tool-less setup”, which means that it’s rather simple to set up.
The way a product is designed—especially the material being used for its foundation—is extremely important to the efficacy of the product and how well it works.
The material of a yarn winder has a direct impact on its durability and how long it is meant to last. Most of the yarn winders found on this guide are going to either be wooden and handcrafted (normally designed with Birchwood) or they can be made out of plastic—which is going to be more budget-friendly and smaller in design.
The table clamps of the yarn winder can also dictate whether or not you’ll be able to actually use the winder on the particular table you have!
A table clamp offers a sense of stability when looking to keep a yarn winder on the table while it’s in motion and winding. Before you buy, pay attention to how big or small of a table the yarn winder can work with!
No matter if you’re on a budget, you can find a yarn winder that works with the price range you desire.
The winder that you need to buy—especially if you’re an avid knitter—needs to be able to be durable enough to withstand a serious amount of cranking.
Despite how much yarn or tension there is, the crank needs to feel smooth and consistent to be able to work properly.
Before you invest in a particular yarn winder, you might have some extra questions before you buy. In this section, we’ve outlined a couple of frequently asked questions and answered them already for you.
After using your yarn winder thoroughly, you’ll need to learn how to clean and maintain the machine so it lasts as long as the warranty suggests. Cleaning the ball winder is extremely important since it reduces a delay in the rotating parts of the ball winder. Especially since everything is moving rather quickly, you’ll want everything to be as clean as possible.
Periodic cleaning is extremely important to keep your machine in productive use, which can be advised by watching this video:
>Since there are a ton of moving parts in a yarn winder, you might want to be a bit careful when it comes to leaving a child unsupervised with a machine—no matter how many times they’ve used it before. We would definitely advise you to keep the child under supervision while using the yarn winder.
If you’ve decided to skip over the entire guide, here’s our top three verdicts summarized:
The Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Winder is our Editor’s Choice. Ready upon arrival, this machine can hold up to ten ounces of yarn and is capable of being clamped onto various table or surface tops.
The U-nitt ML702 Yarn Winder is our Runner’s Up choice for best yarn winder on the market. With its sturdy, dependable, metal construction, the Runner’s Up choice lives up to its warranty.
The Lacis MO77 Yarn Ball Winder is our Budget-Friendly and Best Value Choice. Weighing only 1.5 lb, this lightweight and highly transportable choice is also very user-friendly, requiring neither cones nor tubes for set up.
We hope this guide has helped you pick out the best yarn winder for you and your future projects.