My Stanwood Yarn Winder Guide & Review – Are They Worth It?

A Stanwood Yarn Winder. What’s all the fuss about? What makes this particular ball winder for yarn special? I answer that question.

Stanwood Yarn Winder Feat Img

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Are these yarn winders worth it? Read on.

For Those In A Hurry

  • Best Heavy Duty – Stanwood Needlecraft Heavy Duty 10 oz Large Metal Ball Winder
  • Best Over All – Stanwood Needlecraft – Compact Yarn Ball Winder Hand-Operated YBW-A
  • Best Compact Model – Stanwood Needlecraft – Compact Yarn Ball Winder Hand-Operated YBW-B

I’ve included their popular yarn ball winders, and each is suited for different situations. Here is my review of the Stanwood needlecraft yarn ball winders.

Table Of Contents

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Stanwood Needlecraft Heavy Duty 10 oz Large Metal Ball Winder

Stanwood Needlecraft Heavy Duty 10oz

This is by far their most popular model of all the Stanwood Needlecraft products. It’s designed for heavy-duty, professional, and industrial use, or just for when you have lots of yarn to wind.

It’s able to wind up to 10 ounces of yarn at once, which is two and a half times more than the smaller models available in their range.

Perfect for when you have lots of hanks to tidy up.


  • Creates center pull yarn cakes
  • Designed for serious use and cranking, this is guaranteed to last for years.
  • Can wind up to 10 oz of yarn at a time.
  • Spare bobbins are available for purchase if you need them.
  • Made with rust-resistant steel
  • No tools required to set it up
  • Designed by the company in the USA and made in China.


  • Excellent and fair manufacturers’ guarantee and return policy.
  • High-quality construction and materials
  • Ease of set up and use
  • The gears are covered and protected, with no chance of yarn snagging.
  • Fast shipping
  • A smooth and even crank


  • It is quite large and takes up a lot of room. You need a large area to accommodate it.
  • Even in storage, it takes up lots of space, so keep that in mind.
  • Expensive shipping for international addresses
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Stanwood Needlecraft – Compact Yarn Ball Winder Hand-Operated YBW-A

Stanwood YBW-A Winder

Their smaller model is less popular than the heavy-duty version but still excellent. Has a smooth, even pull and is silent when winding.

It’s suitable for those with wrist strain as it’s effortless to crank. The gears are well protected, no yarn getting caught, unlike some other brands of yarn ball winders.

Want to use it in conjunction with a swift? Use an Umbrella or Amish style. 


  • Great for smaller balls or less usage than the heavy-duty winder, but works with the same quality and precision.
  • The smaller size means it can be placed in a variety of different places.
  • Able to wind up to 4 oz of yarn at a time.
  • Creates center pull cakes.
  • Able to clamp to a surface with a maximum depth of 1 3/4″.
  • Has a manufacturer’s guarantee and fair return policy.
  • Spare bobbins are available for purchase if you need them.
  • Designed in the US, made in China.


  • A wide range of clamp capacity means it can be put on a wide variety of surfaces.
  • A smooth, even crank
  • The yarn hardly ever snags
  • Ease of setup, no tools required
  • Comes almost completely assembled, quick and easy to get going
  • Speedy delivery


  • Not as much yarn can be wound at one time, you may need to split larger hanks into two or three.
  • Expensive international shipping

Stanwood Needlecraft – Compact Yarn Ball Winder Hand-Operated YBW-B

Stanwood Needlecraft - Compact Yarn Ball Winder Hand-Operated YBW-B

This is a slightly smaller version of the aforementioned popular yarn winder in the list of Stanwood Needlecraft products.

It winds the same amount of yarn, 4 oz, but the surface thickness it can clamp to is 1 1/2″, so less than the YBW-A model.

It possesses the same efficiency, smooth winding, and quality you’d expect from the other model.

If you want to use it with a yarn swift, it’s best to use it with an Amish or umbrella-style swift.

(It isn’t always available, and is difficult to find online.)


  • A unique dial on the base of the yarn winder to help you tighten the clamp, no fiddling with screws needed
  • Makes snuggly wound center pull yarn cakes
  • Quality metal gears that are entirely covered and protected. No chance of your yarn getting caught and eaten by them! This is a feature not many other yarn ball winders have.
  • Company based in the US, the products are designed there, manufactured in China.


  • Easy storage, disassembles easily
  • Small and compact, so it doesn’t take up too much space
  • Easy and simple set up
  • It doesn’t damage the surface as the clamps are protected.
  • Economic price
  • High-quality manufacturing.
  • Excellent return policy and manufacturers’ guarantee.
  • Spare bobbins are available for purchase if you need them.
  • Quick shipping


  • Due to limited clamp capacity, it might be challenging to find a suitable surface
  • A limited amount of yarn can be wound at one time.
  • Shipping to places internationally is pricey.

How Do You Use Stanwood Yarn Winder?

Here’s a list of instructions on how to use Stanwood yarn winder.

  • Find a sturdy surface to place your wool winder on. If you’re worried about the table being damaged or marked by the clamps, put a cloth over the surface first. 
  • Make sure there’s enough space for your yarn or your swift to sit comfortably.
  • Place your yarn swift about 12-18″ away from the winder if you can.
  • Make sure the clamps and screws of both instruments are secure and tight.
  • Untwist the skein and remove the ties. If you use scissors, don’t accidentally cut the hank! Untwist any tangled parts if necessary and make sure the result is a large loop.
  • Find the two ends of the hank and hold onto the outer end.
  • Place the loop around the arm span of the swift and adjust the size as necessary to fit snuggly around the yarn.
  • Slip the outer yarn end through the metal yarn guide arm and into the slit in the bobbin of the yarn ball winder.
  • Begin cranking the handle, slowly at first, and your yarn cake will slowly begin to appear. Use your other arm to maintain the tension, so the winding isn’t too loose or too tight.
  • Once you’ve finished winding, hold the yarn at the slot, found at the top of the winder. Use your other hand to slide the finished cake off the yarn ball winder. Tuck the end into the center of the cake.
  • Good job, you’re done.
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Your Questions Answered

How Do You Thread A Yarn Winder?

Here is a list of steps on how to thread a yarn winder.

  • Untwist the skein and remove the ties that stop the yarn from tangling. If you use scissors, make sure you don’t accidentally cut the hank itself! Untwist any tangled parts if necessary and make sure the result is a large loop
  • Find the two ends of the hank.
  • Thread the outer end through the loop in the yarn winder and attach it to the bobbin. 
  • Test it by winding a little bit. If nothing goes wrong, you’re good to go.

What Does A Yarn Swift Do?

A yarn swift, when used in conjunction with yarn ball winders, holds the yarn and prevents it from tangling or creating knots when it’s being winded into a cake.

Think of it as an easier alternative to the back of a chair, or a patient person holding their arms out wide.

What Is The Difference Between Model YBW-A and Model YBW-B? 

There are three main differences

  1. YBW-A has a larger clamp capacity
  2. YBW-A is designed to be quieter and has a smoother pull
  3. YBW-B is slightly smaller in size than the other.

What Are The Stanwood Needlecraft Gears Made Of? 

They’re made of reinforced nylon, not plastic, designed to last for years.

Can The Heavy Duty Winder Be Used To Wind Smaller Balls? 

Yes, it can wind balls of any size up to and including 10 ounces.

Designed and manufactured with a quality that will last you for years to come, this is an excellent choice for a good reason. It has many unique and useful features too.

The hundreds of glowing reviews don’t lie when it comes to whether this product is worth it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Stanwood needlecraft yarn ball winders. Does it look like something you would like to purchase? Do you have one of these already? Let me know in the comments.

If you have any questions, you can reach me here or via Twitter.

What is your preferred combination? See my review of the best yarn swift and ball winder combo.

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Crochet Penguin. (Yes, I’m real :) )

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2 thoughts on “My Stanwood Yarn Winder Guide & Review – Are They Worth It?”

  1. I just got mine and I love it. I have a question… do I need to wax the gears at any time? Also what am I doing wrong for the arm piece to come off while winding? I tightly the nut as snug as I can.
    I have the 10 ounce stand wood..

    • Hi Susan. Great to hear that you love your 10oz Stanwood Yarn Winder.
      Being brand new it shouldn’t require waxing of the gears.
      With the yarn arm guide, make sure you hook the yarn guide behind the Phillip screw that has been screwed into the bottom plate, to ensure it doesn’t move. Then place the washer on the wingnut screw, then the wingnut and tighten it.
      There is a really helpful video from the manufacturer that I’d recommend watching, that demonstrates what I’ve said above.
      Cheers Jodie


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