My Wooden Yarn Winder Guide To The Best Models You Can Buy

Working with yarn packaged in hank form? A wooden ballwinder is an essential knitting tool. Handy for winding yarn into center pull balls or cakes. I review popular wooden winders.

Wooden Yarn Winder Feat Img

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Hand-dyed yarns are often sold in hanks. Knitting directly means a big tangled mess! Yarn winders are best used with a yarn swift.

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You save so much time using a yarn winder, and the resulting yarn is a joy to work with. The shape of the yarn cake is like a cylinder, flat on the top and bottom.

This allows for less movement when you’re knitting. I’ve wound plenty of yarn by hand into balls. If it escapes from my knitting bag, it rolls away very easily!

Wooden yarn winders look lovely set up in a craft room, and they make less noise when winding.

I’ve reviewed the top picks with a range of price points. There’s something to suit people on a budget and for those who plan to do lots of winding and are looking for a heavy-duty option.

Want to know where to buy yarn bowl? Read through my guide.

Maple Jumbo Yarn Winder – Best Overall Wooden Yarn Winder

Fiber Artist Supply Co Maple Jumbo Yarn Winder

Fiber Artists Supply Maple Jumbo Yarn Winder is a well-made product making winding easy. All surfaces are finely sanded, so your yarn won’t snag. You can take the entire unit apart in less than a minute.


  • Ball bearings mean the winder spins almost effortlessly. 
  • A well-balanced main winding assembly allows users to opt to wind with or without a table clamp.
  • Can wind up to 1lb of fingering weight yarn and 10 ounces of worsted weight yarn.
  • One year warranty from date of purchase against manufacturer defects.


  • Need space for use

Here’s the Maple Jumbo Yarn Winder in action

Want something to do the work for you? See my post on the automatic yarn winder.

Knitters Pride Signature Ball Winder – Best Budget Pick

Knitters Pride Natural Ball Winder


  • Winds up to 1lb of fingering weight yarn
  • Anti-friction bearing on the spool side for free rotation. 
  • Fine quality bearing provides super smooth winding of yarn. 
  • Anti-skid rubber pads prevent the winder from sliding and scratching the table.


  • Some customers found the yarn cakes are more loosely wound.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Are you seeking the best online yarn shops? Take a look here.

Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ball Winder – Best Heavy Use 16 Ounce Wooden Yarn Winder

Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ball Winder

Pete Charles from The Oregon Woodworker said Nancy’s Knit Knacks’ owner passed away. The business hasn’t found a new owner.

I hope someone makes them again. Buying a used one is good! I’ll let you know if it becomes available. Join my mailing list to stay updated.

This winder is heavy duty and can wind up to one pound of yarn (16 oz) at a time. Simple to use. Made of strong and lasting materials with an ergonomic design.

The wood is quality maple, looks beautiful set up on a table. Manufactured in the United States with Swiss-made gears. (The Swiss know their gears.)

The spindle capacity is perfect for a person in the market for a bigger and more durable ball winder. A tool to wind big hanks.

A considerable investment but worth it. Excellent value for how long it lasts. It’s a workhorse! Think of all the projects you’ll do.


  • The Heavy Duty Ball Winder by Nancy’s Knit-Knacks can wind up to 1lb. at a time.
  • It comes fully assembled with you only having to put the handle and yarn guide on it.
  • Has a sleek ergonomic design and focuses more on using your arm for winding.
  • Smooth operation and makes very little noise.
  • Can be adjusted in several ways. You can change the yarn ball at five different angles relative to the positioning of the machine.
  • Guaranteed to be easy to use and comfortable.
  • Flexible options for tension and yarn ball size.
  • Requires little assembly. It’s straightforward to use.
  • It’s made in the USA with maple wood and has Swiss gears.
  • It has a one-year warranty and an option of adding an electric motor.
  • It has excellent customer ratings and reviews.


  • A small chance of experiencing yarn becoming tangled and overspun.

Note: You can wind onto cardboard cones using this winder.

The following products are made of wood but are yarn swifts.

They’re great for holding the hank of yarn in place instead of using the backs of dining room chairs. They rotate freely while a yarn winder is winding the yarn into cakes.

Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Winder

Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Winder

A medium-sized solid Umbrella Swift, made of birch wood material with a finely sanded finish. The overall construction and performance make sure it lasts for years.

Able to handle skeins of 6ft in circumference. When working, it’s fairly quiet, and the spin is smooth.

The manufacturer selects wood pieces without scars or blemishes. These yarn swifts are less vulnerable to breakage and have a lovely uniform sanded finish.

The ends of metal tying wires are hidden into holes. No rough edges to hurt your hands or snag the yarn.


  • Holds up to 6ft skein in circumference.
  • Can clamp onto various surfaces, 1 3/4 inch thick such as tables, benches, or chairs.
  • Very sturdy construction made of quality wood.
  • Spins effortlessly
  • Packs down for storage.


  • On rare occasions, the clamp screw part can sometimes crack, but screw replacements are available.
Check Price On Amazon

She Lin Wooden Umbrella Swift Winder

She Lin Wooden Umbrella Swift Winder

A swift is used in conjunction with a yarn winder. The hank is placed over the swift’s arms, and the end of the yarn is attached to the winder. Operate the winder, and the swift rotates.


  • This swift is made with natural birch wood with a highly sanded finish, so your yarn won’t snag.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Able to operate with both hands-free.


  • Table clamp can scratch some surfaces
Check Price On Amazon

What Is A Wood Yarn Winder?

A yarn winder is a tool used to wind yarn from a hank to make center-pull yarn cakes.

Which Is The Best Wood Yarn Winder?

The best yarn winder is made of sturdy materials with gears that are smooth when in operation.

Why Do I Need A Wood Yarn Winder?

You need a yarn winder to make crocheting easier. Working from a hank without winding it first is no fun. The creation of neat yarn cakes with a center-pull makes working your crochet projects a breeze.

No more tangled yarn monsters!

How Do You Use A Wooden Yarn Winder?

To use a wooden yarn winder, you follow these steps:

  • Attach the winder to a flat surface with the provided clamp
  • Find the end of the yarn and place it in the slot of the bobbin
  • Thread the yarn through the yarn guide
  • Slowly turn the crank, and the bobbin winds
  • Continue to turn the crank until the hank is completed wound into a yarn cake.

A Wooden Yarn Winder is a worthwhile investment for your crocheting pursuits. Made with quality materials and built to last, one of these is sure to bring you crochet joy for years to come.

I hope this information helps you to choose which one is right for you. If you have a question, please get in touch or message me on Twitter.

Happy Crocheting!

Which combination is best for you? See my review of the swift and winder.

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About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan - (Founder)

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Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother, she fell in love with crocheting after her first child was born. When she’s not crocheting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online crochet community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on socials.

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