Yarn Winder And Swift – My Review Of The Best Combos

By Jodie Morgan

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Winding yarn is easier with a yarn winder and swift. The swift prevents the yarn from getting tangled, while the winder winds it quickly.

Here are some of the best yarn winder and swift reviews.

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Table Of Contents

Knit Picks Winding Station

Knit Pick Yarn Winding Station

Winding yarn with this device is a brilliant choice for those who want an all-in-one solution. It comes with a yarn ball winder and an umbrella swift.

You won’t snag your yarn with this smooth birch wood yarn swift.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Excellent Materials? – They both are! Metal and plastic winders aren’t as sturdy as wood, however
  • Are There Step-By-Step Instructions? – Yes, they are included, and everything comes almost fully assembled, so you’ll have a neat center pull ball in no time!
  • How Large Is It? – You can wind balls up to 3.5 oz with the yarn baller, and the yarn swifts hold a yarn hank up to 66′′ in diameter

Product Design

It has a sleek design and is collapsible for easy storage. The website also sells yarn skeins, so you can practice with your new tools!

Product Evolution

A beautiful mango wood yarn bowl is included in the kit.


  • A yarn ball winder and swift for those on a budget
  • Winding hanks has never been easier
  • With this combination of wooden swifts and plastic winders, yarn is never tangled
  • A metal table clamp secures the swift to any surface
  • The winder allows the yarn balls to flow directly onto the spindle
  • When clamped to a surface, it’s secure
  • Ships to the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia
  • An important feature is the smooth cranking
  • Winding is incredibly easy with the hand-operated winder
  • There is a compact shape, and the styles are pleasing
  • The swift is sanded to prevent scratches
  • Makes winding a pleasant experience
  • These items are suitable for yarn weights like fingering weights
  • Install the winder on a flat surface using the clamp and screws
  • To prevent damage while spinning, the swift has a plastic stopper


  • Since they ship separately, they may arrive at different times
  • Users found a few weak spots, but that’s a defect that’s replaceable
  • Need an account to get it
  • Storage bag isn’t included, but you can keep it in its box

Maple Jumbo Ball Winder & Swift

Fiber Artist Supply Co Yarn Swift and Maple Yarn Winder

Maple Jumbo Winder

Yarn Swift

For quality, long-lasting features, and the amount of yarn it winds, look no further than this handmade combination of machines.

Note: You have to buy these separately, but if you put them in the same order, it shouldn’t be a problem.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Excellent Materials? – Definitely! Materials used in the machine’s construction and screws (metal, plywood, maple wood, and plastic) are heavy-duty and strong
  • Are There Step-By-Step Instructions? – Yes, and it’s easy to assemble since it is almost fully assembled when it arrives
  • How Large Is It? – Tabletop swifts sit flat on work surfaces in craft rooms. Because the winder is a jumbo version, it needs plenty of space to stand.

Product Design

It’s ideal for large skeins and bulky yarns, but you can’t wind too much. Approximately one pound for a fingering weight ball of yarn, ten ounces for worsted weight and smaller cakes of yarn.

Is this yarn winder worth buying? If you wind a lot and want something to last you years of crocheting or knitting, then yes. It produces wonderful results.

Product Evolution

This is made by Fiber Artist Supplies Co, a company known for its high quality fiber arts tools.

Their Etsy shop offers excellent customer service for knitters and crocheters.


  • Center pull yarn cakes are easy to make with this combination. It’s no longer a tedious task
  • Both tools are varnished to prevent scratches and wear and tear
  • A one-year warranty is provided by the manufacturer
  • This great tool has replaceable parts
  • Amish tabletop swifts have adjustable pegs to fit a variety of hank sizes
  • The yarn is wound evenly
  • It’s practically silent when you crank it, so no annoying noises
  • A winder of this type is suitable for nearly any yarn weight
  • Doesn’t catch the yarn hank
  • Crafters, knitters, and crocheters love these options
  • Five-star reviews from happy customers
  • Both tools rotate smoothly and are in excellent condition


  • Pricey, but worth it for the quality
  • The parts need to be cleaned regularly, and the maintenance is time-consuming. However, it lasts a long time if you take good care of it
  • Manufacturers don’t deliver to the United Kingdom
  • Models of this type aren’t lightweight

Stanwood Yarn Winder And Yarn Swift

Stanwood Umbrella Swift and Yarn Winder

You won’t snag your yarn with the Stanwood Needlecraft Yarn Swift because it’s made of smooth birch and metal. The yarn ball winder is made of ABS plastic and metal.

This combination is ideal for those who want a medium yarn ball winder with an umbrella swift.

How Does It Compare?

  • Is It Made Of Excellent Materials? – Since the umbrella-style swift is wood with sturdy metal components, and the winder is plastic and metal, yes
  • Are There Step-By-Step Instructions? – Yes. It comes almost completely assembled, so creating your center pull balls isn’t too difficult
  • How Large Is It? – The ball winder holds a yarn cake up to 4 oz, and the swift accommodates skeins with circumference up to 6 ft

Product Design

Stanwood is well-known in the fiber arts world for their high-quality materials and attention to detail.

Product Evolution

The yarn winder and yarn swift clamp to a table edge up to a thickness of 1 3/4″.


  • Craft stores use them for a good reason!
  • Create a center pull yarn ball easily with the umbrella style yarn swift
  • Fast shipping to your country is offered by this business
  • There is great value in these categories of tools
  • Sends to the USA
  • The yarn doesn’t get stuck on the bobbin
  • The yarn winder provides even tension and grip for the working yarn
  • Sturdy table clamps
  • Makes no mess
  • The sellers ensure the features are easy to assemble
  • The swift can be folded easily for storage in your home


  • Bulky yarns or large skeins aren’t suitable
  • Accessories aren’t included
  • Hemp ties holding the swift ribs together might not be to everyone’s taste

What To Look For In The Best Yarn Swift And Ball Winder

Here are some key decision-making factors to consider when choosing the best ball winder and swift.

Is It Made Of Excellent, Smooth Materials?

When winding the yarn, you don’t want it to catch on anything. Otherwise, you’ll have a hassle. Nobody likes tangles! Winders and swifts made from quality materials won’t damage the yarn.

The electric yarn winder winds yarn hanks for you. You can use them if you have wrist problems or want to wind a lot of yarn. They run on electricity.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that combines an electric yarn baller with a swift. Buy them separately.

Is It Durable?

You don’t want something that breaks on the first use. Choose a winder and swift made from high-quality materials, such as wood.

Wooden ones are more durable than plastic or metal ones.

What’s The Return Policy?

If you don’t like your winder or swift, or if it arrives damaged, make sure the company has a good return policy.

Is It In Your Budget?

Price ranges for yarn ball winders and swifts range from $30 to over $100. Make your selection based on your budget.

Are There Step-By-Step Instructions?

Before you wind yarn, you must learn how to use your winder and swift! Some products include detailed instructions, while others don’t.

How Large Is It?

While some winders and swifts fold down, others do not. The amount of space you have for storing yarn winders and your metal, plastic, or wooden yarn swifts should be considered.

There are sometimes vertical models instead of the usual ones that spin on their sides. The former takes up less space than the latter.

Check the diameter of the hanks you buy fits the swift you intend to use. Consider whether the yarn weight fits on the cone of the winder.

Which Is Best For You?

Not sure which yarn winder and swift combo to get? Check out this comparison.

  • Knit Picks Winding Station – Budget-friendly choice for beginners or for those who wind a small amount of yarn  
  • Maple Jumbo Yarn Ball Winder & Swift – This combination is perfect for yarn lovers, knitters, store owners, weavers, spinners or anyone who creates big projects with hanks
  • Stanwood Medium Yarn Winder And Yarn Swift – An excellent choice for those who want a medium-sized yarn winder and swift


Do You Need A Swift With A Yarn Winder?

No. While you can use the back of a chair or someone’s outstretched arms, a yarn winder and swift set are much more convenient.

Does Winding Yarn Save Space?

Yes, winding your balls and cakes saves you a lot of space. It keeps your yarn tidy and less likely to get tangled.

Can You Use A Yarn Winder Without A Swift?

Yes, but a yarn winder and swift set make winding skeins of yarn much easier than using the back of a chair or someone’s outstretched arms!

Why Is A Yarn Swift A Good Investment?

A yarn swift is an excellent investment because it prevents your yarn from getting tangled, saving you time and frustration. It also helps you keep leftover yarn organized and accessible.

The yarn from big stores is usually sold in skeins, so winding isn’t required. However, if you’re looking for knots, this is a convenient way to do so.

With the larger ones, you can buy yarn in bulk for a large project, and start it immediately! This helps you finish faster.

What Is The Difference Between A Swift And A Yarn Winder?

Swifts hold the yarn while yarn winders wind it into a ball. Use them together for maximum convenience.

What Is Yarn Winding?

In yarn winding, hanks or skeins are rolled into balls or cakes. It can be done by hand or with a yarn winder.

Most swifts spin horizontally, but some models can spin vertically. Schacht swifts, for example, wind vertically and can be adjusted to almost any angle.

How To Use A Yarn Swift And Ball Winder

Ball winders wind yarn into center-pull balls. Swifts hold yarn skeins open so they can be wound easily.

Using these devices, yarn balls are wound perfectly in minutes. Here’s how.

  • Choose a sturdy bench or table
  • Protect the counter or surface with a piece of cloth
  • Prepare a place for your tools
  • Separate your ball winder and yarn swift by 12-18″
  • Using the clamps at the base, secure each
  • Bolts need to be tightened

How Do You Put A Skein Of Yarn On A Swift?

  • Remove the ties from the hank or skein and unwind it. Use scissors carefully. Be careful not to cut the yarn! Make a big circle loop with the yarn
  • Identify the ends. They should be free from the skein
  • Because swifts resemble umbrellas, they are called umbrella swifts
  • When you push the knob at the bottom of the pole, the arms spread out
  • Make sure the yarn loop fits around the arm. Adjust it
  • Tie the yarn end to the swift and see if it spins freely

How Does A Swift Yarn Winder Work?

  • Find the end of the yarn skein
  • Attach it to the winder
  • Insert the end of the yarn through the metal yarn guide arm and into the slit/notch at the top of the winder spindle
  • This end allows you to access your working yarn
  • Wind the yarn slowly at first with the handle
  • As you work, control tension with your other hand as the yarn pulls
  • Accelerate a bit more
  • Check the yarn moves freely through the ball winder and yarn guide arm
  • Continue winding

Note: Some models have two metal swing arms. One is to pull the yarn through, the other is to control the tension

Taking the Yarn Cake From The Winder

  • At the top of the winder, pinch the thread
  • With your other hand, slide the yarn muffin off the ball winder
  • With your pincher fingers, you hold the center pull end
  • From the outside, unwind a few feet of yarn then tuck it in a few times around the middle
  • It’s ready! Place the yarn label inside the center of the cake for easy identification

Winding the yarn might be challenging at first, but you’ll get the hang of it!

Your friends and family will be relieved to no longer to assist you anymore! Because the station is on a tabletop, not the floor, it should be safe from your dog or cat.

Do you need a video tutorial? View the one below and start winding to get back to your masterpiece.

Why Is My Yarn Winder Not Working?

The yarn is likely caught in the teeth of the winder. Make sure the yarn is threaded onto the spindle properly by using the included guide.

Another possibility is you’re winding too fast or too slowly. A solution is to adjust your speed to see if that makes a difference to the yarn winder.

Customer service is always available! Check out these videos for more information.

There’s no escape from winding yarn. By hand, it’s tedious and time-consuming. It’s worth the effort to have neatly wound balls of yarn. Hope you found the right winder and swift!

Which is your favorite yarn ball winder and swift? Tell me in the comments! (Your email address is never visible.)

Read Next – My guide to making a DIY yarn winder here.

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About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Crochet Penguin

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

[email protected] | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. 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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