If you favor handicrafts like knitting, you'd already know that a yarn swift is an important accessory to have, as it will help speed up knitting.
With a yarn swift, you can easily hold skeins or hanks of yarn to make spinning into balls or cakes easy.
The basic modus operandi of a yarn swift is simple – spin round, giving out single streams of untangled yarn strands.
If you’re in the market for a new yarn swift, I’ll be taking the time to guide you by reviewing 15 of the best yarn swift you can purchase today. The buying guide section will also help you understand the different styles, materials, and of course, the size of yarn swift available; so you can make an informed buying decision.
Which is the Best Yarn Swift to choose?
I understand you are in haste and would like to skim through the best of the best without reading their overall reviews. To make it easier, I have highlighted some of the best yarn swifts you can snag. The review section proper is just down the text if you have a change of mind.
- Best Overall: Stanwood Needlecraft YW-3
“Amish-style, adjustable framework, portable and lightweight, easy assemble, produce smooth spins."
- Best Durable: 24” Premium Knitter Umbrella Ball Winder
“Made of birch wood, versatile, accommodates most hank sizes, durable yarn swift, large 24” umbrella ball.”
- Best Design: Knit Picks Swift
"Umbrella shape, beautiful aesthetics, convenient, time-saving, durable material."
- Best Tabletop Yarn Swift: Chiaogoo 1098 Amish Design
“62” skein lengths, Amish design, non-slip pads, adjustable pegs, ease of use, smooth finish.”
- Best Umbrella Style: Swedish Glimakra Umbrella Swift
“Easy to assemble, works with large strings up to 100 inches, solidly built, hitch-free spinning.”
- Best Large Swift Yarn: Stanwood Needlecraft Large Yarn Winder
“Large yarn swift, works with skeins of up to 8.5 feet, reputable manufacturer, clamps for easy attachment, solid, durable wood.”
- Best Combo: LAMXD Ball Winder & Umbrella Swift
“100 grams to 4 ounces holding capacity, both ball winder and swift combo, quality materials including metal crank, easy assemble.”
- Best Budget: Yarn Swift Ball Winder
“Budget-friendly, very durable, thick metal and wooden parts, lightweight.”
Top 15 Best Yarn Swift Comparison Chart 2020
I'll be showing you some of the key features/specifications of the best yarn swift in this comparison table below. Want to know what style, skein circumference, or weight each has, this comparison chart is for you.
|Best Yarn Swifts||Style||Max Skein Circumference||Weight|
|Stanwood Needlecraft YW-3 - Best Overall||Tabletop||2.5-6-Feet||1.8 pounds|
|Stanwood Needlecraft Umbrella||Umbrella||6 feet||2 pounds|
|24” Premium Knitter Umbrella Ball Winder - Best Durable||Umbrella||24”||1.85 pounds|
|Chiaogoo 1098 (Amish Design) - Best Tabletop Yarn Swift||Amish||N/A||1.15 pounds|
|Stanwood Needlecraft Large Yarn Winder - Best Large Swift Yarn||Umbrella||8.5 feet||2.2 pounds|
|Knit Picks - Best Design||Umbrella||68”||1.46 pounds|
|Windaze Umbrella Yarn Winder||Umbrella||70”||15 ounces|
|Swedish Glimakra Umbrella Swift - Best Umbrella Style||Umbrella||100”||1.75 pounds|
|Umbrella Swift and Yarn Ball Combo||Umbrella||N/A||2.15 pounds|
|Yarn Swift Ball Winder - Best Budget||Umbrella||60”||1.08 pounds|
|Wooden Yarn Swift||Umbrella||84”||1.65 pounds|
|LAMXD Ball Winder & Umbrella Swift - Best Combo||Combo||N/A||2.05 pounds|
|Needlecraft 17” Hand Operated Yarn Swift||Umbrella||N/A||11 ounces|
|Knitter’s Pride KP800361 Yarn Swift||Umbrella||60”||2 pounds|
|Nagina International’s Umbrella Yarn Swift||Umbrella||N/A||2.5 pounds|
Best Yarn Swift Reviews 2020
Now it’s time to jump into the proper review of the best yarn swifts on the market. You’ll find yarn swift of varying styles - combos, umbrellas, Amish/tabletop, so you can choose which suits you. Read on:
Stanwood Needlecraft YW-3
(Overall best yarn swift)
This Tabletop yarn swift has parts fabricated from durable wood. Its smooth finish enhances the aesthetics while the structure allows no room for yarn snagging.
Unlike most yarn swifts, the Stanwood YW-3 does not have the varnish fume (which is toxic, of course).
This yarn swift is built in the Amish style, making it able to sit into different skeins and has an adjustable frame in case you need it to be smaller.
The non-slip pads at the bottom of the machine ensure it is pegged tenaciously on the tabular surface. The Stanwood YW-3 is also very portable because it can be detached and carried around.
- Model number: YW-3
- Weight: 1.85 pounds
- Dimension: 29 x 5 x 1.1 inches
- The machine spins smoothly
- If appropriately set, it grips tightly on any table
- Assembly and storage is quite easy
- Positioning may become a real issue
Here’s a video overview of the Stanwood needlecraft YW-3:
Stanwood Needlecraft Umbrella Medium
The wooden Umbrella medium swift yarn from Stanwood has a ridiculously smooth finish and is also crafted from solid and durable wood.
The umbrella-shaped swift yarn is a medium-sized machine that perfectly fits a skein with a circumference of 6ft. It has a similar finish with the Amish style and due to the craftsmanship standard of Stanwood, this yarn swift is deemed to be durable.
The umbrella medium produces smooth spins and is quite a top-functioning machine combined with finesse aesthetics.
This model also comes with tightly fixed clamps. These ensure your yarn swift can be attached firmly to tables, benches, and chairs.
- Dimensions: 23.5 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Model Number: YW-1
- Brand: Stanwood
- Lightweight build style makes it easy to carry around or store
- Made to be durable (strong wood)
- Can be clamped onto different surfaces
- The clamp screw isn’t as sturdy as should be and could break-off easily
- Skein handle missing
24” Premium Knitter Umbrella Ball Winder
(Best durable yarn swift)
Talk about a versatile and durable yarn swift, then you are referring to this 24” umbrella Ball Winder Yarn Swift. Think of hanks of any size; this machine can comfortably handle them.
The birch wood of this yarn swift is a representation that the makers expect durability. If you are running short of spaces, this machine comes with clamps screws that hold firmly on any surface. One complaint, however, is the issue of loose screws; and too tight spinning, which seems to be a common occurrence with this swift.
- Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches
- Weight: 1.85 pounds
- Model Number: BCAC32892
- Lets you enjoy a snag-free experience
- Birchwood makes it quite sturdy and very durable
- Can be used for almost all hank sizes
- Has the same disadvantage as most wooden yarns – the arms holder is vulnerable to breaking
- Spinning with this machine can be too tight or stiff
Chiaogoo 1098 Amish Design
(Tabletop yarn swift)
On any list of top yarn swift performers, you'd most likely find the Chiaogoo 1098.
It's an Amish style swift capable of holding skeins of up to 62".
The Amish design accommodates large skeins and with the help of some adjustable pegs, you can work with hanks of several sizes.
It’s also good to know that you can set up this machine on a table although without clamps. The absence of clamps introduced the use of non-slip pads to ensure that your device does not move around on the floor or flat table while in use.
However, when not in use, the chiaogoo1098 could take up space because it isn't foldable.
- Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.4 x 25.5 inches
- Weight: 1.15 pounds
- Ease of usage
- You can make use of yarn loops of different sizes on this machine
- Absence of clamps means the yarn swift can be placed on a flat surface
- Produces an efficient, smooth finish
- Portability and storage issues
- The arms cannot be held together because of the absence of screws
Stanwood Needlecraft Large Yarn Winder
(Best Large Yarn Swift)
Stanwood has a standard of making their wooden yarn swifts with solid wood, and this large yarn winder isn't an exception. Also, it's almost a replica of the smaller Stanwood yarn swift except that this can accommodate skeins measuring as much as 8.5 feet!
Because of its clamps, it can be attached firmly to tables and chairs, or any other edge. With this machine, you have little worries about your yarn's safety, plus the machine opens up, accommodating several other applications. Several hemp ties hold the machine's hands in place – although you can't rule out the possibility of their breaking.
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 28.5 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches
- This yarn swift is durable
- Its clamps can work perfectly on surfaces as thick as 1.75 inches
- The large yarn swift can accommodate 8.5 feet skeins
- Not everyone will appreciate the flimsy hemp ties
- Too large and may impede the availability of space
Let us not dwell on the obvious aesthetics of this yarn swift because it is one of the finest out there. Let us talk about its output.
It is crafted from durable wood (birchwood) and built with several metal parts. The yarn swift extends to hold yarns measuring a maximum of 68inches.
The umbrella shape provides you with convenience; and smooth spinning. The presence of clamps means you can securely hold your yarn on surfaces. And easy assemblage and disassembling means you can get started as soon as you get your package.
- Weight: 1.46 pounds
- Dimensions: 23 x 3 x 3 inches
- The birch wood is sure to increase the machine’s durability
- Assembling your Knit Picks swift is quite easy
- Can securely clamp on most surfaces whether table and chair
- There’s a little stiffness. Polish or wax should improve the movement of the axle
=Windaze Umbrella Yarn Winder
The Windaze yarn swift is shaped like a huge umbrella and made of a mixture of alloy and plastic parts. The versatile yarn swift was built to be durable and can work with several string types efficiently.
Although it requires time to become familiarized with the working of this machine, it is still a valuable product for knitting and crotchet connoisseurs.
There's also a clamp that will come in handy when attaching your machine to chairs, tables, etc.
- Dimension: 17.4 x 2.6 x 2.2 inches
- Weight: 15.7 ounces
- If you’re using winders, this machine is for you
- Versatile and works with several string types
- Durable build
- Sometimes the yarn and the hooks get entangled
- Assembly of the machine may be a little difficult
Swedish Glimakra Umbrella Swift
(Best Umbrella Style)
Glimakra is a Swedish company that registered its name in the knitting and sewing world with this machine.
The Swedish Glimakra is known for spinning freely. If you want an enjoyable experience with your yarn or any strings for that matter, then this machine is recommended for you.
This umbrella-styled can work with string measuring up to 100 inches in circumference. Its solid wood material ensures durability, and its collapsibility makes carrying or storage easy when not in use.
Overall experience with the Gilmakra umbrella swift is decent and the ease of assembling only makes it better.
- Dimensions: 28 x 3 x 2.5 inches
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
- Manufacturer: Glimakra
- Durable, thanks to the sturdy wood and quality sanding
- Hitch-free spinning
- Assembly is as easy as portability
- Can be collapsed for easy storage
- Makes some squeaky noises while in use, but it’s nothing a little wax can’t fix
Umbrella Swift and Yarn Ball Combo
This is an improved design that was inspired by complaints from users about the older versions of the yarn swift. It's a perfect combo of yarn ball and umbrella swift. This easy-to-use machine can make yarn cakes weighing up to 4 ounces at a go.
Storage is not a problem. This machine can be taken down to simple bits and stored away neatly when not in use. It has a clamp that can grip surfaces as thick as one ¾ inch making it usable
in most places.
Also, this machine is quite efficient for its price. If you're on the hunt for a noiseless and smooth spinning and yarn winding with least tangling, consider this combo.
- Dimensions: 17x7.5x4inches
- Weight: 2.15 pounds
- Easy to assemble and use
- Has a good capacity and can wind up to 4 ounces of yarn
- Can be stored away easily without taking up much space
- Might not deliver as much efficiency considering its price
Yarn Swift Ball Winder
Working with skeins of different sizes means you would need to buy a yarn swift that is adjustable for easy accommodation of various skeins. The Yarn Swift Ball Winder from cute DIY would most likely impress you. With its sturdy and thick metal parts, this machine is built for durability and performance. It can be put to use in a horizontal or vertical position and can also be attached to any edge less than 1.75 inches thick.
Despite thick metal parts, this machine is lightweight and can be folded up easily after use. The smooth-running swift can be clamped at any angle and still produce neat yarn cakes while being efficient on any strings, including Aram and lace.
- Dimensions: 2.2 x 2.2 x 17.5 inches
- Weight: 1.08 pounds
- Easy to store or carry about
- Smooth spinning and works with different types of yarns
- Thick metal parts make it durable
- Sometimes, the stopper may slide as the machine spins
Wooden Yarn Swift with Replacement Screw
There are a few yarn swifts that are sturdier than this machine. Its birch wood material and its smooth finish, both appeals to the eyes and wades through the storm of time and frequent uses. This swift can be attached to any edge – table or chairs and produces a squeak-free spinning. There is a bonus replacement screw at your disposal, in case the one attached gets broken.
When you finish with your machine, you can collapse the arms and store it away safely without having to worry about space availability.
- Dimensions: 24.8 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
- No more fears about broken screw because of the bonus replacement screw
- Durable, manufactured with birch wood
- Doesn’t require assembly
- Collapsible and easy to store away when not in use
- Slats holding yarns might be flimsy
- Pegs sometimes don’t hold
LAMXD Ball Winder and Umbrella Swift
The LAMXD Umbrella swift is very easy to assemble and use. That is one of the reasons crotchet lovers have heaped praises on this tool. The LAMXD yarn swift comes with a sturdy metal crank and can raise yarns of 100g.
The swift works noiselessly and spins quickly, producing neat yarn balls in no time.
If you need to carry your LAMXD swift around, it is easy to dismantle and sneak inside a portable case. It also clamps on edges as thick as 1.3 inches or less.
- Package Dimensions: 17.1 x 5.3 x 4.8 inches
- Weight: 2.05 pounds
- Made of durable metal
- Portable and storage can be in a limited space
- Easy to use
- You’d expect it to be bigger
- Must be used with caution because the whole machine could be a mess when tangled
Needlecraft 17” Hand Operated Yarn Swift
Ideal for beginners and professionals, this yarn swift is one of the best out there. This excellently crafted machine makes yarn cakes, hanks and lovely wool balls for easy usage.
For its price, this machine is perfect as its arms are made from plastic, to prevent yarn snagging, and can be clamped onto any edge.
It is quite easy to familiarize and get the best out of this 17” yarn swift thanks to a free e-book that comes with it (often sent to the purchaser’s email).
If you have a friend who loves crotchets and knitting, this piece may be the best gift item.
- Dimensions: 17.4 x 2.8 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Premium quality machine
- Storage is effortless as much as usage with its clamp-on-base system
- Doesn’t need to be assembled
- Can be used by knitters suffering arthritis
- Plastic parts may be flimsy
- No instructions for set up
Knitter’s Pride KP800361 Yarn Swift
The KP800361 is a beautiful yarn swift made from laminated birch and birch wood. It combines the functions of skein winding and swift with its fast rotation and neat finishes.
It can be clamped onto a surface as thick as 1.5 inches and hold firmly for a perfect spinning experience.
The Knitter’s Pride swift is one of the most beautiful umbrella swifts you would behold and fall in love with immediately.
It can work with different skein sizes and raises yarn balls of at least 100 grams.
Most of the questions asked about its durability and efficiency have been answered after a few years of use by buyers.
- Dimensions: 3.8 x 29.1 x 4.2 inches
- Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Durable yarn swift made from sturdy birch wood
- Easy to set up and use
- People also loved the winding knob on top of the machine
- So far, can’t point any particular wrong the knitter’s pride swift has
Nagina International’s Umbrella Yarn Swift
The Nagina International is a tabletop yarn swift that is made from premium rosewood. This quality swift is a great combination of craft and arts. It has a heavy base, which means you do not need to clamp your swift on edges but just place on a surface and start winding.
The Nagina is a huge swift that is so lovely and you would hardly be able to stay off crocheting and knitting with this machine. It has four branches or hands that are collapsible depending on what you are working with and with a smooth-spinning torso for winding linens and yarn threads.
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches
- Weight: 2.5 pounds
- A heavy base keeps the machine stable while in use
- Durable and beautiful yarn swift
- Collapsible arms make for easy storage
- The base might slide around annoyingly
- Cannot spin both ways because of the constantly unscrewing top
Before I go into buying guide properly, here's a video of how to use a yarn swift:
I’m putting together this important piece of information to assist you with your buying decision. It doesn’t matter what type of yarn swift you need, whether an expensive (and heirloom quality) swift or a cheap one to begin your journey into handcrafting, these basic things are what will help in making your buying decision easier.
Yarn Swift Style
There are two major styles most yarn swift come in, the Amish or tabletop style and the umbrella style. You can also find more styles like a combination of the Amish and Umbrella style, and a combination of wood base and metal wheel. Here’s what to know about the yarn swift style:
- Umbrella Yarn Swift: As the name indicates, there are ‘umbrella’ properties in these styles. i.e. collapses and becomes smaller, has ribs that are pushed up to open and closes by pulling down. A typical umbrella yarn swift model makes use of screw-in clamps for surface griping. They are easily collapsible for storage and adjust according to the largest hank size when working vertically or horizontally.
- Amish or Tabletop Yarn Swift: These works horizontally and unlike the umbrella swift with many parts, the Amish/tabletop has few. It can sit on a flat surface and stored whole or in pieces when unassembled. They usually have pegs for sizing.
- Wooden Base and Metal wheel Combination: This works vertically with only a few parts. Sizing is done with metal supports and there is only a small range of adjustment. It can be stored whole or some parts disassembled.
- Umbrella/tabletop combination: This style combo has few parts and works horizontally. It can be stored in shape or disassembled. They are, however, not adjustable but use woods placed diagonally to size, giving you decent sizing options.
Yarn swift is typically made using hardwoods like maple or birch. The umbrella and tabletop/Amish style swifts are mostly made using the same materials. But some manufacturers decide to deviate from the norm and manufacture swifts using materials like metal or plastic, or a combination of both. If you're a vintage-style lover, you will swifts made entirely of wood – including screws and clamps.
Material choice majorly depends on your budget, design, usage and of course, your personal preference.
Your choice of the best yarn swift should consider the size. There are two important sizing decisions you need to make. One is “what hank size will you require turning into a ball?' The second is 'how much space is available for the usage and storage of the swift?'
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the StanwoodNeedlecraft YW-3. Aside from being affordably priced, it has some impressive qualities that serious handcrafters would appreciate. The solid wood (with a smooth finish) and its ability to adjust to accommodate skeins of varying circumference speak volumes. Rotation is a breeze for an Amish yarn swift, and it's pretty lightweight but very sturdy. Overall, it's worth checking out, and you can purchase it here.