The yarn winder is, no doubt, a godsend for crochet and knitting hobbyists. With its sophisticated features, it can make things a whole lot easier on your end as well as save your great deal of time. And, contrary to popular believe, yarn winders are quite inexpensive.
I had been crocheting for years without using a yarn winder. At first, I thought there was no need for me to buy one. And, truthfully, I could go along just fine without using one. But, as I looked back in the past, I wish that I have bought a yarn winder sooner.
Not only would it have saved me frustration and time, but it could have made my crochet even more gorgeous. Today, I own a variety of yard winders, and I love each one of them.
But, not all yarn winders are created equal. Some seem to last for eternity while others break down after fist usage. And, there are yarn winders that don't perform as well as the premier ones.
So, to help you select the best yarn winder for your crocheting needs, I've listed down a ton of tips that will surely come in handy on your shopping experience.
Things to Consider When Buying a Yarn Winder
Size of Your Yarn Ball or Cakes
One of the essential considerations, when looking for a yarn winder, is the size of the cake you're going to make. Also, make sure to consider how much yarns can the winder hold.
Cheaper yarn winder can hold around 3 to 4 oz of yarn. The largest varieties, meanwhile, can hold more than 16 oz of yarn.
Every crochet hobbyist wants to own a yarn winder that's manufactured to last more than a lifetime. So, before you buy a yarn winder, take a close look at the materials used to build the components. Ideally, you should avoid plastics since they are known to break easily.
And, if ever there are plastic pieces, see if they are not going to break instantly. Likewise, check if the gears have protection. If the yarn is bound to slip underneath the winding gears, it will ultimately get caught quickly.
In sturdy yarn winding models, the gears are usually protected better. Additionally, the table clamp of the yarn winder should have a decent grip and must be sturdy, ideally without damaging any surface.
Look for Something Easy to Set Up
If you're a beginner, you really want something that doesn't require hours of reading the manual, just to operate it. A simple, easy and quick winder is what you need.
Best Yarn Winders Comparison Chart 2020
There are infinite choices on today's market when it comes to yarn winder. I've listed some of the finest ones, to help you select the best yarn winder for your needs.
|Best Yarn Winders||Dimensions||Weight|
|Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder||5.8 by 5 by 6 inches||10.4 ounces|
|Yarn Valet Yarn Winder||10 by 2 by 2 inches||0.32 ounces|
|Lacis MO77 Yarn Winder||5.5 by 7.2 by 4 inches||0.32 ounces|
|Nancy's Knit Knacks Heavy Winder||14.2 by 12.4 by 6.8 inches||7.25 pounds|
|Stanwood Needlecraft Hand-operated Winder||7 by 6 by 4.2 inches||1.05 pounds|
|Housweety Ball Yarn Winder||5.9 by 4.4 by 7.4 inches||13.6 ounces|
|Windaze Manual Yarn Winder||8.6 by 8.6 by 3.3 inches||1.7 pounds|
|Boye Electric Yarn Winder||10.5 by 7.5 by 5 inches||2.95 pounds|
|Nagina Nostepinne Yarn Winder||11.6 by 1.2 by 1.2 inches||1.76 ounces|
|Stanwood Needlecraft Large Winder||12 by 7 by 7.7 inches||3.35 pounds|
|U-nitt Metal Yarn Winder||16 by 6 by 15 inches||3.2 pounds|
|Darice Hand Yarn Winder||7 by 5 by 4 inches||1.28 pounds|
|Marrywindix Yarn Winder||6 by 4.1 by 7.6 inches||1.28 pounds|
|Beisaqi Yarn Winder||10.1 by 6.1 by 5.9 inches||1.7 pounds|
|Lacis Jumbo Yarn Winder||9.1 by 6 by 6.8 inches||1.75 pounds|
My Best Yarn Winders for 2020
Need a little help in selecting the best yarn winder? Then, spend a moment reading these tips and pointers!
- Best overall: Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder
With its wondrous design, this tool easily transforms yarn skeins and hanks into center, compact pull cakes.
- Runner up: Stanwood Needlecraft Hand-operated Winder
Featuring a durable metal crank, it's an incredibly sturdy, quiet, smooth and versatile yarn winder.
- Budget pick: Windaze Manual Yarn Winder
Portable, convenient, lightweight, durable, and best of all, inexpensive!
- Best designed: Nancy's Knit Knacks Heavy Winder
Made perfectly of Maple hardwood, this versatile tool is the ultimate yarn winder for hobbyist.
- Most comfortable to use: Yarn Valet Yarn Winder
Lightweight, sturdy, functional, whimsically stylish, and so comfortable to use!
- The ultimate time-saver: Boye Electric Yarn Winder
With its electric motor, this winder can get the job done in a few seconds!
- Best for small projects: Housweety Ball Yarn Winder
Make your small yarn winding projects a breeze with the tool's amazing features.
- Best for large skeins: Lacis MO77 Yarn Winder
A sophisticated, hard-operated winder that conveniently makes thread balls without any tubes or cones.
Best Yarn Winder Reviews 2020
One of the best ways to score the best yarn winder is to read a bunch of reliable reviews. And, to help pick the best tool for your needs, I've reviewed over a dozen of awesome yarn winders.
Knit Picks Yarn Ball Winder
They don't call this yarn winder as one of the most important crocheting and knitting tools for nothing. Ideal for lightweight yarns, this winder can, with ease, turn yarn skeins and hanks into compact and more organized center balls.
Even better, this yarn is so comfortable, thanks to its pivoting winder. Truthfully, my wrists and hands never felt any pain or strain while using this winder. As for the clamp, I had no problem securing it to all my work desks and table edges.
Also, assembling it is fairly easy. In fact, even novices can effortlessly assemble this top-notch yarn winder.
- Winds up to 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of yarn, from bulky weights to fingering and lace weights
- Removable spindle
- Folding yarn guide
- Pivoting winder
- Ideal for all kinds of projects
- Pivots for comfort and ease of use
- Portable and small
- Attaches conveniently to any surface or table edge
- Spins a little slower than most knitting enthusiasts would like
Yarn Valet Yarn Winder
It's, hands down, the most comfortable and compact yarn winder I've ever used. Plus, it's easy to use and has an ergonomic grip that lets you hold the winder with just one hand.
The winder is pretty light, too, meaning I can carry it wherever I want. It also has a winding center wherein I can comfortably spin the yarn and turn it into the tight and compact ball that I can store or carry.
As an added plus, it has a compartment where I can hold my small accessories, such as pens, markers, and hooks.
- Made proudly in the USA
- Won't damage or stretch yarn
- It has an internal storage compartment to hold yarn needles and loose stitch markers
- It has storage for small items
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- Compact and lightweight
- The notch is a bit shallow
- Manual use, meaning it needs some skill in winding
Lacis MO77 Yarn Winder
There are many reasons to love this Lacis yarn winder. For one, it's rather easy to set up as well as operate. I just read the instructions once, and moments later, I began using it.
It's also portable and lightweight. I literally can carry it wherever I go.
To make things even better, it doesn't take a great deal of space, making this winder ideal for storage.
Like most premier yarn winders, this one is user-friendly. And, you can wind balls of yarn up to 5 ounces without using cones or tubes,
- It has a yard feeder that prevents tangling and creates an even flow
- It can make pull thread yarn balls up to 5 ounces without using tubes or cones
- Easy to use and set up
- It can wind around 4 to 5 ounces of yarn
- It can wind large skeins into compact cakes
- Not a great solution for winding bulk yarn amounts
- Arm may slip
Nancy's Knit Knacks Heavy Winder
Nancy's Knit Knacks is, by far, one of my favorite yarn winders of all time. I just fell in love with it, the moment I tried it.
Truthfully, it's a little big for my taste. But, it's simply amazing and an excellent tool if you want to level up your knitting game. Heck, this tool can wind up around a pound of yarn at a time.
And, it's extremely sturdy too, with its ergonomic design as well as lasting and strong materials. And, did I mention that it's manufactured 100% in the US using Swiss gears?
On top of that, its material is gorgeous maple hardwood. It really looks nice on my table.
- The handle rotates, helping prevent injuries to wrist and forearm muscles
- The yarn guide can be swiveled and use in different angles
- It can wind up balls over 1 pound.
- Made of maple wood
- Easy on the arms and wrists
- Flexible options for yarn ball size and tension
- Assembly is easy
- Excellent warrant terms
- There’s a small likelihood of having and overspun or tangled yarn
Stanwood Needlecraft Hand-operated Winder
Stanwood has been, for years, a well-known brand in the world of knitting and crocheting. And, this yarn winder definitely lives up to its name and hype.
Compared to most yarn winders from Stanwood, this one is cheaper and lighter. In fact, it's half the size of Stanwood's typical metal, large winders. But, no mistake about it – this Stanwood yarn winder can do wonders for your hobby.
It's quieter and smoother, making it a very convenient tool. What's more, the winder can create yarn balls with an impressive capacity of about 4 ounces.
- It has a capacity of 4 ounces
- Durable construction
- Creates center-pull yarn balls
- Extremely durable
- Easily and conveniently creates center-pull balls of yarn
- It can be east to clamp on surfaces
- Some users might not find the clamp wide enough
- Can be a bit noisy when used at a decent pace
- Guide arms have to be pulled to lock firmly in place
Housweety Ball Yarn Winder
You don't have to be a whiz, equipped with a set of tools, to prepare this yarn winder. It's fairly easy to use and ideal for newbies and experts alike in crocheting and knitting.
And, with its lightweight and small size, you can bring this tool wherever you go. I even brought it once on a weekend trip in Mexico.
Another feature I really like is that it barely makes any noise when it's operating.
It's not built for large projects, however. It's only created to wind about 200 to 250 grams. Still, it's amazingly durable and can withstand tons of winds.
To me, it's a great choice if you're new in using yarn winders.
- Winds over 200 grams of yarn
- Sturdy design
- Easy to set up and use
- Best used for smaller knitting projects
- Yarn can often get caught in its metal gears
- The clamp is not quite sturdy
Windaze Manual Yarn Winder
Looking for affordable options? Why not invest in a Windaze Manual Yarn Winder? Not only is it inexpensive, but it's rather durable as well.
Great prices and durability aside, this winder can make your yarn winding experience a breeze. It can create neat and compact yarn cakes and balls effortlessly without using any piece of heavy and innovative equipment.
You can create large-sized balls of yarn and avoid yarn waste since it creates an even flow. Not to mention, it helps prevent tangles, bunches and snags.
- Excellently constructed with unrivaled functionality and elegant design
- Portable, lightweight and convenient
- Low noise
- The perfect built-in clamp that lets the winder to be fixed firmly at the edges of benches, chairs and tables
- Operates smoothly
- Doesn’t make loud noises
- Ideal for medium-sized tasks and projects
- Easy storage
- Yarn gets hooked often on corners
- The package has no instructions and arrives in pieces
Boye Electric Yarn Winder
I'm not exactly a big fan of electric yarn winders, but somehow, this one swept me away. Whenever I feel tired and lazy, I just use this yarn winder to do the job for me. It does all the winding by itself, and there's no need to get involved physically.
Just read the manual, learn how to use it, and watch your yarn turn into tidy and neat cakes in a few seconds. And, the device doesn't need batteries because it works with 120 Volt A/C power.
To me, this machine is ideal for lightweight yarn. I used it on bulky yarns and it did struggle a bit.
- No set up needed
- Batteries are not required
- Winds yarns with ease in seconds
- A handy machine for hobbyists and serious knitters
- No set up needed
- No need to use batteries
- Winds lightweight yarns in seconds
- Painless on the wrists and forearms
- Not ideal for those who travel frequently
- Its motor is relatively weak
- Not for bulky yarns
Nagina Nostepinne Yarn Winder
I stumbled upon this yarn winder as I was searching for special wooden needles. Intrigued, I did some thorough research and found out that this tool can be very beneficial for me.
And, immediately, I fell in love with this nostepinne yarn winder. There are no instructions or manuals attached, but luckily, there are plenty of Youtube videos and Vlogs to learn from.
This yarn winder is eye-catching too and feels so nice in my hands. With this tool, yarn winding is such a pleasure, thanks to its smooth finish.
And, unlike my mechanical winders, I can wind wherever I want, especially since it fits right into my bags.
- Portable and light in weight
- It has a smooth and polished finish
- Excellent warranty terms
- It can be carried everywhere
- Simple to use
- Smooth grain
- It does not come with instructions
- Not ideal for those who lack experience in yarn winding
Stanwood Needlecraft Large Winder
When it comes to heavy-duty winders, you can't go wrong with the Stanwood Needlecraft Large Winder. When you touch this winder, you'll know and feel that it's constructed to last a lifetime.
Although it's relatively inexpensive, this one is durable and remarkable for heavy-duty use. Heck, it can even handle 10 ounces of yarn skein.
The winder's gears can be spotted easily, which is cool for those who like to see how things and mechanics work. Its feet are made of rubber, designed to protect the edge of your table from the winder's metal frame.
Pound-for-pound, this one is arguably the best yarn winder on the market today.
- Designed for heavy-duty use
- It has a capacity of 10 ounces
- Flexible and durable gears
- Center-pull yarn winder ball
- Easy to set up
- Its clamp may fit on thicker tables (2 and 1/8 inches)
- Can wind up effortlessly 10 ounces of yarn
- Yarn sometimes slip under the cone’s bottom
- Storage can be difficult due to its large size
U-nitt Metal Yarn Winder
This yarn winder is nothing short of wonderful. I wasn't familiar with this brand, but still, I gave it a shot after reading some positive reviews.
And, I'm glad I did. A week ago, I wound up over 40 yarn skeins with this tool and had zero issues using it. Plus, it's constructed in metal, making it amazingly sturdy.
Also, I love that I can wind around 10 ounces of yarn cakes with this winder. My typical yarn winder can only handle about 4 ounces. So, you can double who much you can yarn with this machine.
- Tool-less and easy assembly
- Metal gears and constructed with cast iron
- It can wind up a ball or cake up to 10 ounces quickly
- Its clamp can work on thick tables (2 and 1/8 inches thick)
- It doesn’t create noises when winding up.
- Clamps conveniently to tables
- Easy to set up
- Excellent warranty terms
- If you’re going too fast, chances are you can’t control the yarn’s tension
Darice Hand Yarn Winder
One of my favorite yarn winders, thus far! It has indeed made my crochet and knitting life so much easier. It speeds things up and makes yarn winding less frustrating.
It's hand-operated and comes with a nice table clamp. Furthermore, it's so simple to run and mainly used to make center-pull yarn cakes.
It's portable, small and already assembled. To use it, you just have to secure the yarn winder to a table with its clamp.
Since it can only hold up 4 ounces, however, it may not be the best solution to wind larger yarn skeins. You'll likely have to split it up, if you're winding larger yarn skeins.
- Winds up easy and fast
- Perfect for creating center-pull yarn skeins
- Comes with a removable clamp
- Winds yarn by hand
- No assembly needed
- Ideal for smaller yarn amounts
- Builds center-pull balls of yarn
- Easy to turn the handle
- If you wind too slow, the yarn may often get wrapped around its spool
Marrywindix Yarn Winder
Quite a pleasant surprise! I originally bought it for the price, and was amazed by its functionality and durability. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the best budget-friendly yarn winders on Amazon.
There's barely assembly needed to use this yarn winder. You just have to attach it to any desk or tabletop without leaving any dents or scratches. And, it's light and small, meaning it's remarkably portable.
Combining potent functionality and a beautiful design, this tool has a sturdy frame that can withstand unintentional drops and bumps.
- Portable, convenient and light in weight
- Low noise
- Heavy-duty design
- It gets your crocheting and knitting supplies easily organized
- Applicable for left and right handed people alike
- It can’t hold heavy-yarn skeins
- The center bobbin may spin a little loose
Beisaqi Yarn Winder
So far, I've done over 120 yarn skeins, with this tool, and it works like a charm. Even though it's not a well-known brand, this truly is a pretty convenient and effective yarn winder.
To me, it's one of the best and most underrated yarn winders on Amazon.
In addition, it's lightweight, portable and so easy to install. Personally, I think this one works best for smaller amounts of yarn. As far as I know, it can hold up to 7 ounces of yarn.
It's not bad, especially when you consider most yarn winders have the capacity of just 4 ounces.
It's free from noise, too! Durability-wise, I think this yarn winder can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
- Sturdy design
- Easy to install on bench or working desk
- Beautiful appearance
- Portable and lightweight
- Low noise
- Hassle-free installation
- Instructions need some improvement as some of them are hard to understand
Lacis Jumbo Yarn Winder
I simply love this yarn winder because it's flexible and can hold up to 7 ounces of yarn. Even better, it can wind the yarn diagonally and makes cakes of yarn with a center-pull.
For me, it's a great solution for different weights and types of yarn.
Another thing I truly like about this winder is that it's super easy to use. I have thick tabletops, and this yarn winder clamps on them finely. It's not the best yarn winder I have, but it's a solid alternative for any crochet and knitting enthusiast.
- It winds neatly and does not twist the yarn
- Sturdy design
- It's designed for heavy-duty
- Can use it to wind large yarn amounts
- Excellent for typical regular yarns
- Easy to use and set up
- Need to use it slowly if it’s your first time using it
Other Buying Tips
Still having problems in picking the best yarn winder? You might want to check out these hints!
Table clamps are an important consideration when buying a yarn winder. Trust me, you need a clamp that provides added stability, so your yard winder does not move as you're winding.
And, it should have a reasonably tight grip without leaving marks or damaging the surface of your table.
Space is a big factor, as you pick the best yarn winder for your needs. Not everybody has plenty of room or a large working space, so it's essential to consider the winder's size before you buy one.
If you frequently crochet or knit, you certainly need a yarn winder that can survive some serious and heavy cranking. The crank must feel smooth and even, for a constant tension without pulling extra hard on its yarn.
Our Top Pick
There's nothing quite like Knit Picks Yarn Wider. With its beautiful features and compact design, it's easy to see why it's one of the best-selling yarn winders on Amazon. As a user of this winder, you get to quickly transform skeins and hanks of yarn into compact, neat and eye-catching cakes.
And, it's amazingly versatile too, capable of winding of around 4 ounces, from bulky weights to fingering and lace weights. Not to mention, it's lightweight, portable and can be carried anywhere I want.
To top it all off, it's designed to prevent strain on my wrists and forearms.