Shopping Bag


Ball winding machine Buying guide

If you are an avid knitter, having a Yarn Winding Machine will make your life a lot easier. Yarn Winding Machines, or Ball Winding Machines, spin your yarn into professional and stackable yarn cakes or yarn balls that are easy to store and work with.

Your cotton thread Ball Winding Machine will make balls or cakes with a center-pull. With this, they will be able to sit nicely on your table or in your project bag with fewer tangles. If you are a yarn collector, these machines are a game-changer for more organized drawers, closets, and shelves.

Manual vs Electric

Manual Ball Winding Machines are almost always cheaper and will work if you knit at your leisure. They have a lever and a handle that you rotate to convert your yarn skein into a cake or ball. One advantage of a manual Yarn Winding Machine is its simplicity, while the main disadvantage is the time and effort required.

An Electric Ball Winding Machine uses electricity or batteries to operate and has different settings to control its speed. One advantage is that they have little to no assembly required and no manual labor. The main disadvantage is that if a tangle occurs during use, it is hard to catch it before it gets big.

There are different types of manual Ball Winding Machines, but Electric Ball Winder designs are usually unique to the model and brand. Since most people usually get manual machines, later in the post we will cover the different types so you’ll know which one will suit your needs.

Considerations when buying a ball winding machine

The first thing to consider is the material of the machine. Plastic machines will work for occasional to moderate use by an individual but will break down fast if used too frequently. If you are in a yarn shop or plan to use your Yarn Winding Machine a lot, you will want a machine with some wood or metal in it for durability.

Another thing to consider when purchasing a Yarn Winding Machine is performance. Look at customer reviews to know what to expect regarding specific brands and models, so you can make an informed decision. When reviewing different machines, remember to compare the tightness of the yarn cake or ball produced.

Next, consider the ease of operation of the machine. For a manual cotton thread Ball Winding Machine, make sure the crank handle is comfortable to rotate, not too hard on your wrist, and not too noisy. For electric machines, take note of this when looking at the online reviews.

Finally, you want to take into account how much yarn you will be using to make the yarn cakes or balls. If you are using a standard yard skein, which is about 4oz, any Yarn Winding Machine can handle a yarn cake or ball at that size. If you need to spin a yarn cake or ball of 10 oz or more, your cotton thread Ball Winding Machine needs to have at least a five-inch tall spindle with a skirt of around six inches.

Manual Ball Winder Types

Nostipenne Ball Winders are wooden sticks with groves to wind yarn around and make yarn balls and cakes. This is a traditional way of winding yarn, but it does require a lot of patience and time.

In-Line Ball Winders are very lightweight, compact, and can be thrown into your project bag easily. The table clamps are usually 1.5 inches in height, which can work for most tables. Also, most of these are plastic and are not sturdy enough to withstand heavy use.

Royal Ball Winders are light, compact, run smooth, and do not make much noise. With good care, they can last a long time. If it is plastic, these machines can withstand moderate to heavy use by a single person. If it has metal and wood in it, they will work in a yarn shop or studio. 

Higher-end cotton thread Ball Winding Machines have unique mechanics, rubber adhesive to protect your table, and clamps that expand to about 2.5 inches. If you are a shop owner or a professional knitter, these will be worth the investment.

Buying a Yarn Winding Machine can be overwhelming because of all the different options and a lack of information. Using the points above, you will know whether to get a manual or electric machine, how to review Yarn Winding Machines, and the different types of manual Yarn Winding Machines.


FROM 1:00PM TO 4:00PM

Finish off the week with some crafting time. All fiber arts welcome.



Bring your knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving or any other fiber art for good company and great coffee.


10% off

Subscribe to our newsletter for new products and upcoming events and get 10% off your next online order. Click and collect available.