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Visit our new Ball Winder Section

The above pictures tell it all - heavy duty construction and a well constructed ball
A field  proven design with over 5,000 units installed


Ball Winder Production Info - click here


Heavy Duty Ball Winder (HDBW)

We offer the world's best commercial grade ball winder. Introduced in the Fall of 2006, we have shipped over 5,000 units to yarn shops, professional fiber artists, and discriminating knitters all over the World. Our system has the following distinguishing features and characteristics:

  • Made of Maple hardwood, 10mm and 3/8" diameter steel shafts, and commercial grade, heavy duty Swiss gears.

  • It will wind balls up to 1 Lb. and greater.

  • The yarn guide arm can be swiveled 180 degrees to allow for 5 different angles at which the yarn supply can be positioned relative to the ball winder.

  • Includes an integrated yarn tensioner which can provide variable tensioning levels.

  • A Small Diameter Spindle assembly is available which makes a smaller center hole ball - kit makers prefer this size because they can make smaller balls that look more attractive.

  • Our Yarn Ball Cores™ are designed to work with our ball winder spindle.

  • Two optional motor drive systems (Power Base™ and Power Base Lite Plus™) are available. These units offer a commercial grade high tech motor drive option for our Heavy Duty Ball Winders.

  • Ball Winder includes 2 heavy duty table clamps (5/16" diameter L-bolts). These allow for mounting to table thicknesses of up to 2.5". Our clamping systems are preferred by most fiber artists.

  • 1 year limited warranty for both consumer and commercial use.

  • Designed and manufactured in the USA with old fashioned engineering expertise and quality materials and manufacturing processes.

  • Integration with our Electronic Yarn Meter when you add the Power Base to the system.

  • The handle rotational motion of the HDBW is accomplished by using the user's forearm muscles as opposed to their wrist muscles. This substantially reduces risk of injury to the user's wrist. Combine this larger rotational arc with our Ergo Ball Handle and the resulting comfort level that the user experiences while winding a ball of yarn is remarkable.


Note: pictures do not show new Ergo Ball Handle or Tensioner Post

Does the Heavy Duty Ball Winder include all of the latest features that I see in different pictures and/or read about?

Absolutely! The following features and improvements are included on every new ball winder shipped:

  • Ergo Ball Handle™

  • Adjustable Tensioner Post with Knob

  • Tensioner Post Arm with slot

  • New Clamp Ring Nut Plate

  • 5/16" Nut Driver Tool

  • Each unit is assembled prior to shipment (the user just needs to attach the clamp bolts and handle which takes less than 1 minute)

What else can I buy for the ball winder?

  • Small Diameter Spindle™ (also part of the Cone Adapter kit)

  • Yarn Ball Cores™ (3 sizes)

  • Motorized Power Base (2 models)

  • Electronic Yarn Meter™

  • Heavy Duty Swift™ or Skein-Winder™

  • Electronic Yarn Meter™

  • Yarn Guide

  • Cone Adapter Kit which allows you to wind 7" cones!


Our Ball Winder winding system is the most extensive system available on the planet


The HDBW is a solidly engineered product. A tremendous amount of engineering effort went into this machine (and continues each day as we constantly review performance data). We used the positive characteristics offered by the combination of hardwoods, steel, and plastic materials to arrive at a design that combines beauty, durability, and power. Most parts have been over designed for their intended application. We knew that shop owners needed a machine that would not fail like the plastic ones that have been used and abused for many years.


The Retail price for our Heavy Duty Ball Winder is $250.00 

The price includes 2 heavy duty table clamps

Purchase a Ball Winder here:

Click on the link below to order a Heavy Duty Ball Winder. We can typically ship from stock (or within 7 days at the latest) from the date of your order. If there will be a delay, we will notify you after receiving your order as to the projected ship date.


Purchase HDBW Heavy Duty Ball Winder


DP Tube



 Ball Winder and Power Base Bundle $650.00  



DP Tube

Info on Power Base



Ball Winder and Power Base Lite Plus Bundle $600.00


           DP Tube

Info on Power Base Lite Plus


Power Base Bundles include our Heavy Duty Ball Winder and either our Power Base or Power Base Lite Plus - the ultimate in ball winding ease.

Freight will be added at time of purchase. Total weight of either bundle is 18 Lbs.


Spare Parts and Options for HDBW

Spare Ball Winder Flange drive O-Rings $4.00
 (these will not be needed for a long time (years) after initial use - pack of 2)
   DP Tube


Spindle O-Rings - small 1-5/8" diameter O-rings are mounted on top of spindle to keep your yarn ball from flying off (if you wound it too loosely) Most users do not need these. We include two with each ball winder.
Pack of 2 for $3.00

   DP Tube


Spare Bolt, Clamp, Nut assy $5.50
These are for anyone who lost a clamp and bolt

   DP Tube


Ball Winder Tensioner $15.00
upgrade kit - only needed for units sold prior to May 2008 (this item is now standard on all new units).
 This item allows the user to control the tension on the yarn ball. Refines the operation of the ball winder. This new kit now includes our new adjustable Tensioner Post Arm.
     DP Tube
Ergo Ball Handle $25.00
Optional Upgrade handle for units produced prior to May 2008. This handle has been standard on all production since May 2008.

Allows user to approach unit at virtually any angle. Super comfort and tremendous leverage.

    DP Tube


Ball Handle and comparison with earlier design



Small Diameter Spindle $25.00
Optional spindle for Ball Winder which has a smaller diameter than the standard spindle.
This small diameter spindle allows users to more easily wind yarn in smaller balls with smaller center holes. Due to the smaller diameter of the spindle, users will wind only about 2/3's the amount of yarn per spindle rotation with this spindle versus the standard spindle. Although this means less yarn is wound in a given amount of time at a given speed, the user will be able to make smaller balls. Our studies have shown that this is about the smallest diameter that a ball winder can make normally shaped balls of.  
Since the intent is to make smaller balls with this spindle, the length along the spindle in which it can wrap yarn has been shortened. Therefore, users should not plan to make extremely large balls with small center holes with this spindle.

DP Tube  

Ball Winder Registration Form and Product Warranty

Thank you for purchasing our Heavy Duty Ball Winder. You will enjoy many years of use from this great Ball Winder. In fact, we hope that you will never have either the need or desire to own another brand.

We place a date of manufacture label on the bottom of each winder. This date is by Calendar Quarter (i.e. 1st Qtr 2011). The warranty covers you for 4 quarters past the date of manufacture. We no longer require that you register your purchase with us. You will be required to tell us the date of manufacture when making a warranty claim, however.

To ensure that you are notified of new improvements or maintenance procedures, please join our mailing list and we will keep you posted of any changes or improvements.

If you ever have any problem with the HDBW, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email and we will make every effort to resolve your problem.  

Send us an email - click here

Privacy Notice: We do not sell or otherwise share any information that we receive from our customers or website visitors. All names and addresses remain in our possession and are only used to communicate directly with our customers.



Heavy Duty Ball Winder Product Warranty

This warranty covers the Heavy Duty Ball Winder ("HDBW" or "Ball Winder") as manufactured and sold by Nancy's Knit Knacks LLC ("NKK") for both consumer and commercial (excluding industrial users) customers located in the United States and Canada. Other International customers shall be covered by our International Warranty.

Warranty Period - One (1) year (4 calendar quarters) past the Date of Manufacture printed on the label affixed to the bottom of the Ball Winder. This warranty applies to the "End User" (defined as the first person or organization to put the unit into actual service or use).

This Warranty is not transferable and only applies to the original purchaser.

Modifications by End User - the user is not permitted to make any modifications to the Ball Winder. Adjustments may be made by the End User to the following items provided that they follow the NKK instructions included with the unit (a copy of which can be viewed/downloaded from NKK's website):

  • Handle (may be removed and re-installed)
  • Spindle (may be removed and re-installed)
  • Yarn Guide Post (may be removed and re-installed)
  • Clamp Ring (may be adjusted by user - see instructions)

Under this warranty, End User is also permitted to open the unit up to perform cleaning and lubrication tasks.

The only user replaceable part is the O-Ring on the Spindle Flange which may be changed by User provided that they use one that meets the specifications as published by NKK.

Cleaning the interior of the Ball Winder is the responsibility of the user and should be  done once per year (or more often if used extensively).

Safe use of Ball Winder: the Ball Winder must be clamped to a flat surface at all times during use by means of the 2 Heavy Duty Table Clamps included with the Ball Winder. Failure to use the clamps will void this warranty.

Warranty Claims - If the Ball Winder fails to operate properly during the warranty period, End User should do the following:

  • Contact NKK by phone, email, Fax, or complete the HDBW Trouble Report on the NKK website.
  • End User MUST obtain a Return Material Authorization from NKK prior to returning a Ball Winder or a specific email authorizing its return. 
  • End User should provide a complete description of the failure to NKK and allow NKK to diagnose the problem by phone/email/fax. End User may be asked to assist in analyzing the problem and providing NKK with additional information on the details concerning the failure mode.

If NKK concludes that the unit must be returned to NKK's repair facility, NKK will instruct the End User how to pack the unit to ensure that it does not sustain damage while in transit. NKK shall also have UPS or FedEx pick the unit up at End User's Domestic USA location free of charge to End User. End User's responsibility shall be to pack the unit in accordance with NKK's instructions. Failure of End User to comply with these instructions may void the warranty.

Upon receipt of the unit by NKK, NKK shall determine the cause of the problem and repair or replace the unit if the unit is defective at no charge to End User. If the problem or damage was the result of abuse or misuse by the End User, then the unit shall not be covered by this warranty and End User shall be responsible for all repair charges and return freight charges. NKK shall advise End User of the charges prior to making such repairs. End User will be required to pay for such repairs and freight charges in advance by credit card.

Any unit repaired or replaced by NKK shall continue to be covered under the original warranty period (the period shall not be extended).

NKK's total liability under this warranty shall be limited to the original purchase price of the Ball Winder. Under no circumstances shall NKK be responsible for any damage or loss done to yarn or other fiber that may become damaged while being used on the Ball Winder regardless of the reason for the damage or loss including Ball Winder failure.

Commercial Use - The Commercial End User shall be covered by the same warranty coverage as contained hereinabove.


All questions pertaining to warranty issues should be made to:

Nancy's Knit Knacks LLC
104 Hobble Brook Ct.
Cary, NC 27518-8623
Fax 866-445-4371

Plastic Gears used in Ball Winders

This photo shows our HDBW gears and the gears used in the highly popular plastic ball winder made by Royal.

Many people have complained that the plastic gears tend to strip out on the Royal unit. If you compare the size of the teeth on the 2 sets of gears in the photo, you will see that the HDBW gears are much thicker and stronger than the Royal gears in the back.

Although the plastic gears used in the Jumbo Royal are thicker than those used in the standard Royal unit, they are still not as thick and strong as those used in the HDBW.

Plastic gears can be more effective than metal gears if they are sized correctly. In addition, they are quieter and typically do not need lubrication. 

Our gears will not break, strip or skip. They are made by a leading Swiss gear manufacturer for NKK.

Contact us for more info

Other Ball Winder Video Info
We have older videos that demonstrate the ball winder's operation. Some of the details in these videos have changed and we would prefer to have users simply watch the adjustment video at the top of this webpage which displays the most concise and most accurate method for adjusting the ball winder,

However, some users have requested that we make these older videos available which we have done below. Please remember to make adjustments based on the newer videos.

Original Video
1st Adjustment Video

New Tensioner Post Arm
Introduced in all new production late March 2010


We have modified the arm that supports the Tensioning Post on the HDBW. The arm now allows you to slide the post closer to the spindle.

Why would you need to do this?
If you experience a problem where the yarn tends to either pop up on down on the outside of the ball during winding, then this arm would solve that problem by allowing you to move the arm closer toward the spindle. The combination of turning the post to increase or decrease tension with the additional action of moving it closer toward the spindle virtually eliminates the yarn pop-up problem.

We have never noticed this issue in motorized setups, but it can occur during hand winding, primarily because the tension and speed of the yarn can vary more during hand winding. If you have seen this issue (and most users have not), then you should consider this upgrade to solve the issue.

This new arm is installed on all new Ball Winders as of the end of March 2010.

Users of older Ball Winder - If you own an older ball winder, you may need the new Tensioner Upgrade kit which includes this arm, a new post, and a heavy duty adjustment knob. You cannot use this new arm with the type of post that had just a screw and no knob. So if you have a ball winder made prior to May 2008, you will need the complete kit

Complete BW Tensioner Upgrade Kit $15.00

Arm only for BW Tensioner (already own new post and knob) $5.00

If you purchase a Small Diameter Spindle, it is mandatory that you use this new Arm. You will be given the option when purchasing the Small Diameter Spindle to purchase these additional components. If you already have them, then you will just purchase the Spindle, otherwise, you will need to purchase the Arm at a minimum and possibly the post and knob as well.

Improvement List
The following improvements/features are either included in all shipments as of 3/29/2010 or are available as optional equipment
Item Status Retrofittable to older units
Adjustable Tensioner Post1 Inc Yes
Adjustable Post Arm2 Inc Yes
Small Diameter Spindle Opt Yes
Ergo Ball Handle Inc Yes
Unit is fully Assembled at Factory prior to shipping3 Inc NA
Clamp Ring Nut Plate Inc Yes
5/16 Nut Driver Inc Yes

1 This allows the post and curly-q to be rotated
2 This allows the post to be slid toward the spindle
3 The handle needs to be attached with a set screw

Here are some comments that we have received from some of our customers about the HDBW:

From the famous knitting instructor, Cat Bordhi (April 2011)

Hello Bob and Nancy
Your Rolls Royce of a ball winder has been in use for several days now by my knitting retreat participants, and we all agree that on a scale of 10 it rates at least a 20.  I was hoping for was a ball winder that functioned well and didn't annoy me.  Instead I now have one that makes me want to wind yarn just to feel the smooth feel of the handle, to listen to the nearly silent whir of the winder, and to watch my yarn turn into a ball faster than ever before. Several of my knitters arrived with woodworking husbands who are marveling at the design. It totally exceeds my expectations - thank you for making such a very very fine instrument.

Kind regards,

Ball Winder Videos

Older ball winder adjustment
O-ring adjustment (newer)


Ball Winder Video

New Simple O-ring Adjustment videos

 New Simple O-ring Adjustment instructions
.pdf    Word

Wonky Ball Adjustments

New Tensioner Post Arm - March 2010

Handle and Clamps
Tensioning Post

Other BW Info

HDBW Comparison Info

Improvement List for all new units
Wonky Ball
Reference Card  PDF

Ball Winder Maintenance

Visit Bob's BW Website

Existing BW owners
New Yarn Tensioner
Ergo Ball Handle

BW Warranty

Register Ball Winder

Ball Winder Gear Info

Yarn Ball Cores

Get answers to common questions in our forum