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This section is our old ball winder section,
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 7,000 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

  • 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.


To purchase a Ball Winder, please visit this link

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.



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.


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