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Ball Winder Manufacturers - see table that follows

Who are the manufacturers that make ball winders?

The number of actual ball winder manufacturers is fairly small. The table below lists the ones we are aware of at this time. We may have left someone off the list by accident, in which case, please email us the name and we will investigate it and add them to the list accordingly.

Some of the plastic models appear to be available from multiple companies, so it is unclear if these are all original designs or manufactured under different brand names. You be the judge. To the best of our knowledge, they are all made in Asia

The Hague, Strauch and Nancy's Knit Knacks units are all original designs. Hague is made in the UK and both Strauch and Nancy's Knit Knacks models are made in the USA.

It is hard to know how many ball winders have been sold over time. The small plastic Royal has been the most popular and has been around a long time. It is conceivable that upwards of 100,000 - 200,000 units have been sold over the past 25 years but only Royal knows for sure. Royal stopped producing ball winders in 2015 or 2016, however. This could have been due to the increased competition from other manufacturers, or the high failure rate that these units had over time (they tended to have their gears strip if they were improperly used).

There are some lesser known units that have been on the market as well some boutique type winders and DIY (do-it-yourself) units. If you peruse www.youtube.com you will see videos of homemade units made from toys and many other odd materials. As a ball winder designer, I can assure you that designing and perfecting these mechanical marvels is a challenge and it is easy to understand why there are not more companies that want to actually make ball winders in production volumes.

Lacis also has been a major player in the plastic ball winder market for many years. They offer a wde variety of plastic units.

Often times you will see other plastic units, many without familiar names (or no names at all). I can only assume these emanate from China or another Asian country and are marketed by USA based companies. This means that the design and manufacturing responsbility could reside elsewhere and not at the company who is marketing them.

The Hague electric model has been around for many years. It appears that they stopped selling their 500 gram version. They now only offer 125 and 250 gram units. All of their units are motorized.

The currrent Strauch wooden winder design came from Fricke Enterprises. The Fricke design is purportedly an "offshoot" from the original design of Woolhouse Tools of Canada. I am told that the Woolhouse design was the original wooden design that both the Fricke and Strauch designs are based on.
Note: Fricke used to also make a motorized ball winder but that model was dropped a few years ago.

The Nancy's Knit Knacks Heavy Duty Ball Winder was designed in 2005-2006 and first appeared September 2006. Their motorized option was introduced in 2008. Over 6,000 NKK ball winders have been sold thru February 2014.

The design plans for ball winders that are sold online appear to be very complex (based on the appearance of the actual unit) and are probably not for the faint of heart. I recommend checking the Internet for comments by those who have purchased the plans and have actually built one. It appears that this designer "borrowed" some design features from some of the other existing designs.

The new electric model from Boye is inexpensive and winds yarn but it appears to not be for heavy use environments. Once again, Internet users' comments can be very useful and you should carefully investigate this model to make sure it is right for your application.  We do not recommend this unit for anything other than for casual home use.

See our Recommendations webpage for more information.
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Type

Manufacturer

Motorized can be used manually

Has interface
to electronic
yarn meter

Models
offered

Price Range

Country
(where
company
resides)

Website

Plastic

Royal

(Discontinued)

NA

NA

2

$40 - $125

Japan

See dealers

Plastic

Knit Picks

NA

NA

1

$20

USA

Knit Picks

Plastic

Lacis

NA

NA

3+

$20 - $50

USA

Lacis

Wooden

Strauch

NA

NA

1

$180

USA

Strauch

Wooden

Woolhouse Tools

NA

NA

1

$139

Canada

Woolhouse

Wooden

Nancy's Knit Knacks

NA

NA

1

$299

USA

NKK

Motorized Plastic

B. Hague Co.

No

No

2

$130 - $175
FOB UK

UK

B Hague

Motorized Plastic

Boye

(Discontinued)

No

No

1

$90

USA

Boye

Motorized Wooden

Nancy's Knit Knacks

Yes

Yes

2

$699

USA

NKK

Plans only for Wooden

Clayton Boyer

NA

NA

2

$30 Plans

USA

Clayton Boyer

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