Beka Yarn Swift Review

Article by Emma Lane

For hand crafters looking for an easy-to-use yarn swift, the Beka yarn swift may be it. The durability of the hardwood and the rotation on ball bearings means this swift will hold up well under a lot of use.

If you purchase your yarn in hanks, and a lot of them, then the fast spinning of this swift means you’ll be crafting sooner. Going beyond the typical tabletop style swift, the Beka swift looks like a functional piece of art with a traditional twist, which makes it welcomed by anyone itching to wind yarn and start creating.

Beka Yarn Swift Review Facts

Reviewed Swift: Beka 07901 Yarn Swift

Overall rating: 

Rating Breakdown




Look & Feel:  

What We Like

  • Lightweight at approximately 3 pounds
  • Simple to use
  • Maintains tension on yarn hank
  • Spins quickly and easily
  • Removable dowels for smaller yarn hanks
  • Eco-friendly, renewably sourced wood
  • No clamps or screws to mar furniture
  • Nothing to tighten helps people with sore hands

What We Don't Like

  • Must be stored as is or disassembled for flat storing
  • When used with a ball winder, stopping during winding may tangle yarn
  • Ball bearings may be noisy when using swift

With a passion for wood and over 40 years experience manufacturing weaving looms and award-winning children’s toys, specialty manufacturer, Beka is a family owned business in Minnesota. Using their knowledge of wood to develop weaving accessories, the Beka yarn swift not only supports the needs of weavers, its unique design benefits knitters, crocheters and spinners too.

Based on cross-frame and early American yarn swifts called Maine Rotary swifts, the Beka yarn swift follows the tradition of using hardwoods blended with practical functionality. This tabletop style swift with four diagonally placed arms gets kicked up a notch as it spins on maintenance-free metal ball bearings. The ball bearings also provide a smoother and faster spin.

Taking the guesswork out of hank size, crafters of all skill levels appreciate the diagonally placed arms which allow the yarn to fall directly into the right sized circumference without the need to resize the arms.

Key Features

  • No clamps means no scarring or dents in table tops
  • Hanks slide down arms to natural resting place for unwinding
  • Ball bearings in base allow for fast spinning onto a ball winder
  • Rubber feet on base cross pieces keeps swift from sliding while in use
  • Use on table top or floor
  • Made from hardwood

What You Need to Know Before Buying

Material: 4.5/5

Made from maple, a hardwood sourced in the US, this wooden swift should give you a pleasurable ball winding experience even after many uses. 

The swift spins on metal ball bearings in the base, which creates less wood-to-wood friction, making a smooth, fast, spinning action. Some people find the ball bearings to be noisy when spinning.

No worries if your dog or cat takes a bite of this swift as this natural wood product arrives without paint, oil, or varnish. With no coating on the wood, all yarn types remain free of excess oil, flecks of paint, or sticky varnish.

Adhesive-backed rubber feet keep the base from sliding when in use.

Size: 4/5

Hank size: With all four arms in use, this swift holds large 72-inch hanks.

Have smaller hanks to wind into a ball? Beka has you covered – the diagonally placed arms hold smaller sized hanks in place. The hanks fall to the appropriate place on the arms. Another option for smaller sizes is to simply remove one or two of the dowels, place the yarn on the remaining dowels and wind away.

Storage space: Although the Beka yarn swift requires plenty of room to store, it looks great. When not in use, leave the swift out as a piece of art, shawl storage rack, or jewelry display rack. If you have limited space, you can disassemble the yarn swift for flat storing.

Yarns: 3/5

From cobweb to super chunky, this swift does it all. Some people find that yarns with more halo catch on the arms of the swift. Yet, this isn’t an issue for everyone as some people find this bit of grabbing keeps the hank a bit more securely in one place on the arms.

If you prefer a smoother wood, then a bit of light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper will smooth out any areas of the wood that catches the yarn.

Because this swift rotates on ball bearings, it spins super-fast. If you use it with a ball winder, when you must stop in the middle of winding a cake, remember to stop the swift at the same time as the winder. When the swift continues to rotate, after stopping the winder, the yarn continues to stream off the swift, which could cause a tangled yarn mess. Not what anyone wants!

Durability: 5/5

A dense hardwood, maple works well for making furniture that lasts. As this swift rotates on ball bearings, there is less wood-to-wood contact and less chance of the wood wearing away over time. Fewer moving parts mean less items to break or become non-functioning. Additionally, dent resistant maple becomes harder with age, which means this swift may become a piece handed down from generation to generation.

Beka swifts have a smooth sanded finish, which allows the natural wood color to shine. If you want darker wood, apply oil or varnish to the surface. Adding an oil finish may be beneficial for anyone living in dry climates to assure the wood does not dry out.

Look & Feel: 4.5/5

At less than 3 pounds, this portable lightweight swift easily keeps you winding yarn cakes for hours. This easy to assemble and disassemble swift requires no tools and only one person! Crafters of all skill levels appreciate the rubber feet on the base of the swift, which keep it from sliding or tipping when in use.

Once assembled, this swift might be beneficial for anyone with arthritis or sore hands and wrists because as it requires no screwing, clamping, or tightening of parts.

If your work space finds you elbow to elbow with walls or your ever-growing yarn stash, you may find it best to disassemble this swift for storage.

If you’re looking for yarn accessories from a simpler time, then this age-old style should bring you hours of enjoyment and use.

How to Use the Beka Yarn Swift

Once assembled, follow these simple steps to use the Beka swift.

  1. Untwist the yarn hank and open it into a round.
  2. Place the yarn over the top of the swift allowing the yarn to slide down the dowels.
  3. Remove any ties holding the hank together.
  4. Untwist any areas of the hank to provide an inner and outer surface.
  5. Find the two ends of the hank and place the inner end towards the back of the hank.
  6. Use the outer end to attach to a ball winder or to begin forming the yarn into a ball.
  7. Turn the crank on the ball winder or pull the yarn to wind into a ball by hand as the swift spins on its own.

It’s that easy!

How Does it Compare to Other Swifts?

Cutehill Umbrella Swift
Economical plastic and metal umbrella swift.

People find the clamp on this swift makes dents in table tops.
Schacht Goko Metal Swift - It's Back
Great for smaller weight yarns such as lace and fingering.

Works best for hanks of small to medium circumference.
Standwood Wooden Umbrella Swift
Positive results from users of all experience levels for this collapsible wooden umbrella swift.

Wood screws for tightening and clamping might prove difficult for someone with arthritis.
Stanwood Tabletop Amish Style Yarn Swift
Basic tabletop style swift useful for all yarn weights and for small to large hanks.

People appreciate the retro style but find the base moves across tables while unwinding yarn.
Schacht Swift with Counter
Simply pull a pin to move this horizontal swift into a vertical swift.

People appreciate the high-quality and durability.

Counter measures skein yardage while winding.