Best knitting needles

Arts & Crafts

Knitting is a wonderful pastime that allows you to slow down and appreciate the joy of creating something slowly and with intention.

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Which knitting needles are best?

Whether you’re a beginning knitter or an old hand, it’s never a bad idea to look at new tools. Knitting needles come in many variations, meaning there’s something for every knitter. You don’t need the most expensive set to make something beautiful and functional for yourself or for someone you love. The top-rated knitting needles are Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles Set with 13 Sizes, a versatile kit with a number of useful extras.

What to know before you buy knitting needles

Project

If you’re someone who almost exclusively knits one type of item, you probably don’t need a full set of knitting needles. However, if you’re just getting started and don’t know what kind of things you’ll want to make, or if you see yourself wanting to branch out as a knitter, it’s not a bad idea to get a set. A set will have needles in every size, so you never need to worry about whether you’ll have the right needles for any project when you start.

Yarn size

Different projects will require different yarn sizes. Yarn size is what will usually determine your needle size. An experienced knitter will be able to make substitutions, but if you don’t feel confident doing this, it’s best to stick to the sizes recommended in the patterns you use. It’s a good idea to have a conversion chart handy for easy reference. A chart will tell you at a glance what size needles you’ll need. This is especially helpful if you happen to buy some yarn without having a specific project in mind.

Straight or circular

Although circular needles are commonly used for knitting in the round (think socks or any other kind of tube) and straight needles are used more for knitting flat (scarves or garments that you will later sew together), circulars are probably going to be more versatile overall. It’s entirely up to you and depends on the kinds of things you tend to knit, but if you anticipate doing different kinds of projects, circulars will probably be a better choice.

What to look for in quality knitting needles

Materials

Knitting needles are most commonly made with aluminum or bamboo. Both have upsides and downsides, so it will come down to your personal preference as to which one you get. Bamboo is a very eco-friendly material and will grip your yarn better, meaning there is less chance of your work accidentally falling off the needle. However, some prefer the more slippery feel of aluminum.

Interchangeability

Generally, nicer-quality circular knitting needle sets will be interchangeable. That means the wire connecting the needles can be screwed on and off and used on different needles. This is excellent for projects where you have to switch from one needle size to another, because all you have to do is move the work fully onto the wire, unscrew it from the needles, and then screw it into the next size. It’s also helpful when you pause on one project, but need those same needles for a different project — you can hold the old project on the wire and then use the needles on a different wire for the new project.

Overall quality

Lower-quality needles are more likely to have minor but annoying flaws. On circular needles in particular, the part where the wire joins the needle is critically important. If it has any snags, your work is going to be constantly getting stuck, which will disrupt the flow of your knitting. Poor-quality wood needles might be prone to splintering, which is bad both for your knitting and your fingers.

How much you can expect to spend on knitting needles

A set of needles can cost from $40-$70 depending on the quality of the materials.

Knitting needles FAQ

As a beginner, should I get an expensive set?

A. If it’s within your budget, sure! Knitting is a wonderful hobby, and it’s not a bad idea to invest in good tools from the start. However, you don’t always know what you need when you first start. See if you can borrow needles from someone first and get a feel for what kind you like.

How do I care for knitting needles?

A. It will depend on what they’re made of, but they don’t require much maintenance. If they’re made of wood, watch out for any splintering. With aluminum, check them for dents or bending, especially if you happen to sit on them by accident.

What are the best knitting needles to buy?

Top knitting needles

Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles Set with 13 Sizes

Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles Set with 13 Sizes

What you need to know: Made of bamboo, these interchangeable needles are solid and dependable.

What you’ll love: This set comes with a size conversion chart, a snazzy storage case and a few other nice extras. It has the most common needle sizes for the average knitter, and different lengths of wire to choose from depending on the size of your projects.

What you should consider: Some customers report quality issues where the bamboo connects to the wire.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top knitting needles for the money

Looen 37pcs Aluminum Circular Knitting Needles Set 13 Sizes

Looen 37pcs Aluminum Circular Knitting Needles Set 13 Sizes

What you need to know: Featuring a variety of fun colors, this needle set is ergonomically designed for better comfort.

What you’ll love: This set also has different wire lengths. The needles work especially well for folks with arthritis, and the aluminum is lightweight.

What you should consider: Be careful with the aluminum, as it is a soft metal and easily damaged.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Knit Picks Options Wood Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set 9 Sizes

Knit Picks Options Wood Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set 9 Sizes

What you need to know: Made from elegantly carved and beautifully dyed wood, these needles are a work of art.

What you’ll love: They are fantastic quality and a great upgrade for a serious knitter looking for higher-quality needles. It’s easy to create many different projects using these because they are very versatile.

What you should consider: This set only comes with nine sizes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Eve Jones writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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