Skip to Content

Interchangeable Knitting Needles – A Buying Guide

Interchangeable Knitting Needles – A Buying Guide

Share!

If you’ve racked up one too many fixed circular needles or realized mid-sweater pattern that you don’t have the right needle size, you may be thinking its time for a full set of interchangeable knitting needles. But, what an investment! Going from buying one needle at a time to buying an entire set of nine or more can feel like a big leap.

What I hope to do with this comprehensive buying guide is give a roadmap to help beginner to advanced knitters navigate the big world of interchangeable needles so you can make the most informed decision possible and gain some knowledge and insights into just what your options are.

Total Interchangeable Needle Newbie?

start with this video

What To Consider

When buying interchangeable knitting needles

The whole point (teehee) of interchangeable knitting needles is to have as many needle size options available to you, in the comfort of your own home, and in a neat and tidy package, for any potential future project you may knit.

That being said, most of the finer details about those needles come down to personal preference. But with these basic overview bullet points, you can start to see which features of knitting needles may be more important for your particular style of knitting.

Tips

Needle tips may be longer or shorter, sharper or more dull. Sharp needles maybe better for lace, as well as longer tips. Shorter tips are better for small circumference projects like hats while duller tips prevent splitting delicate or roving style yarn.

Material

Needles generally come in some sort of wood, plastic or metal. Metal needles offer a slick, fast experience while wood or plastic needles are grippier, warm in the hand and prevent the stitches from slipping off.

Cords

Needles maybe attached to cords in a few ways. Generally screwed on or clicked in. The cords themselves come in a range of lengths and materials. Knitters tend to prefer more flexible cords and some even swivel!

Quick Start Buying Guide

In no particular order, lets cover the majority of the brands selling interchangeable knitting needles today

Knit Picks

  • $125-$40
  • Tip size US 4-17, (3.5mm-12mm)
  • Available in nickel plated, aluminum, birch or laminated resin-filled wood
  • 3″-5″ (7.5cm-13cm) tips, long and short sets
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Laminated wood needles come in 6 unique colorways!

What knitters love

Great value for the quality. Huge variety of needles in length, color, size and material. Their foursquare line feature ergonomic, cuboidal needles.

Things to consider

Currently only shipping to the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Knitters Pride/ Knit Pro

  • $150-$40
  • Tip size US 2-19, (2.5mm-15mm)
  • Bamboo, laminated wood, nickel plated, aluminum, stainless steel and even carbon fiber!
  • 3″-5″ (7.5cm-13cm) tips, long and short sets
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Look out for limited edition sets with special colors and accessories.

What knitters love

The widest variety of needles on the market. Their “cubics” line feature ergonomic, cuboidal needles.

Things to consider

Called “Knitters Pride” in North America. “Knit Pro” globally.

Addi Clicks

  • $160-$43
  • Sizes US 4-19, (3.5mm-16mm)
  • Nickel plated or bamboo
  • 3″-5″ (7.5cm-13cm) tips, long and short sets
  • Push, twist and click into place
  • Made in Germany. Extra sharp “lace” tips available.

What knitters love

The Addi turbo’s are often considered the fastest needles. No extra tools required to swap needles.

Things to consider

Some find the locking mechanism tricky so Addi makes a cheaper “sampler set” to purchase and test it out.

Hiya Hiya

  • $175-$70
  • US 0-15, (2mm-10mm)
  • Bamboo or Stainless steel
  • 3″-5″ (7.5cm-13cm) tips
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Some sets come with an extendable piece to attach your tips and turn them into straight needles!

What knitters love

High quality needles with a wide range of fine tip sizes

Things to consider

The sharpest tips in the business, best suited for advanced knitters.

Chiaogoo

  • Price Range $230-$85
  • US 2-15, (2.75mm-10mm)
  • Stainless steel or bamboo
  • Every possible tip length available
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Special sets available for extra fine gauge (US 000).

What knitters love

The red cables are a world wide knitter favorite. Clear cables that swivel are also available

Things to consider

Finer gauge needles require different accessories. Acquiring a full collection of Chiaogoos will cost a pretty penny.

Lykke

  • $140-$70
  • US 3-17, (3.25mm-12mm)
  • Birch wood, bamboo, copper
  • 3.5″ – 7.5″ (9cm-19cm) tips depending on the set
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Fit Knitters Pride cords and tips. Swivel cords available.

What knitters love

6 camera-ready shades of needles, look beautiful paired with their matching cases.

Things to consider

Often out-of-stock sometimes hard to source.

Boye Needlemaster

  • $99-$35
  • US 2-15, (2.75mm-10mm)
  • Aluminum
  • 4″, 10cm tips
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • I did a video review of these needles you can see here!

What knitters love

Nostalgia ? Replacement parts readily available at big box stores

Things to consider

Better needles exist for nearly the same price. The cords are stiff but the needles work just fine.

Denise

  • $90-$20
  • US 5-19, (3.75cm-15mm)
  • Plastic
  • 2.75″ (7cm) to 4.5″ (11cm) available depending on needle size
  • Push and twist to lock
  • Extra short cords available to make flexi-dpns

What knitters love

Simpler push and lock mechanism than Addi Clicks. Great quality for affordable plastic needles.

Things to consider

US 5, 3.75mm is the smallest size available. Plastic needles have a lot of “grip.”

Tulip

  • $250-$110
  • US 4-15, 3.5mm-10mm (extra fine tip set available)
  • Bamboo
  • Regular tips – 4″, 9.5cm Long tips – 5″, 12cm
  • Screw on – finger tighten
  • Made in Japan

What knitters love

Smooth joins that swivel, high quality. Ability to tighten needles without a key.

Things to consider

Pricey! Replacement parts are hard to find.

Clover Takumi

  • $170
  • US 3-15, (3.25mm-10mm)
  • Bamboo
  • 4″, 9.5cm tips
  • Screw on – key tighten
  • Use that 40% off Michaels coupon for a very nice, affordable set of needles you can buy in-store.

What knitters love

Affordable and easy to find in retail stores. Made in Japan just like Tulip.

Things to consider

Currently, only one length of tips are available

Have you tried any of these interchangeable brands before?

Answer this poll to see what others think!

Honorable Mentions

Pony

An Indian craft brand with an extensive catalog of needles. Less common and hard to find for North American crafters (like many of my blog’s readers 😉

No-name aluminums

Generic brands at big box craft stores or no name colorful aluminums on Amazon. A cheap and cheerful alternative to Boye Needlemaster…if you’re into that sort of thing.

Seeknit – Shirotake

A lesser-known Japanese needle brand with 100 years of experience. Comparable high quality bamboo needles to Tulip and Clover.

There you have it!

Just about every interchangeable knitting needle set I could think of and a little bit of info about each! If you’re still reluctant to take the plunge into a full set of needles, you can always buy one tip set and and a cord from a brand you’re curious about. Give it a test drive before you make a big commitment! Or give one of the cheaper brands a go and ask for the fancy ones for your birthday 😉

Of course, we could dive endlessly into which material is right for which knitter…cord types…tip shapes…but we’ll save those for another post! I hope you found my guide helpful! Feel free to leave a comment because I know knitting needle choice is very personal and full of opinions and empirical experience, I’d love to hear about yours!