As a general rule, I like the best quality tools I can find. And there are plenty out there for decent prices that are excellent without having to break the bank. Here are my recommendations for beginner knitting tools for those looking for excellent quality tools that are great values in both price and versatility. They’ll be fine even if you never pick up knitting again but will be just as excellent to grow with if you decide to dive deeper! They’re what I use. I prefer Circular Needles and Double Pointed Needles where possible because they can be used in place of Straight Needles!
Top [L to R]: Hiya Hiya Circulars Aluminum, Clover Circulars Bamboo, Addi Turbo Circulars Nickel Plated
Bottom [L to R]: Crystal Palace Straight Needles Bamboo, Clover Straight Needles Bamboo, Susan Bates Straight Needles Aluminum, Susan Bates Double Pointed Needles Aluminum, Crystal Palace Double Pointed Needles Bamboo
There are a myriad of knitting tools and notions, especially knitting needles. The most basic and obvious variations are material, type, and length. There are 3 types of knitting needles – Single Point or Straight Needles, Double Pointed Needles, and Circular Needles. And each of these come in varying lengths. The length you need is dependent on your project. There are also various materials like Plastic, Metal, and plant-based like Bamboo or Rosewood. From cheap cheapie (not even worth the price tag) to super luxe handcrafted artisan tools. There are also slight variations in tip styles not readily noticeable unless you’re advanced. See here when you’re ready to buy some – Where to Buy: Knit and Crochet Tools !
Circular Knitting Needles
When choosing Circular Knitting Needles there are 2 important factors to consider: The wire or cable that connects the 2 needles and the “joint” where the cable connects to each needle. Look for nice feeling pliable cables and smooth joints. Stiff unwindable cables will make your needles tough to move rendering them unusable. Cables that won’t hold their curve enough are also not ideal. So a good balance of pliable and spring back is best. The joint or join where the cables meet the needles should be as seamless as possible too. The smallest imperfection can slow you down or even snag.
Addi Turbo by Skacel
Metal. I love Addi Turbo Circular Knitting Needles. They are nickel plated brass tipped needles. Light, smooth, buttery feel. Great weight. The wire is wondrous. Perfect thickness and a great balance of very pliable yet still bounces back into shape. The spot where the cable is joined is barely noticeable when knitting. They are extremely quick! I like the shape of the needle tips too. They’re slightly more rounded than the norm. Splitty yarns split less!
Clover Takumi by Clover
Bamboo. I love Clover Takumis. Excellent quality. Delicate light (lighter than metal ones), and of course it’s natural material. (Clover Takumi Velvets if possible! Heart Them!)
Addi Turbo Click Set and Addi Natura Click Set by Skacel
Try these interchangeable needles. A set of tips in US Sizes H-K with 3 sets of cables 14″ – 29″ and an extender attachment. An efficient system that helps do away with redundancy. If you need US Size 8’s in shorts just pop them onto the short cable or onto the long cable for longs! Find them on Knitch.com along with some detailed photos. The Addi Natura Click Set is the same as the Turbos but in Bamboo! Find them on The Woolie Ewe.
Try It Needle Interchangeable Set by Knit Picks
Another great interchangeable circular needle set that is perfect for beginners who would either like to try out circs or an interchangeable set and different materials for a great entry level price, $19.99! It comes with 3 needles in Size 6 Harmony (wood), Size 7 Nickel (metal) and Size 8 Zephyr (acrylic), and two 24″ cables. One of each type of needle Knit Picks offers and in 3 popular sizes!
Double Pointed Knitting Needles
These needles can be used for Circular Knitting or as Cable Holders. They are simply sticks with points at both ends. When choosing these, it’s simple, choose something that feels comfortable to you. If you must, they can also triple as Straight Needles. So if you’re in a bind, twist some rubberbands on one end to act as stoppers and voila! Instant Straight Needles. Note: DPNs are usually short in length so they are not as versatile as they sound and can’t fully replace Straight Needles.
Bamboo. Crystal Palace. I choose these for large diameter Double Pointed Needles.
Straight Knitting Needles
Also known as Single Point Knitting Needles. These are the most traditional tools a knitter can have. They can get very fancy indeed. But when choosing these, it’s best to choose the shortest needle length that will fit your project. Too long and they will be unwieldy and terrible to work with. Other than that, simply choose ones that feel the most comfortable to you.
Plastic. Pony Pearl Knitting Needles. These are made of Cellulose and have a slight flexibility. If you like plastic, this is a popular nice one.
Bamboo. Clover Takumi by Clover
There are so many gorgeous handcrafted tools out there made with anywhere from Rosewood to Bone to Ebony and beyond. e.g., High-tech ones engineered with the latest modern technology has to offer! I have seen $40 needles even the most rabid of knitters are hard pressed to own! And I’m sure there are even more expensive luxury collectibles out there. Drool. But here are some that are quite nice in the high-end range:
Crafted from exotic natural materials like coconut palm, ebony, and rosewood and brass with customizable stoppers. They’re really gorgeous looking. $20-$30
Signature Needle Arts
I first read about these on Knitpurlgurl.com and she has a great review! They feature three different types of needle points to choose from: Blunt, Middy, and their famous Stiletto! With customizable stoppers. The main material they are crafted from are “aircraft quality nickel-free aluminum”. $25 – $40