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Are You Using The Right Tools for the Job? Comparing Knitting Needles

Liat Gat - Founder

September 2, 2010

In knitting, you must use the right tools for the job. If you are using regular Addi Turbos to do lacework, or any pattern requiring many increases and decreases, the blunt-tipped knitting needles are probably slowing you down and making you work hard for those stitches.

Problem: If you are using regular Addi Turbos to do lacework, or any pattern requiring many increases and decreases, the blunt-tipped knitting needles are probably slowing you down and making you work hard for those stitches!

Solution: Pointier knitting needles like Addi Lace, KnitPicks Harmony, or Signature Needle Arts’ stiletto-tipped needles will make the job so much easier and faster.

Decrease Test: Three Brands Of Knitting Needles Attempting A K2TOG

You can see which knitting needles look like they are up for the job.

Addi Turbo needles attempting a k2tog
Regular Addi Turbos are fast for plain knitting but too blunt to easily do lace
Addi Lace needles doing a k2tog
Addi Lace Needles have a "grabby" coating and a sharp tapered point
Signature Needles stiletto tips
Signature Needle Arts' stiletto-tipped needles have a very long taper, with the added bonus that the points aren't painfully sharp

As you can see from the photo comparison, the Signature Needle Arts knitting needles easily do the job of performing a k2tog.

Stiletto-tipped Signature Needles are my top choice for working patterns with lots of increases and decreases, and you’ll probably see me using them a lot in my knitting demonstration videos.

But Those Are All Metal Needles. What About Wood Or Bamboo?

Problem: Bamboo knitting needles may give you a feeling of security on silky, slippery yarns, but will slow you way down on “grabby” yarns like mohair, angora, or homespun wool.

Solution: Addi Lace needles are just a little smoother, but they still have that “sticky” coating that helps reassure you that your stitches won’t fly off the tips.

Another choice is Knit Picks straight needles, wooden knitting needles that are smoother than bamboo but not as slippery as polished metal.

What are your favorite “tools for the job?”
Leave a comment and let me know what knitting needles and tools work best for you!

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16 thoughts on “Are You Using The Right Tools for the Job? Comparing Knitting Needles”

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  1. I’m still at little confused on what needles to use
    I have been knitting over 40 years but only just started to use DPNs and magic loop so still trying to get my head around it
    But thanks for all your helpful advice it’s a god send xx

  2. Once I tried ChiaoGoo lace needles, I never looked back! I have Addi (bamboo, lace and regular) and never use them anymore. CG works for everything!!!!

  3. I have Addi lace, but they are not in the least ‘grabby’, but very smooth. My other favourites are Chiaigoo which are surgical stainless steel and these do have just a slight touch of grabbiness but I do not find this to be uncomfortable but rather really good for most yarns.

  4. I agree about the Knitter’s Pride, both the Dreamz and Cubics. I prefer wooden needles, but don’t like any of the bamboo ones I’ve tried. The Dreams in particular are quite smooth and have a nice pointy tip. The Cubics are probably not as smooth, but have their own advantages, and also have a nice pointy tip. I just finished a fingering weight lace shawl on size 6 Cubics, and they flew through the K2Togs and K3Togs. I am just starting a cowl on size 10.5 Dreamz and the silk mohair slides on them just fine. The pointy tips are keeping me from going crazy with the lace weight mohair.

  5. I know this post was a while back but I thought I’d just add a few comments too: I use laminated wood – knitpicks or knitters pride in the US, in the UK they are called KnitPro – they are fabulous, nice sharp but not too sharp points, and smooth sliding surface. They have served me faithfully for years now (I used circs exclusively) through silk, angora, wool, alpaca and a range of blends through to acrylic yarns. They are fab with natural fibres, but can be a bit sticky with acrylic yarns so that’s my excuse for hardly ever using man-made fibre!! Would love to try signatures out but no one wants to lend me theirs – I wonder why?! :)

    1. Hmmm… I wonder! :)

      Thank you so much for sharing with us. It’s great to hear what other people like to use for their knitting.

      We all find our favorites.

  6. Always and forever Signature Stilettos…

    I love mine and will never part with them. Waiting patiently for the smaller sizes due this Fall. I hope there are plans for 10, 11, 13 and 15’s since I use those sizes often. I do use other brands of both straights and circs depending on the project and yarn. However, I tend to seek out patterns and yarn that work with the SNA’s. :-)

    PS: Liat- I love your site and can’t wait to try Magic Loop. Until now I have been afraid of socks!

  7. I have all different types of needles even some vintage acrylic that were my mom’s (from the 50’s). I find metal needles difficult to hang on to- I use circular needles almost exclusively and will swatch with a few types til I find which works well with the yarn.

  8. I’d wager that most of us can’t afford Signature needles, I know I can’t. I certainly do covet them though! Until I can afford some, I’ve found that Hiya Hiya needles work wonderfully. I do prefer the Sharps, but they don’t come in the larger sizes, so I use their regulars when necessary.

    1. Leila, thanks for your input about the Hiya Hiyas! I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about them recently. It’s true – the Signature needles really are expensive – sometimes I get a pair for my birthday. But they’re worth the wait!

  9. Hello! Always and forever Signature Stilettos…mainly because I do a lot of lace knitting! I do have Addi Interchangeables and they come in second. But you knew that about me already! Lynn

    1. Yes, I did, and Signature Needles should be writing you a thank-you letter each month! Haha. But seriously, when I find a great product like that, I tell everyone about it too. Hugs!

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