How to Find the Best Circular Knitting Needles [2021]

Circular knitting needles are a craft staple. These can be used for flat knitting, but they are absolutely essential for knitting in the round. You know you need them, but the question is, “how does one determine what the best circular knitting needles are?”

Well, we have you covered at Craft & Stitch. If you need to find the best knitting equipment for your next project or get inspiration for a new knitting project, we can help. We can even help if you want to learn something entirely different than knitting. But for now, let’s focus on finding you the best circular knitting needles.

What Features to Consider

The best way to find circular knitting needles is to look at the basic features of these tools. Once you know what features to consider, you can decide which one is the best for you. We will also use the following list of features when we look at recommended products on the market.

Adjustability

Since circular knitting needles are used for projects that require certain measurements, it is a good idea to find needles that can be adjusted in length as needed.

Material

Knitting needles can be made from many different materials. Each of these materials provides a unique feel when working with them. Certain projects and certain types of yarn will work better with certain knitting needle types than others. For a better understanding of what this means, let’s look at three common knitting needle materials side by side.

Acrylic – Knitting needles made from acrylic are inexpensive, flexible, and easy to grip. All types of yarn can be used with acrylic needles since they are smooth, allowing fibers to slide easily.

Bamboo – A bamboo needle is stylish and sturdy. They may not work well with every type of yarn since they can be a little rough and can easily catch on loose strands of fiber.

Metal – Metal needles made from metal are inexpensive, sturdy, and easy to find. They should work well with any type of material since they are smooth. Metal may be a little more difficult to hold and can cause hand pain when used extensively.

Price

It is important to find knitting needles that fit within your budget. Since there are so many varieties on the market, this should not be a difficult search.

Quantity

Rather than buying a single set of needles, you may want to look into purchasing an entire set of needles. With a set, you are more likely to have all the sizes you need for every project you pick up.

Size

If you only want to purchase one set of needles, then carefully consider what size you will most frequently use.  

Recommended Circular Knitting Needles to Consider

Now that we have discussed the features that need to be considered while looking for the best circular knitting needles, we can look at some recommended products. The above list is what we will use to determine if a product is worth considering.

The Best Acrylic Circular Knitting Needles: Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles Set

 

Are these needles adjustable? Yes, this set includes eight different needle sizes and three differently sized cords. The cords can be attached to any of the needles.

How many needles are included? There are eight differently sized needles.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $64.30.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from acrylic.

Pros

  • Beautifully colored needles
  • Customers love how pretty the needles are and how easy they are to use
  • It comes with a carrying case

Cons

  • It may take a few weeks for shipping
  • Slightly expensive

The Best Adjustable Circular Knitting Needles: Addi Click Basic Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needle System

Are these needles adjustable? Yes, this is a set of needles in ten different sizes. The cords come in three different sizes: 24″, 32″, and 40″. The cords can be attached to any of the needles, and the cords can be attached to each other to make longer cords.

How many needles are included? There are ten different needles included in this set.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $145.00.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from metal.

Pros

  • Includes ten differently sized needles
  • Includes three differently sized cords
  • Set is completely interchangeable
  • Durable
  • It comes with an organizing carrying case
  • Customers love this set because it is easy to use and organize

Cons

  • It is an expensive set
  • Some customers have stated that the lettering on the needles wears off after some use

The Best Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles: Clover Takumi Combo Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

Are these needles adjustable? Yes, this is a set of twelve needles and five cords, all sized differently. Each cord can be attached to each needle.

How many needles are included? There are twelve differently sized needles in this set.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $85.91.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from bamboo.

Pros

  • It comes with an organizing carrying case
  • Includes twelve differently sized needles
  • Includes five differently sized cords
  • Needles are smooth and will slide across yarn fibers easily
  • Customers love this set because of its quality and because of the organizer case

Cons

  • Pricey set
  • Some customers have stated that the points of connection do not stay connected and are rough

The Best Budget Circular Knitting Needles: Seawhisper Circular Knitting Needles

Are these needles adjustable? No, these needles and cords are permanently attached to each other and cannot be removed or exchanged between them.

How many needles are included? This is a set of six differently sized needles. The needle sizes included are 2.75mm, 3.75mm, 4.5mm, 5.5mm, 8mm, and 10mm. The cords are all 28″ long.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $14.99.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from stainless steel.

Pros

  • Cords are durable
  • Cords are very flexible
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Inexpensive
  • Made from sturdy materials
  • Needles are lightweight
  • Needles are marked with their size

Cons

  • Cords come in only one size
  • Needles and cords are not interchangeable
  • Not a great selection for beginner knitters
  • Yarn does not move across the needles easily

The Best Circular Knitting Needles for Beginners: CuteDIY Circular Knitting Needles

 

Are these needles adjustable? No, these needles and cords are not designed to be interchangeable.

How many needles are included? This set includes six differently sized needles. The needle sizes are 0, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 13. All the cords are 16″ long.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $13.99.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from steel.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Made from sturdy and durable materials
  • Needles are smooth, and yarn glides over them easily
  • Cords are flexible

Cons

  • It does not include a carrying case
  • Not meant for use with large projects
  • Not interchangeable
  • Some customers have mentioned that one of the needles broke after a few uses

The Best Ergonomic Circular Knitting Needles: Prym Ergonomic Circular Knitting Needles

Are these needles adjustable? No, these needles are sold individually, so you will have to purchase several sizes if you plan to work on different projects.

How many needles are included? One set of needles.

What do these needles cost? These needles are priced at $10.77.

What material are these needles made from? These needles are made from a synthetic material, and the cord is made from steel.

Pros

  • Customers love this item and have given it great reviews
  • It is designed for easy use and to reduce hand pain
  • The cord is sturdy but flexible

Cons

  • Needles are sold individually rather than in sets

The Best Metal Circular Knitting Needles: Chiaogoo Twist Tip Interchangeable Complete Set

Are these needles adjustable? Yes, this set of needles can be attached to any of the included cords.  

How many needles are included? There are seven differently sized needles included in this set and three differently sized cords.

What do these needles cost? This set is priced at $160.00.

What material are these needles made from? The needles in this set are made from stainless steel.

Pros

  • Includes seven differently sized needles
  • Includes three differently sized cords
  • Includes end stoppers, stitch markers, and needle gauge
  • It comes with an organizational carrying case
  • Cords are flexible and memory free
  • Returns are free
  • Customers have given this set a lot of positive reviews

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some customers have commented that the product quality is not good
  • Some customers have commented that the connected pieces come loose
  • Some customers have commented that the tips are very slippery and difficult to use for certain stitches or with certain types of yarn

FAQs

Question: How to Know Which Size of Circular Needle to Use?

Answer: The best way to determine which size of circular needle to use on a project is to use the size recommended by the designer of the pattern you are working through. But, if you are designing your own pattern or would like to experiment with sizes, then you should know a few basics about circular needles in order to select the appropriate size.  

Consider the following pieces of information as you make your selection:
– The length of the cord, rather than the size of the needle, is the most important number to consider when you are knitting in the round.
– The circumference of a knit in the round project should not be longer than the circumference of the needle since the project cannot be stretched over extra inches to connect to the next round. Ultimately, the circular needles should be either the same size or smaller than the circumference of your project. Don’t forget to include the length of the needles in this calculation.
– Measure circular knitting needles from point to point to find their actual length.

If you have circular knitting needles that are too long for your project and they are not interchangeable, try the Magic Loop method to shorten the cord.

Question: Can Circular Knitting Needles be used Instead of Straight Knitting Needles?

Answer: Yes, absolutely they can. If the cord can be removed from your circular needles, then that may make the process easier, but even it cannot be removed, the needles will still work the same on a flat project.

Question: Can Straight Knitting Needles be used Instead of Circular Knitting Needles?

Answer: While it is true that circular knitting needles can be used for projects that require straight knitting needles, the converse is unfortunately not true. Circular knitting needles are designed for knitting in the round, and therefore, have a cord attached between the needles to enable rounded projects to be completed. Straight knitting needles do not have a cord to hold the project together, so they are unable to create rounded projects.

Question: Is it Possible to Keep Circular Knitting Needles from Curling?

Answer: Yes, you simply need to warm up some water and dip the cord in it for a few seconds. Remove the cord from the water and gently tug it straight.

Question: Where Can I Find Patterns for Knitting in the Round?

Answer: There are so many wonderful patterns available for free online. If you have a project that you would like to try, then search online for a pattern for that type of project. If, however, you are looking for project inspiration or a community where you can grow your knitting skills, try one of these sites:
Craft Gossip
Mama in a Stitch
Modern Daily Knitting

Question: Are Circular Knitting Needles Allowed on Airplanes?

Answer: Yes, TSA approves knitting needles for both checked and carry-on luggage. They should, however, be stored in a way that will prevent them from injuring anyone.

In Conclusion

Knitting is a favorite pastime for many people, and circular knitting needles are an absolute necessity to accomplish many different types of projects. Now that you have the knowledge to select the best circular knitting needles for you and your knitting style, you don’t have to worry about getting frustrated during the shopping process. With this article as your guide, you can select the best needles and get straight into what you really want to do – knit. Happy crafting!

Further Reads:

Research Citations

Trade Wind Knits

Sew Homey

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