I own dozens of knitting needles in a collection that would be best described as “alarming.” Even though I try to keep them confined in a storage bin in one corner of my apartment, they still manage to get everywhere.
While I could manage with just a couple of needles, an experienced knitter would agree with me that you need many types and sizes of needles to be ready to make pretty much anything.
However, when starting out in this wonderful, creative hobby, the chances are you’ll go with a pair you recognize from cartoons or pop culture; most probably a straight wooden or steel needle with a ball on top.
While those are fantastic, there are a great many worthy options on the market. For instance, circular needles connected by plastic cords are a great option for beginners and can be used to produce virtually anything from hats and socks to sweaters. Then there are double-pointed needles that are perfect for items with small circumferences.
But with so many options available, it can be wickedly overwhelming for beginners. While I agree part of any hobby is figuring out what works for you, it can be a struggle to target the right knitting needle when you are a beginner.
Fortunately, your search comes to an end here; below we’ve reviewed the top five knitting needles for beginners and included a handy buying guide to help with the selection process.
Table of Contents
The Best Knitting Needles for Beginners For The Money
#1 ChiaoGoo 7400-C Twist Tip - EDITOR'S CHOICE
The ChiaoGoo Twist Tip revolutionizes how we think about using needles by utilizing plastic coated steel cables that rarely kink, twist, or bend, letting beginners knit so quickly and smoothly that they never want to put their knitting down.
What is more, the ChiaoGoo Twist Tip comes with a host of desirable features especially for beginners to make every second of your knitting enjoyable and rewarding.
Features and Benefits
The ChiaoGoo 7400-C Twist Tip, as its name suggests, uses a gentle C-curve for its cables instead of the traditional S-curve you can find in other cables. C-curves don’t twist, curve, or bend, so you won’t have to fight the cable during the knitting process.
For the knitting needle, you will love the slick stainless steel that feels and looks good. It’s not slippery and even has a slight grip for easy holding.
However, it’s easy for knitters with large hands like mine to get pretty tired using needle four-inches long. Likewise, the cable connectors are relatively small, and if you have any problem with handling small objects this might be an issue.
The stainless steel needles are smooth and slick but not so slippery that your stitches fall off if working with bamboo or silk blends. Additionally, the steel needle lets you knit faster and you experience less snagging from the fibers and yarn than with the cheaper bamboo needles.
Knitters who are allergic to nickel will also find the steel needle a valuable purchase.
At the same time, the ChiaoGoo’s memory-free cable is constructed from multi-strand, steel-encased red nylon which doesn’t hold a shape or retain a twist to inhibit your knitting movements.
The lack of memory is particularly essential for the beginners so they won’t have any problems with the needle coming loose from the cable.
At a length of four inches, the ChiaoGoo needle is perfect for smaller hands, but I think the five-inch may be a little more comfortable for people with larger hands.
Nevertheless, the needle length lets you make a decent amount of toys and gives knitters a wide range of project opportunities, from baby hats to afghans.
The ChiaoGoo treats you to three cable lengths allowing you to create circulars of 16″, 22″, and 30″. The cables are incredible, though users found them a bit thick for a magic loop, but this is not a deal-breaker since you can get yourself an adapter for using the mini cables.
With a nice long taper and pointed tip, the ChiaGoo needles will easily take knitters from lace to bulky yarns.
The yarns move smoothly over the needle and cable, and the tips have a subtle texture preventing dropped stitches.
#2 Clover Takumi Bamboo Single Point - Best Single Point Needle
There’s a lot to love about the Clover Takumi knitting needles, but beginners will appreciate how the needle delivers a surface that helps stitches stay on the needle while maintaining tension.
This needle is also a great craft option for seasoned knitters as they’ll love the lightness, warmth, and feel of the bamboo needle, not to mention the reliability of Clover’s reputation.
Features and Benefits
It’s easy to get hooked on the Clover Takumi needle, and many knitters love the way bamboo feels—warm, smooth, and natural.
For me, I love the flexibility of the material which keeps my hands from getting tired.
Don’t like the clicking sound of metallic needles? You’ll love these bamboo needles as they naturally absorb sound instead of reverberating with it.
I’ve been crocheting for several years and I don’t like wooden hooks, as I often find them rough in spots, so I was extra critical about the smoothness of the Clover’s bamboo needles.
To my surprise, each of Clover’s needles is polished for smoothness, and I love how the needles glide smoothly without snagging the yarn fibers. I even found them a suitable option for use with ultra-fine and smooth yarns.
Plus, with the bamboo yarns slip just enough, but not too much, as with acrylic or metal needles.
However, their greatest draw is their lightness and feel, which makes them an inspiring purchase for knitters with wrist or hand pain or arthritis. For regular knitters, it’s also possible to knit for extended periods without your hands or arms getting tired.
Clover needles are available in two lengths, 9″ and 14″, which is useful for flat knitting.
The 9-inch length is easier to manage with smaller projects, with the shorter length making it easier to control your knitting.
On the other hand, the longer needle is perfect for those who like to knit with their needles outstretched like wings, though you should think twice before using this length while seated with other people in confined spaces like trains or planes.
It’s essential to consider the tip of a knitting needle, especially if your craft equipment is wooden.
Fortunately, on the Takumi, you will find two needle-tip styles, pointed and round, so you can work on a variety of yarns.
While cobweb and lace knitters would prefer sharper tips for small sized needles, this needle works with most yarns, including those typically split such as cotton.
#3 Karbonz Double-Pointed Needles - Best Double-Pointed Needle
The Karbonz double-pointed needle is another awesome option for beginners as it helps them control their tension whether knitting in a tight or loose style.
Another thing beginners will appreciate is how this carbon fiber needle eliminates the chances of stitches falling off when learning how to knit.
It’s also a worthy purchase for seasoned knitters as it’s reliable and can be used on various yarn weights, including cobweb and worsted.
But, is it the right beginner needle for you?
Features and Benefits
With a carbon fiber construction, the Karbonz double-pointed needle is lighter than a metallic option, so knitters will experience less tiredness in or strain on the hand.
While seasoned knitters might find the needle a bit grabby, it’s not enough to make you wrestle with the stitches. The needle still allows you to have plenty of speed, especially with its sharper tips.
Overall, the Karbonz is an ideal option for beginners as the carbon needles are less likely to allow stitches to fall off than from other surfaces. However, if you’re still new to double-pointed needles it would be best to use a tip protector on the non-working ends of the needle to avoid dealing with lost stitches.
I like that the Karbonz needle is made from carbon, so no matter how tiny a needle size I pick, I’m not in danger of snapping it into two.
Plus, the carbon is a bit ‘stickier’ than nickel and will keep your stitches on the needle easier. However, the needle might not be suitable for tight knitters for the very same reason.
Compared with bamboo or wood, the carbon material isn’t that grabby, but it’s better than stainless steel; a bonus for newbies when using their first set of double-pointed needles.
We also love how the Karbonz needles slide easily through the yarn, making them a pleasure to work with.
Karbonz double pointed needles are available in lengths of both 6 and 8 inches—great options, especially if you’re using larger yarn weights.
I find the 8-inch needles work better for me, considering that I have relatively large hands, as there’s more to hold onto. The greater length is also suitable for knitters who are prone to experiencing tiredness in the hands as the large holding area reduces overall stress on the hand.
The Karbonz’s double-pointed tips will take you from worsted and Aran weight with rounded tips to lace weight with pointed tips.
Additionally, the nickel-plated brass finish on the highly polished tips ensures the needle will work even on the smallest yarn weights.
Furthermore, experienced knitters find that the tips of the Karbonz needles move under yarn without causing much splitting.
#4 HiyaHiya 4" Sharp Steel - Sharpest Needle
The HiyaHiya brings a variety of enjoyment to your knitting projects and is a particularly great option for lace knitters who are looking for the sharpest needles.
What’s more, it has a stainless steel construction for longevity, and each needle features a hole for that all-important lifeline.
Additionally, the swivel-design cables prevent curling and twisting allowing for hassle-free knitting.
Features and Benefits
With a stainless steel construction, the HiyaHiya offers a faster knit than wooden needles, and, more importantly, it retains a bit of resistance, with some yarns providing just a bit of grip.
With this needle you won’t need to push stitches across the needle surface.
This needle is also lightweight, and the tips feel warm and cozy, so your hands won’t feel tired even after extended usage.
Beginners will find the needle a doddle to use and easy to learn, especially with the pointed tips and smaller weight yarns, because the steel construction offers just enough hold to prevent stitches from dropping.
I’m not a big fan of metal needles, but my view might change after using the HiyaHiya.
These stainless steel needles have a little more grip than nickel needles, but not more than wood. They’re also short, therefore more flexible.
They’re also smooth, and yarns don’t stick very much to this metal, allowing the material to glide easily for faster knitting.
Finally, for a long-lasting needle with no risk of scratching, denting, or bending, we couldn’t keep away from the HiyaHiya.
At the same time, the screw-type plastic cables offer an easy and fast connection to the tips, which allows the needle to work well for magic hoop projects or small crafts like baby socks.
These steel needles are not only durable, but they’re practical too, especially for small hands. Additionally, the 4-inch length makes it easier to work on small crafts and areas like the crown of hats or stitching up the fingers on a glove.
Additionally, the HiyaHiya’s cable set comes with cords of 18″, 24″, 32″, and 40″ lengths. We like that the cables swivel where they join the connector to eliminate tangles for uninterrupted knitting movement.
My only criticism with the HiyaHiya is there are so many parts, especially the connector to join cable lengths together, that it’s easy for the parts to get lost.
The HiyaHiya’s tips are incredibly sharp. Though not as sharp as the more advanced Addi needles, they’re sharp enough to poke a hole in your finger if you’re not careful enough.
The tradeoff is the needles are great for working cables without a needle, and also for lace knitting. They help you sail through tightly twisted stitches and even the tiniest and ultra-soft lace yarn.
And the good thing about the tips is that they’re steel-made, so even when you hold them tightly, they don’t feel like they can bend or give in.
#5 ChiaoGoo Red Lace - Best Lace Knitting Needle
Though the ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles have lace in their name, these needles can be used on virtually any other craft, including shawls, socks, and hats.
With their classic circular design, complete with a flexible cord, the ChiaoGoo Red Lace will keep you enthused about your new knitting hobby.
In particular, beginners will find this needle a great option for creating round projects such as hats and socks.
At the same time, the long cables will benefit serious knitters with easier row counting.
But, is the ChiaoGoo Red Lace the right option for you?
Features and Benefits
Beginners might find the ChiaoGoo Red Lace a bit slippery for their liking, but learning to work with various yarns and picking up speed from scratch is half the fun of knitting.
For seasoned speed stars, there’ll be nothing to hold you back on the ChiaoGoo Red Lace as the pointed tips, smooth joint, and memory-free cord will help with the knitting process.
We also have to mention that the ChiaoGoo Red Lace is aesthetically pleasing, with the polished silver of the stainless steel and red plastic of the cord giving the needles a sassy, upbeat look.
ChiaoGoo Red Lace’s stainless steel needles are as practical as knitting needles can get, and we love how smooth they are, yet still “sticky” enough to prevent the yarn from slipping off the needles.
The steel tips also don’t split the wool at all, and we were impressed by how non-slippery they were compared to cheaper steel needles.
When it comes to the cable, we love ChiaoGoo’s selection of material. By utilizing a steel cable housed in a plastic tube, the cable won’t curl into a round shape and want to get in the way when knitting flat objects or wraparound pieces when knitting in the round.
Besides inhibiting memory retention and keeping the cord out of your way, the unique cable construction adds to the cable’s overall strength, so the weight of your knitting project is less likely to pull the cord from the needle than plain plastic can do.
The Chiaogoo Red Lace is available in a variety of lengths allowing you to work on different projects.
But, because they’re not interchangeable, it’s impossible to connect the individual lengths to make a longer cord.
This is not a deal-breaker, though, when you’ve got a 60-inch cord which offers ample room for chunky and bulky yarns and large projects.
Also, at 5 inches long, the stainless steel needle will give users with larger hands something substantial to hold onto, translating to less tiredness in the hands during long knitting hours.
The Chiaogoo Red Lace’s pointed tips were initially made for working on smaller weight yarns, though most knitters have no problem using a whole variety of yarns with these needles.
The tips are also sharp with no snagging making for efficient and precise knitting. Plus, their sharpness makes it easy to insert the needle into each stitch.
Best Knitting Needle for Beginners Buying Guide
Selecting a knitting needle for a beginner requires you to prioritize certain needs of comfort and ease of use.
But, beyond these two factors, there are other elements you should look out for, which we shall discuss briefly below.
However, before I share these with you, let’s first look at the different types of knitting needles for beginners.
Types of knitting needles for beginners
There are different types of needles on the market, and you need to pick one that suits your project.
Some of the popular types of knitting needles are:
Straight needles are the most popular types of needles with beginners because they have a point at one end and a knob at the other, a design that keeps stitches from slipping off and can afford beginners a level of confidence.
Straight needles are also relatively inexpensive, yet they are versatile and can create a range of crafts.
They’re also easy to use and perfect for learning and completing small, basic knitting projects.
The second type of knitting needle is circular, which is further divided into regular and interchangeable.
Interchangeable needles are perfect for experienced knitters as they allow the attachment of different cables and ends to them, making the size more flexible to your needs.
At the same time, regular circle needles are perfect for new users as they ensure the stitches are fixed.
As their name suggests, double-pointed needles have points at both ends and are the best option for knitting round-shaped crafts such as socks and hats.
Cable needles make the best needles for creating beautiful patterns, including different types of cables.
They’re short and can also be hooked straight.
Factors to consider when selecting the best knitting needles for beginners
Now that we know the different types of needles and their uses let’s look at the factors to consider when selecting a beginner needle.
Knowing the right needle to buy for your knitting is not the only important feature. You also need to know the choice of material used.
Common knitting needle materials include:
Wooden knitting needles
Wooden knitting needles are lightweight and often made of rosewood or ebony.
Wooden needles come in cool designs and bright colors, but their biggest disadvantage is a tendency to break.
Metal knitting needles
Metal needles are by far the most popular and best options, but again, it’s all a matter of preference.
They offer stability and durability, and don’t cost a fortune.
However, the biggest disadvantage with metal needles is the clicking sound they produce while working, though some knitters don’t mind the sound and even find it therapeutic.
Plastic knitting needles
If you prefer knitting with large needles, plastic knitting needles are the perfect choice for you.
Plastic needles are flexible, lightweight, and easy to use.
Unfortunately, they tend to get deformed and break easily.
Bamboo knitting needles
Bamboo needles are available in cool designs.
Their greatest draw, however, is their environmental-friendliness.
Casein knitting needles
Casein needles are made from milk protein and have similar properties to the plastic knitting needles.
When choosing a knitting needle, it’s also important to select the tip.
There are two main types of needle tips on the market, namely blunted/round and sharp/pointed.
Pointed tips are suitable when extra knitting care is needed, and they’re effective with lace, cobweb, and fingering yarns.
On the other hand, round-tipped needles also have their benefits and uses. They’re particularly effective when working with larger yarn weights and making large products like blankets.
Yarns that also split easily, like novelty yarns, fibers, cotton, and acrylic yarns are also great to knit with with the help of sharp needles.
There’s no specific size for a knitting needle, but the ideal size depends on your pattern, yarn, and gauge.
However, it’s easier to use large needles when learning to knit, ideally from US11/8mm and up.
Nevertheless, the most important thing when it comes to picking the perfect needle size to start your knitting hobby with is that it should fit the yarn.
Why are large needles good for beginners?
Big needles are beneficial to beginners in several ways.
To start with, they’re easier to handle and beginners often feel more secure with the larger needles.
The second benefit of larger needles is they allow your project to go faster because your knits are larger and more quickly look as if you are making progress, which can be encouraging for beginners.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
All our reviewed knitting needles are fantastic options, but we feel the ChiaoGoo 7400-C Twist Tip is an all-around option, suitable for both beginners and seasoned knitters.
We love that it has an interchangeable option, and, more importantly, it features C-Curve promoting a memory-free cable to remove any form of entanglement when knitting.
It’s also a versatile model, and though the length is a bit short, this needle will allow you to work on a variety of projects from socks and afghans to caps.
On top of performance, you’ll also love that it comes at a budget-friendly price.