Chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles review 2024

A detailed and in-depth review of the circular ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles – from red lace to the shorties.

Whenever I see someone asking for the best knitting needles online, there is one name that constantly pops up: ChiaoGoo. The Chinese brand has been producing knitting needles since the 1980ies. They first started with simple bamboo needles, but soon branched out to add interchangeable knitting needles to their portfolio.

chiaogoo red twist interchangeable knitting needles set

Because there has been a lot of interest in these knitting tools, I decided to take a close-up look at all of their needles and choices. What are the pros and what are cons? In which areas do these knitting needles excel, and where will you find better needles?

This is going to be a long review because there are a lot of choices and things to consider. But I guess that’s why you came here, eh? The sets are not cheap and I feel it’s important to present you with a full list of features and my personal experiences before you commit.

I bought a big and brand new interchangeable knitting needle set specifically for this review and tons of accessories. I’ve got mine on Amazon but you can buy it on Etsy as well. Here are the links to the ones I bought:

Important: ChiaoGoo is far from the only company to offer interchangeable needles. Below, I will also talk about a couple of negative aspects. I’m doing so to give you all the information you need before you buy it. I explicitly want to stress that none of the other sets on the market is 100% perfect.

They all excel in different areas and this ChiaoGoo review is meant to help you decide if these are the perfect needles for you and your knitting style (but make sure to also check out my AddiClick review and my Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection review). And if you were looking for dpns, I also have a review of the best double-pointed knitting needles.

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.

The ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needle set

The full contents of the chiaogoo red twist lace 5 inch interchangeable knitting needle set
Everything that’s in the set at a glance

So, let’s do some virtual unboxing for you. I’ll take a look at the big 5″ inch lace set with 13 needles here, which is the most expensive and most complete of the lot. There are smaller and cheaper sets as well (like this small red lace” set), so, definitely consider these as well, if you are still unsure after reading this review.

a look inside the bag with the needle sizes stitches on the various slots
I love that the needle sizes are stitches into the various slots

All sets come in a big cotton bag with a little compartment for accessories in the front. Once you open the zipper, you’ll find slots for the big needles to the right and slots for the smaller needles to the left.

The bag is sturdy enough and I really like the fact that the needle sizes are printed on the different slots. Experienced knitters will know how easy you mix things up and how annoying it can be to find the right size if everything is in chaos.

The big set comes with 13 needles in sizes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 13, and 15 (that’s 2.75 mm up to 10 mm).

In addition, you get small red twist cables in the sizes 14″/35cm, 22″/55cm, 30″/75cm, and another 3 cables in the same sizes for the big needles (so, that’s 6 cables in total).

cable stoppers, extenders and keys aligned next to each other
The cables stoppers, extenders and keys

Then you’ll get cable stoppers. Two each for the big and small needles, and a cable extender on top of that (you can use that to connect two cables for an even longer cable).

needle size card and stitch markers
These needle size card and the stitch markers are part of the set

There are only 2 keys to screw the needles tight and you get a somewhat flimsy needle-size reference card, and some very simple round stitch markers.

So, much for the content of the sets. I feel you get everything you need, though it has to be said that ChiaoGoo offers one of the priciest interchangeable knitting needle set – often costing around 150-160 USD (so it pays off the wait for a bargain).

Except for the keys, the stitch markers, and the needle size card, everything is of good quality and still within the price expectations. I wish they would put one longer cable into their sets, though. Also, the presentation falls maybe a bit short given the high price point. I mean, it’s not like you’d expect golden door handles, but a simple cotton bag is taxing the premium tool spirit a tiny bit in my opinion.

Then again, quality over nice wrapping, and I’ll talk about that in the next section. You’ll also find tons of additional accessories online, and I’ll talk you through your options a little further down as well.

The General System

showing how the chiaogoo interchangeable needle set works by inserting a key into the cable to screw the tip together
That’s how you connect the cables with the tips

Let’s take a look at the more general ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needle system first. Like all other brands, you basically get a set of needle tips you can attach to the same set of cables offering you virtually unlimited possibilities.

There are little screws at the end of each needle tip and you can screw them into the cables. There is a little hole in the hull of the cable ends where you can insert a key/pin for some additional leverage to really screw the joins tight.

the join between tips and cables under magnification - it's almost seamless
The join under magnification (to the left is the tip of a pin)

The join is incredibly smooth. There’s virtually no transition or noticeable kink. I own fixed circular knitting needles that are worse in that department. ChiaoGoo has the most flawless join of all interchangeable knitting needles on the market. Period.

The connection itself is sturdy enough, though it does sometimes happen that these screws become partially (or fully) undone while knitting. You can buy little rubber grippers online to screw them even tighter. Other brands (like addi or HiyaHiya) already put these grippers into their sets, and don’t charge 5 USD + shipping for a 2-cent item, though (*rant*).

On top of that, the join is, compared to its competitors, a little less tight. Though, none of them are without issues. I guess it boils down to the nature of all of these systems – you can’t create a permanent join out of two parts without some minor flaws.

chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles in large, small and mini
The three different cable sizes next to each other: large, small, and mini

One major disadvantage of the ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needle sets is the size diversity. There are two sizes of tip screws and cables in every big set. So, the basic idea, that you have one big cable and can connect any tip to it at will, is kind of spoiled by that. You cannot simply connect a size 10 needle to one of the small cables.

There is even yet another size available for the super small needle sizes (down to 1.75 mm).

next to each other: size mini, small and large chiaogoo red twist cables for comparisson
The three different sizes (mini, small, large) side by side

So, essentially, you have to deal with 3 different sets and it’s not really one for all. On a more positive note, ChiaoGoo is the only system that really offers these extra small needles. But with addi or Knitter’s Pride, you can use the same cables from size 3 to 15. That’s both easier and cheaper to handle. Plus, I don’t see any advantage (actually quite the contrary) of having a thinner cable.

The ChiaoGoo Needles

chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles close up

Let’s take a look at the actual knitting needles next. I personally feel that is the most important aspect. As a knitter, that’s the part you constantly have in your hands and it’s one of the most deciding factors when it comes to tension and stitch definition in your final project.

close-up magnification of the tip of the chiaogoo lace needles

The ChiaoGoo needles are lace needles and have really sharp tips. Not a stiletto kind of sharp, but very close to it. They are thus probably not the best beginner needle or the fasted needle for big stockinette stitch projects, but perfect for any project with difficult increases like p2tog tbls, or triple decreases.

The taper is very long (again, perfect for stitches and repeats that require you to knit right on the tip) and the transition to the body of the needle is reasonably smooth.

close-up of the laser cut size information on each needle

I really like the fact that the needle sizes are laser cut into the needles and not just printed on (because that rubs off just so quickly).

a close-up look at the taper at the end of the needles towards the join

The taper at the other end of the needles towards the cables, is somewhat abrupt, though. Really tight knitters will sometimes notice it when they push stitches from the cable to the needle, but it’s not the biggest issue. Just something you to take note of.

Needle Sizes: From 5″ to the shorties

different sizes and lengths of the chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles next to each other - minis, shorties and the 5 inch tips
Different sizes and lengths next to each other

The big advantage of the ChiaoGoo interchangeable needle system is, in my opinion, the incredible amount of different possibilities you have got in terms of needle sizes.

Needle sizes range from 1.50 mm (US size 000) up till 10 mm (US size 15). That’s already incredible because none of the other companies offer this kind of range.

On top of that, those needle sizes are available as 4″ or 5″ tips. I personally prefer the larger option because, as a man, my hands are a bit bigger and it does feel more comfortable. But the important message is: you get to choose.

the chiaogoo shorties in two different sizes 2 and 3 inches
The 2″ and 3″ shorties

And the most amazing part are the Chiaogoo shorties. They probably deserve their own review. So, I’ll keep things brief here for now. These are 2-inch and 3-inch tips for sizes between 1.50 mm and 5 mm (US 000 – 8). The shorties are perfect for small-diameter projects (like socks, etc) when you don’t want to do magic loop or knit in the round on double-pointed needles.

I want to be honest, however. I personally can’t really knit with these ultra-short needles. My hands are too big and the way I knit requires me to hold the needles with the ring and pinky finger – and that doesn’t work with these ChiaoGoo shorties. But, I know a lot of knitters who swear by them.

They are available as a combo pack (here is a link to the size 3 shorties as an example) so you could give them a try before you commit to a full set. This could be also a nice gift idea for a knitter who loves the brand.

chiaogoo red twist mini interchangeable knitting needles next to a 1 cent coin for size comparisson
The size 000 minis

As far as the ChiaoGoo Mini are concerned (that’s needles between 1.50 and 2.50 mm), these are sort of nice as well. I mean, the fact that there are interchangeable knitting needles for these small sizes is incredible enough.

Are they the most durable small size knitting needles? No! Do I think interchangeable knitting needles make sense for such small needles? Maybe not. It’s all a bit too flimsy and fiddly in my opinion. Do I like the fact that they require mini cables? No.

On the plus size, anyone who does knit with such small needles will know that needles size 0 and below are basically a disposable product. They end up crooked and broken just so fast and I guess it would be easier to exchange just the tips instead of the full needle. Though, don’t expect to save a lot of money.

The material:

close-up to show the grain of the stainless stell needles

ChiaoGoo produces in surgical stainless steel with no coating. The finish is thus very smooth but still offers quite a bit of grip. They are not the best knitting needle for speed knitting but they are extremely durable, despite being hollow and very light (note: the very small sizes are solid).

If you drop them or step on them, you can bend them or create kinks. But generally speaking, they are as durable as it gets and there really is nothing to complain about.

I will have to say that the finish is not ideal for hypersensitive persons. There’s a distinct and noticeable grinding noise whenever two needles touch. It’s not chalkboard scratching kind of hair-raising but definitely something that irritates me personally.

The needles produce the typical click-clack knitting sound, but it’s not disturbingly loud and nothing that bothers me (despite being so sensitive).

chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles in steel and bamboo next to each other

They also have a bamboo version available. This can be a very good alternative for people who like even more grip and don’t like slick metal needles.

The ChiaoGoo interchangeable bamboo needles are even lighter than their metal sisters, but, for more or less apparent reasons, not as durable. Sit on them or drop them, and the risk is high that they break or you’ll get splinters at the tip.

close-up of the chiaogoo bamboo needle tips

That being said, as far as Bamboo needles are concerned, these are excellent. Very smooth finish, very high-quality woodcutting and I found them to be reliably durable with good tips (often a problem with bamboo).

Do the ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needles contain nickel?

Yes, they definitely do. Surgical stainless steel is an alloy that contains, among other things, nickel. Not in large quantities, but it’s there. And I have it on good authority that people who have a severe nickel allergy will get a reaction within hours.

See, it’s not like you touch them once and you’ll get a rash. But do consider that you sometimes hold these needles in your hands for hours at a time – all the while “sweating” ever so little.

Also, the joins of the older needles had a nickel-plated copper join (in case you are looking for buying a vintage set) but not anymore.

The cables

no memory effect: chiagoo red twist lace cables in different sizes stretched out next to each other

One of the biggest highlights of the ChiaoGoo interchangeable needle sets are the cables. They are the only commercially available company to offer coated steel wire cables. Why does that matter? Well, they are not only very durable but also have zero memory effect.

close-up of the chiaogoo red twist cables so you can see the coated steel wire
The cables under magnification

What does that mean? If you ever knitted with a circular needle, then you know that the cable can get in the way of your knitting, like constantly. You can fix some of it by pouring boiling water over these cables, but not all of it. And the ChiaoGoo red twist lace cables will remain straight no matter what you do. No curling, no memory effect.

This makes the cables ideal for knitting shawls and other big projects. I am personally not convinced these cables are the best solution for magic loop projects, but I know a lot of knitters who make it work nevertheless. Still, it can be somewhat troublesome to bend them through those stitches.

In terms of durability, it has to be said that the weak point of any cable needle is the point where the cable is glued/clamped into the hull/screw at the end. I can’t remember a single time in my 30 years of knitting that a cable snapped in the middle. It was always there at the end. And here, the ChiaoGoo is neither better or worse than the competition. This is not to say you really need to be afraid of it, the joins are as nice as it gets.

the chiaogoo spin cables for the bamboo needles

ChiaoGoo really doesn’t have a lot of cable choices, but there is one other product available: The ChiaoGoo spin cables for their bamboo interchangeable (though they work with any other needle as well). These are cables that allow for swivel action. This means the cables can rotate freely in their sockets. This prevents the cable from getting twisted as you knit but also makes the join less durable.

close-up of the swivel at the end of the chiaogoo spin cables
A close-up look at the swivel join (hard to show movement on a picture ;-))

It’s more of a product geared toward beginners, I guess. I personally don’t see how they add value, because you can easily fix any twist by rotating the needle as well, but I can see why some people will find it interesting. Despite being plastic, they have got very little memory effect, so they are definitely not a bad choice.

the flexible chiaogoo blue twist lace cables - a very short cable

And last, but not least, they only recently released the ChiaoGoo Blue Twist cables (often sold together with the shorties). It’s a coated wire cable as well, but quite a bit more flexible, making it ideal for small circumference projects. As of now, they are not available in a lot of sizes, but I actually like these much more than the red twist lace cables.

Cable extenders and adapters

close-up of how a cable extender connects two cables together for more length
A cable extender connecting two cables for more length

There are also a couple of cable extenders and adapters available and part of most sets. Of all the brands on the market, I feel ChiaoGoo has the smartest extenders available. Each has a little keyhole to screw things tight, and they are just as big as they need to be so you don’t have a huge rigid bridge in the middle of your cable (I’m talking to you, addi!).

different needle adaptors to connect a mini cable to an S and M cable by ChiaoGoo
Stacking the “Mini to Small” and “Small to Large” adapters in a row

There are also adapters available, so you can connect smaller cables to bigger needles. There is small to large and mini to small. For obvious reason, it doesn’t work the other way around because the end of your cables would end up too big for your stitches.

Do I like these? Well, I think it is a good attempt to make up for the cable size dilemma. But on the negative side, you are adding even further instability to your knitting needles and yet another join and I’m not a big fan of that. You can, however, use these adapters to eke out another half-inch of length and turn a 4″ needle into a 4.5″ needle with a smaller cable. That can be smart.

chiaogoo needle conectors attach to a stitch marker for easy storage
But here’s one tip (I also included this in my list of 10 knitting hacks). Attach those little bits to a stitch marker and pin it to your pouch. That way you can a) find them much faster and b) they won’t get lost as easily.

Final verdict

chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needle set

So, let’s connect the dots. For your convenience, I put together some links to the most important sets currently available. I bought mine all on Amazon, but sometimes there can be a nice bargain on Etsy as well.

I think you can’t do wrong with buying any of these sets. ChiaoGoo is a true household name in the knitting needle market and all of their products are of very high quality. Because they offer so many different options in terms of sizes and needle lengths, I believe this is truly a product where you can start small and expand your collection as you proceed along your knitting journey.

They are not the fasted option on the market, but they have the perfect tips for intermediate lace knitting where you really need a sharper tip. The memory-free cables and the seamless joins are the icing on the cake in that regard because there’s virtually nothing to disturb even the most delicate yarn on your needles.

There is no denying, however, that ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needles are very expensive – especially as you might need to buy a couple of rather expensive accessories as well. The needles are somewhat noisy and that tiny bit of nickel in the alloy (10-12 percent) doesn’t make them the ideal needle for super-senitive knitters (addi is much better in that regard).

All in all, I don’t think they are the best beginner needle and rather a set an advanced knitter might buy to treat themselves or as a special birthday/Christmas present (just in case: here’s my list with the best gifts for knitters).

Those knitters who are knitting with them for a long time will be able to attest that they are a true workhorse and will be able to accompany you for years and years to come. The reviews on Amazon are also extremely positive so that is definitely another indicator that lots of knitters made positive experiences with the ChiaoGoo needles.

So, That was my ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needle review. Feel free to comment below in case you have any questions.

chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needle review

31 thoughts on “Chiaogoo interchangeable knitting needles review 2024”

  1. omg norman. thank you for this truly impressive review. you helped me a lot. I wanted to buy them cuz i love knitting shawls and you totally convinced me. Love how you also talked about some downsides and not depicted them as all cream and peaches like some other reviews i read.

  2. I love my Chiaogoo Red Lace needles but I am still not convinced enough to buy a set of interchangeables as I have heard too many stories of them coming apart midproject. That scares me .

    • Hey Mary,
      well, to tell you the truth that can happen. But it can happen with any other knitting needle as well – especially when you put them under too much stress (which some ppl do when knitting with too short a cable).
      That being said, I would only buy it if you need it 🙂

  3. Hi Norman,
    I’m so glad I took the time to read your review! I have the 5 inch tip set and really love them but did not understand the Shortie Twist set dimensions. I thought only the tips were shorter. I am delighted to learn the cables are shorter as well. I dislike (translation, not very good at) using dpns. I have several hats to make for Christmas gifts and would love to have an alternative to dpns when the 16 inch circulars no longer work. Thanks for your blog and beautiful patterns.

    • Hey Virginia,
      i’m so happy I could help you! Oh…and I do talk German as well – even though your English seems perfect! 🙂

  4. Hi Norman,
    What an outstanding review. This is exactly what a review should be, thorough and honest. I have a few interchangeable wooden needles, but I actually find them a bit awkward due to arthritic hands. I’m not sure metal is a good option for me. I’ve heard great things about the cables, and I do wish the cables on the wooden needles I have were far more flexible. This is the first review where I’ve heard Chiagoo had so many different cables for the needle sizes. 🙂

    • Hey rita,

      thank you so much for your input. Actually you might look into carbon needles by Knitter’s Pride. Or the cubics – though I have heard mixed responses from ppl with arthritis – some love them, some don’t.

  5. I second your impression of Red Lace cables (Chiagoo) for Magic Loop. They are intended to remain straight and not curl, so they don’t really work great when doing Magic Loop because the wire inside always wants to spring apart when folded over(looped).

    • Hey Jen,
      happy to hear that. I got a lady from ChiaoGoo fanclub which seems to be commenting on every video and and article with the contrary. And I will say that if you are using the adapters for the thin twist wires and you use a long enough cable it certainly does work. But is it the best alternative? Certainly not and that’s what this article is all about. Ofc it works and you can squeeze through the cable. But with every round, the chance to greater a ladder are soo much bigger (one could go as far and say guaranteed).
      And ironically, I am not even saying CG is bad or anything. I’m just saying that all needles have their strengths and weaknesses and a good knitter will navigate around them 🙂

  6. Since the best interchangeable needle sets are very expensive, I’m reading reviews carefully. I’ve already put n hours and hours. I have a huge number of old aluminum straight needles I got from relatives and friends; having tried one interchangeable set and finding aluminum very slippery, I am edging toward picking an interchangeable set. I have a few questions if you are willing to take the time.

    The 4 brands you recommended go along with what I’ve read/seen so far.

    Do you have any other information comparing brands based on slickness of the needles (metal vs wood vs acrylic)? For example, one site said acrylic may be best for very loose knitters (and I think I’m on the loose side) because stitches are less likely to slip. From what I’ve been reading and what you said the metal ones may be too slick for me at this point in my experience. I also gather that different surfaces work better for different types of yarn, but I can’t afford to get more than one set.

    I’m not really clear how to evaluate long taper vs medium taper and sharp vs medium points. Some reviewers mention these differences; others do not. I am not a lace knitter – yet – tho I’m finding the lace patterns very interesting.

    I’ve also been confused because some sets say not all in some sets work on all size needles. Do you have any comment about the sets that are like that?

    To finish a project I bought a Knitter’s Pride size 8 Dreamz interchangeable. Like the finish but it kept coming unscrewed. I tried and tried to use the tool to tighten without breaking the tool. So what you said about whether there is anything that may catch the yarn interested me.

    Since most of the sets I’ve seen only offer some sizes, do most brands offer additional single size needle points if you want a larger or smaller needle size than their sets come with? I realize I could buy a fixed needle pair if necessary.

    I agree with you about cheap not usually being the best bet.

    I try not to buy from Amazon – hate their employee policies – but in this case I may not have a choice financially.

    I’m too old (75) to be able to get really good, tho I have some experience from back in my 30’s, and I’m on a very limited income. So I have to make my decision carefully – find the needles that are most likely to be OK for someone who still doesn’t hold my needles as well as I should but wants to get as good as I can. So any suggestions/info you can offer will be gratefully listened to.

    Thanks for your deep reviews and for whatever help you can offer.

    • Hey Cathleen,
      I’ll try to answer you questions in the order you asked them.
      1) Like you said metal is really slick, wood (especially bamboo) has a bit more friction. I don’t think loose knitters should get a different material. After all, if things slip easily that also means it’s easier to knit and you can use needle stoppers for storing.
      As for using a different kinds of materials for different yarns, I think that is overanalyzing a bit too much. At least when it comes to knitting ease. Some yarns are really easy to split, though, and really sharp needles might get in the way.
      2) A long taper is excellent for complicated stitches and tight knitters. So, if you need to knit 3 stitches together but those 3 stitches are wider than your taper, then this would be difficult. If this confounds you it’s probably nothing you need to worry to begin with.
      3) Not all brands are offering all needle sizes. Knitter’s Pride only goes down to 3.00 mm. And Chiagoo goes below, but it requires a different cable
      4) That probably sounds like you had a broken needle. THis can happen with all brands. You can try to send them in and get a new one.
      5) yes all brands I know offer you to buy single cables/tips. Just search it on amazing

      As for being old…ah i think you are never too old to learn. However if you have slight problems with your hands, then you might look into the cubics needles. These are special needles that a lot of knitters report are much easier to hold thus gentler on your joints.

  7. Hi Norman,

    I just want to add some info that Knitter’s Pride now also offer the coated metallic cables (memory free cords), in their Mindful collection. The collection has so beautiful needle sets and assesories.

    Have a good day,

    • Hey Phoebe,

      thank you for adding that. I am aware of their new needles. sadly, they haven’t become available in Europe yet.

  8. My mother taught me to knit the summer I turned 10–I just turned 75 last July, and while I haven’t been a dedicated knitter in all those years, I do have a great deal of experience. I also owned a yarn shop for several years.

    I was a huge fan of bamboo needles for a long time—until I did my first lace project, when I realized the tips on most bamboo needles aren’t sharp enough to do lace comfortably.

    I tried all the well-known brands: Addi (too slippery); Carbonz (points too dull); Hiya Hiya (okay); Kollage (initially great—after they made them a sharper square with stiletto points, very uncomfortable); Plymouth Yarns (okay); Crystal Palace bamboo (a great bamboo needle—they’re soaked in a resin so the finish becomes part of the needle and the points are sharper than other bamboos); Clover (dull points and the finish wears off to the point that they become sticky, and their joins aren’t great); plus various and sundry other metal needles; and I’ve come to the conclusion that for ME and MY knitting ChiaoGoo are the absolute BEST.

    I’ve had only one cable come loose from the tip—I used the t-pin and the little red heart gripper (which comes WITH the set) to retighten it and never had another issue. I’ve found the needle tips consistently screw into the cable the first time, every time—smoothly, easily—it’s nearly impossible to cross-thread these needles.

    I’ve found the adapters—which allow you to use a mini cable with a small needle—to be perfect for magic loop. I did have one cable where the end broke off—I went to the Westing Bridge website (distributor), posted a picture, filled out a short form and they sent me another cable for free that very same day.

    I can’t say enough positive things about these needles! They’re smooth but still grippy, they have tapered points which aren’t too sharp and as far as the cost goes—it’s not as if we’re going to buy an interechangable set every couple of years. I’m happy to pay a little more for quality workmanship—ChiaoGoo needles definitely qualify. So much so, that I got rid of all the rest of my needles, except for some DPs and some larger fixed point ChiaoGoos.

    There’s a webstore called Handsome Fibers (Cottage Grove, Oregon) that sells all the various components—every single option for ChiaoGoo. Their customer service is EXCELLENT and they not only ship very quickly, they offer discounts depending on the size of your order and there’s FREE shipping in US for orders over $25. And, NO, I am not affiliated with them in any way nor am I receiving any kind of compensation.

    In my opinion, ChiaoGoo are the very BEST needles I’ve ever used.

  9. In your review on the interchangeable sets, you make a note that the red twist cables make it difficult to use for magic loop. Is this also the case for the blue twist cables?

    • While there are many reasons why one may not wish to supply one’s name when asking a question, and I have the utmost understanding for anyone who doesn’t wish to supply any credentials, please also respect the fact that my penchant for helping other knitters in my little corner of the internet rests on a mutual sense of trust, friendship, and the ability to address someone by their real name. thank you for your understanding.

  10. Thank you, Norman for the thoughtful and informative review on chiaogoo interchangeable. I think I may be ready to finally invest in a set after listening to your impressions! Thank you!!!

  11. I totally agree with Suzanne. I have both an Addie and ChiaoGoo set. I find the Addie tips way too slippery and the cords kinking and curling drive me crazy. Also the connection does catch the yarn. The ChiaoGoo Tips do have a little more grip but they are still slick enough. They join is very smooth and when tightened with the key very seldom come apart (the Addie will come apart too if you don’t get them connected properly). The ChiaoGoo cords do not kink/curl, they have no memory. The cord for the mini set is very flexible and great for magic loop. ChiaoGoo is the most versatile set out of all of them. Now they have a new swivel cord available. They may be a little more expensive but the options are endless and well worth the money.

  12. Hello Norman,
    I own the shorties in red, like them for their small size, I can knit (socks usually) while standing in line and put them back in my pocket when it’s my turn but the only problem I have is that I break the cables often when I’m using the 9 inch or shorter, I am a very tight knitter and it does me no good lol. What is the better technique for tight knitters like me?

  13. Hi Norman!
    Thanks for this great review! You’ve influenced my decision to treat myself to a set of shorties. I have tiny hands so they work well. I don’t particularly like that the cords are so short but I’ve since ordered separate longer cords. I’m looking at the 4 and 5 inch sets now. Which one should I go for first?

    • for small hands, I would say 4 inch is typically the better option. The smaller the needle, the smaller the diameter you can knit in the round (without having to do magic loop, etc). So that’s always a bonus.

  14. I’m late to the party, but really appreciate the thoroughness of your review. My only experience with interchangeable needles has been an ancient Needlemaster set, which I dislike for many reasons. I love the ChiaoGoo fixed circulars, though, so I decided to investigate their interchangeable sets. The variety of options is great but can be confusing to the uninitiated, which is why a review such as yours was so helpful. Many thanks!

  15. Hi Norman
    I watch and enjoy so many of your videos. I know you have explained before but what is the absolute best interchangables for magic loop.
    Keep up the good work
    Karen from Australia

  16. SO glad I found your review!

    I am “one of those” who obviously puts a Lot of pressure on the cable join to the mini 00 tip, sigh. Several have broken at the join. However, I am going to experiment with adding a short Red Lace cable to the mini 5” tip to A) make an effectively longer tip and B) the shorter cables will be less expensive to replace often than the longer 30” (or so) cables for magic loop (which is how I knit my socks). We will see how it goes, but I am Hopeful.

  17. Thank you Norman,

    I’m looking forward to reading your other reviews.
    I have complete sets of Chiagoo interchangeables (bamboo and metal) and their shorties/minis and I enjoy knitting with them.
    I agree with all the pros and cons you have noted and feel the same way about the shorties, even with my smaller hands; so I prefer other methods of knitting small circumferences.
    I have had times when the cables have untwisted from the needles but it is only when I haven’t bothered to take the time to use the tool and (overpriced!) silicone gripper to screw them in securely.
    I am interested to try other sets, depending on the project. So I will take a look at your other reviews too. I’m particularly interested in Addi squares.
    I am intrigued as to what it is about the chiagoos that leads you to say (in your mail out) that you nearly hate them. I’m guessing it must be because the cables aren’t one size fits all? Along with the overprized gripper? I’m hoping to find out what your favourite ‘go to’ needles are.

  18. Hello Norman, Thank you so much for all your funny, very informative and extremely useful videos and blogs. They are a joy to watch.
    Can you recommend any plastic interchangeable knitting needles? Or if anyone else reading this can suggest a brand. I’m in Europe, so preferable ones I can purchase here.
    Million thanks Tania

    • i rarely, if ever, knit with plastic. But addi has those golden tips and prym also has some plastic needles. Not saying either of them are good or bad..just that they exist.


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