A detailed review of the most popular double-pointed knitting needles sets, their pros and cons and which ones you should buy
Do you want to start knitting socks? Or are you not satisfied with your current ones? And now you are wondering which double-pointed knitting needles are the best. Which set should you buy?
Then you came to the right place. In this buying guide, I will show you all the top double-pointed knitting needle sets and provide you with close-up macro shots of the tips and the pros and cons of the materials.
I am an avid sock knitter with 30+ years of experience under my belt, so I’ll try to chip in my personal experience with all of these dpns on the way. A lot of the needles may look very similar but, as always, the devil hides in the details.
Reading tip: How to knit in the round with dpns. Also, check out my tutorial with 10 tips and tricks for knitting in the round like a pro.
I’ve seen a lot of people giving up on knitting with double-pointed needles, and often I suspected they were just using the wrong brand for them. So foremost, this review is meant to help you find the right set for YOU, and not just provide you with personal favorite ones (that would be the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz).
Anyway, let’s dive right into my list of the best double-pointed knitting needles, eh?
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.
Which material is best when it comes to double-Pointed knitting needles?
If you ever went to a craft store or had a look online, then you might already know that double-pointed knitting needles are available in quite a lot of different materials. From carbon to plastic, the number of available choices can actually sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
And I want you to understand that no two knitters are alike: It’s not only the projects and the yarn choice that differs, but also the knitting style, the experience, and the overall knitting speed. And as a result, the perfect double-pointed knitting needles for me might actually be the worst choice for you. So, here’s a very brief overview of the different materials and their pros and cons.
- Bamboo: Light, inexpensive, warm in your hands, and has a nice friction that prevents stitches from falling off so easily. Usually has rather round tips, not suitable for complicated patterns. Not particuarily durable, may splinter or break.
- Hardwood: Almost as light and warm as bamboo but often more expensive with a smoother finish with sharper tips. Often especially pretty and resonably durable.
- Aluminum: Very light, often has nice sharp tips while not being slippery at all. Can bend quite easily (especially small sizes).
- Coated aluminium: Often with polished and super slick tips. The body of these double-pointed needles creates the right kind of friction to prevent stitches from falling off too easily while still being reasonably fast to knit with. The coating may rub off over time and small sizes will end up crooked fast.
- Stainless steel: Rather durable material with often super sharp tips. Fast to knit with and usually quite light. Small sizes will still end up crooked, though not as fast as aluminum. Feels cold in your hands.
- Coated steel: Super fast to knit with but often on the heavier side. Depending on the coating, allergies may be an issue. Quite resistant to wear and tear – except the super small sizes. Feels cold in your hand.
- Carbon: Very light, warm and extraordinarily durable. Very hard to break these. The body has a nice friction while the polished tips (if they have them) are super fast to knit with. Available in ultra small sizes. Often a noticeable transition between tips and body.
- Plastic: Cheap needles for beginners and practising. Not especially durable but quite light. Can feel a bit sticky.
If you go through the list above, you may notice that none of the available materials for double-pointed knitting needles is perfect. At the end of the day, you need to consider which compromise is acceptable for you.
Either way, let’s take a look at the different brands.
#1 Knitter’s Pride
Probably no other brand has so many different double-pointed knitting needles on the market. I selected the best four types in my opinion. Please note that Knitter’s Pride (Americas) and KnitPro (Europe) are identical and interchangeable.
Karbonz Double-Pointed knitting needles
The Karbonz range by Knitter’s Pride is my all-time favorite choice when it comes to double-pointed knitting needles. I use small dpns a lot and for the longest time, that basically meant I had to replace my needles every 2 or 3 socks because the needles ended up all crooked.
The Karbonz needles, on the other hand, have a super durable body made out of carbon. It’s virtually impossible to break them while knitting. Yet the material is super light, warm to the touch, and has a nice kind of friction that keeps your stitches on the needle. The durable material allows for the production of double-pointed knitting needles as small as size 0000 (1mm).
The tips are glued to the body and are very slick (so allow for fast knitting) but only moderately sharp. The little kink around the transition between metal and carbon is the only weakness of the needles. You notice it slightly when sliding your fingers across but stitches never get stuck or anything (note: the extra small sizes don’t have the metal tips).
Now, these double-pointed knitting needles will not last forever either. At one point, the coating of the tips will rub off. After years, the tips may come loose, and they do break when you step on them. Still, they are vastly more durable than any set I am aware of. The discrepancy is less noticeable when we are talking about 4 or 5 mm needles. Here, you have a lot of options that are similar or even better.
Recommended for: People who love to knit with small sizes (so below 3 mm) and who focus on moderately complicated patterns.
The knitter’s pride Zing dpns are a colorful addition for anyone who wants a combination of super-light needles and moderately sharp tips. The price is also quite competitive as well. The body of the needles is coated so there’s a little bit of extra resistance to keep your stitches on the needles while the tips are polished to allow for reasonably fast knitting.
Like all aluminum needles, they are only moderately durable. So, the coating may rub off, and the smaller sizes will bend quite easily. I find the tips are a bit squarish and wish they were a bit rounder.
Recommended for: Advanced beginners+ who love light needles, simple tips, and some color
Interestingly enough, it’s very difficult to find good pure metal needles and the Nova Platina by Knitter’s Pride are, if you ask me, by far the fastest double-pointed knitting needles on the market. They are just so super slick.
The tips are sharp but not ultra sharp and the taper is actually quite long. I feel it’s a very good combination for speed knitting. Unsurprisingly, they are quite durable, though the size 2 mm needles will not last a lifetime. Also, the Nova dpns are a bit heavier than most other needles.
The Nova Platina dpns are also available as Cubics (so not round but rectangular). The ergonomic shape is meant to relieve hand pain.
Recommended for: Intermediate patterns and advanced knitters who want to go as fast as possible.
If you look around my blog, you will see my knitting with the (Symfonie) Dreamz double-pointed needles a lot. They are my go-to set for almost all my knitting tutorials. The reason for that is quite simple: I do believe they are probably the prettiest dpns on the market.
But setting that aside, they are also very light, warm, quite durable, and have reasonably sharp tips. Certainly not the sharpest on the planet but I do feel they are lovely for intermediate and beginner projects without overly complicated stitches. I personally believe they shine the most for those larger needle sizes (4 mm and above). The smaller sizes (below 3 mm) are maybe a bit too flexible for my liking.
Recommended for: Beginners and knitters who love the feeling of wooden needles but want it prettier and more durable than bamboo and prefer to knit with larger sizes.
Note: Knitter’s Pride also offers the Royale dpns. These are like the Dreamz but with metal tips. They are faster to knit with but do have a slightly noticeable transition between the body and tips.
I actually think it’s quite the smart product that offers the best of both worlds, so to speak. Pretty and not too slick & fast to knit tips. They do have some weird holes in the tips (probably for screwing purposes or so). I couldn’t say you notice these, though.
#2 HiyaHiya double-pointed knitting needles
When it comes to the best double-pointed knitting needles for lace knitting, I don’t think there is a finer product than the HiyaHiya needles. These tips have a luxuriously long and stiletto sharp tip and the stainless steel offers the right kind of friction to prevent your stitches from falling off too easily.
They are quite light on top of that and reasonably durable. As they are hollow inside, the smaller sizes will end up crooked fast when doing a lot of complicated stitches but that would be the case with all other competitors as well.
You know, when it comes to interchangeable knitting needles, the verdict between HiyaHiya and ChiaoGoo (which both produce very similar products) is less clear and probably boils down to which cables you prefer. But when you look at the double-pointed knitting needles, I do think there is a razor-sharp (excuse the pun) difference. Plus, the taper is quite a bit longer as well!
Recommended for: Lace knitters and people who want their tips as sharp as possible
#3 Signature needle arts (about to be discontinued)
The award for the most expensive double-pointed knitting needles definitely goes to Signature Needle Arts. The U.S.-based company produces very fine, coated aluminum needles that come with a hefty price tag. A single set will relieve you of $67 or more. That’s some serious money.
At the same time, I do have to admit that the needles do glide through your knitting like a hot knife through butter. The tips have a lovely sharpness, they are polished in a special way to allow for super-fast knitting, while the coated body offers quite a bit of friction to hold your stitches on the needles.
Setting the price aside, the needles have two major flaws, however. They are only available down to 2.25 mm. This probably has to do with durability issues. Aluminum is rather malleable and nobody wants to spend that kind of money on needles that end up crooked very fast.
Also, the needles produce a kind of very noticeable chirring sound when you glide them across each other. And mind you, that happens a lot when you knit in the round. If you are not very sensitive in that area that’s probably nothing to worry about, though. On a more positive note, they are the only company I know where you can choose between 4, 5, 6, or 8-inch long dpns.
You can buy them on their website (and some selected LYS also stock them)
Recommended for: Very good product with outstanding knitting qualities when money is no consideration and you don’t need small sizes. Probably better for more complicated patterns.
One brand that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is Lykke. They produce fine driftwood needles that look quite amazing. In fact, if I had to decide on the best double-pointed knitting needles only based on their appearance, they would probably make the race.
I would place the material somewhere in between bamboo and other hardwood needles. So, the surface has been polished but still retains a bit of its natural grain. This means they are not the fastest needles on the planet but they also keep your stitches on the needle. Plus, they feel pleasantly warm in your hands.
The tips are a bit blunter and the bigger needle sizes have a black connector piece in the middle. There is no noticeable transition and, aside from looking pretty, it also displays the needle size (the super small sizes are only dyed black in the middle).
Speaking from personal experience and what I read online, the needles are reasonably durable and I would definitely place them above Bamboo. At the same time, I would probably stay away from the super small sizes as these are very easy to snap through (that is true for all other wooden needles as well, though).
Recommended: Advanced knitters who love knitting with bamboo but want a little extra luxury for their hands and added durability.
The Chinese company ChiaoGoo has become quite a household name when it comes to interchangeable knitting needles. They also produce double-pointed knitting needles in stainless steel and bamboo.
The tips are medium sharp but do have a very short taper. As a result, the needles are versatile but probably not ideal for lace knitting or other patterns with complicated stitches like double increases or cables without a cable needle.
The body of the needles is not utterly smooth. The steel has a bit of a texture. On the plus side, this keeps your stitches from falling off too easily. On the negative side, this means these dpns are not the fastest on the market and they produce a strange kind of noise when gliding across each other.
The needles are hollow inside and quite light as a result. But if you buy one of the smaller sizes (below 3mm), this also means they end up crooked rather fast. I do like the little pouches the full sets come in. Quite useful and easy to store (especially as they are not as big as other needle cases).
Recommended for: Intermediate knitters who don’t knit complicated patterns
Note: ChiaoGoo also has a range of bamboo dpns. Speaking from personal experience, their bamboo products might actually be the best on the market. I did not include them here because I personally don’t knit with bamboo needles anymore. They also have mini cable needles as another option for knitting in the round.
The German family business addi has been a fixture on the knitting needle market for almost two hundred years. The unique interchangeable knitting needles certainly offer a very viable alternative for everyone who hates screws. Personally, I am not all that convinced of their double-pointed knitting needles.
The probably most exciting product of the lot are the addi Colibri. These are coated pure aluminum needles that are exceedingly light. They also have unique tips. One end is blunt while the other end has a very sharp lace tip. So, if you are someone who pushes their needle tips often, this could be a nice solution for you.
Also, the fact that each needle of a set has a different color makes it easy to use them as orientation. Say, the red marks the beginning of your round and blue the start of your heel or so.
I do have to say, however, that these needles are sadly not all that fast to knit with due to the coating also covering the tips. On top of that, the needles bend very easily – even the larger sizes. The coating is not all that resistant to wear and tear either, though addi has a very lenient lifetime warranty (that actually works).
Recommended for: Intermediate lace knitters and people with a light grip
Classic sock needles (“Premium”)
Addi started in 1829, so it comes as no big surprise that they also offer classic metal double-pointed knitting needles. Back in the day, these were typically 20 cm as big, knee-high stockings required quite a lot of stitches on your needles. Sadly, they don’t produce them in 15 cm and as a result, the needles are quite heavy.
The tips are rather rounded with a short taper. So, probably more suitable for plainer sock patterns. On the plus side, they are available down to size 1.5mm. Also, these needles are slick. So, if you want to knit stockinette stitch in the round as fast as possible, these might become your best friend.
Recommended for: Very classic patterns and people who want to go as fast as possible
Note: Addi offers quite a lot of other (novelty) solutions for sock knitting as well, but as this article is about dpns, I didn’t feel like mentioning them.
The last brand I want to mention here is Prym. I started out knitting on these needles, and knit my first pair of socks with their dpns. I do believe they are a very reasonable choice for beginners and people who only occasionally knit in the round.
Their pure aluminum double-pointed knitting needles are quite a classic. They appear greyish as if coated and the surface is quite slow to knit with. And that actually makes them ideal for people who are just starting out. Later on, they are probably too slow. Still, the tips are actually quite sharp.
The smaller sizes suffer the same fate as all small aluminum needles, though. They end up crooked faster than you can look. And I noticed how the coating (?) at the tips rubs off over time and that can be uncomfortable to knit with.
Prym also has a range of bamboo needles which I feel are quite nice. They are both affordable and have somewhat nice tips in fact. They are surprisingly sharp and nice to knit with (I used them for some of my beginner tutorials).
They are certainly less fancy than the bamboo needles by ChiaoGoo or Addi but have a lower price tag as well. So, if you are looking for a solid product for your first pair of socks, this could be a good choice.
Recommended for: Affordable Beginners and slower knitters looking for affordable products
Note: Prym products can be a bit expensive in the U.S. due to import taxes etc.
What length of double-pointed needles do you need – 10, 15 or 20 cm?
You might have noticed that double-pointed knitting needles come in different lengths. Most brands let you select between 15 and 20 cm (6 and 8 inches). And a lot of beginners will probably wonder which size is better. Well, that depends on your projects but here are some things to consider:
When you are knitting in the round with dpns, you have to slide the needles around with every turn to secure your stitches. And the longer the needle, the farther you need to slide them. Also, your project is easier to hold, the smaller those needles are. Those large ends sticking out can make things a bit unwieldy.
As a rule of thumb, I would say, buy the smallest size that can accommodate your stitches. For the typical calf-high sock 15 cm (6 in) will be all you need. If you plan to knit hats, cowls, or knee-high socks, 20 cm ( 8″) are recommended.
There are also smaller lengths available. Not all brands offer them. 10 cm (4 in) double-pointed knitting needles can be the perfect choice for knitting the fingers of gloves or when you want to finish the last rounds of a hat – or any other super small diameter project.
Now, if you are worried that stitches may fall off, you may want to pick longer needles. Needle stoppers really are no feasible option when knitting in the round after all (except if you want to spend half your time re-attaching them). Do keep in mind, however, that this also makes your project a bit more difficult to handle.