There are many advantages to picking up a set of circular needles. Connected at their bases by a length of cord, these needles allow you to knit in the round—meaning you can knit pieces without sewing any seams. And, because the fabric sits on the cord rather than on your wrists, you can rest projects in your lap to reduce strain. An alternative to double-pointed needles (though these are still best for knitting smaller pieces like gloves and socks), circular needles also don’t require you to juggle four or five needles. Whether you are purchasing your first pair or are looking for a replacement set, our picks below will help satisfy your knitting.
1. ChiaoGoo Stainless Steel Knitting Needle
Needles from this family-owned brand are often a top pick for knitters, and these circulars are number one on our list as well, for their versatility, durability, and ease of use. What immediately stands out, though, is their length: 60 inches from point to point, which allows you to knit blankets and shawls as well as smaller objects. The cord is a nylon-coated, steel cable that is durable yet slack and kink-free. Plus, the joint between the needle and cord is seamless and strong, so you can enjoy knitting without worrying about snagging stitches.
2. Simplicity Creative Group Boye Circular Knitting Needles
These anodized aluminum needles are an economical choice particularly well-suited for anyone who is new to circular needles or knitting in general. They are light and very comfortable to hold, with a plastic cable between them that isn’t too long and unwieldy. This cord is a little stiff, but it will loosen up after some use, especially if you are using heavier yarn. All in all, this is a good-quality option if you want to try out circular needles before committing to them.
3. Seawhisper Knitting Needles Set
Not sure which needle size to begin with? Bag a diversity of sizes in one fell swoop with Seawhisper’s kit. It features six circular needles in sizes 2, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 15, giving you a whole range of tools to try. Each needle pair is connected by color-coded cords that do have noticeable friction compared to pricier brands, but they will become more slack over time. A warning: while made of stainless steel, the needles aren’t especially durable and will wear relatively quickly. However, this is a great set for new knitters who aren’t ready to invest in higher-quality circular needles.
4. Clover Takumi Bamboo Knitting Needles
Made of lightweight bamboo sourced from Japan, these elegant needles are easier on the hand compared to metal ones. Smooth and evenly tapered, they are connected, almost seamlessly, to a flexible plastic wire and measure 16 inches from point to point. The needle shafts pick up stitches well, while providing enough friction to prevent them from accidentally sliding off. This size is perfect for knitting common items like sleeves and hats, but you’ll find the length too short for, say, a sweater.
5. addi Knitting Needle Turbo
As the name suggests, these circulars are designed for ultra-fast knitters. Made of a smooth nickel, the needles are incredibly smooth, allowing you to glide through your yarn at top speed without worrying about the tips splitting any fibers. Because they are quite slick, it is also easy to drop stitches, so those who prefer to knit at a gentle pace might prefer another option. The cable, which is a pleasing light blue, is also satisfyingly supple, so you won’t have to wrestle with it before starting your sessions.