Best interchangeable knitting needles set [Reviews]

When it comes to choosing the best interchangeable knitting needles there are so many different things you have to consider. A number of sizes in a set, because you’d want to use different needles in a variety of projects. The cable is also very important. You’d definitely want one that works for all needle types so that you won’t need to replace them in case you want to try metal, or wooden, or bamboo interchangeables. All of that and much more is a bit overwhelming at first. But we’ll try to help as much as we can.

We understand that most of the knitters who are to purchase a needle set are beginner-to-intermediate knitters looking for a versatile set for different yarn and projects.

ImageProduct
ChiaoGoo TWIST Red Lace Interchangeables
  • Material: stainless steel
  • Needles: 13 sizes US 2 - US 15
  • Cords: 24" (60cm), 32" (80cm), and 40" (100cm)
  • Price: $$$
Features
  • Plastic-coated steel core cable without memory
  • Durable needles that don't easily bend
  • Perfect for knitting cables and twisted stitches
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Lykke Driftwood Indigo Interchangeable Needles Set
  • Material: hardwood (birch)
  • Needles: 12 sizes US 4 - US 17
  • 5 Cords: 2 x 24" (60 cm), 2 x 32" (80 cm), 40" (100 cm)
  • Price: $$
Features
  • Very smooth and light needles
  • Etched sizes that ensure long-term readability (both US and metric)
  • Beautiful case - great for gifts
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Hiya Hiya Steel Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set
  • Material: stainless steel
  • Needles: 7 sizes 2-8 US (2.75-5mm)
  • Cords: 16" (40 cm), 24" (60 cm),  32" (80 cm), 40" (100 cm)
  • Price: $$
Features
  • Cords swivel to keep strain off of the cable
  • Silver steel is clearly visible with any yarn
  • Perfect for garment knitting
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What are interchangeable knitting needles?

The interchangeable knitting needles are pretty much the same as regular fixed circular ones: they have a firm tip and a flexible cord. But with the interchangeables, you can change the cord for a different length or use a different needle size. You can also use them individually as straight needles with cords connected with caps at the end.

Should you buy interchangeable knitting needles?

My answer to “should I buy interchangeable knitting needles” is: it depends.
They are mostly used for the same purposes as circular needles. For knitting in the round, without a seam. Including projects like hats, sleeves, sweaters, jackets, etc. They also can be used for larger flat projects like baby blankets. So if you are planning on working on a variety of different projects in the future, interchangeable needles set is definitely worth buying.

The main difference between the two is that with the interchangeable knitting needles you can adjust the tips or the cable by changing them to the size or length that is needed. Interchangeable needles come in a beautiful set with various cords and a wide range of needle sizes, so you’re getting everything together in one case.

Interchangeable knitting needles are a great investment for those who need multiple combinations of needle sizes and cable lengths all in one set, which is useful when knitting in the round. You’ll get more flexibility for a reduced price.

What to know before choosing an interchangeable knitting needle set?

In a perfect world, you should know everything about what you are about to buy. But in the real world, you have to do the research. Buying a set of interchangeable needles is quite an investment. You should understand what you’re buying and why. So let’s see what features and options you should look at and what to keep in mind when buying interchangeables.

Some of them are just personal preferences. Other options are better for certain types of projects and types of yarn. However, there are some common general guidelines for choosing the best set.

Materials of the needles

This is the kind of option that comes down to personal preferences. It’s very difficult to tell which material is “better” or “worse”. To find a needle and a type of needles that works best for you, you need to try them all out and decide.

However, there are certain situations when it’s strongly recommended to use one or the other type of needles. For example,

  • If you have arthritic hands, your type of needle is wooden or bamboo as they’re lightweight and warm
  • If you’re a “tight knitter” (meaning that when you’re knitting the yarn hugs the needle very tight), your best option is metal needles, because its smooth tip allows the yarn to slide easily over the needle
  • Lace-weight yarn – if possible, better choose metal needles, because they’re more durable

To make it easier for you to figure out the preferred material, we’ve compiled a table with most common needle material types with pros and cons for each. If you have something to add, please leave a comment below the post.

Knitting Needle MaterialPros and Cons
Wood 
Mostly made from Bamboo, but "high-end" products also come in select hard woods like Rosewood or Birchwood.
Wood 
Mostly made from Bamboo, but "high-end" products also come in select hard woods like Rosewood or Birchwood.
  • Warm to knit with
  • Soft to touch
  • Lightweight, particularly good for larger sizes
  • Good for arthritis sufferers
  • Hardwood needles can be expensive
  • Can lack smoothnes when not lacquer finished
  • Smaller size needles can be more brittle
Metal
Mostl commonly made from Aluminium or Steel, but can also be found in Brass, Nickel or Carbon-fibre
Metal
Mostl commonly made from Aluminium or Steel, but can also be found in Brass, Nickel or Carbon-fibre
  • Most durable material. Especially good for small sizes
  • Smoother tips
  • Fatser knitting speeds
  • Cold to knit with
  • Can be noisy
  • Slightly heavy composition, especially on larger sizes
  • Highly polished tip can be slippery for some knitters
Plastic
Mostl commonly made from acrylic plastic composition

 

Plastic
Mostl commonly made from acrylic plastic composition
  • Most affordable type of needles
  • Good for beginners
  • Smooth and lightweight
  • Less tactile feel
  • Synthetic
  • Look and feels "cheap"

Needle tips size

The right size absolutely depends on the project you are planning to knit, and more specifically on the weight of yarn. But you don’t need to guess. Most of the knitting projects usually tell you what needle sizes are better to use.

Size of a needle refers to the diameter of the thickest part of the needle tip

The best way to determine the right needle size is to try to knit a small test patch with the yarn you want to use. Knit a patch, count the gauge and see if the needle size fits the measurements of the project.

Choosing the cable length

The good thing with interchangeable needles is that the cable lengths can be adjusted to the project by using different cables.

The cord length is usually available in different lengths ranging from 30cm (16″) to 150cm (60″). But you can join multiple cables together if you need. Keep in mind when knitting in the round that you usually want a cable that is a bit shorter than your project. So a 70 cm cable will be ok for a sweater that’s 90cm in the chest.

The length of a cable in a set means the length of a cable itself plus the needle tips.

Needle connectors

When you need a long cable for your projects (i.e. for afghan) it’s very convenient to join different cables together. It’s possible only with interchangeable needles.

The most important thing about the connectors is their mechanism that’s used to connect the cable to the needle. They’ve got to be smooth and secure. Otherwise, the snags will bother you all the time or the needles may undo.

Cost

If you’re a beginner, buying a fancy set of interchangeable knitting needles may be a bit too expensive. If you’re just starting out or not planning on knitting different projects, consider buying a $30+ set of needles that just will do the job. The sets are available in a wide range of prices and quality. The choice is up to you.

But as one of our readers have once said:

They may be cheaper, but trust me, you wouldn’t care when you have 400 stitches of intricate lace unravelling in your lap.

What is the best brand for interchangeable knitting needles?

There’s no one best of all knitting needles brand that beats all the others. More often than not more expensive interchangeables have better quality than the cheaper ones. Needles don’t bend from tight knitting, the cables don’t break off of their caps, they don’t have memory and don’t curl over time.

Some of the most well-known interchangeable knitting needles brands are:

  • ChiaoGoo
  • Addi
  • Hiya Hiya
  • Knit Pro
  • Lykke
  • Boye
  • Clover

Knit Pro, KnitPicks, Lykke, Knitter’s Pride, Deborah Norville, Bergere De France Birch needles probably come from the same manufacturer (for example, try Knit Pro cables on Lykke needles and you’ll see them fit), so there’s no point in reviewing all of them. They’re almost the same

Now let’s review the best sets from these brands individually.

Here are the best interchangeable knitting needles:

ChiaoGoo TWIST Red Lace Interchangeables Review

These are metal needles and they come in three different packs. You can buy the complete set, which contains all of the sizes. You can buy a small set, which just has small sizes and a large set which just has large sizes. I tend to use smaller size needles more often.

They’ve got a lot of pockets in that case, which is something I really liked about the ChiaoGoo. Regardless of what set you buy, they all come in the same case. If you want to go in and add the extra tips, you can buy them separately and into the case which has enough space for additional needles.

The complete set contains 13 sizes:

  • US 2 – 2.75mm
  • US 3 – 3.25mm
  • US 4 – 3.5mm
  • US 5 – 3.75mm
  • US 6 – 4mm
  • US 7 – 4.5mm
  • US 8 – 5mm
  • US 9 – 5.5mm
  • US 10 – 6mm
  • US 10.5 – 6.5mm
  • US 11 – 8mm
  • US 13 – 9mm
  • US 15 – 10mm

They also come with stitch markers and a needle gauge, which I think is quite useful.

The ChiaoGoo TWIST Red Lace needles are available in four and five-inch tip lengths.

Like the Hiya Hiya needles, you can’t use the same cables with the small size as you do with the large size needles. So that is something to be aware of.

I really like the cables that ChiaoGoo use for their needles. They are the red cables. They have a steel core. It’s a plastic-coated steel core cable and it doesn’t have that memory that some of the other brands of needles have. You keep them coiled up, and then when you take them out of the pocket, they stay coiled up.

I will say that for magic loop and some of my cables do have like a kink in the end where they have been folded. So these might be the best needles for magic loop knitting.

The tips on them are fairly pointy. They’re about as pointy as I need my knitting needle tips to be. I have knit lace with them. I don’t tend to knit lace very often, but I do knit cables and twisted stitches and I find these needles to be perfect for those.

https://www.amazon.com/ChiaoGoo-TWIST-Red-Lace-Interchangeables/dp/B00CPP955O

Addi Click Mixed Needle Set Review

The next up is Addi Click Mixed set. It comes with a bright yellow case. The case feels like vinyl plastic. There’s a pocket on the back for your cords.

I don’t think it’s a particularly large pocket. I really like the pockets that the Lykke needles have that have a magnet on that flip out as opposed to just the zip pockets (because you can get more in those magnet pockets). All the needles secured with magnets.

With Addi Click Mixed set you get 8 sets of needles and there’s also a cord connector as well.

The sizes included in this one are:

  • US 4 – 3.5mm
  • US 6 – 4mm
  • US 7 – 4.5mm
  • US 8 – 5mm
  • US 9 – 5.5mm
  • US 10 – 6mm
  • US 10.75 – 7mm
  • US 11 – 8mm

You also get three chords: a 60cm, an 80cm, and a 100cm chord.

These are the only needles in my collection that don’t use the key screw mechanism and instead you just pop your needle onto the chord and turn it. And it clicks into place. And you get a needle that is firmly attached to its cable. However, I find that the joins that this creates snags a little bit more than the screw cable joins.

I know a lot of people have problems with their needles coming unscrewed while they’re knitting, which can be quite frustrating. In my experience, the needle has completely come off the cord while I’m knitting, which I think is a much bigger problem than the needle coming slightly unscrewed. Because when the needles come unscrewed, you know because there’s that little gap between the needle and the cord at the end of the cord and your stitches get stuck all the time. And you can catch it before it becomes a disaster.

However, when your needle just comes apart from your cable… I have had to rescue lots of stitches in the past from this problem and also some of my tips.

The click mechanism just doesn’t work properly. And I find it really difficult to get the cable into the cord. But that’s just my experience. I don’t know if that’s a general experience or it’s just my set, but it’s very frustrating.

I really like the idea behind this set, which is that you get two different types of needle tips. You’ve got your eight sets of needles and each set of needles comes with one sort of classic blunter tip. Which is quite useful for garment knitting.

And you also get the sharper tip. Which is better for lace knitting and twisted stitches. So you can switch the needle that you’re using as your whacking needle. I find it’s very it’s very useful. I really like that idea that you don’t have to have two sets of knitting needles

Cons

  • click mechanism
  • elastic holder get looser over time
  • the cable connector is too long

The needle set is great, but there’s just something about them. They are not my go-to needles. They’re just not my favorites. I don’t know if it’s because of the click mechanism. I prefer the screw mechanism to the clicks. But I’m not a huge fan of the needles themselves. In my opinion, they’re definitely not as good as the ChiaoGoo needles or the Hiya Hiya Steels.

Also, I’m not a fan of the single piece of elastic that is used to hold the needles in place. The more sets of needles you are using in your working projects the looser the elastic becomes. And because it’s not holding old needles in place anymore they tend to slide out. I like how the Lykke needles use their elastic so that it’s stitched down so it’s not going to stretch out.

Finally, the cable connector in this set is the longest cable connector I’ve ever come across for interchangeable needles.  It’s designed to connect two cables together so you can create different sized cable lengths. But it’s too long to be useful. You’ve got a really hard bit in the middle of your flexible cable.

https://www.amazon.com/addi-Interchangeable-Circular-Knitting-Exclusive/dp/B01DSY8TA2

Hiya Hiya Steel Interchangeable Knitting Needles Review

These are metal screw-on interchangeable knitting needles. They come in large and small sets. The company is probably most known for the Hiya Hiya Sharp needles. But these needles are different. They’re not as pointy as Hiya Hiya Sharps. The small set that we’re reviewing comes with seven sizes which are:  (US 2-8) 2.75mm, 3.25mm, 3.75mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm and 4 cables. They do have the sizes written on the needles which is something I find quite useful.

As you would expect the tips on the Hiya Hiya Steels aren’t anywhere near as sharp and pointy as the tips on the Hiya Hiya Sharps. I find them perfect for garment knitting.

If you are a lace knitter or you knit a lot of twisted stitches you might prefer pointing at needles. But I tend to use my index finger. I tend to push my stitches to the tip of my left-hand needle by pushing the left-hand needle into my index finger. So I’ve usually got a little hole in my index finger which can be quite painful with these needles. But that may be just me.

Hiya Hiya uses is a key mechanism to lock the needle into place on the cable but they also come with the little rubber grips. These are really useful if you are struggling to get a grip on your needles while you’re screwing them on or unscrewing them with the key. It comes with the two and you can use one to hold on to the working needle and one to hold onto the cable.

I don’t always use them but I have pulled them out of this set to use with my other brands of interchangeable needles. If you find that your needles come unscrewed when you’re knitting and that happens sometimes, it helps to prevent that.

Something to note with higher highs interchangeable needles. If you buy a small and the large sets you can’t interchange the cables

The small set and the large sets have different sizes for the different size cables. Just something to be aware of.

https://www.amazon.com/Steel-Interchangeable-Knitting-Needles-Small/dp/B005FAIBO2

Lykke Driftwood Interchangeable Needles Review

The next set of needles I’m going to be talking about is the Lykke needles. This is the Lykke Driftwood set.

When you first get them and open them up and you realize this is a great substantial case. It feels really good. It has a magnetic closure, a pocket on the front, and then it has a bigger pocket. At the bottom as well.

On the inside, you have really very gorgeous needles.

They are highly laminated birch with a shorter taper and a blunter tip. Now we’re kind of in a world where everyone’s just excited about the sharper the needle the better. I just finished knitting a sweater on these needles and it was mostly stocking it and I loved them. Every time I looked down at them I thought, God these are such pretty needles! And they were so easy to use. Because the blunter tip wasn’t splitting the yarn. And I really loved using these.

The set contains 12 needle sizes from US 4 – US 17 or 3.5mm to 12mm. In your sturdy little pocket, you have just the standard cords 24″, 32″ and 40″ circulars. These are standard plastic cords and you get some end stoppers and stuff. It’s kind of the same stuff that you would expect for a circular needle set.

The sizes are:

  • US 4 (3.5 mm)
  • US 5 (3.75 mm)
  • US 6 (4.0 mm)
  • US 7 (4.5 mm)
  • US 8 (5.0 mm)
  • US 9 (5.5 mm)
  • US 10 (6.0 mm)
  • US 10.5 (6.5 mm)
  • US 11 (8.0 mm)
  • US 13 (9.0 mm)
  • US 15 (10 mm)
  • US 17 (12 mm)

And you get tightening keys. They use the same key tightening system that quite a lot of needles use. The same as the Hiya Hiya Steel set.

I found that you can use the same key across a variety of different brands.

This is the Indigo set of the Lykke Needles. They also produce Umber set. The Indigo, as you would expect, has a blue hue. And the Umber has a warmer brown color.

The needles are really smooth. They’re pretty strong. Although they’re not metal, you’d have a hard time trying to break them.

Something I really like about these needles is they have the sizes etched on to the metal. And it’s really clear and easy to see. And they have the US sizes and they also have the metric sizes as well.

The tips on these are really good mid-range. They’re not too pointy and they’re not too dull either.

CONS

The case (made of vegan leather) has a smell like a factory of chemicals. I guess in the fake leather has a smell to it. I was excited to use my needles but it was so bad I had to put the needles in the garage for a few days. Every time I open the garage door to do a load of laundry or something, I was just hit in the face with the smell of these needles. Now maybe I’m especially sensitive to smells. Or maybe they’ve changed something since you know I bought mine but that was like the big downside. I left it out there for a few days maybe a week and now. There is no smell there’s no smell anymore and these needles get to live inside my house.

That’s the big downside. Other than that they are beautiful needles.

https://www.amazon.com/Lykke-Indigo-Driftwood-Interchangeable-Denim/dp/B078DXX9WX

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