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Bamboo Knitting Needles – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

Even though many knitters are enthusiastic about bamboo knitting needles, others are still hesitant as to whether they should use them.

I love my bamboo needles and have made many cowls, hats and scarves with them.

In this post I take an in-depth look at why bamboo is a great choice for knitting needles and the best ones on the market.

Table Of Contents

Why Bamboo Knitting Needles?

What Are The Advantages Of Bamboo Knitting Needles?

  • Bamboo knitting needles are a great choice for beginner knitters and any other knitters who like a warm, organic feel to their needles.
  • Bamboo needles feel like wooden needles, but they’re often cheaper, easier to find and available in a wider variety of sizes.
  • Bamboo plants are giant grasses rather than trees. A sustainable and renewable material due to the speed it grows.
  • Bamboo needles are easy on the hands and cause less fatigue with their own weight. But surface friction is much higher. Bamboo has the most grab when compared to other materials. While this makes for much slower stitch formation and movement, it helps keep stitches in place.  
  • When using a slippery yarn, like silk or viscose (a yarn made from bamboo) or when starting circular knitting with few stitches or double pointed needles, bamboo needles keep your stitches from sliding out of your control.

Bamboo Compared To Other Materials

Bamboo Vs Metal Knitting Needles – Are Bamboo Knitting Needles Better Than Metal?

In general, metal needles are inflexible and some folks find they can cause hand fatigue. On the other hand, they have less surface friction so your stitches slide easily and quickly along the needle.

If you want to knit for speed, metal is your friend. The slicker the better.

Bamboo is more flexible and warm in the hand but your knitting definitely slows down as the surface grabs the yarn more.

Some knitters swear by bamboo needles, they love how lightweight they are.

As always it comes down to personal choice and what sort of projects you undertake. A heavy aran sweater may be a bit of a push for bamboo needles to hold the weight.

Bamboo Knitting Needles Vs Aluminum – Which Is Best?

Aluminum suits knitters who like a slicker surface and are a tight knitter. If speed is your aim, aluminum needles are better.

Bamboo helps with stitches not falling off the needles due to its grip.

They’re both lightweight but Aluminum needles have a clicking sound when working.

Bone Knitting Needles Vs Bamboo – How To Choose?

Bone needles are medium weight, warm and slightly flexible. They’re easy on the hands. When properly cared for they’re smooth and slippery.  

Bone is more porous than ivory, and more likely to dry out and splinter. They need to waxed to keep them smooth and pliable.  

Bone needles tend to be made from animal bone. They’re not as popular as they once were, nor are they as sustainable as bamboo.

Hardwood Knitting Needles Vs Bamboo – What’s The Difference?

Hard woods, soft woods, birch, rosewood, oak, pine, ash, etc., all have their properties. Wood is more flexible and not quite as smooth. Most wood knitting needles are sanded to a satiny finish.

The more satiny the finish, the slicker and speedier the needles will be.

Wood like bamboo is light on the hands. This is helpful if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis. The wood flexes a little bit to conform to the hands, rather than the hands having to conform to harder materials.

Weight, grain, hardness, finish, whether the wood is a single solid piece or laminated (many layers glued together before being shaped into a needle) all play a part in the strength and smoothness of knitting needles.

Unfinished softwood has much more surface friction and is “grabbier.” Wood needles also need care and maintenance. Wood can dry out and the friction of yarn rubbing on your needles can rough up the surface.

Oiling, waxing or conditioning your needles keeps them smooth and strong for a longer time.

Larger wooden needles have more weight than their bamboo counterparts.

Wood is darker than bamboo but this is often their appeal, the grain and richness of color is so varied depending on the wood. Bamboo unless dyed is mostly the sames pale straw color across brands.

Carbonized Bamboo Vs Natural Knitting Needles – Which To Buy?

Carbonization of bamboo is the process of either steaming or smoking which gives the bamboo an amber hue. It’s simply whether you like the color of natural bamboo needles or the color of the carbonized bamboo needles.

It has no affect on the qualities of the needle other than the color.

Olive Wood Vs Bamboo Knitting Needles – Which Suits You Best?

Olive wood has a lovely grain and color but they’re more expensive than bamboo needles. They are both lightweight and warm in the hands.

Most olive wood needles are finely sanded and have a very smooth surface. Not quite as grippy as bamboo needles.

Bamboo Vs Driftwood Knitting Needles – What Are The Differences?

Most needles labelled ‘driftwood’ are not actually made from wood that has washed up on a beach. Rather they are made from laminated birch. The wood is dyed grey to give them a ‘driftwood’ appearance.

The surface of these needles are sanded and act like other wooden needles.

What Are The Best Bamboo Knitting Needles?

Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles

HiyaHiya Bamboo Fixed Circular Needles

HiyaHiya Bamboo Fixed Circular Needles

Features

Strong flexible cables and seamless joins are teamed with high quality, resin-injected bamboo for extra strength. They’re resistant to splitting and warping.

Pros

  • Lovely quality needle with smooth joints.
  • The needle tips are smooth, warm and lightweight.
  • Long tapered points

Cons

  • Some may prefer the pale straw color, these are more amber in color

Clover Takumi Circular Knitting Needles

Clover Takumi Circular Knitting Needles

Features

Size Available – 2mm to 10mm

Cord Lengths Available – 9″ (23cm), 16″ (41cm), 29″ (74cm), 36″ (91cm) and 48″ (120cm) this is the length from tip to tip: so the length of the 2 needles and the cable in total.

Pros

  • Great range of sizes
  • Comfortable in the hand

Cons

  • Be careful not to leave them where they could accidentally be sat on

Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles

Here, I’ll take a look at the best bamboo knitting needles set.

Read my full review of these Clover Bamboo interchangeables and the Clover range here.

Clover Takumi Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

Clover Takumi Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

Features

  • 12 tip sizes: No. 3 (3.25mm) – 15 (10.0mm)
  • US 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 13, 15
  • Cord Lengths Available – 5 cord lengths: 16″ (41cm), 24″ (61cm), 29″ (74cm), 36″ (91cm) & 48″ (120cm)

Pros

  • High quality Takumi Bamboo with a super smooth surface
  • Both US and mm size are engraved on the tip

Cons

  • Some users found the tips too short, approx 4 inches long

Addi Click Needle Bamboo Set

Addi Click Needle Bamboo Set

Features

  • Needle Tip sizes (US 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.75, 11)
  • 3 gold cables in 24 inches, 32 inches, 40 inches
  • Cable connector
  • addi grips

Pros

  • Easy to put the needles and cords together
  • Flexible cables

Cons

  • Smaller needle sizes not available

ChiaoGoo Spin Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set

ChiaoGoo Spin Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set

Features

  • Sizes Included – Contains 13 needle tips in US 2 (2.75mm), US 3 (3.25mm), US 4 (3.55mm), US 5 (3.75mm), US 6 (4mm), US 7 (4.5mm), US 8 (5mm), US 9 (5.5mm), US 10 (6mm), US 10-1/2 (6.5mm), US 11 (8mm), US 13 (9mm), and US 15 (10mm).
  • Cord Lengths Included – Two sets of cords, one set for the needles with the S screws, and one set for those with L screws. Three cords, one each measuring 24″ (60cm), 32″ (80cm), and 40″ (100cm).
  • Tips Are 5″ (13mm) Long
  • Notions Included – Two S and L end caps, one S and L cord connector for making even longer cords, two cord keys, a ruler/needle sizer, and a collection of stitch markers.

Pros

  • Smooth joins between tips and cables
  • Sharp points

Cons

  • Some users found the cables work their way loose. If you use the T pins included in the set to tighten them, you won’t have that problem.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Bamboo Double Pointed Needles

BetyBedy Double-Pointed Carbonized Bamboo Needles

BetyBedy Double-Pointed Carbonized Bamboo Needles

Features

Color is an amber due to the carbonization. The points are tapered on both ends and the mm sizing is engraved into each needle.

  • Sizes Included – 2.00mm / 2.25mm / 2.75mm / 3.25mm / 3.50mm / 3.75mm / 4.0mm / 4.50mm / 5.0mm / 5.50mm / 6.0mm / 6.50mm / 8.0mm / 9.0mm / 10.0mm. (5 needles for each size, a total of 75 needles)
  • Length – 8″

Pros

  • Lots of sizes in the set
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No US sizing marked on the needles
  • Some users found the smaller sizes splintered
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles

Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles

These are lovely bamboo needles, comfortable in the hand and holds on to stitches without them slipping off. The pale straw color is appealing and the smooth surface doesn’t snag the yarn.

The points are slightly blunt but the taper is long enough to get into a stitch.

Features

  • Total Needle Length – 5″ and 7″

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Take care of the smaller sizes as they can break if used with force or they’re accidentally sat on!

Bamboo Straight Needles

Fairycece Bamboo Straight Knitting Needles Set

Fairycece Bamboo Straight Knitting Needles Set

Features

  • Sizes Included – US – 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 15 (Metric Size – 3mm 3.75mm 4mm 4.5mm 5mm 5.5mm 6mm 6.5mm 8mm 9mm 10mm).
  • Total Needle Length – Approx. 9.7″ – 9.9″
  • Made From – Carbonized bamboo

Pros

  • Lightweight so they don’t tire out your wrists
  • Points are slightly sharp
  • Comes with a wrap purse with a place for each needle size

Cons

  • Not very smooth
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

BetyBedy Bamboo Needles

BetyBedy 36PCS Bamboo Knitting Needles Set, Single Pointed Carbonized Knitting Needles, 18 Sizes from 2.0mm-10.0mm, 9 Inches Length for Handmade Creative DIY

Features

  • Sizes Included – 2.00mm, 2.25mm, 2.50mm, 2.75mm, 3.00mm, 3.25mm, 3.50mm, 3.75mm, 4.00mm, 4.50mm, 5.00mm, 5.50mm, 6.00mm, 6.50mm, 7.00mm, 8.00mm, 9.00mm, 10.00mm
  • Total Needle Length – 9″

Pros

  • Good range of sizes
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No US sizing
  • Users experienced splintering and rough surfaces on some of the needles
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Clover Takumi Single Pointed Needles

Clover Takumi Single Pointed Needles

Features

  • Sizes Available –
  • 9 inch/23cm Straights in 2.0mm – 10.0mm
  • 13 inch/33cm Straights are available in 2.0mm – 6.0mm
  • 14 inch/35cm Straights in 7.0mm – 10.0mm
  • 16 inch/40cm Straights come in 3.0mm – 10.0mm

Pros

  • Needles are polished for smoothness so your stitches don’t snag.
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Longer straights could be annoying if you knit with your arms out like wings.

LIHAO Bamboo Knitting Needles

LIHAO Bamboo Knitting Needles

Features

  • Needle Sizes Available – 2.00mm, 2.25mm, 2.50mm, 2.75mm, 3.00mm, 3.25mm, 3.50mm, 3.75mm, 4.00mm, 4.50mm, 5.00mm, 5.50mm, 6.00mm, 6.50mm, 7.00mm, 8.00mm, 9.00mm, 10.00mm
  • Total Length – 9.5″

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Affordable

Cons

  • People found measurements were incorrect
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Your Questions Answered

How Do You Smooth Bamboo Knitting Needles?

If the surface of your needle snags yarn when knitting, use fine sandpaper or an emery board to smooth out any rough patches on a bamboo needle.

Are Bamboo Knitting Needles Good?

I can say with a resounding yes, bamboo knitting needles are good. I love working with my Clover Bamboo fixed circulars and double pointed needles. I love the look, the feel and the fact they grab yarn. When I work with the DPNs, I don’t loose stitches.

How To Make Bamboo Knitting Needles Slippery

If after lots of use, the surface of your bamboo knitting needles becomes rough, use waxed paper to add a sheen, smoothness and slipperiness.

If you haven’t tried using bamboo knitting needles, I highly recommend you give them a go.

Do you love them? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Get in touch with me here or leave a note in the comments below.

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

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