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The 7 Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles. The Ultimate Guide (Updated October 2019)

It’s impressive how knitting needles have evolved. Those of us who love hand knitting are familiar with Straights, Circulars, and Double Pointed Needles. The Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles are game changers!

My guide covers those that remain clicked or screwed together when knitting. No knitter needs any extra frustration! Each product review features the number of available cord lengths and types of material the tips are made from.

Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles - My Guide - Knit Like Granny

Knitting patterns will call for a specific needle size and cable length. The advantage of having a quality interchangeable needle set is you have many needles sizes and cable lengths.

This saves knitters the awkward realization their craft basket contains needles they never use! (1)

If super organized, they will have their needles neatly arranged according to size.

How many knitters do you know that fit this image? I don’t know any. My knitting friends have no idea of what’s in their stash. Sometimes my friends find they have multiples of the same needle size! They’d forgotten what ones they already had.

Quality Interchangeable Knitting Needles solve all these problems.

My Picks: Top 7 Interchangeable Knitting Needles in 2019

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Skeins of wool in cream, blue and white

Table Of Contents

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What Are Interchangeable Knitting Needles?

Interchangeable Knitting Needles are made up a pair of needle tips joined in the middle by a flexible cable. The difference between these needles and circular needles is the cable is not fixed. You can attach the needle tips and unattach them from the cable.

Function: Like fixed circular needles they are fabulous for knitting in the round. Think sweaters, hats, socks and knitting large flat panels.

Andi Butler loves her Lykke Indigo Interchangeable Knitting Needles. Working on one of her designs. Photo credit: @andibutler on Instagram (used with permission)
Andi Butler loves her Lykke Indigo Interchangeable Knitting Needles. Working on one of her designs. Photo credit: @andibutler on Instagram (used with permission)

How Do They Differ From Fixed Circulars?

Interchangeable Knitting Needles differ from fixed circular knitting needles as they don’t have a cord that is fused to the needles at each end.

Interchangeables, as their fondly known have removable needle tips. The needles and cord are separate pieces that connect with a screw link or twist and click.

Typically the ends of interchangeable knitting needles have a screw fitting. The cables have a hollow end that the needle tip screws into.

Please note, how to attach the tips to the cable varies by different brands of knitting needles. There are needles that click together, needles that screw on and needles that need a little key for locking the tips to the cables.

I provide instructions for attaching the different lengths for each product in this review.

Cocobolo needles from Knit Picks
Add an elegance to your needle collection with Cocobolo hardwood from Knit Picks

What’s To Love

Various diameters of needles with different length cables all in a neat and tidy case.

The needles and cables can be mixed and matched. They can construct as many circular knitting needles as the number of parts will allow. It makes things easy when a pattern knitted in the round requires a particular needle size and a specific length of needle.

If you suffer from pain in your wrists when knitting, don’t worry! Using these types of needles will provide relief. The stitches are distributed across the cord length. When the project grows, the weight can rest on your lap.

Cables replace the need for stitch holders when trying on your knitted garment.

Heidi Reszies designs are lovely. She makes chart knitting look easy. Photo credit: Heidi Reszies @f0lkcity on Instagram (used with permission)
Heidi Reszies designs are lovely. She makes chart knitting look easy. Photo credit: Heidi Reszies @f0lkcity on Instagram (used with permission)

Ability to change needle sizes while knitting, to trial which ones get the right gauge for your chosen pattern.

Thread  thin embroidery yarn through the pin hole on the needle or connector to use as a lifeline while you knit.

Work on many projects with the same needle tip. Remove the needles from the cable add two end caps to secure your stitches. Then use the needle tips on another project.

Make extra long cables by using a connector.

Less clutter and save money because you don’t have to purchase multiple fixed circulars.

How Are They Measured?

From tip to tip. Meaning the length of both needles and the cord connecting them are combined. Giving you the total measurement (or length) or the needle. The length of the cords and the tips can vary but typically standard lengths range from 16 inches to 40 inches.

What Makes A Good Interchangeable Needle Set?

A good interchangeable needle set should have these features:

  • Smooth joins where the needle tips join to the cable
  • Cables and needle tips remain connected (there’s nothing more annoying than connections coming loose when you are knitting)
  • Flexible cables that are not stiff or kink
  • At least 6 different diameters of needle tips
  • At least 4 different lengths of cables
  • Smart looking case
  • Set includes end caps
Bulky edition Options Interchangeable Mosaic Circular Knitting Needle Set
Knitting Bulky Sweaters just got easier with these gorgeous needles from Knit Picks

Things to Consider Before Buying an Interchangeable Needle Set

Most sets on the market are an investment, you need to ask yourself these questions before making a purchase.

What needle material do I best like to knit with?

The needle tips are made from a range of materials – Aluminium, carbon fiber, stainless steel, wood, bamboo and plastic

Choose the material you enjoy working with and what best suits the majority of your projects and yarns.

Short or Long Tips?

Some knitters swear by long tips typically 5 to 5.5 inches, they are easier to hang on to and don’t cause cramping in hands.

The short tips typically 3.5 to 4 inches have an advantage as they make a smaller circle.

These measurements are from the end of the needle to the cable connection.

Test knitting by Laurel. Interchangeables are so versatile!. Used here to secure stitches on the cord with the end stops. Photo credit: Laurel @AlabasterPurl on Instagram. (Used with permission)
Test knitting by Laurel. Interchangeables are so versatile!. Used here to secure stitches on the cord with the end stops. Photo credit: Laurel @AlabasterPurl on Instagram. (Used with permission)

What are Lace Tips?

Some needles tips are described as ‘Lace Tip needles”. Lace tips are sharp and pointy to help with the intricate stitches when knitting lace patterns.

Not So Kinky

No one wants a cable that kinks!

Choose cables that are flexible and smooth.

Some sets come with swivel cords that rotate 360 degrees as you knit.

Sweet Connections

Connectors are clever gadgets that allow you to create extra long cables.

Perfect for bigger projects, afghans and blankets.

Let’s Put A Stop To That

End caps are versatile tools, they stop stitches coming off the cables when the needle tips are removed.

Perfect for when you want to change needle tips or try on a garment to check the fit.

Other Nifty Tools

Some sets come with a pin.

This helps tighten the connection between the needle tip and the cable.

It doesn’t actually tighten the screw it just gives leverage to make sure the connection is strong.

Grippers are also helpful connecting the needle tip and cable.

Simply place one gripper over a needle and another gripper over the cord and twist the two parts in the opposite direction.

Stitch Markers come in very handy to mark the start of a round, pattern repeats in lace, where to increase and decrease.

Knit Picks Try It Set Needles
Knit Picks Try It Set – Give Them A Go!

Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set Roundup and Mini Reviews

Now, to help with your decision making, here are reviews of six different Interchangeable Knitting Needle Sets currently on the market.

1. Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Sharp Steel Knitting Needle Set

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Sharp Steel Knitting Needle Set

Premium set includes 13 pairs of 4” (10cm) Sharp tips US sizes 2-15

2.75mm, 3.25mm, 3.5mm, 3.75mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5,5mm, 6mm, 6.5mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm

Includes 4 cables in 16″, 24″,32″ and 42″ lengths

Includes tightening grip, small cable connectors, tip adaptor, small and large panda stoppers, small and large single point adapters, snips, darning needles, and safety pins.

Comes with a brocade case to hold everything.

Pros

  • Made of stainless steel
  • Stitches slide smoothly over the needle
  • Smooth connections, yarn doesn’t snag at the joins
  • Flexible Swivel Cables
  • Tip adapter for using the larger size needles
  • Nifty tools – tightening grip and cute panda stoppers, snips and darning needles
  • Includes lifeline hole
  • Easy to travel with

Cons

  • May need to use waxed paper on first use to stop yarns sticking
  • If you are a knitter that moves the points with your finger, you may have to consider protection
  • You can’t use the small size needle tip cables with the large size needle tip cables
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

2. ChiaoGoo Twist Tip Interchangeable Complete Set, 4-Inch

ChiaoGoo Twist Tip Interchangeable Set, 4-Inch

ChiaoGoo sells three types of sets: Small, containing 7 sizes – 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); Large, containing 6 sizes – US 9 (5.5mm), US 10 (6mm), US 10.5 (6.5mm), US 11 (8mm), US 13 (9mm), and US 15 (10mm); and the Complete set featured in this article containing 13 sizes overall.

Sets include: 4″ (10 cm), surgical-grade, stainless steel metal, lace tips and three cable lengths: 8″ (20 cm), 14″ (35 cm), and 22″ (55 cm) cables to make 16″ (40 cm), 22″ (56 cm), and 30″ (76 cm) circulars

Twist red cables consist of a multi-strand, steel cord coated with red nylon and are memory free, so no kinks!

Included are easy-to-read, coded cable connectors, end stoppers, T-shaped tightening keys, stitch markers, a needle gauge and compact, zipper-enclosed, fabric case

Twist & Spin tips, cables and accessories are all switchable!

The needle tips feature a lifeline hole that makes adding a lifeline as simple as knitting across the row.

These sets are made in China.

Pros

  • Tip are smooth and fast
  • They have a longer taper than the HiyaHiya tips and are slightly sharper
  • The cables are memory free so they don’t kink
  • Variety of nifty tools
  • Needle tips have a lifeline hole
  • A popular choice for lace knitters.

Cons

  • Some knitters don’t like the ‘zing’ sound when knitting with the needle tips
  • Like the Hiya Hiyas, you can’t use the small size needle tip cables with the large size needle tip cables
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon
Short Interchangeable Circular Needles at Knit Picks
Explore the glorious colors of needle tips at Knit Picks

3. addi Click Standard Rocket Lace Long Tip Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needle System

addi Click Standard Rocket Lace Long Tip Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needle System

The metal long tips (just over 5 inches long) are Nickel plated.

8 different sizes US 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

3 blue addi SOS Lifeline insertion Cords which create 24″, 32″, and 40″ needles

1 addi Click connector

All the contents fit into a pink case

Designed and made in Germany

Lifetime Guarantee

Addi pride themselves on their patented design of a ‘click in tip’ Which means that unlike other versions there are no screw components.

Simple insert the cord end into the tip end, twist and release.

Users love the fact that they don’t come apart while they are knitting.

Pros

  • The lace tips are sharp enough to grab the yarn
  • Yarn glides effortlessly over the joint between the needle and the cable
  • Easy to put needle tip and cable together
  • Needle tip and cable don’t come apart when knitting
  • Life Line insertion point in each end of the cables.
  • The addi click connector can join 2 cables together to make a longer cord

Cons

  • Some users reported that when first putting the tips and cables together the connection was a little stiff
  • The nickel plating can become tarnished with use
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

4. Lykke Driftwood Interchangeable Gift Set in Grey Denim Pouch

Lykke Driftwood Interchangeable Gift Set in Grey Denim Pouch

Lykke is a Norwegian word for happiness and this company aims to, you guessed it – Make knitters happy.

With the 5” sets they come in 3 different styles, the one I am  featuring here, is the Driftwood Interchangeables in the Grey Denim pouch.

There is also the Indigo set which has blue needle tips with a blue denim pouch and the Umber Set which has golden brown needle tips and a mustard colored pouch.
The Driftwood set tips are a soft weathered grey. They are not actually made from driftwood, rather they are made from birch.
Users have commented on how they love the feel of the wood and how it warms in their hands.

The 5” sets come in the following size needle tips (in both US sizing and Millimeters (mm)
US4/3.5mm, US5/3.75mm, US6/4mm, US7/4.5mm, US8/5mm, US9/5.5mm, US10/6mm, US10/6.5mm US11/8mm, US13/9mm, US15/10mm, US17/12mm

Included are  2 cords for 24″ length, 2 cords for 32″ length, 1 cord for 40″ length

It comes with 2 connectors, 4 keys, 8 stoppers all enclosed in a Grey Denim Carrying Case

The tips are not as pointy as other brands but they are not blunt or dull either. A good in-between tip.

The needles are handcrafted in Kathmandu, Nepal. The company says there is no mechanized automation in the creation of the quality needle tips, only human craft skill.

It is essential that when first using these needles, you tighten the join between cable and needle tip with the key that’s included in the kit. The key looks like a piece of wire with a loop at the end.

This makes sure that both are securely fastened together before you start knitting.

No-one wants to be merrily knitting away and have the needle tip and cable separate. That would be a disaster.

Just be careful when you order your set that you are getting the right one. If you are interested in the set I have featured here, it is the Driftwood Interchangeable Set in the grey denim pouch.

Pros

  • Wooden needle tips have a smooth finish and lightweight
  • The weathered grey look is appealing
  • The joins between the tip and cable doesn’t snag yarn
  • Connecting the cable with the needle tip uses a screw join, be sure to use the key for a secure connection
  • Twelve different needles sizes and the labels for each size is etched into the end of the needle tip.
  • Cables are flexible

Cons

Some users felt  the cable connectors are too long and snagged the yarn.

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

5. Knitters Pride Dreamz Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set

Knitters Pride Dreamz Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set

The set includes 9 US Sizes: US 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11 ); 4 Cords to make 24″, 40″ & 2 of 32″; 1 Set of size markers; 8 End caps; 4 Cord keys & 1 Cord case

Each needle size is a different color which helps with easy identification

Made from laminated birch wood with a slick finish.

The tips are pointy but not too pointy with a tapered finish.

The needle tip screws onto the cord and using the cord key you tighten the join.

Pros

  • Good all purpose needles to suit a wide range of projects.
  • The birch wood has a smooth finish
  • The join between the cable and the needle tip is smooth, so won’t snag your stitches.
  • Tips are not too pointy that they will split your yarn.
  • The needle sizes are color coded so you won’t ever make the mistake of knitting with two different needle size tips.

Cons

  • Darker color needle tips  may be difficult to see with dark colored yarn
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

6. Clover “Takumi Combo” Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set

Clover Takumi Combo Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set

Takumi refers to the type of Japanese bamboo the needle tips are made from.

I have knitted with a range of fixed circular Clover knitting needles and Double Pointed needles.

The bamboo is very smooth, lightweight and easy to work with.

The set comes with twelve needle tip sizes – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 13, 15

Each needle tip has the size and mm version etched onto it.

Five cord lengths – 16 inch, 24 inch, 29 inch, 36 inch and 48 inch

The cord and needle tip are connected by a screw join. You easily screw the needle tip into the cord.

They are all neatly enclosed in a leather like zippered case.

This set is made in Japan

Pros

  • The bamboo needle tips are smooth and don’t snag yarn
  • The joins are very smooth and stitches will not catch.
  • Cables are very flexible and easy to work with.
  • The points are tapered

Cons

  • Some users have said the joins can sometimes separate.
  • I think it is a matter of making sure they are securely fastened before you begin knitting.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

7. Denise Interchangeable Blue Kit Brights

Denise Interchangeable Blue Kit Brights

The kit contains ten pairs of needle heads in sizes between US5/3.75mm and US15/10mm.

Six cords (in sizes 5 inch 9 inch 12 inch 14 inch 16 inch and 19 inch) two connectors for easily joining cords together and four end buttons.

All items come in one 8-1/4x7x1 inch blue case.

Pros

  • Tips are made from specially formulated plastic resin
  • Plastic needle tips come in fun colors
  • Simple twist and turn to attach tip to cable
  • Made in USA.
  • Family owned and operated business

Cons

  • smallest pair of needles may bend a little bit if you’re knitting very tightly
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Click Clack That’s That!

Of these 7 products reviewed, the set by Clover is my top choice.

The bamboo needle tips are smooth and lightweight and they are very comfortable to use.

The cables are flexible and don’t kink.

Again it is important to ask yourself what will suit you best. For me the this set is a worthwhile investment.

If you already have a set of Interchangeable needles, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Now It’s Your Turn

If you have any feedback or questions, I’d like to hear what you have to say.

What did you think about today’s post?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now or you can also contact me here.

I will always be here to answer any questions you may have.

References

(1) Keith Harper, Knitting-needle ladder used by Blake to escape. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/1966/oct/24/russia.keithharper, Oct 2019

Image credits: © Amazon.com

About Jodie - Editor Knit Like Granny

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here. I am an Australian, currently traveling in Europe with my family. I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I love learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn. Please say hello!

15 thoughts on “The 7 Best Interchangeable Knitting Needles. The Ultimate Guide (Updated October 2019)”

    • Hi Jill, yes that is frustrating. My tip for making sure the connection between the cable and needle tip is secure is to use the pin/key that comes with the set to tighten the connection. Place that key in the hole at the top of the cord, using the key as leverage, twist the needle tip just a bit more.

    • Hi Janet. Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve done a little research and Knit Picks Options and Knit Pro brands have purple cables. Cheers Jodie 🙂

    • Hi Sharon. Thanks for the question, I have added it to the post above. For most brands the standard length range from 16 inches to 40 inches, this is the measurement from tip to tip, which includes the length of each needle plus the length of the cable. The standard length of needle tips – Short Tips are from 3.5 to 4 inches and Long Tips from 5 to 5.5 inches.

  1. Hi Jodie,

    I bought a set of interchangeable needles from Amazon and found that the shortest cord in the set was still way too long to work on my typical projects which are clothing and accessories for my two young grandchildren. I can’t handle DPN’s. Do you know if/where I could purchase shorter (4-8”) cords and whether they would be compatible. Thank you for your very thorough and informative review.

    • I have done some research to see what people are buying in relation to cords with your set on Amazon.
      It seems that the Knitter’s Pride interchangeable cords are often bought with the Yoosoo brand.
      Although there is no cord that I can find that is shorter than 8 inches in the Knitter’s Pride brand.
      There was a comment on the Amazon page that said it is unlikely to find an alternative brand for shorter cables.
      I will do some more research and if I have any good news for you, I will be back in touch.

      Happy Knitting 🙂

  2. Hi Jodie,
    I’ve been recently looking into investing in an exchangeable needle set and saw the Clover set. In general I really like Clover needles; they fit my hands well, have nice points and seem to hold up very well. I work with smaller items though and was wondering if you knew of a good set with smaller cords? Cords and needles that would give a total length of 12” and 14”??

    • Hi Katie. That’s great to hear that you like your Clover needles and what you like about them. I don’t know any brands that offer those lengths but will ask my lovely readers. I’ll get back to you. Cheers Jodie 🙂

    • Hi Katie, some lovely people have got back in touch with their suggestions- here you go…

      From Imported – Possibly, I think the ChiaoGoo TWIST Shorties Red Lace Interchangeable Knitting Set comes with 2” & 3” tips and 5”, 6” and 8” cable lengths…(tip sizes US 0, US 1, US 1.5, US 2.25, and US 3) so….
      2” tip + 5” cable + 2” tip = 9” length / 3” tip + 5” cable + 3” tip = 11” length
      2” tip + 6” cable + 2” tip = 10” length / 3” tip + 6” cable + 3” tip = 12” length
      2” tip + 8” cable + 2” tip = 12” length / 3” tip + 8” cable + 3” tip = 14” length
      The blue shorties set are larger tip sizes.

      From Lunabella- You are correct! Both the red mini shorties and the blue small shorties will give you 9” to 14” total lengths. I have both sets and love them for the versatility!

      I’ve taken a look at the Blue ChiaoGoo Twist Shorties (US-4 Thru US-8) Interchangeable Knitting Set as both the above knitters mentioned this set. The set contains both 2″and 3″ (5cm & 8cm) tips allowing for short circulars 9” through 14″ (23cm – 36cm) long. Sizes are US 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (3.5, 3.75, 4, 4.5 and 5 mm) with three Blue, X-Flex (S) join cables – 5″, 6″ & 8″ (13cm, 15cm & 30cm).

      Hoping that this is a good start for you Katie.

      Cheers Jodie

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