Knitfoo's picture

With the latest poll I see that Bamboo Needles are very popular. I myself voted for the good old fashion plastic needles...

I am curious what are the pros and cons of Bamboo needles?
Opinions and thought?


MMario's picture

I've yet to try a pair of bamboo needles that didn't have a *very* odd feel to them, almost as if they were squishing with every stitch. I also find they "grab" the yarn far more then I am comfortable with. So in the long run bamboo are my needles of last resort. But I know this is peculiar to myself.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

No, I find they have an odd feel to them too, and I had problems getting gauge with them. In the last few months I have been using birch dpns from the River John Needle Co and I find these are very different and very smooth to knit with.

tranny_saurus's picture

The only bamboo needles that I have are dpn's and I like them a lot. I don't think that I would like straight or circular bamboo because of their "grabbiness." However, that's exactly the reason I like them for dpn's. They hold on the stitches very well. I recently made a hat during a road trip on these needles. I was able to stick the whole project into my bag, and not a stitch fell off the needles! My two-year-old niece even "helped" me with the project, and I never dropped a stitch.


PaganCub's picture

i ♥ bamboo needles......any time they're too rough, i just rub em down w/ wax paper, and voila....perfect smoothness/slipperiness!

Change your thoughts; change your world.

teejtc's picture

I love bamboo needles.... They're just slippery enough and yet just "grabby" enough. I always drop stitches when I'm on metal.

Grace and Peace,

I like them because they're so sexy.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss

gaynnyc's picture

My only con with bamboo, is that they tend to warp a little with use. I usually knit socks on 1's or 2's and by the end third or fourth pair, there's a definite bend in the needle. This has only happened to me on the smaller size needles. Oh, and I did snap a needled once, but that was totally my fault, I was struggling to pick up stitches on a gusset and had a death grip on the needle.

I like their grabbiness on small portable projects. So far (knock wood) I've never had any stitches drop from the needles while toting them around in my backpack.

Celowin's picture

For some people (not myself), knitting is a spiritual or meditative experience. Using a natural needle, usually bamboo or wood, deepens the connection for them.

I personally prefer to work with bamboo when working flat, but metal when working in the round. It is strictly a matter of what yields the better tension for me. (Well, that and I *hate* the joins on the bamboo circular needles that I have.)

Kerry's picture

I've tried bamboo, but always go back to metal, they are harder to break when you sit on them ;-)

ronhuber's picture

I bought bamboo needles because everyone raved about them. I tried knitting socks with them and they sure did grab the wool. I don't want the wool grabbed. I want the stitches to fly off the needles as fast as they can. Every stitch was an effort with the bamboo.

RCC's picture

All that I'm using bamboo for at this time is socks (US 2).......I find larger bamboo needles catching, tugging and snagging yarn. I prefer metal for other projects, especially more textured yarn. The metal has a sharper point, better suited for a variety of yarns. Just ordered Knit Picks Options kit..............have heard nothing but good about them for most projects and yarns.

BuduR's picture

I learned on bamboo, and up until I got my first set of addi needles that is all I used, but I really like my addi and will probably be slowly replacing my bamboo needles. While learning though I found that the bamboo really helped me not to drop so many stitches.

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I may need to explore using them. After years away from knitting, I started a scarf using cotton chenille last night and that yarn is slippery on metal needles!

Bill's picture

I highly recomend bamboo when learning to knit with doublepoints!
...and there are certain slippery yarns that are easier to knit on bamboo....

gardenguy42's picture

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Just to jump right in here, I love bamboo needles! I have used every variation I am aware of but the lightness of the bamboo is easiest on my arthritic hands; I can knit for hours without fatigue, unlike aluminum needles. I haven't ever had a problem with snagging or catching yarn, maybe because I am a rather loose knitter. I am slowly accumulating a full set of bamboo needles and wouldn't be without them.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Parrot's picture

I find the metal needles much too slippery and the stitches tend to easily slip off the needle. I can't stand the artificial feel of plastic needles. Then, I switched to bamboo and liked them alot, but they weren't slippery enough. A couple of years ago I started making handcrafted needles using hardwoods. Finishing the needles to a fine furniture quality finish, with a very nice silky (sensuous?) feel, I now prefer to use my own needles. They are slippery, but not as much as metal, so they still have a "hold" on the fiber . . but not grabby like some bamboo can be. Using a fine set of needles and wonderful natural fiber, the knitting experience is very comforting and relaxing. I'm now concentrating much of the needle making with square needles, which makes for another great experience.

I have an art show coming up in November, where the needles have traditionally been my number one seller. Apparently, when people use fine hardwood needles, they quickly appreciate the advantages over bamboo or metal.