I've been using a set of Boye KnitMaster interchangeables since the late 70's; a set of Denise since the mid-80's and the newer Denise, new KnitMaster sets, and the KnitPicks for the last few years. (Do you think I have too many projects 'in progress' at once!?) Anyway, I've never had a problem with any of them.
That said, here are some observations that may or may not influence your choices.
The KnitMaster cables are not soft enough to work Magic Loop, but they do stand up to adding several cables together to work hundreds of stitches (700+) in worsted weight yarn and not come undone.
The older Denise did come apart from time to time; I blame that to the fact that I had so many stitches on it and was pulling too hard to move the stitches. Acrylic yarn seems not to slide as easily over the thicker-than-others cables. No such problem (yet?) with the newer version, though the older tips seem pointier. Their thicker cable = difficulty doing Magic Loop.
I love the KnitPicks metal tips, but I wish the acrylic tips were coloured - any colour at all. I need to knit more by feel with them, since I can't always see the perfectly clear needle tips! (Their European equivalent (KnitPro) appear online to be pinkish.) The cables are super soft; great for Magic Loop.
For the screw-mounted tips, they only come apart if you just finger-tighten them. They come with a 'key' and a bit of rubber to use in tightening and loosening for a reason. Take the time to use them, and there should be no problem. No need to over-tighten though. (I wouldn't let my son tighten them; he'd strip the threads!) When I'm in a hurry to swatch and just screw the tips on by fingers only, I know they will come apart if I go on knitting long enough.
No experience with wooden or bamboo interchangeables. I like plastic, wood, and bamboo for knitting in cooler places; my hands don't get chilled by the needles. Metal needles act as a heat-drain, and my hands begin to ache from the cold - even in rooms just below normal 'room temperature', never mind outdoors in Fall or Spring or inside an over-cooled restaurant or mall. Maybe that's just age. I don't remember aching hands younger, but maybe that's just because I had no needles of another material to use then.
Hi: I have the Denise Interchangeable circular needles. Bought them years ago and love them. You do have to make sure that you click them into place properly or they can fall out. Lots of crafty hugs Alpajem
Thank you everybody for your replies. It sounds like I will invest in a set. I'm just sick and tired of finding a pattern that I want to start and it ask for cicular needles and I look in my stash and find that I only have a different size and cannot start the pattern until I go to Joanns down the street and find out they do not have them either (always happens to me). Thanks again Kelly
I only use interchangeable needles. When I first started using them I didn't correctly use the tools included to make sure the needle was secured tightly and the needle did come off while I was knitting. I learned real quick to not think that my fingers were enough to get the needles tight enough to the cable. I have been using my interchangeable circular needles for 2 years now. I would get rid of my straight needles, but I kept them so I can have the extra needle for a 3 needle bind off for working shoulders on sweaters and dresses.
The Addi Turbo interchangeables have taken the place of almost all my needles. I have never had the cable fall out and really like the way the yarn slides on and off the needles. I have the regular metal ones, but Addi also makes bamboo and lace points. Have never regretted spending the money for the set. It was my birthday present to myself last year.
For just $25 you can buy a complete set of sizes 0-15 circular 40" bamboo knitting needles from Brilliant Knitting on Etsy. Shorter lengths are even less expensive. So why spend that much money on interchangeables?
I haven't had any problem with my Knitpicks Harmony interchangables at all. They give you a little tool to help tighten them. Make sure you use that and it should be fine. Whatever kind you get just make sure to read all the instructions that come with them or you might miss an important part on putting them together.
You can get even cheaper sets of bamboo needles from China on eBay. I've bought complete sets in a few different lengths, and have stopped using my interchangeable needles entirely. However, there's a couple of reasons for this: I have the old Denise and new Boye sets and do not like the cables. I only use bamboo needles now because arthritis makes my hands clumsy and I can't handle more slippery needles.
I have found that the cables can pull off of the cheap Chinese needles. They are easy to glue back on. But - the fact that they an be pulled off the needle base can be useful if I need to use a life line. I tie the thread to the base of needle I'm knitting on to, and shove the cable tightly against it.
Sometimes, the cables split where they bend at the base of the needle. I just trim that 1/4 inch off and reinsert. This happens a lot less often now since I figured out to round of the tip of the peg at the base of the needle that inserts into the cable. It seems to stress the cable less.
I have read that you can replace the cable with weedwhacker line (it comes in several diameters) and I plan to buy a reel. Then I can have as long or short a cable as I need, and my bamboo needles will become interchangeables and I will have come full circle (pun intended)!
The harmony from Knit Picks are great. Just make sure you tighten the cable to the needle with the key that comes with it. I check to make sure they are tight every few rows or so. So far I never had a problem. I can't even unscrew the needles without the key (gizmo).
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