If you're looking for the sharpest knitting needle, chances are it's because you're frustrated by the blunt points of your current set. Knitting needle tips that are too rounded can make lace and other detailed projects a real hassle. Before you jump to the stabbiest, sharpest knitting needles, take stock of what exactly you're trying to fix.
Sharp needles shine when working with very fine yarns, like laceweight or fingering, or fuzzy yarns like mohair and alpaca. If the yarn is particularly thick, loosely plied, or otherwise ‘splitty’, then a sharp knitting needle would do more harm than good — in these cases, such a sharp needle actually stabs through the yarn and pulls the next loop through the middle of the strand of yarn, rather than through the loop on the needle.
The sharpest knitting needles are made out of metal and you’ll be hard-pressed to match that point profile in wood or bamboo. We do have options for the sharpest you can get with other materials at the end of this guide. For lace projects, there’s more to consider than just the point profile — we go over the best knitting needles for lace in another guide.
For the ultimate in precision, try HiyaHiya’s ultra sharp knitting needles
If you’re looking for the sharpest knitting needle on the market, you can’t beat stainless steel HiyaHiya Sharps.
Their fine point is excellent for delicate patterns with many decreases or small-gauge projects using fine, fingering, or laceweight yarns. Depending on the way you hold your needles, these may even be too sharp for those who frequently push the needle tips down with a finger.
A sharper point means you may have to pay a little more attention when working with a chunky, splitty, or loosely plied yarn — what’s the point in knitting very quickly if your project is riddled with mistakes? However, for fine-point accuracy, the HiyaHiya Sharps can’t be beat.
In addition to the interchangeable set, HiyaHiya Sharps are available in fixed circular and double-pointed styles. While fixed circulars will be fastest because of the smoother join, interchangeable sets are far more versatile and economical than buying individual fixed circulars.
For continental-style knitters who push their needles
As one blogger noted, some knitters (particularly Continental knitters) push on the tip of the left needle with the right forefinger while sliding the just-worked stitch off. One or two pushes on a sharp knitting needle won’t do you any harm, but after a few rows, the sharp tips of most metal needles not only hurt, but can break the skin.
If you find you’re tempted to push your needle points with your fingers, the Addi Lace Long Tips needles are going to be more comfortable than other metal needles.
We also recommend the Addi Lace tips in our guide to the best knitting needles for lace, which have a sharper point and longer taper than standard Addi Clicks wth the same subtle grippy finish. The Addi Lace interchangeable needles are available in both short and long tips. Of the two, we prefer the longer 5” tips for their even more tapered point and comfortable length.
The finish on Addi Click Turbo sets has the lowest friction of any knitting needle we’ve tried, making the Addi Turbos the needle of choice for many speed knitters. Less grab on the needles is also helpful when working with particularly fuzzy, sticky or inelastic yarns like kitchen cotton, mohair, and synthetic fibers. We also prefer the keyless twist join of the Addi Click interchangeable series to any of the other brands’ keyed mechanisms (which we reviewed in our guide to The Best Interchangeable Needle Set).
ChaioGoo Red Lace Circular
If you ask a room full of knitters what their favorite knitting needles are, you’ll get dozens of answers, but one of the most common will be ChaioGoo Reds. ChiaoGoo stainless steel needle tips are among the sharpest knitting needles available, long favored by knitters requiring precision and speed.
The vastly popular nylon-coated, multi-strand steel cable is “memory-free”, preventing kinks or coiling for projects that have to be packed up tightly. From our perspective, the iconic ChiaoGoo red cable is best in class.
Consider the ChiaoGoo Twist Red Lace Interchangeable Set, surgical-grade stainless steel interchangeable needles in 5” tips. Stainless steel needles are very smooth and provide almost no resistance while knitting.
You will knit faster on metal needles, but your stitches may slip off the tips more easily, particularly if your yarn is smooth or tightly plied. We like the joins on the ChaioGoo needles, but they, like most interchangeable needle sets, require a separate key to assemble the cables and tips together. This set is not as sharp as the HiyaHiyas, but not as rounded as the Addis.
“Stiletto” point knitting needles
Produced by a family-owned machine shop in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Signature needles are a newer luxury brand famous for their ultra-sharp “Stiletto” needle point. The needles are precision-engineered from aircraft-quality anodized aluminum coated in vibrant colors — each size a different hue.
These needles have a subtle textured finish in between that of a bamboo or wood needle and a coated metal needle. For this specialty ‘Goldilocks’ coating — not too smooth, not too grippy — you will pay a premium. This Signature Convertible set will set you back 3 to 4 times what any of the other sets on this page cost. Still, the Stiletto point is beloved amongst many knitters.
As either the ultimate splurge or a gift your beloved knitter will never forget, Signature knitting needles are in a league of their own.
A sharp metal tip on a wood needle
For knitters who prefer the feel and warmth of wood, or who knit for long stretches and find their hands fatigued by metal needles, there is a sharp solution. The Knitter’s Pride Royale needles have 11 radiant colors of birch wood with electroplated brass tips, giving knitters the color and texture of a wood needle with a smooth, sharp metal tip.
Another KnitPro / Knitter’s Pride line to consider is the KnitPro Symphonie Rose needles, which are stained and textured like rosewood (with the same laminated birch base as the rest of the Symfonie lines), available in a 9-size interchangeable set with copper-toned connectors in a beautiful custom hardcase. These are marketed as Knitter’s Pride Deluxe Interchangeable Rose in North America.
A sharper tip on a classic, economical knitting needle
Virginia-based manufacturer Denise’s brightly-colored and affordable interchangeable needles have become a staple of many knitters.
Denise recently came out with a set of sharper, shorter tipped acrylic resin interchangeable needles in sizes US5-US15, perfect for smaller projects and patterns with lace or cables. Though sharper than other Denise needles, the connections are the same interchangeable style, allowing knitters to mix and match with the original set if they’ve already purchased one. Because the Denise tips are made of a plastic resin, they have a small amount of flex you won’t find in metal or wood tips, improving comfort on smaller projects or for knitters who knit tightly. These are the sharpest all-acrylic needles we’ve found.