Review & Giveaway: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Needles

Edit: Thanks to all who entered, the giveaway is now closed!

I’ve officially become enamored with a new-to-me knitting tool: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles. These needles are made from carbon fiber and have slick nickel-plated brass tips.

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Oooooh, shiny.

As you may have noticed over the last few months, I’ve been slowly transitioning from the colorful Knit Picks Harmony needles I’ve used almost exclusively for the last few years to sleek, black KP Karbonz needles. It began when I realized I was mending far too many holes in my socks and needed to tighten my gauge. However, I wanted to knit with size 0 (2.0 mm) DPNs that didn’t feel like bendable, careful-or-they’ll-snap-in-half toothpicks. So I ordered some Karbonz DPNs and loved them.

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Current sock in progress. Click for project page.

And I thought — maybe the Harmony’s are NOT the be-all-end-all of knitting needles. I first learned to knit on Susan Bates metal needles but have been fiercely anti-metal since I first discovered Clover Bamboo needles way back in the day. When I found the Knit Picks Harmony wood needles it was love-at-first touch. Between the warmth of the wood and the sharp pointy tips you just don’t get with bamboo, I thought they were great. Sure, I had my share of split needle tips (can we say snags?), and needle bases that separated from their metal casings so that they had to be glued back together (boo), and cords that unscrewed while I knit (that old nightmare) — but they were what I had, and I thought they worked well enough. But when I was sent a Deluxe Interchangeable Needle set to review, I was super excited to give them a try, and I haven’t been disappointed.

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Lovely packaging.

The great thing about the Karbonz needles is that they are strong and sturdy, like metal, but warm to the touch and lightweight, like wood or bamboo. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, GUYS. The interchangeable set comes with 9 pairs of needles (from US 2.5 – US 10), 4 cords (24″, 32″, 32″, and 40″), 8 end caps, 4 cord keys, and a set of needle size markers so if you remove your needles from your project and store it on its cord, you can remember what size you were using.

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Accessories.

I really love the pouch the needles are packaged in, and there’s a handy slot in back to hold more cords. I ESPECIALLY love that the needle size is printed both on the needle tip AND the metal base of the needle, so no more hunting around for a needle gauge to figure out what the heck size you’re using.

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Lifeline near stitchmarker indicates where I switched to Karbonz needles on my Stitch Block Cowl.

Since this set has come into my possession, I’ve been swapping out the needles previously being used in my WIPs for these new needle tips. Projects that were bothering my wrist or hands for one reason or another before, suddenly felt fine. Perhaps my hands have been extra-sensitive since my wrist injury or perhaps I just needed a change, I don’t know, but the grippiness of the carbon fiber surface combined with the slipperiness of the needle tips seems to have made my knitting proceed more smoothly. Happily, changing needle tips didn’t change my gauge mid-project. I’ve since used the Karbonz needles to swatch a variety of yarns with multiple sizes and all have felt really great.

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Swatches! Top: handspun BFL on size US 7. Bottom: Shibui Knits Linen on size US 4.

I have two minor complaints about the set:

  1. It only comes with 4 cords. I am a knitter-of-many-WIPs, and 4 just isn’t enough for me. However, one can purchase additional cords in sizes ranging from 16″ to 60″ (for less than $3!) as needed.
  2. Needle sizes do not range smaller than US 2.5 or larger than US 10. For many people and projects, this probably isn’t an issue, but I am also a knitter-of-chunky-yarns and have plenty of use for needles on the larger end of the spectrum. Their fixed circulars have a wider range on the smaller end, though, so magic loop sock knitters can get their tiny needle fix that way.
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Using a cord as a stitch holder in my Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl. Click for project page.

Overall, I really love the feel of the Karbonz needles and will likely use them for the majority of my knitting. Unlike some others, I haven’t noticed any snagging in the transitions from metal tip to carbon body, or from needle to cord. I love that the size is printed on the needle and that even the thin sock sizes feel strong and unbending, but not too inflexible. While the tips aren’t as pointy as some, they appear to be pointy enough for most purposes and I am happy that they won’t split like wooden needle tips often do. The Deluxe set retails for around $125, which is certainly pricier than wooden sets, but if you can afford it I think the carbon fiber needles have definite advantages. There are also smaller interchangeable sets available priced in the $60 – $65 range.  For more information, check out other reviews at Knitter’s Review (older but still interesting), Badfaerie Designs (from the point of view of a steel needle user), and Knit Luck (really detailed!).

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

If you’d like to win a Karbonz needle prize from the good folks at Stitchcraft Marketing (exact prize to be determined), leave a comment below telling me what type of needle material you prefer and why. Each comment gains you one entry, and if you share this post via Twitter, Facebook, or on your own blog, let me know and you’ll earn extra entries. I’ll choose a winner with a random number generator on Friday, May 30th so you have until 11:59 pm Eastern time the day before to enter. Good luck, and please spread the word! (My apologies but this giveaway is only open to US residents.)

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161 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Needles

  1. I too love the Karbonz needles. I have a set of Signature Needle Arts stiletto point DPNs which was purchased to the tune of around $300 and I thought they were the greatest things on earth. After hearing about the Karbonz I wanted to try them and I find myself wanting to knit exclusively with my 2.25mm and 2.50mm DPNs. I felt like I was committing a bit of knitting needle adultery, but, you know what – sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side!

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  2. I am pretty eclectic in my needle use. Mostly I know what I like. For larger needles I adore glass circulars. For sock knitting I’ve become a karbonz convert. I’ve never been a fan of light weight metals and the woods break too easily.

    Completely agree with your review!

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  3. Those look like great needles! I prefer metal needles since I knit a lot of socks and the narrow bamboo needles tend to bend and snap at the worst possible moment. Also my dogs have never expressed any interest in my project when it’s on a metal needle but more than once a project on bamboo needles has been taken to their bed for closer inspection:(

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  4. Very nice review!
    I share your enthusiasm for the Karbonz needles, they are awesome. I have a couple of straight Karbonz needles as well (they are nice and short), and some 2mm circular Karbonz for socks and the like. Oh, and some dpn’s for sizes under 2mm…
    .
    Otherwise I usually use ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles, because I like their extremely pointy tips and the different cables. No interchangeable set for me, thought, because the tips tend to go loose/unwind with the way I knit…

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  5. I have a pair of Karbonz needles and I love them. They are light, have grab and even click when I knit! The clicking of needles reminds me of my mother and grandmother… And that is so special.

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  6. I have the knitpicks in metal and some of the harmony ones. They’re not bad, but I seriously hate how often I have to re-screw the tips onto the cords on. I like metal ones better for most things because I’m such a tight knitter.

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  7. I, like you, started out with metal needles and once I found wood the meta needles left my view ,I am currently using Knitter’s Pride Dreamz, but I’ve had some breakage and I’m very intrigued by your description of the Karbonz. I’m looking forward to trying them…one way or another. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s very helpful.

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  8. Pingback: Review & Giveaway: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Needles | Inquisitive Felines and Fibers

  9. I have been wanting to try this set for the longest time! I generally prefer wooden needles because I like the warm feel of wood (KnitPicks Harmony here), but lately I have preferred my Knitpicks nickel needles for the slickness.

    What a great giveaway!

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  10. Pingback: Win Cool Knitting Needles! | knitsbywhit

  11. I’m not sure at the moment……I’ve loved addi naturas and kp harmonys and clover bamboos. I’ve actually been enjoying some metal needles lately. I feel less paranoid leaving my knitting in the open with them as I’ve lost some smaller wooden needles to breakage lately as my small boys have been trying out my knitting. I’m looking for a new favorite right now.

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  12. I started knitting with plastic needles….I thought the Denise Interchangeable’s where the best thing. As my knitting expertise grew, my love for pricier yarn and nicer needles did as well. I often use my Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Interchangeable set but I did by a set of karbonz double points to make socks and fell in love with them. Anytime I am in need of a new needle it is my go to choice!

    I have also shared this via twitter and my own blog

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  13. I’m rather split – I prefer bamboo for larger sizes, but around size 4, all my small needles have to be metal. I haven’t tried wood or glass yet!

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  14. I’ve been using bamboo, but I would love to try the Karbonz. Like you sometimes I feel like I’m knitting with toothpicks that will split…and actually I have broken a couple of wood needles. Wonderful giveaway!

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  15. In February I had taken a knitting ergonomics class, and I learned that some of my problems might have stemmed from the material of the needles I use. I bought some Karbonz US 0 – 32in and have been knitting socks much more efficiently!

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  16. I’m not actually too picky about my needle materials – it’s only with a few specific fibers like silk that I find some needle materials are definitely better than others. Slippery fibers like silk definitely need the grip of wood or bamboo, but I actually quite like metal for other fibers.

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  17. i prefer different materials for different kinds of knitting (lace, socks etc) and depending on fibre content, but if i had to choose only one, i’d have to say the one used in KP Karbonz — they are such great all-around ones! so far i’ve only tried the fixed circs and dpns, would absolutely love to try the interchangeables too 🙂

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  18. I haven’t tried the Karbonz needles yet. I’m a bamboo girl. Love the lightness and the slight grippiness of the needles. I’ve used Addi Turbo’s in the past and they’re ok depending on the project. I’ll have to give the Karbonz a try and see if they can give me the same feeling my bamboo favorites do.

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  19. I really love bamboo needles because they don’t get really cold or really hot 🙂
    But I don’t mind metal or plastic. All needles are good needles.
    Lovely review!

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  20. I’ve never tried these needles, but they sound great! It really depends on what I’m knitting, but I tend to like metal needles since the yarn slides over them better.

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  21. Oooh, these are so gorgeous. I recently saw a pair of the Karbonz at Cloverhill Yarns in Baltimore while visiting a friend, and I’d really like to try a pair.

    I really only knit with metal, because that’s what readily available near me and that’s what I started with, I suppose. I had a set of Denises for a while in the beginning, but after I grew into a quicker knitter, the plastic started to drag for me. I tried bamboo (and actually have a set of bamboo DPNs that I love), but by and large, the wood is too grabby. I like that metal is slick, but I have pretty bad carpal tunnel and tendonitis, and sometimes the slickness causes me to work extra hard. I have yet to find that happy medium.

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  22. Well, everything you just said makes a lot of sense. I currently own mostly wood and bamboo needles. I have an interchangable set of knitpicks harmony and I like them, but they are a little too sturdy for me – as in they don’t “bend” the way clover bamboo needles do. I like clover, but I don’t like the cables on theirs. If only knitpicks had bamboo. But seriously, these needles sound amazing. Maybe someday I will actually be able to afford them!

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  23. Excellent post and the description is so vivid that upon closing my eyes, I too could feel the warmth and strength! You might have made a convert out of me. I’m a tad eclectic…Signatures with super pointy tips, Knitpicks (love the colors), Addis…just depends on the WIP. I’m also a very ADD knitter with lots and lots of “finish that already projects!” I need a BIG supply of needles! Am reposing on everything! Luck and Love, Softailstitches

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  24. The material of the needle does not really matter to me. I have plastic, wood, and metal needles. I like them all if it gets the work done.

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  25. I’m on a budget so it’s the cheapest metal needles for me. I do like them and they work well for most things. I’ve tried wood/bamboo and don’t like them (except for one project where the yarn was so thin and light that metal was too slippery. Bamboo was the only thing that worked to keep me from dropping every other stitch.) I’d love to try the Karbonz.

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  26. I have been using the other cubic needles by this company. I have found that square needles are much easier to use if you have a hand problem. I just got my first cubic square needles over Easter. I have to order them or go to a store that carries them out of town.

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  27. I recently acquired some Karbonz DPNs and I’m never going back to my old ones! Karbonz are the best needles that I’ve tried so far, and I’d love to expand my collection.

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  28. I have not had a chance to try out the Karbonz needles yet. I alternate between my Addi Clicks and Clover bamboo needles, depending on the fiber being used and the season. I prefer to use bamboo needles when it is warmer out.

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  29. I know what you mean about the “toothpick” feeling when knitting and need a tighter gauge ..I feel they will snap. I’d love to win…happy knitting!

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  30. So far I prefer bamboo mainly because they’re so lightweight. I’ve never used the Karbonz but I’ve read many reviews that they are awesome and I’d love to give them a try.

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  31. I have a variety of needles, lovely wood, bamboo, some old metal ones, but my favorite are the cubics. Love the wood and my hands don’t get tired. I’m going to try these Karbonz because you’re saying the same thing about them and they look really sleek!

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  32. I really like the Karbonz too. I like how they hold on too your stitches with out being too sticky or too heavy. I’d love to own more!

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  33. My preference varies based on what I am knitting. For instance, I prefer bamboo when working with alpaca or silk yarns as they grip the yarn and helps prevent dropped stitches. But when working with BFL or other natural yarns I prefer metal because it will allow the yarn to slip easier.

    *link shared via my facebook page CRCjaxknits: designs by Jackie*

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  34. I bought a fixed circ in size 0 and I am a convert. Also, I’ve never taken the leap with any interchangeable set, so this would help me a lot!

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