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. Also…I stopped knotting socks because of needles….in circulars I too used Knitpicks harmony wood…they have actually been glued back together after disconnecting from the metal shaft…and also given me splinters. So a local knitting guru recommended Skacel’s interchangeable needles. Then my KP dpns not only feel but are pretty much toothpicks…and so I tried metal…but they slip out….all to say your review on the Karbonz has my attention!

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  2. I shared on Facebook, goggle+, and pinterest. I would love to win this set. Right now I’m a Dreamz needle kind of girl. I love the warmth of the wood.

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  3. I started off my knitting life with the metal needles also, then ‘graduated’ to bamboo. I had problems especially with the smaller sized bamboo dpn needles warping, so invested in Harmony dpn and also circulars. While I love my Harmony needles, I’ve been lusting after the Karbonz for some time now. A good friend of mine purchased the whole circular set and let me test drive them. OMG, I really want the Karbonz now! Sharing on Facebook.

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  4. I have a knitters pride dreamz interchangeable set (wood) that I love! But I recently bought a fixed #3 of karbonz for a cowl an fell in love with them! Also shared on Facebook for my other knitting buddies to see 🙂

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  5. I love this review! I can identify with it. I, too, use my Harmony needles for most projects, but I wish the needle size was printed on them. (I once knit a project with one 10 and one 10.5 needle. I didn’t catch my mistake until I was putting the needles back into their cardboard and elastic place.) I think the Karbonz would be ideal for most projects since the metal tips would help slide through the tough K2tog’s and the carbon material would help the stitches stay on the needles. Thanks!

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  6. I’ve never tried the carbons but would love to my hands on some. The quality of Knit Picks is going down the drain. I’m tired of the cables comming apart and pulling away from their connections. These seem like the perfect solution.
    Sharing of Facebook

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  7. I just got the set of knitters pride nova straight needle, I love them, I prefer the metal, the yarn just glides off the needles. I would love to try these carbon fiber ones they seem like the best of both worlds!

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  8. Right now my faves are Kollage square metal needles and my Inox fixed circulars. I need a sturdy dpn because I knit my socks with a super tight gauge and have been known to snap wooden ones in half. Plus, bamboo ones aren’t pointy enough. Have been dying to try Karbonz!

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  9. Je viens de me remettre au tricot et j’aime bien les aiguilles en métal. J’aimerais bien essayer le carbone 🙂

    Je partage sur Facebook et pinterest!

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  10. I have four Karbonz circulars, in small sock sizes, and I love them! Pointy, grabby, and slidey – makes for beautiful finished items! Would really like to have a set of the bigger sizes for when I make shawls and sweaters. The holiday gifting season is only 7 months away……

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  11. I’ve just shared this on my Facebook page and also our church knitting group’s Facebook Page and Pinterest.

    I’ve tried several types of needles and really love the Knit Picks Harmony, but the Karbonz are my new favorite.

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  12. I knit with harmony’s from knit picks, but I also knit with metal circulars when the project needs it. Though I prefer the wood. I will share on facebook! I hope I win!

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  13. I prefer metal since i am a tighter knitter. However, when i am doing lace, i tend to use Harmony needles due to their nice, sharp point. I will share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

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  14. I, too, have tried many brands of needles. When I tried the Karbonz I fell in love. I have several fixed circulars but want so much to have the interchangable set.

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  15. I like different materials for different projects, and have been hearing about these and am dying to try them. I am shagging in Facebook!

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  16. Depending on the pattern I use DPNs or Magic Loop with a circular needle. I prefer needles with a very sharp point. The Karbonz dpns are great for socks or mittens.

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  17. I recently switched my harmony needle set to cubics. I really like them too. However, I need some new dpn’s and was thinking of trying karbonz especially the very small ones. I have a pair of 2.25 mm cubics for socks. They are more like weapons than knitting needles. I have stabbed myself a couple of times. Would love to win a set to try.

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  18. Generally, I prefer wood, as long as they are not too grippy. I like metal for some things, though. I have been wanted to try the Karbonz since they came out, because, as you said, they seem to offer the “best of both worlds.”

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  19. I love my knitters pride novas (after using knit picks nickel plated for years… got tired of remembering which ones had poor threading, which hasn’t been a problem with the knitters pride set, and I love the etched needle sizes on the novas!) I bought one carbonz circular recently but haven’t gotten a chance to use it for more than a swatch. It does feel lovely in my hands and I think a set of them in interchangeable circulars would switch me away from my beloved nickel-plated sets.

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  20. Depending on the project I prefer needles for different jobs. I recently have started using ChiaoGoo red lace metal tips. Because they have very sharp points which I like. I also like Knitpicks Rainbow and the new Caspian both wooden needles with sharp points. I have all fixed, interchangeable and dpn’s. So for shawls and large projects I find myself changing needle types. And socks I use either 9″ metal circulars or wooden dpn’s.

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  21. I really like the Karbonz for socks. I have one set in a size I use a lot and will slowly pick up more as time goes on. I like the lightness of them and how I don’t worry about them bending or breaking.

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  22. Love to knit with polished wood needles (knitters pride dreamz) and signature needle arts metal needles. Actually, I love to knit…period! Pick me, pick me!!!

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  23. I vary my needles depending on the project and/or yarn I’m using. Sometimes I want slick metal needles and sometimes I want the grip of wood.

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  24. I use metal needles exclusively now, although for a long time I preferred wood and bamboo. Since I learned to knit lever style, metal works much better as it is smooth and fast.

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  25. Shared this on Twitter and Facebook.

    To be honest, carbon fibers are my favorite. They’re so strong and so smooth without being slippy. Just perfect. Polished wood comes next, then metal.

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  26. I share with Facebook and pintrest, Google+, I two had trouble with the knit picks and shipped them back after the twelfth time the cords popped out of the screw end with the nickel plate and harmony, so I got the knitters pride cubes and love them. So intriguing about the karbonz’s.

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  27. I love wooden needles, but I find that the shape of the needle greatly helps my knitting. I love hexagonal or square needles because of this. I have been very interested to try theses mixed medium needles just the money has not been right to get some. Winning a set would solve that splendidly. =)

    Shared on Facebook.

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  28. I use mostly wood for the warm feel and grip. I like metal but the slip factor can be a nightmare.
    I’ve tweeted for and and face book as I see a needle I think could by in my future.

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  29. I’ve tried bamboo, but I knit tightly and they didn’t hold up, I love metal as long as they have nicely pointed ends, I love the even stitches I get with square-style circulars, but I’ve never tried carbon needles. If they have smooth joins and pointed tips, they’re my kind of needle!

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  30. I used to use mostly nickel-plated, but I’ve switched to Harmony. I do find that they’re not quite strong enough for tight work (I haven’t had one break, they just feel like they will.) I’d love to try Karbonz!

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  31. I use different needles depending on the project. I learned to knit on bamboo, but learned to like the slickness of Addis or HiYa-HiYa, and more recently started using the Karbonz on a few projects and really like these a lot. But these days, it comes down to the type of project I’m knitting, whether I need a very sharp tip or not, and what needle size I need. I don’t think there is a one-type fits all, IMHO.

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  32. Right now I’m using bamboo and some metal. When I started knitting I’d only ever used bamboo, but the more I try out metal needles, the more I love using them! I tried out some Karbonz during the Rose City Yarn Crawl and loved them!

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