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Can You Sharpen Bamboo Knitting Needles?

Bamboo has been used for just about anything one could think of, from clothing to homewares and so much more. In fact, bamboo has also become quite the popular option for knitting needles. But can you sharpen bamboo knitting needles when they inevitably start to wear down, or do you have to replace them?

Bamboo needles can be sharpened easily, and it’s recommended that you do so to maintain their shape and ease of use. Outside of the occasional sharpening and polishing, you don’t have to do much to keep your bamboo needles in working order. Needles made from bamboo have a lot of great advantages to them for both casual and experienced knitters. 

If you don’t keep your bamboo needles sharpened and smooth, you run the risk of having them pull on fibers during the knitting process or making it difficult to move them through your yarn of choice. 

How To Sharpen Bamboo Knitting Needles

The easiest way to sharpen bamboo knitting needles is with an emery board, which you might already have at home if you file your nails. Emery boards can also help get rid of any rough spots, smooth out any cracks, and remove any splinters that may be present. Just be sure you’re using the finer side of an emery board so you don’t accidentally cause more splits.

You can also use some sandpaper if you happen to have some to get a nice, sharp point on bamboo needles. You want to make sure the sandpaper isn’t too gritty or you may end up adding unwanted dents into your needles. You’ll want to softly rub the ends into the sandpaper in a circular motion. 

Regardless of if you use sandpaper or an emery board, it’s a good idea to wipe your needles on some wax paper to make them extra smooth and much easier to work with. The thinner the needle, the gentler you’re going to want to be as you use your sharpener of choice so you don’t cause splinters or accidentally break your needles. 

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As to be expected, bamboo needles aren’t going to be able to last forever, especially if you consistently sharpen them. As of now bamboo needles are fairly limited in their diameter options. Not all breaks will be able to be salvaged with sandpaper or a nail file, but thankfully bamboo needles are fairly inexpensive to replace. 

Do Bamboo Knitting Needles Get Dull?

Bamboo does get dull with use no matter how careful you might be. Even though bamboo is a fantastic material, it’s still wood, and wood inevitably loses its luster with use. These needles also handle a lot of friction from moving in and out of yarn, and are also consistently exposed to the oils your fingers naturally produce. 

A quick wipe with some wax paper will help you freshen up your bamboo needles so they don’t look and feel dull, which can end up getting them caught on your yarn. You won’t want to rub the wax paper too vigorously, as you don’t want your needles becoming waxy. Instead, you just want them to be a little bit smoother.  

Are Bamboo Knitting Needles Any Good?

Bamboo knitting needles are favored by many knitters of all experience levels. They are durable, affordable, and easy to keep clean and in working order. Bamboo needles have more girth, which can be gentler on the joints for those who may experience hand pain when doing repetitive tasks. 

Since bamboo needles do tend to be a little bit thicker than other needles, you may find that they aren’t the easiest to work with when dealing with yarns that have thinner fibers such as lace. You’ll want to keep them well maintained to avoid having them become dull, making them harder to work through your yarn. 

Overall, bamboo needles are easy to find and are budget friendly, they move through yarns very well, and they are quiet. Since yarns tend not to slip through bamboo needles easily, they are often recommended for those who are just learning how to keep their needles under control. 

Which Knitting Needles Are The Sharpest?

Needles made out of metals such as aluminum tend to be the sharpest you can find. Metals don’t wear down the way that wood can, so they maintain their points without you having to sharpen the needles yourself. Though metal needles take some getting used to, it’s nice to have a pair of metal needles should you want to work with finer yarns. 

Should I Oil My Bamboo Knitting Needles?

You don’t have to apply oil to your bamboo knitting needles, but a good clean and polish once in a while will help extend their lifespan. If your needles are looking especially dull, you can apply a small amount of beeswax to your needles and give them a good rub with a chamois. You should let the needles dry for at least a day before using them again.

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To clean your bamboo needles, you can grab a dry paper towel or dry microfiber towel and give them a good wipe. This will help you remove any residue from your needles that can build up from your hands and from your yarns. As mentioned before, a quick wipe down with some wax paper is recommended to give your needles a smooth, polished finish. 

Final Thoughts 

Bamboo knitting needles have their advantages and disadvantages, though it’s fair to say they are a top choice for knitters who are just getting started in the craft. They don’t cost a lot of money and can last you for years should you make it a priority to care for them. 

Bamboo knitting needles aren’t especially sharp, so you will have to refine their points from time to time, especially if you want to work with more delicate yarns. Otherwise, you’ll find that bamboo needles are easy to weave through most yarns and you can maintain a good enough grip on your needles so you can get lost inside your knitting. 

Make sure to follow my tips and recommend products to ensure your knitting project turns out amazing! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your Q&A’s. Happy knitting!

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