Hiya Hiya vs ChiaoGoo – A Knitting Needle Comparison

One of the questions I get asked the most and that is also topic of numerous threads in knitting forums is what the difference between Hiya Hiya and ChiaoGoo knitting needles is and which one people prefer. In this post, I would like to show you some of the differences and similarities of the two knitting needle brands. I will not focus on the differences in their product ranges though but instead give you a direct comparison of Hiya Hiya’s and ChiaoGoo’s circular and double pointed needles, from their anatomy to how it feels to work with them.

Hiya Hiya and ChiaoGoo, both from China, are well known and loved by many knitters around the world for their high quality knitting needles, particularly their interchangeables. Even in Germany both brands have become increasingly popular the last few years.

The Circulars

Both brands offer interchangeable and fixed circular knitting needles in stainless steel and bamboo. Hiya Hiya produces two stainless steel product lines: Hiya Hiya Sharp and Hiya Hiya Steel. Hiya Hiya Sharp needles feature a very pointy and sharp tip whereas the Steel product line has more rounded tips, but still noticeably sharper than Knit Pro’s or addi’s knitting needles. ChiaoGoo also offers two stainless steel lines: Red Lace and Knit Red. The latter is only avalable as fixed circulars though. For bamboo, Hiya Hiya as well as ChiaoGoo only have one product series.

1. The Surface

Generally speaking are all stainless steel needles more slick than the bamboo variants. The surface of ChiaoGoo needles seem a little more “dull” and I personally find these to be a tiny bit less slick than Hiya Hiya needles – however, I know many people who believe exactly the opposite is true. Regarding the bamboo needles, I don’t notice a huge difference between both companies – Hiya Hiya bamboo as well as ChiaoGoo bamboo needles are polished and a lot smoother than plain bamboo needles from other brands like Knit Pro.

2. Weight

Hiya Hiya and ChiaoGoo knitting needles are very lightweight. A single needle stainless steel needle tip in a size US 7 weighs:
ChiaoGoo: 2.84 g
Hiya Hiya: 2.11

A bamboo needle tip in the same size weighs:
ChiaoGoo: 1.79 g
Hiya Hiya: 1.74 g

3. Taper and Needle Tip

A very important aspect for many knitters is the actual needle tip and how it is tapered. Some swear by sharp and pointy tips and love long tapers to easily work even the most complicated stitches while others prefer rounder tips and/or short tapers.

Here you can see a comparison of all 6 needle tips:

Hiya-Hiya-ChiaGoo-Nadelspitzen

Immediately you will notice that all stainless steel needles have a more slim and pointy tip than the bamboo version. Hiya Hiya Sharp have by far the pointiest and sharpest tips, some knitters actually find them to be too sharp, especially in smaller (sock) sizes. I would rate the needles in their sharpness (starting with the dullest and ending with the sharpest):

  1. Hiya Hiya Bamboo
  2. ChiaoGoo Bamboo
  3. Hiya Hiya Steel
  4. ChiaoGoo Knit Red
  5. ChiaoGoo Red Lace
  6. Hiya Hiya Sharp

It is also worth mentioning that the taper of ChiaoGoo needles is a bit differently shaped than Hiya Hiya’s. It is almost rounded at the top and not sharp like a sewing needle.

The taper length is also different between the two brands. ChiaoGoo Red Lace knitting needles are well known for their long tapers which make it easy to work complex stitches like k4tog. Many knitters love this feature, but if you are a knitter who works their stitches at the top of the taper you might find your gauge to be off since you are not working with the full diameter of the needle. This is really only noticeable in the larger sizes from ChiaoGoo Red Lace; the taper in the sock sizes seems to be quite similar in length for both brands. And again, the bamboo needle tapers are about the same in regards to length, Hiya Hiya’s might be a tiny bit longer.

Everyone who prefers shorter tapers but still wants a somewhat sharp tip will love ChiaoGoo’s Knit Red series – but as mentioned before, these are unfortunately only available as fixed circulars.

4. Transition between Needle Tip and Cable

Another important aspect of circular knitting needles is the transition between the actual needle tip and the cord – is it smooth and manufactured with high precision? Or do the stitches get stuck while moving along? What about the ferrules in interchangeables – can you screw them together effortlessly or do they maybe even come apart while knitting? I can assure that both manufacturers produce needles with an almost non-existing transition that allows your stitches to slide along tip and cable in both fixed and interchangebale needles. The ferrule of Hiya Hiyas interchangeables are longer though and in my experience this makes fo a stronger connection between tip an cable and they do not come apart as easily. However, if you make sure to use the tightening key that comes with every ChiaoGoo cable, and ideally even a grip to get a better hold, you should not have a problem with these coming apart either.

All ferrules in comparison:

Ferrules and cables:

Hiya-Hiya-ChiaoGoo-Stricknadeln

A prominet feature of ChiaoGoo’s Knit Red fixed circulars is the bent shape of the needle tip just before tha cable which creates a very comfortable feel in your hands:

ChiaoGoo-Knit-Red

5. Cables

Whereas Hiya Hiya only offers two types of cables – the regular light blue cables and the thinner Mini cables for all needle tips below 2.75 mm (US2) – you can find a broader selection at ChiaoGoo: thicker and thinner red Red Lace cables, clear nylon cables from the SPIN product line and also the newest blue X-Flex cables.

Hiya Hiya cableas are made from nylon and are very flexible. They are perfect when doung Magic Loop and also feature a swivel joint which lets the needle tip rotate around the ferrule while knitting. ChiaoGoo also has cables with a swivel joint: The clear SPIN cables. However, these are not as flexible as Hiya Hiya cables. I personally prefer Hiya Hiyas if I want a swivel joint; in other cases I love ChiaoGoo’s Red Lace cables which are made from wire with a nylon coating. This makes them stronger an less flexible, but also resistant to bends and practically memory-free. Even after long storage in tight small bags they will not be kinked. A visual example for you is this photo of all cables hanging down:

The two red cables on the left are ChiaoGoo’s Red Lace cables and you can see how the do not retain any shape and simply hang down without any kinks or bends.

My favourite cables are ChiaoGoo MINI Red Lace cables, which originally are designed for needle tips below 2.75 mm (US 2). However, if attached with the correct adaptors, you can even use them with larger needle sizes. These cables are extremely thin and flexible while still being strong and longlasting.

About the DPNs

In short, the double pointed needles of both Hiya Hiya dn ChiaoGoo basically have the same similarities and differences as the circular needles. They are made from the same materials and feature the same tips as their corresponging circular version. One thing to mention is that the taper of ChiaoGoo’s DPNs is more similar to the Knit Red circulras than to the Red Lace circular; it is not as sharp and shorter in general. Hiya Hiya’s dpns are once again available as Steel as well as Sharp although we currently only carry the latter product line in our shop.

Summing it Up

Hands down, both companies produce high quality knitting needles and specifically their interchangeable product lines are superior to many other brands’. I personally love both equally and choose depending on project and yarn type. As always, every knitter has a personal taste and needs to try and see for themselves which needle they prefer. Hopefully I was able to give you some details and information though in order for you to make the decision you are happy with 🙂