For what? It’s a personal preference as to what is ‘best’ [I]for you[/I]. Some people like straights, others would rather use circulars. Some love bamboo, others hate it and prefer metal needles. Bamboo is great for slippery yarn, but is difficult if your yarn is ‘sticky’, and the opposite for metal needles, so a lot of it depends on the yarn. If you don’t have very many needles, get different types as you need for different projects and try them out to see what you like. I have needles in wood, metal, and plastic/acrylic and I like them all.
If you wanted to get technical…it depends on the yarn, project and knitter.
But if i had to pinpoint it…I would say nickleplated. (metal)
But [I]you[/I] have to make that desicion.
Some people swear by wood needles.
I have both and use whatever works for the project Im working on.
There will be tons more responses. Theres my opinion.
As has been said the best needles are the ones you like.
nickle plated are slippery and fast but new knitter often find them to slippery.
Wood needle are less slippery than nickle plated and in some cases more pointed.
Bamboo are less slippery than wood and are often like by new knitter because the yarn doesn’t slide off as easily.
plastic needles are found by some to be “warm” in the hands and easier on sore knuckles.
This list could go on forever and be changed some by everyone that reads it.
IMHO (in my humble opinion) if you are just starting, get a set of needles that matches you project and try them out. Then on the next project try a different type of needle, straight, circular, metal, wood what ever and try them. Which do you like best? Try a third type on the next project, eventually you will find a needle type that you always want to go back to. Those are then the best needles.
Fortunately needles tend to be inexpensive and you can try different type with out a lot of expense.
Great answer. Once you know how to knit you’ll figure out what’s best for you.
Now [I]my[/I] favorite is KnitPicks Options which are a nickel plated circular needle set. I really never use anything else anymore, but when I started I used bamboo straights. I still prefer bamboo double pointed needles when I need to use those.