I finally bought some Easy Guide needles a few months ago.
The needles have been on my radar for years. There are people that absolutely rave about them. If you’ve ever seen “EZG needle” in a cross stitch group, they’re probably talking about “easy guide needles.”
Some people also call them ball tip needles.
Honestly, I was convinced the first time I read about them – they sounded awesome… but the price was a huge put off for me. But more on that later!
so what are easy guide needles?
If you haven’t heard of them before, a ball-tipped needle probably sounds weird, right?
These needles have a teeny tiny ball on the tip – just like their name.
The needle tapers at the tip like you’d expect, but instead of a point, it’s got this super small round ball.
The Easy Guide needles are designed for cross stitch and other counted thread embroidery fabrics like Aida, evenweave and linen. When you cross stitch, you’re not trying to poke the needle through the fabric – you want it to go through the holes.
That’s where the needles come in. The ball-tip design is intended to make it easier in two ways.
First, the tip is extremely blunt – because of the ball – much more so than a normal tapestry needle. This means you’re less likely to pierce your fabric where you don’t want to.
Second, the ball on the needle acts as a guide, since you’re not punching through your fabric, it makes super easy to find the hole.
Hence the name “Easy Guide.”
Here’s what I thought about these needles after stitching with them for a few months.
The needle is cast in stainless steel.
It’s all metal. The ball tip is not removable – it’s part of the needle.
The ball tip part was way smaller than I expected – it doesn’t stand out at all.
I’ve stitched 3 projects with one of my needles (they’re sold in a 2 pack) and it looks identical to the other, unused, needle.
I can’t see any sign of wear on it – looks great!
I’m quite impressed so far.
I’m not stitching massive projects – that’s not my thing, but at this rate I could see using one of these needles for a year, easily!
I like the plastic case they come in, too.
I’ve put other needles in there and it’s got a spot in my project bag now!
Honestly, there really aren’t any here.
These are truly high quality.
ease of use
Of course what I wanted to know if it was all hype – do they actually guide you into the holes or is that a bit of a stretch?
I gotta say, they 100% live up to the hype.
I’ve been stitching for over 25 years, and I’m pretty good at not piercing the fabric and finding the holes on my own, but these needles made it so. much. easier.
I definitely noticed a difference when I was stitching an area where many stitches were already in place. It’s sometimes easy to catch floss that’s already on the fabric and split a stitch. It’s not the end of the world, but it can affect how the stitches look.
With the ball tip needles, I didn’t split the stitches and everything laid so much nicer on the fabric.
And even though I consider myself good at finding the holes, I noticed I was much faster when doing the stitch from the back to the front.
I’m not a fabric flipper. I go by feel, so I can’t see the needle when it’s behind the project.
The Easy Guide needle’s ball tip was awesome – it really does guide the needle into the holes.
It helped me stitch faster + smoother. It felt more natural.
But I did dock half a star for ease of use.
Even though the EZG needle is incredible for stitching – it’s not great for threading
Compared to the simple tapestry needles I normally use, the eye of the ball-tip needle is so small.
I like larger eyes so it’s easy to thread without assistance, but I struggled with the ball-tip needles.
A few times I had to pull out my trusty needle threader because I simply couldn’t do it.
I love this particular needle threader – the small end fits perfectly in the Easy Guide needle.
It just takes a few little wiggles to thread.
I’m including one of these needle threaders with every pack of Easy Guide Ball-Tip needles sold in the Purple Leaf Designs shop.
I was frustrated with threading, so I want to make sure you avoid that feeling!
This is neither a pro or con, but worth mentioning.
One of the common negatives I read about these needles is that the ball tip makes ending floss a lot harder.
When you end floss, you commonly will slide your needle behind a few stitches (on the back of your work) to secure it.
People have said that the ball tip made it a huge struggle to slide the needle in between the stitches and the Aida.
That wasn’t my experience. I had zero difficulty ending the floss.
I wouldn’t say it was better or worse, simply the same as any other needle I’ve ever used.
As I said above in the Quality section, these are extremely well made needles that will last you a long time.
If I’m getting a year per needle, that’s 2 years per pack!
Given I don’t lose them, of course.
And since they come in a useful plastic case, I should be able to keep track of them!
Since I spent so darn much on them, I’m a lot more careful with them, too!
Yes, everything I said above is true, but let’s acknowledge the fact that sticker shock is real, people!
The retail price is $8 for a pack of 2 needles!
If you’re buying online, you’ll need to factor in shipping costs – things add up. I ended up paying about $6 per needle when I ordered mine ($12 for the 2 pack).
Let me say that again: I paid $6 for one. single. ball. tip. needle.
(Just FYI: I’m selling them for less!)
To compare, you can go to a big-box craft store and pick up a 6 pack of size 24 tapestry needles for about $2. That’s 33 cents per needle.
How about we compare higher quality needle. A 4 pack of “gold” needles (which are gold plated to resist body oils, and therefore last longer) costs $3.50. That’s 88 cents per needle.
It’s pretty clear that the Easy Guide needles are significantly more expensive – there’s no denying that.
I believe I’ll use one of the ball-tip needles for much longer time, which offsets the cost… somewhat.
I’m a bit of a bargain hunter at heart.
I know, logically, that you need to pay more to get better quality and better features. It’s very true, and this awesome product is the perfect example.
But, since this is my review and my opinion, I docked a full star.
The main reason I hesitated on trying these for so long was the price, and I’ll bet I’m not alone in that.
Ball tip needles definitely made my cross stitching go easier and faster.
They do what they claim to do – they really work!
I really enjoy using them. I’m now an official raving fan.
Beyond making your stitching easier + quicker, these Easy Guide needles are extremely high quality and will last a long time.
However, I did feel they had two drawbacks: the small eye and their price.
If you often ride the struggle bus when threading a needle, you’ll probably want some help.
That’s why I’m including a needle threader with each set of Easy Guide needles.
I can’t deny that they’re expensive – it’s the biggest drawback to these otherwise really awesome needles.
That being said, Easy Guide needles are worth the investment.
Using the ball-tip needles definitely made my cross stitching more enjoyable, which is really the whole point!
When I teach beginners, I often see frustrations around piercing the fabric and splitting stitches.
I really think these ball tip needles would be a big help to a newbie stitcher.
If you’re ready to try these needles for yourself, they’re available now the shop!