Let's talk about regular needles first. We usually use 36, 38, and 40 gauge felting needles.
Coarse needles (36 gauge): Coarse needles can quickly felt the wool due to their large contact area with the wool. However, due to the thicker needles and large pinholes, the surface of the finished product is rough, with a lot of floating hair, which is not detailed enough. Coarse needles are often suitable for making large objects and in the early stage of overall shaping. It can quickly stab out the general outline of the finished product, such as stab balls, etc, but it is not suitable for stabbing details.
Medium needle (38 gauge): It is thinner than the coarse needle, and the wool felts faster when stabbing, but it is inferior to the coarse needle. The finished work is more delicate, and it is more suitable for stabbing out small and medium-sized objects. It is suitable for stabbing the overall outline of the finished objects. Some details with larger outlines can also be stabbed with a medium needle, such as stabbing the outline of a character's head, the overall outline of a smaller animal, etc.
Fine needle (40 gauge): When stabbing the wool with a fine needle, the contact surface between the stabbing needle and the wool is the smallest, the penetrating force is strong, the stabbing density is high, and the felting speed of the wool is very slow, but the surface of the stabbing part is very delicate, smooth. Fine needles are mainly used for stabbing local or detailed parts, such as the undulating parts of the faces of small animals, such as eyes, noses, ears, etc., which can be well optimized with thin needles.
It is mainly used for the early shaping of large and medium-sized works. It is generally about 90MM in length. It has the characteristics of thickness on the top and thinness on the bottom. There is no sense of frustration when the thick needle is inserted into the needle. It is easier to stab with it and can be used in place of coarse needles.
Star Needle and Cyclone Needle
The thickness of the star needle is between the fine and ultra-fine needles. Generally, the stabbing needle has three corners on the cut surface, and the star needle has four corners on the cut surface. The felting speed is the fastest, the penetration is strong, and it is not easy to break.
The tip of the cyclone needle is helical, suitable for surface and detail modification. The size is generally 40 gauge
I usually finish the surface with a star array or a cyclone needle. Of course, these two needles are also more expensive.
You may be wondering, why do you need a star needle and a cyclone needle when you have a fine needle 40 that can be used to optimize details? Because compared with the fine needle 40, the star needle and the cyclone needle felt faster. Because of their unique structure, they can finish the felting of the surface faster and better than the general fine needle 40, and at the same time, it is smoother and has less lint, and pinholes are less too.