I rarely break a needle. Maybe one every 3 months or so. The number one cause of needle breaking is SIDEWAYS PRESSURE!! If you go in at an angle and don’t come out at the same angle, it creates pressure on one side and SNAP! Always go in and out the same way WITHOUT moving the needle to one side or another. Felting needles are hardened steel that are very brittle.
Another way to break needles is trying to move the wool over a little with the tip of the needle. DON’T do it! Use a broken needle or a pin instead of your felting needle when you want to move your wool over to the side a little.
Another way to break a needle is using a wire armature and hitting it too hard. When you are felting into a sculpture with a wire armature in it, you have to back off slightly as soon as the tip of your needle hits the wire. Try to felt along one side of the wire and then the other. Be gentle when you are putting on the first layer of wool around the wire.
Another way that you can break a needle doesn’t even make sense, but it’s happened to me more than once! Sticking the needle into the foam too hard when you set it down. Also if you tap the needle on the side while it is in the foam then SNAP! Just did that a couple a days ago. Don’t you just hate that!? I’ve broken the most needles this way believe it or not!!
When do your needles break?