These needles are absolutely fabulous!! You can use them right out of the package - the cable is that soft! I bought these for the 2 circular needle method for knitting socks and they're perfect - super smooth and no snagging! These needles have made sock knitting even more enjoyable. Though they are a little pricier, they're definitely worth the extra money. I've bought a few sizes of them so far and I'll be getting more!
I ordered a bunch of sizes of these in the 16. They are fantastic needles and I am very happy with them. It was well worth a little extra money in the investment of them. The cables aren't stiff and the wood is very smooth, but not slippery. They are very comfortable to knit with and overall just wonderful!