When I first started knitting socks I used 7" Brittany birch double points. After a time though I realized it would be better to use shorter needles, so I bought what the store had in stock which was 6" Crystal Palace sock needles. I loved them, but have always wanted to try the 5" Brittany sock needles. Recently I bought a set and had a chance to compare the two.
Brittany Sock Needles vs. Crystal Palace Sock Needles
(Size US 1)
Brittany measures 5"; Crystal Palace measures 6". It's only one inch, but I enjoyed the shorter length very much.
Brittany needles have rounded points; Crystal Palace have sharp points.
Brittany is made from birch; Crystal Palace is made from bamboo. I didn't think this would make much difference but there were a couple of things I noticed. I found that the stitches did not slide as easily on the Brittany needles as they do on the Crystal Palace needles. Also, the Brittany needles were more flexible than Crystal Palace.
In the end, I found that the Crystal Palace needles worked better for me, mainly because I like to knit short-row socks the PG-R way. When working the heels and toes in this method, sharper points and stiffer needles help maneuver the yarn for stitches like K3tog and SSSP. The Brittany needles were too flexible and the points not sharp enough to make these stitches easily. That's not to say they aren't good needles, because they are. After all, the needles we ultimately choose are just...a matter of preference.