It could be the needle material or it could be the way you hold the needles when knitting with circulars. Some people say that wood needles are gentler on the hands.
That said..it would be hard to do some seamless projects with straights. So if you decide straights are for you then you may have to avoid some patterns, but you can often find a similar one that's done flat and seamed. Things like sweaters, toys, hats, blankets.... All have seamed versions.
Last edited by Jan in CA : 08-17-2013 at 07:48 PM.