The technique of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of the thyroid is important to evaluate malignancy in thyroid nodules. Eighty-five percent of thyroid FNA procedures lead to sufficient cellular material for diagnosis. With more cells aspirated, the chance of sufficiency for diagnosis increases. Large-bore needles lead to more cellular material being aspirated but bloodier specimens that may interfere with cytologic interpretation. Smallbore needles may result in too few cells for diagnosis. We conducted a randomized prospective study contrasting 21-gauge and 25-gauge needles in the evaluation of 50 consecutively enrolled nodules at our institution. In our investigation, 21-gauge needles more frequently provided superior biopsy specimens (50%) than did 25-gauge needles (18%). In the remaining specimens (32%), the 21-gauge and 25-gauge needles provided similar cellular material. The rate of sufficient samples was the same. We conclude that use of 21-gauge needles results in more cellular specimens but may not result in increased diagnostic accuracy.