A Crafter’s Guide to Crochet Hooks

There is no such thing as a perfect hook for everyone; everyone has a different preference, so it’s important that you try a few out for yourself and find out what works best for you! This crafter’s guide to crochet hooks is meant to show you the differences between several major types of hooks and help you figure out what it is you’re looking for in a crochet hook. Plus, I also give a review of my top 7 favorite hooks (plus 1 honorable mention)!

UPDATE on 7/17/18: This post was originally written in 2015. I have updated it to include new hooks that I have tried since that time. Scroll further down the page to read my reviews of these 8 different crochet hooks!


Parts of a Crochet Hook

If you’re new to crochet, it is good to get to know the basic parts of a crochet hook before you pick one up.

Picture1

  • Head – The head of the hook is the part that is inserted into the stitch. Hook heads come in two different shapes with some degree of variation: rounded and pointed. If you’re using a yarn that is prone to separating into threads (some acrylic 4-ply yarns are prone to this), then you might want to choose a hook with a rounder head as a pointed head may pierce through the strand of yarn. Hook heads are also either in-line or not in-line. (More on that later.)
  • Throat – The throat of the hook is what catches the working strand of yarn and is used to pull the yarn through the stitch. The width of the throat of the hook is tapered, also to varying degrees. If you find you are constantly dropping loops as you work, you may want to find a hook with more of a taper; this allows for your yarn to sit neatly inside the throat of the hook and has a little more room.
  • Shank/Shaft – The shaft or shank of the hook is the part of the hook that determines the hook’s size. The wider a shank, the larger a hook size. In a size H8/5.00mm hook, for instance, the diameter of the hook’s shank measures 5.00mm. A size D/3.25mm hook’s shaft has a diameter of 3.25mm. (You get the idea.)
  • Grip/Thumb Rest – The grip of the hook is part of what makes each kind of hook so different from each other. Some hooks have a thin grip and corresponding thin handle, others have thicker grips and handles (these tend to be a little more ergonomic). The grip of the hook is also usually where the hook’s size is printed/etched/carved/burned/etc.
  • Handle – The handle also separates the ergonomic hooks from regular hooks. Some are padded silicone/plastic, some are carefully carved wood, and others are simply unique in design.

In-Line vs. Non In-Line

In-line hooks are basically a perfect cylinder from the head to where the shank meets the grip. You can think of it as a dowel that has had a notch cut out for the throat, but not a single bit of the dowel extends past the diameter of the shank. The same goes for the in-line hook–not a single bit of the shaft bulges in or out beyond the diameter of the hook.

Non in-line hooks are basically any hook that isn’t an in-line hook, though there are hooks that are closer to in-line than others. These are often called “best of both worlds” hooks or “middle of the road” hooks.

Below are two different hooks–a Susan Bates hook on the left and a Boye hook on the right. You can see how the diameter of the Susan Bates hook remains the same from the head to the shank, whereas the head of the Boye hook extends beyond the diameter of the shank.

Picture2

Both styles have their benefits, but both have their downsides. A middle of the road hook often takes the benefits from both styles, which is why the are so common and loved.

Crochet Hook Materials

Crochet hooks are often made of aluminium, plastic, or wood–and sometimes even a combination of materials!

The important thing to think about is not only the material of your hook, but also the type of fibers of the yarn you plan to use with that hook. Smoother, silkier yarns, for instance, tend to slide off of plastic or aluminium hooks, so you may find that using a slightly rougher wooden hook more helpful. On the other hand, wool fibers may catch on the rougher grain of the wooden hook, resulting in snagged yarn (yikes!), so you may want to choose an aluminum or plastic hook. Pro-Tip: the same goes for knitting needles!

The Two Hearts Crochet Blog’s Hook Reviews

With all of that said and done, here’s a look at a few different types of hooks that I’ve used. I’ve ranked them from 1-5, ranging from my absolutely favorite (to-date) to adequate hooks.

UPDATE on 7/17/18: Since this post was originally made, I’ve tried a few other hooks that I want to include on this list. I don’t yet have a photo of all of them, so the photo below has not been updated. Note that the order in which I rank these hooks has also updated.

1

Boye crochet hook, size I/5.5mm
Boye Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm

7) Boye Aluminum Hooks – The Boye hooks are what I learned to crochet with, so they’ll always have a special place in my heart. They also come in a large variety of sizes, are found at several big-box craft stores, and are very budget-friendly–a big win in this crafter’s book!

The Boye hooks are non in-line hooks with a slightly tapered throat and a (mostly) rounded head. The round head makes it easy to push the hook through your work, but doesn’t split the fibers. I find this makes it easier to keep a steady, quick pace while I work.

However, they aren’t especially ergonomic. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both my wrists, so I’ve sort of let these hooks fall by the wayside.

I’ve also found that while my stiches are usually pretty tight, they are especially tight when working in amigurumi patterns–so tight that I’ve even broken one or two of these hooks mid-stitch! The plus side is that they are easy to find and inexpensive to replace.

Kollage Square Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm
Kollage Square Crochet Hook, size D/3.25mm

6) Kollage Square Hooks  – These hooks are wonderful and quite ergonomic in shape, and I have several of them. The unique design of the wooden handle makes it quite comfortable to hold, and I find that the grip is in just the right spot. The handle is also not so long that gets in the way of my hand but not so short that it bothers me.

These are in-line hooks and come in both rounded and pointed head styles to suit your needs–a total bonus!

The main problem I have with these hooks is that the shank of the hook does not extend all the way through the wooden handle. In fact, it is barely set inside the handle at all, and when too much tension is applied, the shank pops out entirely. This happened to my size D/3.25mm hook, which I use with all of my amigurumi patterns.

I have heard of others having the same problem, and they’ve said that the Kollage customer service department was quite nice about it (sending replacement hooks and such), but that doesn’t really solve the problem.

Mr. M. was crafty enough to put some kind (I’m not sure what exactly) of glue inside the handle and clamped it together to make it set nice and snug, and that worked for quite a while–maybe a few months. But it has recently come apart again, and now there is a bunch of glue residue inside the handle, too. Grr.

That being said, I have other sizes of this hook, and I have yet to have that problem. My size I/5.5mm square hook has held up wonderfully, and I use it all the time.

Addi Comfort Grip Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm
Addi Comfort Grip Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm

5) Addi Comfort Grip Hook  – The Addi Comfort Grip hook is very nice indeed. The thicker handle is excellent for my poor wrist, and the non in-line style is easy to work with. The head is also semi-rounded–a preference I think I’ve developed.

The handle is a bit too long for me, though that isn’t my primary concern with these hooks. What bothers me most is that the grip on the handle is actually a kind of slippery hard plastic with some grooves cut into it, as opposed to a soft sylicone like I thought before I bought it. This makes it hard to hold onto for us knife-style crocheters. I think it would work well for those who hold their crochet hooks pen-style, though.

Addi Swing Crochet Hook, size D/3.25mm
Addi Swing Crochet Hook, size D/3.25mm

4) Addi Swing Hook – Like the Addi Comfort Grip, this hook is a non in-line hook with a semi-rounded head.

I particularly like the thumb rest on the grip, and the “swing” design of the handle is both comfortable in my hand and just the right size. It’s wonderfully ergonomic and much sturdier than the Kollage Square hook, especially when I use it on my amigurumi patterns.

It takes a little bit of time to get used the “swing” design, but if you have troubles with your wrists like I do, it’s worth your interest.

 

3) Furls Odyssey Hook (Updated on 7/17/18) – This hook is not only gorgeous, but fairly easy to use, making it hold the number three spot on this list. The price of this hook is a little high if you’re used to buying the Boye or Bates hooks–a whopping $33–but it’s much lower than their heirloom hooks (see this post’s honorable mention below), which retail at about $79.

The best part? These hooks come in an assortment of classy colors. I like the black well enough, but the soft pink is gorgeous.

My biggest complaint with this hook is the balance. This may just be me, but I find that this hook is fairly heavy. The handle weighs quite a bit, making the way it feels in my hand a bit awkward. As a result, I find I crochet a fair bit slower than usual whenever I use this hook. (Of course, constant practice would probably solve this issue).

All in all, this is a gorgeous hook and quite ergonomic!

Image result for furls odyssey hook
Photo Credit: Furls Crochet

2) Furls Streamline Hook (Updated on 7/17/18) – The Streamline hook is absolutely stunningly beautiful to look at. It mirrors the shape and ergonomic benefits of the Odyssey hook, but I much prefer the balance of this wooden hook to the heavy weight of the Odyssey.

The Streamline hook also has a lower price point, starting at just $16 for the camwood (light wood color) option.

This hook is very ergonomic, has a good balance, and is my second-favorite hook to use. It works well on most fibers, but note that the very tip of the hook is a little sharper and can split fibers if you’re not paying close attention to your stitches. It works great for any tightly spun yarn, including cotton!

Image result for furls streamline hook
Photo Credit: Furls Crochet

1) Clover Amour Hook – The Clover Amour crochet hook is what I’d consider to be a “best of both worlds” hook–the head is rounded, the throat slightly tapered, and it’s almost an in-line hook (or just slightly a non in-line hook, depending on your philosophical bent!).

The hook is in some kind of a matte-aluminum finish, which I’ve found works well for both slick and coarse fibers.

The handle is also a great length and fits so comfortably in my hands.

This is a prince of ergonomic hooks–I used it directly after using one of my Boye hooks, and the aching and fatigue in my wrist went away within minutes. It is equally suited to both styles of holding the hook, though I think the padded grip may be more effect for pen-style hook holders.

This is my favorite hook, though I am anxious to try out the Clover Soft Touch hooks as well.

UPDATED on 7/17/18:still love the Clover Amour hooks, and they remain my go-to hooks to this very day. I have tried the Soft Touch hooks as well, and while they are quite nice, I don’t really like the way they sit in my hand–but that’s just a personal preference.

Clover Amour Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm
Clover Amour Crochet Hook, size I/5.5mm

Honorable Mention: Furls Heirloom/Alpha-Series Hook (Updated on 7/17/18) – This hook is by far the prettiest thing I have ever seen. Take a look at the photo below if you don’t believe me!

These hooks are all handmade and come in a variety of sizes and woods. They’re superbly ergonomic, come with a hand health warranty like all of the Furls crochet hooks, and are so light and comfortable to hold. The Alpha-Series hooks are also very easy to use (but, like the Streamline hooks, can split fibers with the tip if you’re not careful).

I have two of these hooks, and I’ll tell you the downside of them via this little short story:

A couple of years ago, my husband surprised me with one of these gorgeous hooks. I just didn’t have the heart to spend $79 (!) on a single hook. He thought I was worth it (aww) and got one for my birthday.

I used that hook all the time. I absolutely loved the way it handled and I swooned every time I picked it up. I took it with me everywhere and used it for as many projects as I could.

And then, in a sad plot twist, I lost it.

I was pretty sure I had it at work, and my coworkers helped me search everywhere for it. One of my coworkers even helped me dig through piles of soggy leaves (gold star for you, Norma!), and my husband helped me tear up the house and my car–but to no avail.

When I lost that hook, I was absolutely heartbroken. After all, it was a very precious gift to me, and I had loved using it so much. I vowed that if I ever got another one, it would never ever leave my house.

For my blog’s 3-year anniversary, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase another one of these hooks. I ordered a different size, different wood, and I love it just as much as I loved my first Alpha hook. Still, it never leaves my house, and I’m honestly a little afraid to use it.

A few months ago, I was grabbing some groceries out of the trunk of my car and saw a little something poking up out from underneath the carpet that covers my spare tire. It looked a little like one of those roly poly potato bugs. But after a few careful pokes with a twig, it didn’t budge and I knew it wasn’t a bug.

I had to fight the carpet a little bit to free it, but lo and behold, there was my first Alpha hook. It was a little dirty, but I was able to clean it up with a dry cloth–it didn’t even have a scratch on it!

A very long story short, the Furls Heirloom/Alpha Series hooks are included on this list as the honorable mention because while I love almost everything about it (except that price!), I don’t use them very often for fear of losing them.

If you’re good about not misplacing your hooks, you may thoroughly enjoy this hook! Isn’t it just the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen?

Handmade wooden crochet hooks by Furls
Photo Credit: Furls Crochet

Tell me…which one is your favorite?

Leave a note in the comments and tell me what your favorite hook is–I’d love to know if there are any other kinds of hooks not mentioned here that you prefer and why!


Did you enjoy this sneak peek?

Subscribe to my email list for even more great content–I promise to send you only the good stuff!

Click HERE to join the crafty goodness!

Animated GIF

2 thoughts on “A Crafter’s Guide to Crochet Hooks”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s