Whether you are new to crochet or have been working up projects for years, picking a crochet hook can be confusing because of all the options out there. Over the years, we’ve tried out different brands and styles of crochet hooks and we’ve put together a post with information about crochet hooks that we’ve found useful in our crochet journey and hopefully they’ll be useful for you too!
1. Anatomy of a crochet hook
Many of us have been crocheting for years, but do you know the different parts of a crochet hook? The anatomy and functions of each part of the hook is closely related to point 3 (how you hold your hook) and can affect your experience while crocheting.
Take a look at the diagram below to find out about the make of your crochet hook!
Some crochet hooks might not have all the parts mentioned, and some hooks also feature a inline shaft vs a tapered shaft. Some crochet hooks might also have a sharper tip vs a blunt tip. These small differences do contribute to a different crochet experience while working on different projects, but it’s very much down to personal preference.
2. Trust the metric size guide
The size of a crochet hook is ultimately determined by the diameter of the shaft. One of our biggest tip is to follow the size in metric (meaning the number with the mm unit) as different brands label their sizes differently. A “J” hook in one brand may not correspond to a “J” hook for another brand. It is also possible to use a hook gauge to help test the size.
Many different crochet hooks follow different sizing systems, depending on the brand/ country of manufacture. It is essential to use the correct hook size for your projects to ensure that it turns out the right size. While we secretly wished that crochet hooks could adapt to a universal standard, the US use of the imperial unit might make that a bit tricky. You could think of it like shoe size conversions – with that, we’ve come up with a handy conversion chart that you can refer to regardless of which brand hook you’re using.
Also, here are a list of crochet hook brands listed by the sizing system they follow:
Metric – Addi, Athena’s Elements (also features US alphabet size), Clover (also features US alphabet size), KnitPro, Pryym
Japan – Amibari, Hamanaka, Tulip
US –Boye, Susan Bates, Lion Brand
3. Know your hold
There are two main grips that people talk about when discussing the way you crochet – the pencil and the knife, although this comprehensive article by Interweave covers up to 6 common ways people hold their hooks. While there is no single correct way, how you hold your hook can determine which hook is best suited for your crocheting style.
Pictured here is the pencil hold, where one literally holds the crochet hook as you would a pencil. The body of the hook is mostly exposed, with the point facing downwards towards oneself.
Pictured here is the knife hold, where the hand covers majority of the body of the hook and where the point faces upwards, away from the body.
4. Deciding what material your hook should be
Crochet hooks are available in a variety of materials and below are some of the pros and cons of different materials.
||Acrylic – Usually fairly light and inexpensive, and the hooks go up to the larger sizes, enabling one to crochet bigger projects with bulky yarn. However, some plastic hooks/ yarn might face a bit of friction while crocheting and cause a squeaking noise depending on tension.
||Aluminium – Generally lightweight and is one of the more popular materials found in crochet hooks. The smooth surface allows yarn to glide over easily.
||Wood (usually bamboo) – Very lightweight and are available typically in the usual sizes (2mm to 8mm). You would typically not be able to find smaller/ lace hooks in bamboo due to the characteristics of the material.
||Steel – Usually available in the smaller sizes and used to make intricate lace and doilies.
5. Using the right sized hook for your yarn
How do you decide which hook to use for a particular yarn? Refer to the guide on the yarn band! Most (if not all) yarns come with a band around the ball, providing information such as weight, composite, country of manufacture, tension guide and needle guide. This is the great way to find out which hook is most appropriate for that particular yarn. If you use a hook that is slightly bigger or smaller than the recommended size, your project may end up larger, or smaller.
Pictured here is Abbey Road 100% Organic Cotton and the yarn band states to use a 5.5mm crochet hook/ knitting needle for working with this yarn.
What we use
Ros says, “My favourite crochet hook would be the Tulip Etimo Rose series as it is very comfortable to hold. It’s more ergonomic compared to the skinny aluminium hooks. My hand doesn’t cramp as much using these hooks because I don’t need to grip it so tightly.”
Juu says, “I crochet using the butter knife hold and find that my thumb joints ache frequently due to the grip i exert on the hook. My previous go-to hooks were the double ended Tulip steel hooks because they were so convenient, but I have been prioritizing comfort and ergonomic design recently. I’ve been experimenting with the Addi Swing and heard great things about the Clover Amour crochet hooks.”
With all these in your consideration, which crochet hook would you pick?