Different Types of Crochet Hooks Guide
Starting up a new craft can always be challenging, especially when selecting which tools and equipment that you will need to use. After all, you probably don't want to spend a fortune when you have no idea if this is something that you will enjoy for the long term. Crochet can be particularly confusing for a beginner because there are just so many different types of crochet hooks available. Which type you should choose will be made clearer in this comprehensive guide.
I have (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one) spent a small fortune personally testing out a wide variety of different hook types until I settled on my favorites to use. In this handy guide, I run through the main types available along with a detailed critique on the different choices you can get and what to look for that will suit the way you work.
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Detailed Guide to All the Different Types of Crochet Hooks and Which to Use
1) Aluminum Hooks Ideal for Newbies on a Budget
Colored aluminum hooks are what many people tend to use when just starting out with crochet. You get get lots of different brands and versions but since they're all so cheap to buy a set of, I'd recommend that you stick to a well known brand, like the Susan Bates ones shown below, if you decide that these are the right ones for you.
Standard and unbranded aluminum crochet hooks are very cheap to buy. So cheap that you may as well just buy a whole set in one go rather than individually. Because they are so inexpensive, they make a pretty good choice for those just starting out with this craft. It makes sense to get a set like this first in case you decide that crochet is not for you.
They are incredibly durable. I've got some vintage aluminum hooks just like this which my grandmother used and they're still perfectly good to use. This material is super strong and is not prone to breakage like plastic versions can be. They will last.
Yarn just glides over the surface. When you do a lot of crochet, having a surface that the yarn can just slide over easily helps your project go so much faster. It can be really frustrating if your yarn keeps sticking to the shaft or shank while you work, and with some materials like bamboo, this can happen a lot.
The different colors of the aluminium hooks allow you to quickly locate the size you need. Having different colors not only looks good but serves a really practical use too since, with sets like these, each color reflects a different size. When you crochet a lot, it just saves so much time picking the right size for whatever you're making. With hooks that are all the same shade, you need to waste time looking for the tiny sizes printed or etched on to the handles.
Because of all these good points, I think these are a pretty good option for beginners to use and especially where budget is an issue. If budget is of no real concern then I would recommend either Clover Amour or Clover Soft Touch and I'll let you know why in the relevant sections below.
The main downside to these is the lack of a comfortable handle. If you crochet a lot, you may notice your hands starting to cramp up because mine did. For some people, this is no issue at all but for other people the hand cramping can start to be really off putting.
In this case, you'd be much better choosing hooks that have wider and more comfortable handles instead of these thin ones or looking for cushioned grips that you can get to slip on. And if you suffer from any hand complaints, I'd advise you to look to using a different type.
Another downside is how easily your yarn can slip off. You don't find this mentioned very often but one really annoying factor for me with this style is how easily your yarn can just slip right off the end if you put your work to one side. Versions that have actual separate handles tend to have a natural 'stop' at the start of the handle which prevents your loop of yarn from sliding off too easily.
2) Comfortable in the Hand and Great All Rounders
Clover Amour are one of my favorites along with Clover Soft Touch. I also think they make a brilliant all-round choice for a beginner or a seasoned crocheter and the main downside to getting these, especially if new to the craft, is the cost. If that is not a sticking point, I'd recommend these all the way.
Clover Amour come with a rubberized type of handle that feels quite cushioned and comfortable when held in the hand and even for long periods of time. This brand really got rid of the hand cramps that I had when using plain bamboo varieties. The Amour crochet hooks by Clover can be a good choice for people who suffer with hand issues such as arthritis, cramping, and carpal tunnel, although there is a more ergonomic hook variety below which could potentially be better in those cases.
The shaft or shank is made from aluminum and I noticed the difference with the tips here immediately from my previous bamboo ones which would often split the yarn or even snag it, the tip on these just glides through. It has vastly reduced me having to stop and correct my crochet work.
Different color hooks for fast location of sizes. I love the addition of the individual cute colored handles which makes it super fast to pick out the size I need when scrabbling in my yarn bag where my latest projects are kept. They also look cute too.
Image Credit: photo belongs to the author.
These can be costly to buy if you want a whole set. Of course, you pay more for the fact that they are a quality brand and a set is a lot more expensive to purchase. If you really want to try these but keep the costs down, buy one in a medium size to test it out first such as a G / 4mm or an H / 5mm or buy just the most frequent sizes that you know you will use.
A very tiny niggle for me is that the rubberized silicone handle, though nice to hold in the hand, seems to collect bits of fluff and tiny flecks of yarn. In fact it is almost a magnet for this and also for pet hair. I find this a little annoying and can imagine that it may also be an issue for a minority of people.
The shank is a little on the short side for tall stitches. As far as I'm aware, all Clover versions have shanks or shafts which are on the short size. It is no problem for working single or double crochet but might be bothersome if you work a lot of tall stitches like triple or treble crochet. Also if you work with very chunky yarn. I use standard worsted weight yarn or cotton and have never had any issues.
3) Super Lightweight Hooks Great for Amigurumi Toys
Clover Soft Touch are almost on a par with the Clover Amour for me. they provide the same smooth and fast crochet experience but have a slightly smaller shaft which makes them less ideal for fat yarns or tall stitches.
They are my preferred choice for Amigurumi which focuses mostly on tight, single crochet stitches. Beware that these are shorter in length from top to bottom than the Amour and other brands which might not be ideal for your size of hands. As with all more expensive hooks, if price is an issue do buy one to test it out!
These are very lightweight hooks in the hand. Clover Soft Touch are incredibly light to hold considering they have a purpose built handle. They feel almost like you’re holding on to air. This is good because it does help to prevent your hands from tiring too quickly.
They're comfortable to hold for a long time. Despite having very hard plastic handles which is in contrast to the softer rubberized ones of the Amour, they are really comfortable to hold. I was very surprised when I first tested them that this was the case.
I have small, petite hands and these are the smallest handled hooks I own and I think the fit is a perfect one. I wonder if people with large hands would find them quite as comfortable as I do. If you do have large hands you may want to give the Addi Swing a go since I found these ones far too big to hold.
Image Credit: photo belongs to the author.
These are definitely my favorites to use for Amigurumi with lots of short, tight stitches. Since the shank is short, I just love to use these for making the small and tight stitches required for Arigurumi projects. And the hard handle does not attract pet hair and fluff like the Amour handles do. This is even more of an issue for me when making toys.
Since the Soft Touch hooks have a really short shank, they are not great to use for tall stitches. The actual shaft or shank where stitches are formed is not very large so it is not ideal for chunky yarns or taller stitches since there is less space available.
It’s a little expensive to get hold of a complete set. With these more expensive options, it makes much more sense to buy a single hook in your favorite size to test it out or a common medium size such as a G / 4mm or H 5mm if you are new to crochet and not sure what size to get.
All the same color handles, means no easy differentiation. These are let down slightly because the handles are all exactly the same which means you absolutely have to look at the sizes to see which hook you need. It’s a small issue but an area that could be improved on for those of use who crochet a lot.
4) Is Wood Really Any Good?
Actually bamboo is a grass, not wood but people often class it as so. Bamboo hooks can be very inexpensive to buy and you feel good knowing that you are using an all natural material instead of a synthetic one. They can easily be purchased for newbies since whole sets are easy to get hold of and they feel quite warm to touch.
Bamboo makes for very inexpensive hooks. Since they are so cheap to buy, there is really no issue with getting a whole set of sizes to use and that is what appeals to a lot of beginners and parents buying for children new to the craft.
It's a solid, durable and pleasant surface for hands. They are pretty durable. Bamboo is a tough material, we have it on our kitchen worktop and, although it suffers a little scratching over time, it lasts and lasts. Only the thinner sizes feel a bit flimsy in your hands. The texture feels nice and warm in the hand.
If shaped with proper handles, they can be comfortable to hold. I think this type is slightly more comfortable to hold than the standard metal aluminum hooks – mainly because they are warmer. You can get some that have fat, chunky, shaped handles which should be even nice to hold for long periods since the thin sizes can give you hand cramps.
Yarn can stick over this rougher surface. I would not say that crocheting with bamboo is a smooth experience! In fact, I almost gave up on crochet after getting frustrated at how my yarn would stick over the bamboo, making it a slower process to make stitches. I think bamboo can be too rough. Some people swear by rubbing the bamboo with beeswax to help but I'm not really keen on my yarn picking up grease or oils.
It can be hard to read sizes on these hooks. Sizes are often quite hard to read on these and they all look entirely the same apart from having different widths so they are not the best tools for people who already have sight issues. I’d recommend a set with different colored handles instead.
5) Ergonomic Handles for Hand Health Issues
I have tried the Addi Swing Ergonomic hooks and I really wanted to love them but I didn't. However, they have a lot of glowing reviews from people with hand health issues like arthritis and carpal tunnel. I have extremely small and petite hands and this has a very large, chunky handle – so it was just too big for me to hold comfortably. I think it may suit people with medium to large sized hands much better than me.
Ergonomic shaped plastic handles. If you suffer from cramps, arthritis, carpal tunnel or any other hand issues then I think it is a good idea to buy one of these in your favorite size and test it out. If you can borrow one, even better as they are quite pricey. A lot of people swear by these hooks, so even though I did not personally get on with them, I still think they are worth mentioning for those people who really could benefit from the curved handle.
Nickel coated steel tips which yarn really flows over. The actual crochet work I did with this hook was good, the yarn just worked nicely as it should over the tip and onto the shaft. I don't think the yarn liked this material as much as my Clover Amour and Soft Touch but it could have been down to the fact that it wasn't all that comfortable for me to hold.
Unfortunately these Addi Hooks are costly, I thought, which can be off-putting even if you just want to try one to see what it is like. A single one is almost three times the cost of an Amour or Soft Touch. I would not recommend getting a set unless you've used one first.
The short shanks are not great for tall stitches at all. The handle on this thing is huge and I think they have compensated for that by adding a really short shank or shaft. It is really short and I think a lot of people will find that bothersome for thicker yarns and tall stitches such as triple or treble crochet. I hope you've enjoyed reading my craftymarie article today, thanks for your visit. Have fun with this wonderful yarn craft.
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