A crochet hook overview
If I’ve learned anything about crochet hooks after 10 years of crocheting, it’s that they are deeply personal. I don’t know a single hooker who can use just any ol’ hook. We all have our “perfect hooks” and that tends to be what we stick with.
But what type of hooks are there? What makes hooks so different from each other? In today’s Get Hooked post, we’ll learn a little about hook anatomy, types, brands, and we’ll even talk to other crafters about what hooks they prefer, and why.
Tapered or inline
Before you can Get Hooked, you have to FIND a hook. Right? Also, the hook you find needs to work for you. So what if it doesn’t? What if you’re dropping your yarn off the hook with each stitch, or splitting the yarn each time you grab it?
There are two main types of hooks: tapered (such as Boye,) and inline (such as Susan Bates.) The tapered hooks have much narrower throats and rounder heads. The biggest concern with tapered hooks seems to be having the yarn slipping off the side of the head, meaning you’re having to re-grab the yarn, essentially making the stitch twice (or more.) This slows you down, as I’m sure you can see.
Inline hooks are straight all the way down from the head to the end of the shaft. The head is “in line” with the rest of the hook. They also tend to have a deeper throat, which I love because I feel it securely grabs the yarn the first time, and leaves nowhere for the yarn to slip off. The thing that most tapered fans have against inline hooks is they say it splits the yarn too often, due to the sharper edge.
I personally am an inline hook user all the way. I’ve never had any issues with splitting yarn (beyond what’s reasonable in the craft of crochet in general.) In fact, I can’t use a tapered hook at all anymore! Every stitch I make slips right off and I have to do it again. Inline hooks have greatly increased my speed and accuracy.
Let's hear what some other crafters have to say...
I have realized for me that I love lightweight, tapered hooks and I do not like big handles. For regular crochet, Furls streamlines are perfect for me bc of their shape, they are extremely lightweight and yarn glides over them wonderfully. For Amigurumi I love clovers crochet hooks. They are lightweight and I feel more comfortable using them to make cute Amigurumi with small, tight stitches. I also love their Tunisian interchangeable set because they are wooden, lightweight, easy to use and the interchangeable cords are awesome to have.
~ Alexandra Halsey from With Alex
When I first started crocheting, I tried both tapered and in-line to see what worked best for me, with a Bates vs Boye comparison. I found that I preferred the tapered Boye hook over the in-line Bates, but wished the tip of the Boye hook had a similar point to the Bates hook. I started using Clover Amour hooks, which I absolutely loved and are still my go to, though I have recently discovered Furls Odyssey, which to me is a blend of both styles, making me fly through my stitches, with their slightly tapered, slightly in-line, still smooth head with more point than Boye but maybe not as much as Bates. It’s the Goldilocks hook!
~ Kristen Caldwell, from Hooks Books and Wanderlust
My current favorite is the Clover soft touch. I like that its handle is shorter so it doesn’t start to hurt the right side of my hand (by my pinky) if I crochet for too long, which happens pretty often hah! I’m dying to try a furls, too, but I haven’t yet.
~ Mary from Kickin’ Crochet
After years of sore hands from crocheting to much, if there is such a thing, I tried Clover Soft Touch Hooks and fell in love with them. The thicker (and softer) handles relieved my sore and achy hands immediately. I love all the pretty handles and hooks on the market today, but I am too loyal to my Clovers to give them a try. Happy Crocheting!
~ Christine from Sweet Potato 3
I learned to crochet using Boye hooks, and used them for over a decade until I was forced to use a Bates hook for a contract project. It was then that I discovered not only that the sizing is actually different between Boye and Bates, but the neck and hook are completely different as well. It took a little while to get used to the Bates hook, but once I did, I found it very difficult to go back to using my Boye hooks. I now have 3 sets of Bates hooks, and my poor Boyes are collecting dust.
~ Malena from Straight Hooked
My personal favorites are inline hooks. There is a slightly different movement when crocheting with inline hooks compared to tapered hooks that doesn’t bother my wrists as much. I love the deeper throat as well since it grabs the yarn better–I can actually crochet faster! My favorite hooks are the classic Susan Bates hooks, and Furls hooks when my wrists and hands need a little more TLC.
~ Kirsten from Kirsten Holloway Designs
I’ve always preferred tapered hooks for most projects. With inline hooks, I find I split the yarn more often. My current favorite “everyday” hooks are Clover Amour. The soft, ergonomic grip is very comfortable, the weight feels just right to me, and of course they’ve got tapered ends. I also like that they list the size in mm on the hook.
~ Pia Thadani of Stitches n Scraps
I love Furls hooks. I recently switched (around November of last year) and can’t use anything else now. I switch between their streamline swirls, odysseys, and alphas depending on the project.
~ Pamela Stark of Sincerely Pam
Let's talk brands!
So now that you know all about different types, are you ready to get hooked? Which would you like to try and where can you find them? Here are a few different brands, along with my personal thoughts, as well as links for purchasing.
Radiant Hooks by WeCrochet
These are my very favorite wooden hooks ever, and that’s my real professional opinion, not my Ambassador’s opinion 😀 These hooks are inline, with a rounded head, and a satin-like finish. I’ve never had issues with splitting yarn with these, and I especially love the slight grip the wood offers to slippery yarns, like the Upcycle I used in SUNday.
Susan Bates at Hobby Lobby
These are my favorite aluminum hooks, as well as my first set of inlines. Since finding these, I’ll never again use a tapered hook. Susan Bates Silvalume hooks are light-weight aluminum and beautifully colored, with a deep throat and pointy tip. For me, they are the most perfect hooks I’ve ever used for any and all types of wool.
Clover Amour at WeCrochet
These Clover hooks are so pretty! Ergonomic handles make for comfortable stitching for those whole hold their hook like a knife (as opposed to the pencil hold,) and the bright colors are so lovely. These are tapered aluminum hooks in plastic handles.
Go hook yourself
There you have it, friends and neighbors. Tapered or inline, straight or ergonomic shafts, wood or metal or plastic, there are so many different types of hooks! Why not try out a few and see what you like? After talking with these other amazing crochet artists, I’m really excited to try some Furls hooks now, although I just don’t know if anything can take the place of my WeCrochet wooden or Susan Bates aluminum inline hooks.
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7 thoughts on “Get Hooked”
I did not realize there were different kinds. LOL All mine seem to be inline and Boye is the brand! Thanks for this explanation of differences in hooks, Sati. Blessings to you!
I didn’t know Boye made inline hooks, I’ve only ever seen tapered from them. I’d love to see your hooks sometime! Thanks for commenting, Gayl.
Guess I didn’t look at them right. Lol They are actually tapered. Thanks for your patience and help.
I learned to crochet first when I was eight years old from a babysitter. I laid it down for several years, and just picked it back up about ten years ago. I can’t remember what type of hooks I learned on the first time, but I started off with a basic set of Boye hooks when I went back to it. I use a knife hold when I crochet. I’ve tried to learn pencil hold, but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. I prefer the tapered hooks because they’re longer, and the end of the hook doesn’t rub the heel of my hand like the shorter, in line ones do. Also, l find the tapered ones easier to use when grabbing the yarn. I like my crochet stitches to be soft and loose, not stiff. I think the in line hooks make my crochet tighter and stiffer. Often times I have to go up 2 hook sizes to get the texture I want when I use them , which isn’t often.
One of the reasons I love crochet is the creativity within the craft. I also knit and sew. Knitting is much more “orderly” than crochet. I love them both for different reasons, I guess.
I love the Tulip Etimo the best, they’re in a whole different class. Similar to the Clover Amours. I learned on the Susan Bates with the bamboo handles but destroyed my hands crocheting so much. After having both thumb joints reconstructed I switched to the Tulips. I have the pink/rose set, the gray set, the red set and the pink candy set (did I say I REALLY LIKED them?!?!). I also have the Hamanaka double-ended set which I love too. I guess I just love the fine craftsmanship of hooks from Japan, both Tulip and Hamanaka. I bought a Furls but it hurts my hand too much, I wanted to love it, paid a lot of money for it but just doesn’t work for me.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Jill! I know about Tulip, but had never heard of Hamanaka. I’ll check them out. I too bought a Furls, hoping to love it, and don’t. I mean, I love the way it looks and feels, but I can’t use it for any length of time before I start hurting.