Hooks buying guide
If you’re new to crochet, choosing the right hook for your project can be a daunting task. From aluminum to bamboo, we’ll talk you through the different varieties so you can select the best hook for the job!
Crochet hooks come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made out of a wide range of materials. Different materials tend to work well for different types of yarn. As you gain experience, you will begin to develop working preferences, and broaden your understanding of why certain materials work well for particular yarns and projects.
Crochet hook materials
Crochet hooks are most commonly made from aluminum, plastic, or steel, but can also be made of wood or bamboo. Some hooks may combine two or more materials, as the hook may be made of steel and the grip section might be wood or rubber to make handling the tool easier. Each material offers specific benefits.
This is a commonly used material for crochet hooks as it is light, smooth, strong, and easy to use.
Plastic and nylon
These hooks are comfortable to work with, especially for crocheters who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. They have a flexible core to stop them from breaking, and are available in a rainbow of colors.
Wood and Bamboo
Bone hooks are usually vintage or antique. They are warm to the touch, but may not come in standard sizes.
Crochet hooks explained
A crochet hook is a simple-looking tool, but different brands of hooks will have differing proportions that will work better for some projects than others.
Below is an illustration of a standard crochet hook, and some brief descriptions about the function of each part.
These basic elements are common to all standard hooks but may differ significantly in design between brands.
The point, or head, may be smooth and rounded, which works well with bouncy, elastic yarns, or yarns that have a tendency to split. A more defined, sharper point (especially found on a steel hook) will work better with yarn that doesn’t have any elasticity, such as crochet thread. A strong point will also work well when making fabric that has a very tight, firm construction.
The throat may be smooth, shallow, and long. If so, it is referred to as ‘tapered’. If it has a short and steep design, it is called ‘inline’. Generally, the ‘inline’ style is better for beginners as it helps to keep stitch sizes consistent, whereas the ‘tapered’ style allows for over-tensioning as the stitches are worked onto and off the hook. Once basic skills have been mastered, the style of hook is mostly a matter of preference.
This section of the hook is where the stitches get ‘sized’ and it is this part that is measured to give the hook a size category. The length of this section can vary. A longer shaft may be useful for working stitches that require lots of wraps or where you need to work several stitch loops at once.
Thumb rest and handle
The thumb rest section is flattened and wider, making the hook easier to hold and manipulate. Ordinary hooks will simply have a flattened area but many hooks have a modified thumb rest and handle section, designed to be more comfortable to use than a simple extension of the shaft. The thumb rest and handle will sometimes be made of a different material.
Other types of crochet hooks
Tunisian or Afghan hooks
Tunisian crochet is worked differently and requires a hook which looks more like a knitting needle: it has a crochet hook tip at one end and a stopper at the other. Stitches are worked onto the needle and then worked off again in a similar process to knitting. These hooks may be straight and long, or can be similar to circular knitting needles, with a long flexible line ending in a stopper. This allows for very long rows of stitches to be worked at once.
Double-ended Tunisian hooks
These are best described as knitting needles with a hook at each end, and are used to create Tunisian-style crochet in the round. This technique also allows for large pieces to be produced on a relatively short tool.
This is a combination tool, halfway between knitting needle and crochet hook, with a large ‘eye’ at the end instead of a stopper. The technique produces a knitted-style fabric. Looped stitches are created by using the hook and passing each row of stitches on and off the ‘lifeline’ of extra yarn. This is a fairly new technique, and worth exploring if you want to try knitting but find using two needles difficult.