My search for the perfect crochet hook

Hi folks 🙂

A little while back, I shared with you my search for the perfect yarn.

Well, once I found my dream yarns, I started thinking about the vast array of crochet hooks out there.  Especially as my favourite hooks were starting to get a bit loose in the handle and the handles became slippery with use.  I wanted to find a new type of hook I would be happy with. Then, a seed was planted by a tongue in cheek suggestion that I test hooks after my yarn test and I couldn’t leave it alone.

Why I am searching for a new hook

Why I am searching for a new hook

So, I put it out there that I wanted to borrow hooks and I was lucky enough to be loaned and gifted a huge range of hooks from all over the world. I purchased a couple too. Thank you if you were one of the many who sent their hooks to me 🙂

Hooky mail

All hooks tested were either purchased by me, loaned or gifted. This is purely my personal opinion, based on my specific hold and preferences. You would no doubt have different results and opinions if you tested these hooks.

So what did I do? As you know, I like to do things methodically. I tested 19 different hooks and made the same 5 round solid granny square with each hook.  Each square was made with the same variety of yarns – all from my yarn test and were different compositions. I used cotton, acrylic, bamboo/cotton & wool.  Yes I mixed them in the same square.  Rebel ain’t I 😉  I rested between each test square to make sure I could gauge tiredness equally.

19 granny squares

I gave each hook a score out of 10 based on comfort of grip, ease of inserting into stitches, smoothness of shaft, hand tiredness, sore spots etc.  There was a certain amount of “getting used to” each hook.  I think the square I made gave me enough of an insight into whether I could become accustomed to each one or not.

I wont bore you with all of my notes, but if you want them, you can download my full study here :  Crochet Hook Test Results By Shelley Husband aka Spincushions Dec 2013

Look, at the end of the day, each and every hook was functional enough to crochet with.  If I had to, I could use the lowest ranked and produce good work. But we are talking about ideals here and what feels good. So here are my worst and best.

IMG_5804

Worst hook ever made (in my opinion) was the very common Birch Aluminium hook with round plastic handle.  I scored it 4 out of 10.  I found it impossible to hold comfortably in any grip.  I could use it, but I literally could not wait until I was finished and could send it back – sorry Kim!

Not the best compared to my fave

Not the best compared to my fave

Best hook?  A lot of hooks scored 7 & 8.  A few scored 9 like the KnitPro Waves Crochet Hooks sent to me by the absolutely wonderful Marianne of Marrose Colourful Crochet and Crafts. (Please click that link if you love crochet – totally fabulous I promise).  The ones with super smooth shafts like the Tulips and Clover Amours were right up there too.

One scored 9.5.  That was the Clover Soft Touch.  The only reason I took half a point off was the colour.  As Heather who loaned it to me said, it’s very much like earwax!  I chose it as my best as it is closest in handle shape to my much loved bamboo handled hooks with the added bonus of a really super smooth shaft that means I can hook even faster.

The winner :)

The winner 🙂

So I have added some Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hooks to my Christmas wish list.

There are a few things to note about my test. Not all hooks I tested were the same shape up the business end.  These small changes can make a huge difference to your crochet.

Just a few of the variations in hook tips.

Just a few of the variations in hook tips.

Plus, the list of what I tested is by no means exhaustive.  There are a lot of other hooks out there I’d love to try.  Like Furls They are just beautiful. One day I might just buy one.  Look how pretty they are.

Furls Crochet Hooks

Also, since starting this test, I have become aware of the huge variety of ways people hold their crochet hooks.  It has a huge bearing on what hook is right for you.  The grips fall into 2 broad categories – knife grip and pencil grip, or to be a bit more creative, you could be a chef or an artist. There are some who crochet like they are knitting. Also, within each main hold type, there are many ways folks hold them differently. I used most in this test both pencil and knife grip. Some naturally lend themselves to one grip or the other, while others work easily with either grip. Most of the time I am an artist, but I do get my chef on when I use large hooks. Search #iholdmyhooklikethis on Instagram and you’ll see the variety I am talking about.

If you want to see exactly how I hold my hook to see if my test results will be of use to you, check out this video I made showing how I hold my yarn.  (that’s a whole other topic)

So there you go.  I know what type of hooks suit me best.  I hope my ramblings will be of some use to you too.

 

49 Comments

  1. Margaret McNeill Ljubicic

    What a great read for beginners …….I own soooo many hooks …..I would buy then try then hate ……now it’s just me and my Clover Soft Touches….oh and 1 beautiful Furls …… Chef here .

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Thanks Margaret 🙂 Lucky you having a Furls. Especially good for chefs by the look of them 🙂

      Reply
  2. Baa-me Kniits

    Oh I love those Furls hooks Shelley, may just have to go have a little look 🙂

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      They are so pretty Jenni. They have very shiny ones too. One day…

      Reply
      • Gillian

        I love them too! Since it is so pricey I couldnt decide which size and color to pick though?

        Reply
        • Shelley Husband

          Well that comes down to your most commonly used hook size. I’d start with that then see what you think. It’s a worthwhile investment if you crochet a lot.

          Reply
  3. Andrea

    My favorite hook is a carved birchwood from Abraham’s Lady in Gettysburg PA. I do some 1840-1860 period and Civil War reenacting and have to use wood or bone to be period-correct and these are perfect!

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      That sounds like a lot of fun Andrea. I did love my Brittany birch hook. Made crocheting feel like I was using a magic wand 🙂

      Reply
  4. Allison

    I do love my Clover Soft touch. I also have a variety of hooks but love it when I can use the 2 clovers I have.

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      The Clovers are lovely Allison – I just wish the colour was different. 😉

      Reply
  5. Mel

    Aren’t those Birch ones awwwwwful?! It was my first as I just bought what they had in Spotty. I love my coloured simple aluminium set (cheapies on eBay) but I think I’ll have to splash out and get some of those Clovers for my most commonly used sizes: 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0mm.

    You should get Clover to sponsor your page ;P

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      LOL Mel – They could send one one of each! That’s be cool. Glad it wasn’t just me that found those birch ones horrid.

      Reply
  6. Jenna

    Hi I’m just starting on crocheting. And I’m thinking of what size of hook I should get. May I know what is the size of hook you use most often?:)

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Hi Jenna 🙂 I’d suggest something around the 4 – 5 mm range. I love my 5mm, but I use a 4.5 or 4 just as much 🙂

      Reply
  7. maypole

    I have just discovered your blog. It’s fantastic!

    Reply
  8. Cheryl

    I have been using the same set of hooks for about 30 years on and off, don’t know what brand they are as they were a present originally, they are just ordinary, no handle or grip, but they give me a beautiful finish and I have never had trouble wih hands or wrists aching. Since exploring the net I’ve discovered all kinds of different hooks and thought I might give the Clover hook a go to see how much of a difference it makes to my work. I live North of Sydney and was wondering if you know where I might purchase one as we only have a Spotlight store here. I found you on Instagram, my new favourite place which bought me here to your fabulous blog ????

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Welcome Cheryl 🙂 Instagram is one of my favourite places too 🙂 I live in a tiny dot of a place in rural Victoria so I get most of my supplies online. I have seen Clovers and sometimes Knitpro Waves in small yarn shops on occasion when travelling, but online is your best bet. Clover has an Australian website () and there are lots on ebay too. Good luck! I wonder what you’ll think after using the same hooks for so long? I’d love to hear if you can get your hands on one.

      Reply
      • Cheryl

        Thank you Shelley for the welcome and quick reply. As I am on holidays for a few weeks I will have a look online or maybe even take a trip to Sydney. I will let you know how I go and what I decide on. Thanks again for your help. ????

        Reply
        • Shelley Husband

          My pleasure Cheryl 🙂 Enjoy your holiday and happy shopping 🙂

          Reply
  9. Cheryl

    Just realised for some reason my smiley faces keep coming out as ? Sorry.

    Reply
  10. Seren

    Thanks for the hook run down. I’ve had Milford and Aero plain old grey ones that are at least 50+ years old. They came from then vintage work baskets into my hands decades ago.
    They work. They used to be all you could get in Australia until fairly recent times
    Now there’s an avalanche of choice
    I’d love to know how users find the Addi crochet hooks – there are a couple types. The ergonomic look interesting but costly!

    Thanks again. Upon your outcome I just ordered a Clover soft touch to try out myself
    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      My pleasure Seren 🙂 It’s true that no matter the hook, they work. How cool to have such old ones. Imagine all the things made with them in their lifetime.

      I’m not a real fan of the Addi swing due to my hold, but if you’re a knife hold person, I think they’d be great. I hope you enjoy the Clover Soft Touch 🙂

      Reply
  11. Laticia

    I’m from the U.S. so I’ve not seen much less heard of the hooks you mentioned. I learned to crochet at 7 years old with a set my mom purchaseD at the PX on the based my dad was stationed at. They were made by Boye. I still love my mom’s hooks…but when I moved out the hooks stayed with her…so I’ve had to invest in my own hooks…I’ve stuck with the aluminum hooks by Boye. I hate plastic because my stitches are too tight so I always end up breaking them. Just my two cents wprth. Lol

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      LOL thanks for your 2 cents 😉 I agree about the plastic – really yuck to work with. The aluminium hooks do a great job and there is nothing wrong with sticking with them 🙂 The Clover hooks come from the USA although they originally were from Japan I believe. The Knitpro hooks are from Europe as do the Addi’s. It doesn’t matter what you use though or where they come from. As long as what you use works, well it’s all good. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Patricia Harris

    Hello Shelley,
    I am 68yrs old and been a knitter since about the age of 5 but always wanted to crochet, I went to classes, here in Spain where I live now, a year ago and picked it up straight away. I find it easier than knitting and more fun. I have Arthritis in my hands and weak wrists, I also Knit and Crochet very tight. I found with ordinary aluminium hooks my hands ached very quickly so I sent away for a set of soft handled hooks which were a bit better but because I Crochet so tight they started to bend when warm! The reason being that the metal only went a short way down the handle!! I then read an article about Clover Hooks and the Armour range that look the same as the cheap ones that I had bought but the shaft goes 99% to the bottom of the handle, problem solved, they are fantastic and comfortable and I can Crochet for hours.:-D I hold like a pencil.

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Thank you Patricia 🙂

      I agree with you about crochet vs knitting – I find crochet much easier. I’m glad you found hooks that work for you. The Clover hooks are lovely and they will last you a long time 🙂

      Reply
      • Belle

        I have arthritis in my right hand, and virtually crippled myself using the steel hooks. So I went to a wool store in Oakleigh in Melbourne. Australia and bought a number 4 clover hook. It is perfect. As for th color, I didn’t think even notice.
        They are also available on eBay. I don’t think you should have any trouble buying a Clover hook in Australia. I paid $12 for one hook. Now I will buy a couple more sizes.

        Reply
        • Shelley Husband

          Hi Belle 🙂 So glad to hear you find the clovers work for you. I have a few now in different sizes – I had no worries finding them to buy 🙂

          Reply
  13. Beth

    I love reading about how others use and appreciate things. After using Yarnology aluminum hooks (http://www.hobbylobby.com/Yarn-%26-Needle-Art/Crochet/Crochet-Hooks-%26-Tools/Size-D—K-Aluminum-Crochet-Hook-Set/p/37267-PE0718) got years, I recently found and feel in love with Yarnology ergonomic crochet hooks (http://www.hobbylobby.com/Yarn-%26-Needle-Art/Crochet/Crochet-Hooks-%26-Tools/Ergonomic-Crochet-Hook-Set/p/80642914-PU0417) they can be found individually in store for $3.50-4.50 each I believe, or the set of 10 for $25 (currently on sale online for $18.75). I haven’t seen the dry in my hobby lobby yet, probably bc they go so fast it’s a great deal! I’ve tried several hooks before myself, and did my own personal test with a bunch of hooks I found at a yard sale (approximately 20 different kinds of hooks), and my favorites were the Boye aluminum hooks. Susan Bates hooks, generic wood hooks (I was unable to find a name on them) and all plastic hooks were my least favorite. I was gifted some beautiful Brittany brand wooden hooks at one point, along with some Knit Picks wood hooks, both broke bc of my insanely tight tension. I found the Swing hooks, can’t remember the brand, didn’t work for my hold. And the Clover Amours were not smooth enough on the aluminum, compared to what I am used to.
    I do have a couple Addi crochet hooks, they are ok, for the price I didn’t feel they were worth it. I bent the Addi aluminum 4mm hook with my tension. :/
    I bought a set of Knitter’s Pride Tunisian Interchangeable Cabled Hooks, and love them. So far I have not broken one, though I have not used them very much (they’re also my favorite brand of affordable interchangeable knitting needles!)

    Reply
    • Beth

      Oh and I meant to say, I use a modified (aka learned on my own from books and youtube) firm of the knife hold. I hold the hook with my middle, ring and pinky fingers and thumb, and then hold the on the hook with my pointer. I also hold my yarn funny lol I hold my wip between my thumb and (ring and pinky) fingers, and then hold the yarn between my pointer and middle fingers, like one would hold a cigarette. I originally started crocheting to help keep me occupied and help me quit smoking, while sitting at my dad’s house while he was in hospice care for his final days. He lost his battle against lung cancer that metastasized to his brain, stage 4. Most of what I made on the weekend I was able to go up there was no good and later ripped back. When 5 weeks later I had to do the same for my mother, stage 4 lung cancer metastasized to her bones, I made a scarf, which I put in her grave when we buried her. After losing both parents, I was all the more determined to quit smoking, and finding out that my mother crocheted when she was younger helped me feel like I was bonding with her some. <3

      Reply
    • Patricia Harris

      Hello Beth, I wrote to you before about the ‘ Clover Armour’ hooks that I had found. The same as you I knit and crochet very very tightly, sometimes having to ask a friend to loosen it for me! I also have fibromyalgia and arthritis in my hands, I am getting on famously with the Clover hooks and wonder if you had a rogue set! I had a look at the ‘Yarnology’ hooks that you mentioned and noticed one comment that said about the ‘metal shaft being short’ this is exactly the problem I had with cheaper hooks of that style, they bend when I am working with them! Do you find you have to go up a size on your hooks to get the correct gauge?

      Reply
      • Beth

        Hi Patricia!

        Yes I do definitely go up a hook size, sometimes 2 or 3 even! I have gotten a lot better about holding my tension looser in the past couple months, especially since I just had surgery the beginning of November. Ever since my tension has been almost on gauge which is confusing at times bc of how of gauge I’ve been for so long lol as for the Clovers, I dinrt know if anything was wrong with them or not. I do know that (thankfully!) everyone is different and so we each have our own preferences. I was going through my hooks last night looking for a K hook for a hat and was unable to use a K, it was so uncomfortable in my hand..I went down to a J and crocheted as loosely as I could and it came out great! It was smaller but that’s ok. Anywho, I was going through my hooks and found a set of Boye aluminum hooks that I despised! It’s like they have a powder coating over the aluminum. They’re quite odd. They’re the ones I keep giving away to my friend/neighbor bc she didn’t notice a difference and likes the way the powder coating grabs at the yarn, whereas for me, it felt like fingernails on a chalkboard! Lol

        Reply
  14. Melanie

    Isn’t it funny, I love the one you liked the least! I make doll hats with it and find the round handle quite comfortable. I have mostly inline hooks in my collection now though, including a set of Susan Bates hooks. They were cheap and the inline hook part really works for me, I love them to bits but wish they had handles.

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Oh yes! We all have our own way of crocheting and it’s a totally individual thing 🙂 Because I learned on non-inline, they seem odd to me and those indents with the sizes on them really bother me LOL. But it doesn’t matter! Whatever works for you is good 🙂

      Reply
      • Melanie

        Those indents in the bates hooks bother me too! I kind of roll the hook in my hand as I crochet, so I have little grips to put over the skinny handles. 🙂

        Reply
        • Shelley Husband

          hehe I tried grips over the indents but nope – still didn’t like it LOL.

          Reply
  15. Amanda Sullivan

    I like the way Susan Bates inline work, I am left-handed and they made a difference in my crochet. Thanks again Amanda

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      It’s such an individual thing isn’t it? I know the Susan Bates are popular, just not for me 🙂

      Reply
  16. Millie

    I prefer Clover Amour over the Clover softouch because the Amour has a thicker softer handle and i feel I have more endurance and no pain on my wrist, but with the softouch the handle is skinny and hard and i get tired faster.

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      That’s cool 🙂 I am the opposite to you – I struggle to hold the Amour as it feels too thick for me whereas the Softtouch is just right 🙂 Lucky there’s something out there for all of us, no matter our preferences.

      Reply
  17. Patricia Harris

    Hello again, I would just like to say I’m still happy as Larry with my Clover Amour hooks and have just ordered some of the larger sizes as the original set that I bought only goes up to 6mm! I enjoy crocheting with the larger sizes but don’t like the plastic hooks that I already have. Also could somebody tell me where I can obtain some hook handle covers please?

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Hi Patricia 🙂 So glad you love the clovers 🙂 As for the covers, have you tried the silicon pencil grips? They could work 🙂

      Reply
      • Patricia Harris

        Don’t know where to look here in Spain but will try, thanks

        Reply
  18. Linda

    Thank you for this – so informative. I was gifted two BQueen hooks which are lovely to look at but I find a little unbalanced (back heavy) for me. I did buy two furls hooks – they were beautiful – but they slowed my crocheting down and felt so uncomfortable to use eventually I had to return them – it was too expensive to have them sitting there so I could look at their beauty !!!! They just didn’t work for me but I know of many crocheters who love them. I’m a chef hooker – LOL
    Have the best day xox

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Thanks very much Linda 🙂 I’m glad you found my musings helpful 🙂 That’s a shame about the furls. I am still yet to try one, but I think I may feel the same about them as you do – pretty as they are, I don’t think they’d suit my style.

      Reply
  19. Helen

    I love the milford with different colour aluminium hooks and a round wooden handle. I use the larger ones and have been chasing some more – they came in a packet with four hooks. Cannot find them anywhere, so if someone knows where to find them, please let me know.

    Reply
  20. Katrina Matt

    Instead of Furls (gorgeous but expensive!) I went on etsy and found unraveled ewe. They are a husband and wife team who make hand turned hooks. I have 3, waiting on more. They are US $25 so still expensive but easier to build up a collection. They are a purchase I have never regreted as I can crochet for HOURS without pain. Look them up! Love your blog.

    Reply
    • Shelley Husband

      Thanks for the tip Katrina 🙂 I will have a look. And thanks for the kind words too! 🙂

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You have Successfully Subscribed!