Looking in shops or online, it can be daunting the different types of crochet hooks available to purchase. There are hooks made of aluminum, wood, bamboo, steel, plastic, and ones with comfort grips, and all of these come in many different sizes. There are also two different types of hook heads! And on top of that, there are many hooks that are the same length, but also others that are long, or ones that can have cables attached.
All of that is daunting, so let’s break it down starting from size to material, to hook shape, to specialty hooks, with pictures to help understand!
The Basics of Types of Crochet Hooks: Size
I have crochet hooks from 0.5mm to 16mm in size. But why does size matter? The hook’s size determines the size of stitches you make and ultimately the project’s finished size. Most yarns for sale will actually have a hook suggestion size on their tag.
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The most common hook sizes I use are 4 mm and 5 mm. And depending on what brand of hooks you purchase, they can use letters or different numbers to relate to the same size. For example, a 5mm crochet hook in US would be an H-8. (There are many charts available to figure out what size hook you have, or special tools you can purchase to identify hooks.)
If you’re buying your first crochet hook, I suggest either buying yarn at the same time and purchasing a hook that is the size recommended on the skein, or go for an H, 5mm hook.
Looking for more basic information? Read what is a crochet hook?
Types of Crochet Hooks by Material
Next up is the materials crochet hooks can be made of. In general, aluminum and steel are hooks that are the most common and affordable. But there are also wooden, bamboo, plastic, and ergonomic hooks to choose from.
Aluminum hooks are lightweight and glide easily through yarn. Steel hooks have a smaller head which is great for projects using thinner yarns like thread or lace weight. These are the most affordable hooks, but are not always the most comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Wooden and bamboo hooks provide a warm, natural feel in your hands. These are more specialty hooks and tend to cost a bit more per hook. You’ll also only find wooden hooks about 3mm or larger, as it’s too difficult to make the hook head smaller. These are the most likely to break of all types of hooks, especially if you’re prone (like I am) to drop my hook on the couch and accidentally sit on it.
Plastic hooks can be found in sets, which are great to have on hand for different projects. They also tend to be the most affordable, but they are not as common. Most of the plastic hooks I own are my larger hooks, from 8mm to 16mm , because making them out of anything else would make them extremely heavy.
Ergonomic crochet hooks are designed with a more comfortable grip and can help reduce hand fatigue. These come in many different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to try them out to see how they feel in your hand. Often the crochet head is made from aluminum, and the handle is soft material. These hooks do tend to be more expensive, but may be worth it for those who crochet frequently or have arthritis.
Types of Crochet Hooks by Head Shape
The two different types of hook heads are inline and tapered. Inline hook heads have a straighter shaft with the head perpendicular to the shaft. Tapered hooks have a more angled shaft with the head at an angle to help scoop up stitches. This can affect how you work your stitches and how they look.
As a starter to crochet, I suggest don’t worry about this at all. Just consider if you’re having difficulty with your yarn splitting as you insert your hook into the stitch, then maybe start looking into the different head shapes.
Specialty Crochet Hooks
There are also specialty crochet hooks for specific projects or techniques. Tunisian crochet hooks have a long shaft to hold multiple loops of yarn, or attachable cables. These can create beautiful textured stitches.
Double ended crochet hooks allow you to work in the round with two different colors or yarn types.
To conclude, there’s a world of diversity when it comes to crochet hooks, and the type you choose can significantly impact your crochet experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned crocheter, it’s worth exploring the various materials, shapes, and sizes to find the hooks that bring you the most comfort and satisfaction in your crafting.
If you’re a beginner and just starting out, I would suggest an aluminum or steel hook since it’s very affordable, or look at your local thrift stores, since many people try a hobby and then ultimately give it up. Happy crocheting!