If you’ve recently considered taking up crochet as a hobby, congratulations! You likely have tons of questions already. A big one perhaps is about the main tool itself: the crochet hook. Perhaps you’ve done a quick online search or visited a craft store and felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of hooks available!
Crochet hooks are available in different materials and size ranges to suit the crocheter, the type of crochet project, or the specific type of yarn material being used. Crochet patterns/tutorials and yarn labels will recommend the most appropriate hook size to use.
As a beginner, it’s a good idea to start out with a basic 4mm or 5mm hook (as these are the most commonly-used hooks and can be used for a wide range of projects). Once you become familiar with crochet techniques, you may decide to experiment with hooks of different sizes and materials to make your new hobby as comfortable and fun as possible!
To help you understand each of the different crochet hooks in simple terms, we’ll look at how hook types compare, the anatomy of a crochet hook, and more.
Types of Crochet Hooks
Crochet hooks come in many forms from regular length to Tunisian, aluminum to wood, and from hook sizes as small as 0.6mm for super delicate lacy projects all the way up to jumbo hooks which can be 50 to 60mm for whipping up chunky rugs and blankets!
But before we get into all the different types of crochet hooks out there, let’s start from the beginning and look at what a crochet hook actually is…
A crochet hook is a handheld implement that creates stitches using its pointed tip and hook to create loops out of yarn. Crochet hooks are made up of four distinct parts:
1. The bottom section is the ‘handle’ which rests in your palm.
2. The middle section is known as the ‘thumb rest’ or ‘thumb grip’ which is normally where the hook size is imprinted in mm (referring to the diameter of the hook).
3. Above this is the upper portion consisting of the ‘shaft’ and ‘throat’ which tapers out from thick to thin as it approaches the hook tip to help the hook pull and catch the yarn.
4. The very top of a crochet hook is the hook itself. This has a pointed tip so it can enter the stitches easily and a hook or ‘mouth/lip’ to catch the working yarn and guide it into a stitch.
This gives you an idea of what a general, basic crochet hook looks like. Most of the inexpensive plastic or aluminum hooks you’ll find at the dollar or craft store follow this shape. You will also find crochet hooks with a wider or longer handle, a chunkier thumb rest, longer throat, and ones in different colors and textures.
Let’s take a look at the main categories of crochet hook types to see how they compare in terms of appearance, purpose, benefits to the crocheter, size in millimeters, and their typical price range…
Crochet Hooks Style Comparison
|Features||Benefits||Price range||Size range|
|Wooden||Made from hardwood/softwood/bamboo|
Smooth and lightweight with a slightly grippy texture
|Slightly rough texture prevents yarn from slipping off the hook too easily|
The wood’s natural warmth makes it pleasant to hold
|$6-12||2mm to 60mm|
|Plastic||Often made from lightweight resin or acrylic with a slightly flexible feel.|
Available in many colors
|Good for beginners as they’re the cheapest and most lightweight hooks|
Great for traveling with as they’re inexpensive and not as sharp/heavy as metal or wooden hooks which may be confiscated at security checks.
|$2-5||2.25mm to 20mm|
|Aluminum||Similar to plastic hooks but slightly weightier and with a smoother finish|
Available in many colors
|Popular hook choice for beginners as they’re widely available and highly affordable|
Smooth, shiny finish enables yarn to glide over more easily
|$2-5||2mm to 15mm|
|Steel||The smallest crochet hooks available with a slimline throat and hook||Perfect for intricate thread and lace crochet and other delicate projects such as doilies and jewelry|
Very smooth finish to help the yarn glide effortlessly without snagging
|$5-10||0.6mm to 3.5mm|
|Ergonomic||Hooks designed with a much wider handle or thumb grip shape to conform to your hold||Enables you to crochet for longer due to a more comfortable palm and thumb grip|
Ideal for crocheters suffering from painful joint and nerve conditions such as arthritis, RSI, and Carpal Tunnel syndrome
|Tunisian||Specialist crochet hook with extra-long shaft and a stopper/second hook on the end|
Resembles a knitting needle with a hook at the tip instead
|Holds multiple loops simultaneously to keep stitches at an identical heigh|
For creating consistent close stitches to create a professional, woven (almost knitted) look.
Best for intermediate crocheters
|$8-10||3mm to 15mm|
Crochet Hook Tip Styles: In-line and Tapered
Regardless of material, all crochet hooks can differ in another subtle but important way – in their specific hook-tip style (the upper section that incorporates the throat).
These two main hook styles are known as ‘tapered’ and ‘in-line’. Each style will have a slightly different impact on your crochet project and you may find one or the other more comfortable and generally nicer to work with, so it’s worth understanding what makes them unique. Let’s look at what we mean by ‘tapered’ and in-line’
In-line Crochet Hook
An in-line crochet hook basically means that the shaft and beginning of the throat are parallel or ‘in line’ with the hook itself. So though the throat slants lower towards the hook, the throat remains the same width as the shaft. This deep ‘dip’ of the throat can make it easier for beginners or those struggling to create consistent stitch sizes.
Tapered Crochet Hook
A tapered hook, meanwhile, has a raised hook head and the throat width becomes gradually narrower as it approaches the hook lip, tapering out smoothly from thick to thin. Because this lacks the deep groove of an in-line hook, tapered hooks may help you create stitches faster, though you may find the throat style is too slippy for you.
How to Know Which Hook You Should Use?
As we’ve discovered, there’s an overwhelming amount of hook options on offer, but the easiest way to know which hook you should be using is to follow the instructions provided in the crochet pattern you use or in the crochet video tutorial.
Whether you’re going off a written pattern or a YouTube tutorial (we’d recommend the latter for your first few attempts!), you’ll always be notified about which hook size to use and the yarn that corresponds best with it.
Besides that, the hook you choose could be wooden or metal, in-line or tapered, regular or ergonomic – the choice is yours!
What Type of Crochet Hook is Best for Beginners?
Crochet is all about experimenting to see what feels comfortable and right for you, but if you’d like a helping hand in selecting your first crochet hook as a beginner, we’d recommend choosing an in-line style aluminum hook, preferably in a size 4mm or 5mm.
As a beginner, you’ll find that you have either a very loose or tight tension when you work with yarn which can make your work look quite inconsistent, but using an in-line hook can help you to create more consistent, uniform stitches.
Secondly, an aluminum hook is the best beginner material to go for as it has a smooth finish and you can find these hooks virtually anywhere at a low price.
Last but not least, we recommend the hook be a size 4 or 5mm simply because this is a good mid-range to help you see the stitches clearly and the majority of projects out there will call for this size too.
Best overall size? 4 or 5mm
Best overall material? Aluminum
Best overall hook style? In-line
We really hope this has helped you to understand a bit more about different crochet hooks.
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- Are Ergonomic Crochet Hooks Better? (for Beginners)