Last Updated on August 19, 2022 by Cyprianne Nolan
So many things to know about crochet hooks! Who knew? The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Crochet Hooks will help you decide which hook is best for you. I have done a deep dive to share with you everything I could find about them. I have also included a free download Crochet Conversion Chart to help you figure out Alphabet to Number conversions – these get me stuck every time!
Over the years, I have tried pretty much every kind of crochet hook there is – especially as a beginner, I think I bought every type of hook I could find. I mean seriously, I love all the shiny colours and different textures. I was kinda like a dog with a squirrel ‘Look that one! No, that one!’ and in the end, I would leave ready to try every type I saw. Who knew there were this many choices for one little hook!
Anatomy of a Crochet Hook
Let’s get started by familiarizing ourselves with the 5 most important parts of a crochet hook.
- Thumb Rest or Grip
- Tip / Point / Head
PARTS OF A CROCHET HOOK
1. THE HANDLE
Your fingers will rest or wrap around the handle of the crochet hook. You will find that depending on how you hold your hook your remaining fingers may rest or wrap around the handle for balance and leverage in different ways.
2. THUMB REST or GRIP
The thumb rest is the indented part of the crochet hook where your thumb rests. You will find whether you use the knife grip or the pencil hold your thumb will be placed on the thumb rest or in that area. The crochet hook will then be between your thumb and middle finger. On many makes of crochet hooks, you will also find the sizing information of the hook on the thumb rest. Note, there is not always an indent but this will always be where your thumb goes.
The shaft is where the yarn is wrapped around and held while working your crochet stitches. Because the shaft is the size of your crochet hook it will determine the size of your stitches. Eg. If your shaft measures 4.5mm this means you have a 4.5mm hook and your finished stitches will be sized as such.
The throat of the crochet hook is either inline or tapered. The throat hooks and catches the yarn as it slides into your stitch. The deeper the throat the more control you will have over your yarn. Note, the inline crochet hooks tend to have a deeper throat making it easier to control the yarn. Tapered crochet hooks tend to have a more shallow throat making crocheting faster as the stitches tend to glide of easier.
The tip or point of the crochet hook is what is inserted into your crochet stitch. If the point or tip is too sharp it can contribute to splitting yarn. A rounded tip is less likely to split your yarn but must be pointy enough to glide through the crochet stitch easily.
EXPLORE BEGINNER PATTERNS HERE
What is the best type of crochet hook for a beginner?
Now that you have learned the essential parts of a crochet hook, there are a few things I want to share with you that, in my opinion, would help if you are just starting to crochet.
One of the hardest things when I first started to crochet was keeping control of my yarn. For this reason, I highly recommend bamboo, wood or plastic crochet hooks to start. The good news is, plastic and bamboo crochet hooks are quite inexpensive and can be found in a lot of dollar stores here in Ontario. I have seen them in the Dollar Tree and A Buck or Two. I am not sure about the United States, so maybe someone could help out here?
WHAT ARE CROCHET HOOKS MADE OF?
- Metal / Aluminum
- Clay and metal
PRO TIP: If you have a dog DO NOT leave your bamboo or crochet hooks laying around. I learned the hard way. My pooch didn’t know the difference between a crochet hook and a stick 🙁 Has this ever happened to you too?
— MY CHOICES–
Best Crochet Hooks for Beginners
Bamboo Crochet Hooks
My #1 Choice for Beginners PROS
– Inexpensive and readily available – Eco-friendly and sustainable – Warm to the touch – Allows for comfortable grip – They don’t slide in your fingers – Minimizes slipping of yarn – Light weight – Less expensive than wooden with same benefits – Hooks become smoother and perform better over time
– Occasionally when you first purchase the tip may need sanded if a little rough. If possible run your fingers across the tip and shaft of crochet hook before buying to ensure it is smooth.
Plastic/Acrylic Crochet Hooks
My #2 Choice for Beginners
– Inexpensive and readily available – Warm up quickly – Allows for comfortable grip – More comfortable than metal – Fingers can grip well without sliding – Moderate grip on yarn – Light weight – Inexpensive – Available in lots of fun colours
– Not good for the environment – Cannot be recycled
Metal/Aluminum Crochet Hooks
My #3 Choice for Beginners
– Strong and durable – Less grip on yarn, means faster crocheting
– Can be cold and harder to hold – Can cause fatigue in hands – Heavier than wood, bamboo or plastic
Wood Crochet Hooks
My #4 Choice for Beginners (Rated #4 only because of price)
– Eco-friendly and sustainable – Warm to the touch – Allows for comfortable grip – Minimizes slipping of yarn – Light weight
– Often not marked with hook size* – Can be quite pricy compared with other kinds
*This handy little tool slides on crochet hooks and can tell you what gauge hook or needle you have
Inline Vs Straight Crochet Hooks
I have seen much debate around the internet about which style of hook is best- the Inline/Straight Crochet Hook or The Tapered Crochet Hook. So, which style of crochet hook is best for beginners? I find the Straight/Inline Crochet hook much easier to work with as it keeps the same tension while slipping the crochet stitch off the hook, and the deep throat reduces the chance of the yarn slipping off while completing stitches.
What is an inline crochet hook?
Straight/Inline Crochet Hook – My personal #1 choice for beginners
The two biggest challenges for new crocheters is often keeping control of the yarn and keeping constant tension. The Inline Crochet Hook can help with both of these.
– Easily makes uniform stitch size – Better control when finishing stitches – Most Bamboo (my number one choice for beginners) crochet hooks are inline/straight
– Because of the deeper throat some feel it causes more fatigue in the wrists
What is a tapered crochet hook?
The tapered crochet hook has a shaft that tapers towards the head. The head is not inline with the shaft but protrudes out slightly. The throat on and tapered hook is not as deep as the inline hook making it easier and quicker to slide stitches off the hook.
The Tapered Head Crochet Hook – Great for established crocheters
– Less stress to wrists – Can crochet faster – Stitches slide of easier than inline crochet hook
– Tapered head can lead to stitches being pulled to tight – Stitches less easy to control off when pulling off loop
Is there anything you would add to this pros and cons list? Let me know in the comments below – I would love to get your opinion too!
HONOURABLE MENTION CROCHET HOOKS
ERGONOMIC CROCHET HOOKS
In addition to the above more traditional crochet hooks I must also mention ergonomic crochet and comfort grip hooks. If you find that you are having hand/wrist discomfort or pain an ergonomic or comfort grip crochet hook can usually help.
Ergonomic crochet hooks can be made of any material, they normally have an enlarged handle which makes holding the hook easier and more comfortable.
COMFORT GRIP CROCHET HOOKS
Comfort grip crochet hooks have a spongy surface which reduces slippage of the hook. This help to reduce the stress on your hand.
These hooks normally have a larger handle and padding that helps to reduce the strain put on our hand. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach so you may have to try a few different ones to find the hook that best suites your needs.
What is the best size crochet hook for beginners?
Once you decide on the kind (bamboo, plastic, metal, wood) of hook you want, give some thought to what your first project may be. Usually for crochet beginners a project that uses a medium-size or larger crochet hook is best. This would be sized anywhere from 4.00mm to 6.50mm or larger. You will, of course, want to also cross-reference this with the yarn you have chosen or a pattern if you have chosen one. Here are some free beginner patterns for you when you are ready 🙂
The straight or inline crochet hook has a head that is ‘inline’ with the shaft. They also have a deeper throat making it easier to keep control of the yarn when slipping stitches off the hook.
Does the size of crochet hook matter?
In my experience – YES! Even though hooks have the same sizing, the materials they are made from, the way they are held and they way the stitches are formed all play a role in the final stitch size.
PRO TIP! Never change your crochet hook part way through a project. Doing so may change the finished size or crooked crochet. I keep multiple identical hooks on hand incase I lose the one I am working with (of course between the sofa cushions). If you don’t want to keep multiples on hand snap a picture of your project and hook together so you remember which on you were using.
Crochet hook sizes and yarn
With crochet patterns being designed and written all over the world there is some variance between hook names and numbers. In my opinion when in doubt you should always reach out the the designer to confirm the size. I use the metric diameter e.g.: 4.5mm when writing my patterns so there is little doubt what size crochet hook should be used.
Download Your Free Crochet Hook Conversion Chart Below
What you need to know about Crochet Hooks Sizes
In some cases, a letter may be assigned to different sized hooks. Take for example the 4.00mm and 4.25mm crochet hook both assigned the Letter G and 15.00mm and 16.00mm crochet hook are also assigned the Letter Q. If you are crocheting something that requires a certain gauge it will be important to use the correct hook size.
What you need to know about Crochet Hooks Sizes and Yarn
You should note that hook sizes can be found on yarn labels and also on crochet patterns. Always use the hook recommended by the crochet designer even if the yarn calls for a different size crochet hook. Using a different hook could result in the project coming out too small or too big or a variance in the look of the texture. If in doubt reach out to the designer so they can confirm if a different hook size would work.
SO, WHAT IS THE BEST CROCHET HOOK FOR BEGINNERS?
- In the end it comes down to personal choice
- Find a crochet hook that helps you keep control of your yarn
- Find a crochet hook that is comfortable to hold
- Experiment with different hooks before investing a lot of money
Lastly as your crochet skills develop you may find that a different style hook works better for you. This article is geared towards beginner crocheters and is meant to help you pick the best crochet hook for beginners IN MY OPINION. I started with Bamboo hooks now for most projects now I use metal. As my hands get tired I will sometimes change to plastic or acrylic hooks.
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU? Have you been crocheting a while? What crochet hook did you start out with? What would you recommend for beginners? What crochet hook are your favourites now? I would love to get your feedback in the comments below?
Thanks for the lesson. I haven’t crocheted in years and decided to pick it up again. I was never aware of the two types of hooks and I will be trying the inline. I’ve always used the tapered. I’m taking the time to relearn all the stitches and improving my skills.
Hi Mary :). How nice that you are picking it up again! Lots of free patterns and tutorials around now to help out.
Let me know what you think of the different hook. I still struggle with the tapered head although admit it is easy when working smaller stitches.
Marcia Fletcher says
I learned from my grandmother when I was old enough to sit down long enough she gave me an H hook an a G. I learned to chain first and made little harness for my stuffed animals. I tried my hand at making a sweater for a friend but messed it up some where and made her a throw instead.
As for losing hooks in the couch if the hooks are metal tie a magnet to a string and push it into the crack then pull it along the couch crack it should catch the hook if it is wood it other take a hand ball put a small hole into the top and push rope with knot into it dab a little cement paste on it allow to dry wrap ball in tape push into crack and pull along not as effective as metal and magnet but does work.
Haven’t seen hooks in dollar stores here but haven’t really looked for them either when cam will actually go and see I’ll update then.
Sounds like you have some wonderful memories with your grandmother 🙂
And thanks for the tips! I feel like my crochet hooks are like little ghosts sometimes they just disappear!