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Ultimate Guide To Crochet Hook

Crochet’s taking the world by storm as one of the fun pastimes everyone’s getting hooked on! Whether you’re an experienced crocheter or just picking up your first crochet supplies, one thing is certain: picking the correct crochet hook sizes is crucial to ensuring the success of your project.

Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

Understanding the fundamental aspects of this craft is vital, as it is the key to ensuring the fit of your garment, the size of your stuffed toy, or the overall outcome of your home decor. We will help you navigate the nitty-gritty of crochet hooks and help you find the crochet hook sizes that work for your projects and that you feel comfortable using.

Anatomy Of Crochet Hook

Get ready to get up close and personal with your crochet hook, the most important tool in crochet! Let’s dive into the different parts of a crochet hook and see how they play a role in your crochet experience.

crochet hook anatomy
Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

In general, a crochet hook is made up of two main parts: the body and the head. Let’s check out each of them in more detail.

Body

The body is made up of a handle, thumb rest/grip, shaft, and throat, each of which has a distinct purpose when crocheting.

  • Handle
    This is the part where you hold the crochet hook.
    The handle comes in various shapes, sizes, and materials, letting you choose the one that you are most comfortable holding.
    Certain hooks, such as those with a soft handle, protect your hand from strains and stiffness during crocheting.
    Learn different ways of holding your crochet hooks.
  • Grip / Thumb Rest
    The grip, also known as the thumb rest, is the middle section of the hook where you place your thumb.
    The grip allows you to maintain control over the movements of your hook.
    Some grips are flat, while others are cushioned for better comfort.
    The labels for crochet hook sizes, represented by a letter or number, are typically printed on the grip. 
  • Shaft 
    The shaft sits between the grip and throat of the crochet hook.
    The shaft’s diameter, length, and material vary depending on the hook’s brand.
    Long and slender shafts made with aluminum are generally more suitable for thin yarns, while thick shafts made with wooden material are used for heavier yarns.
  • Throat
    The throat is a slightly angled section of the hook right above the shaft.
    It plays a role in catching the yarn as you pull through loops, creating stitches.
    There are two types of crochet hook throats: inline and tapered. We’ll discuss how the shapes differ after this section. 

Head 

The head consists of a tip, lip, and groove, which determine the size of your stitches.

  • Tip
    The tip of the crochet hook is where you insert your hook into the stitches. Generally, a rounded hook tip makes it easier to insert into stitches and prevents yarn from splitting.
  • Lip and Groove
    The lip and groove are the hooking parts that help you make stitches.

Inline Vs. Tapered Crochet Hook

Crochet hooks come in various shapes and styles, each designed to cater to different preferences and techniques. The main differences between tapered and inline crochet hooks are in their shape, particularly in the hook and throat areas.

inline vs tapered crochet hook
Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

Inline Crochet Hook

  • Lip: The lip stays in line with the shaft.
  • Throat: The throat is relatively flat and stays straight to the shaft.
  • Grooves: The groove is deeper.
  • Head: The tip is more pointy, and the edges are more squared off.

Using an inline crochet hook produces consistent stitches due to the deeper throat style. Some prefer this, especially beginners, as it is easier to control tension and gauge with a better grip of yarn.

Tapered Crochet hook

  • Lip: The lip extends out and is not in line with the shaft.
  • Throat: The throat is narrower than the shaft and shaped like a cone.
  • Groove: The groove is shallower.
  • Head: Tapered hooks have a rounder tip and smoother edges.

The shallow throat style of the tapered crochet hook provides a smooth transition between stitches, making crocheting slightly quicker. Yet, some may find it more problematic as it glides off the hook too easily.

Inline Or Tapered?

The choice between either hook style is personal preference and the project you’re working on. Some crocheters find one type more comfortable, while others may switch between the two depending on the project’s requirements. Try both to determine which one feels best for you!

Types of Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks come in various materials, and each has its own characteristics, influencing the feel of the hook and the overall crochet process. Some hooks are a better fit for a specific type of yarn fiber. Hence, it’s important to understand the differences so that you can pick a material suitable for your project. When it comes to crochet hooks, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution!

Metal Crochet Hook

Metal crochet hooks are made from various metals, such as aluminum, steel, stainless steel, or other alloys. They work well with most types of yarn, making them popular among crocheters. They produce rather consistent stitches, which means they’re a good option for beginners.

metal crochet hooks Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

Pros:

  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Smooth, enabling yarn to glide off effortlessly.
  • Inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Versatile and suitable for a variety of yarn thicknesses.

Cons: 

  • Cold to the touch, especially in colder climates.
  • It might be tough on the wrist, resulting in strains.

Plastic Crochet Hook

Plastic crochet hooks are made from various types of plastic polymers, such as acrylic, ABS, and polycarbonate. Their lightweight, ease of use and affordability make plastic hooks an excellent choice for those just starting to learn crochet. Their smooth surface reduces the risk of yarn splitting.

plastic crochet hook Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Affordable.
  • Available in vibrant colors.

Cons:

  • Prone to breakage when applied with too much pressure.
  • It comes in only large sizes.

Wooden Crochet Hook

Those who prefer an environmentally friendly option will love the wooden crochet hooks made from bamboo and various kinds of wood. Wooden crochet hooks can hold the yarn better and prevent it from slipping, yet this also means that it may slow down your work.

wooden crochet hooks Learn all about crochet hook sizes, types & tips for choosing the perfect hook for your crochet projects. Also comes with useful crochet hook conversion charts.

Pros:

  • Warm and smooth to hold.
  • Gentle grip, reducing stress on the wrist.
  • Handcrafted, offering a natural and organic feel.
  • Good resistance, preventing yarn from slipping off easily.

Cons:

  • Higher maintenance to prevent the wood from deteriorating.
  • Limited range of sizes, more large sizes. 
  • More expensive than metal or plastic hooks.

Other Crochet Hook Materials

Crochet hooks were traditionally made from bone, ivory, and wood. However, bone and ivory crochet hooks have become increasingly rare due to animal protection awareness and ethical concerns.

Glass crochet hooks have a smooth surface and are often created with visually appealing designs on the handle. Many enjoy using this type of hook for its elegant design and to make intricate crochet projects.

Understanding Crochet Hook Sizes 

There are many crochet hook sizes available, each determining the outcome of your projects. For beginners, it’s recommended to follow the hook size mentioned in the pattern. But once you’re ready to explore more projects, knowing how to use the different crochet hook sizes to achieve the desired results is helpful.

Small Steel Crochet Hook Sizes

Small steel crochet hooks are specialized tools used primarily for intricate and delicate crochet projects such as fine thread work, lace, and doilies.

These steel hooks are typically much thinner and have very sharp ends than regular yarn hooks. A lot of steel crochet hooks come with a metal cover that keeps your project bag and the end of the hook safe when not in use.

Due to a lack of standardization, there are different crochet hook numbers across brands and countries. Here is a helpful conversion chart that relates the crochet hook sizes in the US, UK, Japan, and metric systems.

Small steel crochet hooks are specialized tools used primarily for intricate and delicate crochet projects such as fine thread work, lace, and doilies.

Small Steel Crochet Hook Sizes Conversion Chart

US
Boye
US
Susan Bates
UKMetricJapan
Clover
0.50 mm14
0.60 mm12
140.75 mm10
0.80 mm8
1370.85 mm
140.90 mm
12126 1/21 mm6
111.05 mm
1161.10 mm
101.15 mm
91.25 mm4
105 1/21.30 mm
9851.40 mm
874 1/21.50 mm2
61.60 mm
741.65 mm
51.70 mm
41.75 mm0

Standard Crochet Hook Sizes

Standard crochet hooks are the most commonly used tools in crocheting. Unlike steel hooks used for fine lace work, standard hooks are larger and suitable for a variety of yarn weights. Their size generally starts at 2 mm and can get as big as 30 mm.

Referring to this crochet hook size conversion chart will help you identify the different sizes and their corresponding measurements.

Standard crochet hooks are the most commonly used tools in crocheting. Unlike steel hooks used for fine lace work, standard hooks are larger and suitable for a variety of yarn weights. Their size generally starts at 2 mm and can get as big as 30 mm.

Standard Crochet Hook Sizes Conversion Chart

USUKMetricJapan
142 mm2/0
B-1132.25 mm3/0
2.50 mm4/0
C-2122.75 mm
D113 mm5/0
D-3103.25 mm
E-43.5 mm6/0
F-593.75 mm
G-684 mm
G4.25 mm
774.5 mm7/0
H-865 mm8/0
I5.25 mm
I-955.5 mm9/0
J5.75 mm10/0
J-1046 mm
K-10 1/236.5 mm
27 mm
L-1108 mm
M/N-13009 mm
N/P-1500010 mm
P-1611.5 mm
12 mm
P/Q15 mm
Q15.75 mm
Q16 mm
S19 mm
T/U/X25 mm
T/X30 mm

Why Does Crochet Hook Size Matter?

  1. Tension and Gauge 
    The hook size affects the gauge of your project. The correct size hook ensures that your stitches match the pattern’s gauge. This is crucial for projects that require the perfect fit, especially wearable items.
  2. Stitch and Fabric Appearance
    Hooks that are too big for the yarn may result in loose, sloppy stitches, while hooks that are too small may create too tight stitches, resulting in stiff fabric. According to the Craft Yarn Council, the following gives you an idea of the matching crochet hook sizes based on yarn weight.
  • Lightweight yarns like lace, finger, and sport weight require smaller crochet hook sizes (4.5 mm and smaller).
  • Medium-weight yarns like aran and worsted are often paired with mid-size hooks (4.5 mm to 6.5 mm).
  • Heavyweight yarns like bulky, super bulky, or jumbo call for larger hooks (6.5 mm and larger).
  1. Personal Comfort
    The size of the hook also affects the ease of crocheting. A hook that’s too big or too small can be uncomfortable and may even lead to hand strain or injury over time.
  2. Project Type
    Certain projects may require specific hook sizes to achieve the desired effect. For example, amigurumi and other tight fabric crafts often require smaller hooks to ensure that the fabric is dense enough to hold its shape and stuffing.

List Of Crochet Hook Sizes For Different Projects

ProjectRecommended Hook Size
Lacework, thread crochet, doilies0.5 mm – 2.5 mm
Amigurumi2.5 mm – 3.5 mm
Baby items: booties, snuggles, blankets4 mm – 5 mm
Flowers5 mm
Bags3 mm – 5 mm
Summer tops3 mm – 4 mm
Sweaters and other thick garments5 mm – 8 mm
Afghans and blankets6 mm – 8 mm
Granny square4 mm – 5 mm
Chunky blankets8 mm – 10 mm
Pillow covers4 mm – 5.5 mm
Wall hangings and decorative items4 mm – 6.5 mm

Note: These are general recommendations, and you will still need to adjust the hook size based on the yarn weight, the pattern you are using, and your tension. Also, consider the texture and desired outcome of your project. When in doubt, make a swatch! 

Our Top Crochet Hook Choices

Our recent favorite, Clover Amour

The Clover Amour crochet hook is known for its ergonomic design and vibrant handles. The rubber grip ensures a comfortable crocheting experience during extended hours, while the smooth aluminum shaft glides through the yarn effortlessly. This makes it an ideal option for those looking for a stylish and reliable hook with value for money.

All-time favorite: Clover Soft Touch

The Soft Touch has been one of the most popular hooks of all time. They’re pretty similar to the Clover Amour hooks in terms of having an aluminum shaft and a tapered head shape. Yet the soft touch has a flat handle made of ABS resin and a slightly shorter shaft. 

For Large Projects: Prym

The Prym crochet hooks are your go-to option for projects requiring a 7mm hook or larger. They’re lightweight, easy to hold, and warm to the touch. Since they are made of synthetic material, they’re more susceptible to breaking than metal hooks. 

For long-term versatility: Tulip Steel Crochet hook

These double-end steel crochet hooks accompanied us when I started my crochet journey 40 years ago! They’re sleek, extremely durable, and have a smooth finish, making them ideal for intricate projects requiring precision. The dual-ended design allows you to switch between hook sizes within the same tool seamlessly! 

More Popular Crochet Hook Brands

Here are some additional beginner-friendly crochet hooks:

Tulip Etimo

The Tulip Etimo is among the most loved products by many crocheters. They’re known for their smooth, fine shaft that prevents yarn from snagging, ensuring a smooth crochet experience.

Boye Ergonomic Set

Boye crochet hooks are well-known for their rounded, smooth head and preferred taper throat, which make crocheting a pleasure.

Susan Bates Soft Handle

These hooks are famous for their functionality and comfort, featuring a sleek aluminum shaft and soft rubber handle.

Furls Crochet Hook

Their distinct resin designs and handcrafted wood collection make them a luxury among other crochet hook brands. Recommended for those who value style and functionality in their crochet tools.

FAQ

1. What is the best hook size for beginners?

Beginners should start with medium-size crochet hooks ranging from 4mm to 5.5mm (G-1). They provide versatility and are easier to handle for starters. 

2. What is the most comfortable crochet hook?

This is based on personal preference, but many find ergonomic hooks the least tiring for extended use. 

3. What happens if I use the wrong hook size?

Using the wrong hook size can lead to incorrect tension and gauge, affecting your project’s finished size and fit. A smaller hook may make your piece too tight, while larger hooks create looser stitches. 

4. What are the most commonly used crochet hook sizes?

3.5 mm – 5.5 mm are the most versatile crochet hook sizes out there. They’re suitable for garments, bags, and other bigger projects like blankets. 

5. How do I select the right hook for my yarn?

Always refer to the yarn label first or check out the pattern you’re using. Once you are familiar with crochet stitches, you can choose your hook size based on your tensions or the outcome you wish to achieve. 

6. What is an ergonomic hook?

Ergonomic hooks can be made of any material from the shaft to the head. They get their name from the soft and enlarged handles that comfortably fit your hand, promoting a natural grip. This reduces any discomfort you may face while using “tough” hooks like metal. 

7. How do I identify a crochet hook size?

You can refer to the sizes printed or engraved on the handle or throat of the crochet hook. They’re usually labeled with alphabets (e.g., G, H) or numbers (e.g., 4 mm, 5.5 mm). Some may even print the metric and the US sizes on the handle. 

8. How to check the size of a mystery crochet hook?

There are several ways to figure out the size of a mystery crochet hook, which is one that doesn’t have any obvious size markings:

A. Use a Crochet Hook Gauge: A crochet hook gauge is a tool that has holes labeled with hook sizes and comes in different sizes. To find the one that fits precisely without any wiggle room, you can try putting your mystery hook into these holes. This ought to provide you with a precise hook size.

B. Measure the Diameter: To determine the diameter of the hook’s shaft, use calipers or other precise measuring equipment. Once you know the diameter, you can determine the matching size by referring to the above crochet hook size chart.

C. Compare with Known Hooks: By lining up a set of known-size hooks side by side, you can compare the mystery hook with them. Look for similarities in the shaft diameter, which is the part of the hook that determines the stitch size.

9. Can I use a different hook size than the one recommended?

You may, but the finished product will turn out differently in terms of size and appearance. Making a swatch is essential to ensure your hook size matches the pattern’s requirements. 

10. How does the yarn weight relate to the hook size?

Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn. The hook size should match the yarn weight, with thicker yarns requiring larger hooks and finer yarn needing smaller hooks.