Crochet hook test & review – Week 1: ADDI swing and colors, CLOVER soft-touch and amour, KNITPRO waves

Filed under: Crochet — May 24, 2016 @ 3:11 pm

Are your wrists sometimes sore from crocheting ?
You inherited a collection of old plain hooks  and now you’re dreaming of enhancing your stash with pretty colorful hooks ?
Or maybe the yarn sometimes snag into the head of the hook, and you wonder whether you could find more efficient/precise hooks ?

Crocheting is now my full-time job and as such, I’ve long been wondering about the perfect hook: would it necessarily involve an ergonomic handle, what are the possible differences between all the various hooks… and is there even such thing as a perfect hook ?

I did have a personal favorite, but wanted to take this opportunity to try all the best hooks on the market. Yet, no review would be complete with ONLY my own opinion, as all crocheters crochet different things (amigurumis/mandalas/sweaters/lace shawls..), hold their hook differently, have health issues that influence the type of hooks they need…

Deepest thanks to all the brands who generously sent hooks for us to test (with no influence on our results): ADDI crochet hooks- PRYM crochet hooks – CLOVER crochet hooks – JIMBO’s front porch  crochet hooks – TULIP ETIMO crochet hooks

 

So I invited 2 friends to test the hooks along with me. You’ll find our opinions in the same order throughout all the test.
Here’s some info on each of us:

 

 

1/ ConfitureAlaMure, crochet designer and crochet teacher: ” I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Crocheting helps me start moving around in the morning.
I’m a thwarted left-hander.  I learned to crochet with my right hand, but it’s my left hand with bring the yarn and stitches under the hook. My right hand hardly moves in the end.
The comfort of the handle is my own most important criteria in choosing a hook. I will always prefer a comfortable grip of the handle over a super precise head. I don’t really mind unraveling a stitch that wasn’t caught right, but I need to have a good hold of my hook. And if it’s pretty, that’s even better.
However, I always pay attention to adapting the right hook to the fiber I’m using. I will only use bamboo hooks for mohair or lace, nver for cotton or wool. To crochet with cotton yarns, you definitively need a hook with a steel shaft, or it’s just impossible. Cotton needs to glide over the hook, when mohair needs to be held back “
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2/ Lu. – “Left-hander, suffering from osteoarthristis and issues with her thumbs and wrists, she started to crochet 2 years ago (..) and favors especially bamboo, wood and ergonomic handles. “
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3/ And me… Sylvie Damey. – “Left-hander, holding my hook with a knife grip. No real joint issues, yet sometimes my wrists feel a bit rusty. In those cases, I’ll try to alternate the “working hand” even though my hook always remain in the right hand.
I crochet mostly sweaters, and as such, I’m always looking for speed and efficiency. If the yarn tends to snag or if I have to pull each loop through one-by-one, I just loose patience instantly !
My most important criteria on a hook is thus the precision and efficiency of the head of the hook. All the rest comes after.

 

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And now, here’s what we felt while trying each of those hooks… starting with the ADDI swing, ADDIcolors, CLOVER soft touch, CLOVER amour and KNITPRO waves hooks so this blog can remain a reasonnable size (to be continued next week !)
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Crochet hook ADDIcolors

Tech: 
metal shaft, plastic handle with different colors for each size.  Metric size written on each hook.
Weight of a 5.5 mm hook: 12 grams
Length: 15.5 cm
Average price in France: 4.50 €  (may differ considerably depending on countries)
Pros
– The shank is the exact perfect size to fit several sizes, no issues to crochet a bobble or bullion stitch.
– Head of hook is precise and efficient enough
– Affordable hook. And I love the fact that it comes apart, so much fun ! When travelling, you could take with you only one “handle” + all the “heads”…
Cons
– The handle is very thick and too round. It looks cheap. The grooves on the handle are annoying and leave marks on my fingers.
– The looks of this hook is uninspired. The handle is located too far away from the head, which isn’t great in terms of comfort.
– The head is not efficient, and it just doesn’t glide well when using cotton yarn. The color of my most-commonly used hook (5 mm-H) is an ugly dark brown. Yikes !

In ONE word this hook is:
Not pretty – Uninspired – Fun to dismantle & handy for travelling

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Crochet hook ADDI Swing

Tech: Metal shaft , plastic handle. Handle is S-shaped, with a very marked thumb-rest. Colors differ depening on size. Metric size written on each hook.

Weight of a  5.5 mm hook:  16 g
Length: 15.5 cm
Average price in France: 6.95 €  (may differ considerably depending on countries)
 
Pros:
1/ Good effort made on the look of this hook, which totally differs from all the others. I like the idea of one color for each size of hooks, makes it easier to find the one you’re looking for. The stitches glide well on the metal shaft.
2/ Inspired look.
3/ The handle is really surprising, so similar to my toothbrush, but it stays balanced in my hand even without holding it. I really like the feeling…!
Cons:
1/ The handle is not fit for my hand, it’s annoying rather than helping. The shank is too short, I cannot fit enough stitches there: barely enough for a bobble, but it’s just impossible to make a bullion stitch with it.
2/ Not very comfortable to use, the handle is too heavy.
3/ The head keeps snagging on the loops of my double crochets, really annoying.
In ONE word this hook is: 
Interesting, but not for me – Dissapointing – Super ergonomic
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Crochet hook CLOVER Amour

Tech: metal shaft, handle made of some sort of plasticy foam material.  Handle is rounded with large flat thumb rest top, and of a different color for each size. Metric & American size written on each hook.

Weight of a 5.5 mm hook: 9 grams
Length – 13.2 cm
Average price in France: 6.60 €  (may differ considerably depending on countries) 

 

Pros:
1/ My babies… Needless to say that since I discovered those, they’re the only ones I crochet with. Only downside is that they become heavier with each larger size. But for cotton with a 3.5 mm hook, it’s pure bliss. And I love the colors !
2/ Very nice feeling of the handle material, good grip.
3/ A very efficient hook, with a nice grip. This is a hook I could use to crochet a full sweater. And the full set is so cute, with different (and pretty) colors for each size.
Cons:
1/Ahem… can’t find any.
2/ I prefer the feel of the handle of the Soft Touch to those.
3/ If I’m being super picky, the head sometimes snags on a stitch. But this is really to try and find something negative to say about them.. ;-)
In ONE WORD this hook is: 
Perfcct – My precious (for somebody with arthritis) – A very good hook

 

 
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 Crochet CLOVER Soft touch

Tech: Metal shaft, hard plastic handle with “cushion” on thumb rest. Handle is flat. Colors remain identical for all sizes. Metric & American size written on each hook.

Weight of a 5.5 mm hook: 6 grams
Length: 13.2 cm
Average price in France: 4.15 €  (may differ considerably depending on countries)
Pros:
1/ This was the first ergonomic hook I ever used about 10 years ago, so it remains dear to me. I love the metal used, the color, the sound of it when you crochet. The size of the shaft is just perfect.
2/ It’s one of my favorite hooks. The coating of the shaft gives it exceptional glide.
3/ Rather efficient for a cheap price.
 
Cons:
1/ Revolutionary 10 years ago, but I’ve since found much better. I’ll admit the very hard plastic material used on the hand glides on your hands, so you loose a little precision.
2/ Dull color, the feel of the hard plastic handle.
3/ The handle is too short for my hands. It hits right in the back of my palm, and I don’t like the feeling, especially with the hard plastic used. I really don’t like the colors of this hook.
In ONE word this hook is: 
Good memories – Efficient- Too short
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Crochet hook KNITPRO Waves

 

Tech: Metal shaft, handle in hard plastic, slightly flat. Handle is a different color for each size. Metric size written on each hook.
Weight of a 5.5 mm hook: 6 grams
Length: 14 cm
Average price in France: 3 €  (may differ considerably depending on countries)
Pros:
1/ The price/quality ratio is hard to beat with these hooks which are quite similar to the Amour hooks. I always recommend those to my beginner students.
2/ A small light-weight hook
3/ It’s one of the cheapest hooks on the market among ergonomic hooks. It’s lightweight and the handls are each a different pretty color.
 
Cons:
1/ The materials used look a bit
2/ Not very precise or efficient
3/ I keep trying it, but I cannot like it. The stitches keep snagging and it makes me mad.
 
In ONE word this hook is:
Versatile and cheap – Lightweight – Not for me !
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+ Coming up next week: 
  • Test of more ergonomic hooks – PRYM Soft & Ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO Rose, SUSAN BATES Silvalume
  • Test of high-end crochet hooks – FURLS Odyssey & Candy shop, JIMBO’s front porch hooks

Yes, I’d love to hear about Sylvie Damey’s next articles & patterns !



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