Crochet hook test & review – Week 2: PRYM soft and ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO rose, SUSAN BATES silvalume

Filed under: Crochet,Technique — May 31, 2016 @ 4:17 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 ?

Last week we started to review 5 different brands and types of crochet hooks and ergonomic hooks: ADDI swing and colors, CLOVER soft-touch and amour, KNITPRO waves, and I shared the results of my tests along with 2 fellow crocheters to make the review more objective and thorough.

 

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

First, here’s a reminder of the specifis of all 3 crocheters who shared their opinions in this test, along with 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… This time, we’re reviewing the PRYM soft and ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO rose, SUSAN BATES silvalume. (to be continued next week !)
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PrymSoft1 PrymSoft2

Crochet hook PRYM soft

TECH: 

Metal head, handle made of some sort of compact man-made foam material. Sizes written only in metric, in either red or yellow depending on size.

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 

Length: 13.8 cm

Average price in France: 2,95 €

Pros:
1/ A very pretty hook. The shank is the perfect length. I like the sober black look.
2/ A lightweight crochet hook.
3/A good compromise, cheap with an efficient head. 

Cons:

1/ The handle is not at all ergonomic. The material of the handle is too hard to have a good grip. The fact that there is not enough “drop” between the handle and shank hurts my fingers.
2/ The head is not very efficient and doesn’t hold the yarn inside the groove well. The so-called ergonomic hook offers no comfort.
3/ Some sizes do no exist, there is no 5.5 mm hook ! I totally need this size and use it very often, so this is a problem for me.
In ONE word this hook is:
Pretty – Not very efficient  A good basic hook

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PrymErgonomics1 PrymErgonomics2

Crochet hook PRYM Ergonomics

TECH: 

This hook is completely made of hard plastic, with grip material around handle. Only exists in large sizes, from 6 mm to 15 mm.

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 

Length: 17 cm

Average price in France: 4,39 to 6,75 € depending on sizes

 


Pros:

– A super light hook, and plastic material from head to shank which glides perfectly. The handle is comfortable, the head is precise.
– A surprising hook despite an unattractive look. A little difficult to insert through fibers but very good catch of the yarn in the groove, very comfortable and light, smooth.
– I was amazed to see how precise and efficient it is for a plastic hook ! The shape is really surprising with its long “neck”, yet it’s really comfortable to hold.

Cons:
– They could make an effort on the colors…
– Entirely made of plastic !
– Its plastic feel doesn’t do it justice. Also, only exists in larger sizes (which can also be a good point if you crochet with super bulky yarns).

In ONE word this hook is:
Surprising! – Comfortable  Great

 

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TulipEtimo TulipEtimo2

 

Crochet hook TULIP ETIMO Rose

TECH: 

Metal head, handle in super compact plastic/foam material. Sizes written in japanese and metric sizes. In this set, handles are each a different tone of pink depening on size. (also exists in a more gender-neutral version with yellow metal shanks and dark grey handles)

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 

Length: 14.2 cm

Average price in France: 7,80 €

Pros:
1/ Excellent grip, I really like the thumb-rest which holds the hook perfectly in place.
2/ Very smooth, glides very well, very precise, I love it ! The ergonomic handle stays perfectly in my hand and it’s lightweight. Despite being no fan of plastic, I’m pleasantly surprised by the very soft feel of this handle. The flat section for thumb rest seemed to flat at first, but it’s actually super comfortable especially when I have arthritis. I really like it and will spread the word!
3/ This was a discovery. A hook which is altogether pretty, girly (even a tad too girly with the pink needle case and golden scissors), super precise and efficient, and with a really good handle that’s easy to hold. I really love the thumb rest, so comfortable.

Cons:

1/ I don’t like that the brand “Tulip Japan” is printed in relief at the back of the handle. It irritates my fingers and annoys me. I also don’t care much for the sort of printed tape with the hook size, it ruins the esteatics of the hook and my fingers are itching to take it off.
2/ This hook is a bit expensive.
3/ It’s a rather expensive hook, especially if you buy the whole set. It’s a bit of an investment. And they’re slightly less efficient than the Susan Bates and their inline head. Not too far, but still (remember, I’m so picky about this!)
In ONE word this hook is:
Pink – Excellent  Superb and efficient

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SusanBates1 SusanBates2

 

Crochet SUSAN BATES Silvalume

TECH: 

Crochet made of aluminium, in different colors depending on size. Has a typical inline head.

Weight of a 5 mm hook: 

Length: 14 cm

Average price in France: Only place it’s sold in France is my Etsy shop, for 4,16 € when sold as a set.

Pros:
1/ The head is amazingly precise. Of course it’s super light as it doesn’t have any ergonomic handle. I really like the vivid colors. I have to admit that on larger sizes (above 5 mm) I feel more at ease with a Susan Bates than a Clover Amour, especially regarding the weight.
2/ Really very precise and glides nicely through fibers, cheap and light. This is the most precise hook thanks to its sharp-cut head. Formidably efficient ! If only it had an ergonomic handle it would be my favorite hook.
3/ For me this is THE ultimate crochet hook, because it’s so incredibly fast and efficient with the inline head (more about this in a next episode regarding the Anatomy of a crochet hook). No ergonomic handle, but a perfect thumb-rest. And because it’s SO precise, there’s no need to grip it firmly, thus occasioning me no pain. The price is also very reasonable for such a quality hook.

Cons:
1/ I regret the absence of ergonomic handle. Such an amazing head with the handle of the Amour and I’d be the queen of the universe.
2/ Unfortunately this hook causes me pain in the long term when I have reumatism, because of the thin handle.
3/ It looks deceptively plain. Most people would not suspect how amazing it actually is.. ;-)
In ONE word this hook is:
Efficient – Impressive  A MUST

Buy a pack of 6 Susan Bates Silvalume crochet hooks in my Etsy store

 

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+ read also: 

Test of the  PRYM Soft & Ergonomics, TULIP ETIMO Rose, SUSAN BATES Silvalume crochet hooks

+ Coming soon:

Test of the high-end FURLS Odyssey, Candy shop crochet hooks, JIMBO’s front porch hooks

Anatomy of a crochet hook, and criteria to take into account when choosing the right hook for YOU

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



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