If you crochet, it is a question for the ages. It is also one of the few questions no one can agree upon.
Which crochet hook type do you prefer?
Bates or Boye?
Ask 10 different crocheters which they prefer and you will get 10 different responses as to why which one is better. Ultimately, it is a very personal decision and once a crocheter makes their hook choice, that decision rarely changes.
First, the similarities
Both hook brands are well made and have been around for ages. They are reliable and easy to find for purchase. They are also mostly made of aluminum and steel. They both offer a variety of handles from plain aluminum, to bamboo, to silicone. These specialized handles give crocheters that have arthritis or other issues grabbing a thin hook the ability to continue to crochet. I know there are some people who use both, but they are a rare breed.
Now the differences.
Hooks from Susan Bates are referred to as inline hooks. Meaning the head of the hook and the shaft of the hook are even with each other. The hook doesn’t stick out beyond the shaft of the hook. Also the head of the hook comes to a point and the throat has a deeper cut. Some believe the point helps push the yarn through stitches and the deeper cut in the head helps keep yarn in place as you move along your work. Additionally, Bates hooks have a fairly short shaft and the thumb rest is toward the middle of the hook.
The exact opposite of a Susan Bates hook is a Boye hook. The head sticks out past the shaft of the hook; meaning it is not inline like the Bates. The top of the hook head is more rounded and the cut within the head isn’t as deep as the Bates hook. Unlike the Bates hook, the shaft somewhat long (longer than the Bates at least) and the thumb rest is fairly close to the head.
And plenty more…
While Bates and Boye hooks are the most common, if not the most popular, there are many other brands out there. Many beginners pick up a Bates or Boye at their local big box craft store and once the basics are mastered, every crocheter learns there is a wide world of hooks. Some are mass produced; others are hand made. They are on Etsy and small business websites. They are made of wood, acrylic, plastic, aluminum, glass, and more.
So which crochet hook do I use?
I have used both over the years and I’ll tell you, I am definitely a Susan Bates girl. I really prefer the inline head, the deep hook head, and the point at the top. I will also say I have used many other hooks over the years and like them just as much, if not more.
I really like the Lykke Driftwood crochet hook as well as the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz. I’m not a fan of bamboo hooks in general. Mainly because the hooks I have tried over the years splinter easily, get caught in the yarn and cause pulls. But that’s been my experience. Others love them. I also really like Morgans Mane, who creates beautiful hand-made hooks from resin wood laminate.
So my advice is this; pick up one of each in a G or H and some basic worsted weight yarn. Something like Caron’s Simply Soft or Lion Brand Basic Stitch. Try both hooks out and see what you like. Then go pick up some other brands and see how you like those. You’ll discover an entire world of unique and beautiful hooks!