Inline vs Tapered Crochet Hook

Which is the best crochet hook for you?

Discover the best crochet hooks to use as we answer the age-old debate on the inline vs tapered crochet hook. The answer to this question may surprise you! Crocheters all have their preferences as to which hook feels better. Learn why some people prefer one hook over the other.

 

I’m pretty sure the inline vs tapered crochet hook debate has been going on in the crochet world since the introduction of both hooks. If you delve into the madness, you will find pretty heated arguments for or against each hook style since both have very loyal followers.

This hook holds the yarn better! This one is less stress on your wrist! This hook helps you maintain a consistent tension!

Someone new to crochet could go crazy reading the pro/con lists before choosing a hook.

But I’m going to end this argument once and for all by letting every new crochet artist in on the best kept secret in regards to hook style: it actually doesn’t matter which one you use.

Learning crochet really doesn’t have much to do with buying the perfect hook as much as it has to do with muscle memory.

The reason you feel so awkward when you start, quite simply, is because your hands are not used to movements. No matter which hook you start with, when you make your very first row of single crochet, you are going to feel like a monkey playing with a stick. But keep working and you’ll find that the very second your hand ‘memorizes’ the motion, your tension will get more consistent, your stitches will become neater, and your finished objects will begin to look amazing.

It’s no coincidence that people who advocate so hard for inline vs. tapered just happened to have learned to crochet with one of those hooks. Of course the first hook they picked up and forced themselves to work with through the growing pains of muscle memory is going to be the ‘best’ one.

Your hand will adapt to your tools. Not the other way around.

So which hook should you choose?

To answer that question, I’m going to digress a bit to talk about stitch markers. There was a point in my crochet life where you couldn’t pay me to use a stitch marker. I had different colored pieces of yarn, safety pins and even those plain little rings at the ready, but I just wouldn’t use them. I didn’t want to break my rhythm and I rationalized that I could remember where the stitch marker should be.

Well, you can guess what happened next, right? Every single project slanted wrong or didn’t fit or ended up needing to be frogged it was so hopelessly messed up. Still, I wouldn’t use them. THIS time I’ll just remember, I told myself. THIS time I won’t NEED to mark the stitch.

Then one day I was reading a crochet discussion online about something totally unrelated and a post someone made really struck me. Loosely paraphrased, she said, “You’ll want to make beautiful things if you use beautiful tools.”

I decided to test her theory with my aversion to stitch markers. I ditched all my plain or homemade stitch markers and searched online to find some beautiful crystal charm stitch markers.

The change in my crocheting was immediate.

I went from avoiding stitch markers like the plague to seeking out patterns specifically so I could use them. Something about seeing those gorgeous crystals dangling delicately from my yarn warmed my heart, so placing them became a joy instead of a chore.

Now, let’s return to the question of which hook you should use.

And I will answer that question now in the simplest way that I can: pick the hook that you find most aesthetically pleasing. After all, you’ll want to make beautiful things if you use beautiful tools.

Comments
  • Angela D.

    Wonderful wisdom. I’ll have to pass on that quote. It is so true. I make my own stitch markers and I definitely enjoy clipping them onto my work. The sparkle makes it worth it.

    Reply
  • Rayna T.

    Sorry, but I disagree. I tried to learn for years using an overhand (knife) hold and Boye tapered hook. It’s a long story, but after 30 years, when I bought an instructional video, I realized there was a variation on pencil hold that I’d never seen. Eventually that worked better for me (usually called chopstick hold). So then I spent several more weeks trying to get the hang of crochet. Finally, I read an article online about different types of hooks. I had no idea! So I bought an inline hook. Bam! Smooth sailing immediately. I never realized there was such a difference. It’s now been a dozen years since I learned to crochet. Personally, I hate tapered hooks. And let me tell you, it’s difficult to find steel hooks that are inline style. However, the first hooks I tried were tapered, so, no it’s not just whatever you learned with. I’ve read other people say they switched hook types and prefer something other than what they started with (and that goes both ways in hook types). There are even hooks now with modified heads and throats that are not quite either type. And some people have switched to those. People aren’t bound to stay with one type of hook and just hope they will eventually get used to it. Just like knitting needles, hooks are a PREFERENCE and it’s not set in stone. If someone is just learning, they should try different hook types (and holds) to see if they have a preference. Could I use tapered hooks if I wanted to? Probably, because I’m more experienced now and could adjust my tension and hold to compensate. However, that wouldn’t make it comfortable or easy to work with. An article such as this, which tells new crafters that they just need to keep trying, isn’t really helpful if they might find tools that work better for their personal way of working. It’s really not a secret that crochet hooks and knitting needles are a very personal preference and can make a world of difference in either enjoying or being frustrated by one’s hobby. I only wish someone had given me an inline hook all those decades ago.

    Reply
  • Marietta W.

    Or collect a couple of different ones or just use the cheapest aluminum/steel you can find from WalMart, whatever you can afford and makes you feel ready to meet the challenge.

    Reply

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