Inline vs Tapered Crochet Hooks

Inline vs Tapered Crochet Hooks: A Handy Comparison

Crochet enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the perfect crochet hook. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best one? One important factor to consider in this debate is whether to use inline or tapered crochet hooks. Each of these types of hook has its unique features and benefits, making them best suited for different yarn types, crochet styles, and, indeed, individual crocheters and projects.

With inline crochet hooks, the head of the hook is “in line” with the shaft. These hooks are characterized by having a consistent width throughout the shaft and a deep, straight groove to catch the yarn.

On the other hand, tapered crochet hooks have a gradually narrowing shaft and a head that projects outwardly from the line of the shaft.

Personal preference and hand ergonomics play a significant role in deciding between inline and tapered crochet hooks. Factors such as grip style, yarn type, and stitch consistency can also influence which hook type works best for an individual or a particular project.

Choosing the right crochet hook ultimately comes down to trial and error, with most crocheters eventually developing a preference for one style.

Key Takeaways

  • Inline and tapered crochet hooks differ in shaft shape, head design, and yarn handling.
  • Consider your grip style, yarn type, and stitch consistency when choosing a crochet hook.
  • It takes practice and experimentation to determine your own preference between inline and tapered hooks.
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Inline Crochet Hooks

Shape, Size and Materials of Inline Hooks

Inline crochet hooks, often referred to as “Susan Bates” style, have a straight shaft with a consistent width throughout most of the hook. The throat, or the section that holds the yarn, has a deep groove for catching and holding the yarn while crocheting.

wooden inline crochet hook
This view of an inline crochet hook from the front shows its consistent width along the length of the hook.
inline wooden crochet hook
This view of an inline crochet hook from the side shows the deep groove that is used for catching and holding the yarn. You can also see how the head is in line with the rest of the hook.

The size of the hook (e.g. 3 mm, 4 mm, etc) is the same as the diameter of the shaft. These hooks come in various sizes, ranging from small hooks suitable for lacework to larger hooks ideal for chunky yarns.

Inline hooks can be made from a variety of materials, such as:

  • Wood: lightweight and warm to touch.
  • Plastic: affordable and available in many styles.
  • Aluminum: durable and smooth for faster crocheting.
A selection of wooden inline crochet hooks.

Experiment with different materials to see which suites you best, as well as the specific project you’re working on and the yarn you’re using.

Possible Advantages of Inline Hooks

Keep in mind that potential advantages of different hook types will vary between crocheters and which type is best for one person will not necessarily be the same for another. However, some potential advantages of inline hooks include:

  • Even tension, due to consistent width along the shaft
  • Precise control of yarn placement, thanks to the distinct edges of the groove
  • Less likely to split yarn, as there is no taper to the hook

Also, inline crochet hooks generally have a longer, flatter thumb rest, which can provide a more comfortable grip for some users. Some hooks even have ergonomically designed handles for added comfort, although this is also the case with tapered hooks too. The grip style and handle materials can vary, so it’s essential to find a hook that feels comfortable in your hand. Your personal crochet style will also play a role in determining the ideal grip for you.

For beginners, inline hooks can be a great option due to their ability to hold the yarn more securely with the wide groove across the entire width of the hook. For some crocheters, this can make it easier to prevent the yarn from slipping off the hook. However, some users might find inline hooks slightly harder to insert into the stitches (especially particularly tight stitches) due to the larger head size.

Trying different hook styles and materials is recommended for new users to identify their preferred choice.

Tapered Crochet Hooks

Shape, Size and Materials of Tapered Hooks

Tapered crochet hooks, commonly known as “Boye” style, have a shaft that gradually narrows toward the hook’s tip. The head of the hook extends outwardly from the the line of the hook’s shaft.

tapered crochet hook
This view of a tapered crochet hook from the front shows how its throat narrows gradually towards the head.
tapered crochet hook
This view of a tapered crochet hook from the side shows how it tapers towards the head and that the head projects outwardly from the line of the shaft.

The size of each hook is determined by the diameter of the shaft at its widest point. They come in various sizes, ranging from very small (less than 1mm) to larger hooks (up to 15mm or more) for bulky yarns.

As with inline hooks, tapered crochet hooks can also be made from a variety of different materials, including:

  • Wood: Wooden hooks provide a warm, natural feel and are lightweight, but they may not be as durable nor as smooth as other materials.
  • Plastic: Hooks made from plastic are affordable and lightweight, but they may feel less sturdy or break more easily than other types.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum hooks offer strength and smoothness, making it easy to slide the yarn through the stitches.
selection of tapered crochet hooks in different materials
A selection of tapered crochet hooks made of different materials.

As shown above, some hooks have ergonomic handles, which are designed to reduce hand strain, while others have a simple straight handle. Try out different types of grip to find the one that you find most comfortable.

Possible Advantages of Tapered Hooks

As mentioned above, the possible pros and cons of the different hook types will vary between crocheters and you may find different advantages and disadvantages to those found by others. However, this section identifies some of the advantages found by some crocheters. You will of course have to try out and experiment with the different hook types to find which is best for you.

Some potential advantages of tapered hooks may include:

  • The more rounded throat of a tapered hook can allow the yarn to glide smoothly during work, which can allow for faster crocheting with a more even tension
  • Easier maneuverability, due to the gradual tapering near the hook
  • Potentially more comfortable for those who use the “pencil grip” method to hold their hook, because of the rounded throat

Tapered crochet hooks are often recommended for beginners because their gradual shape can make it easy to insert the hook into the stitch and produce consistent results. The smooth finish of tapered aluminum hooks, in particular, can be more forgiving for new crocheters learning the craft.

Comparison of Inline and Tapered Hooks

When it comes to choosing between inline and tapered crochet hooks, personal preference often plays a significant role. Factors such as crocheting technique, yarn type, and grip style can all impact the choice of hook. This is why many crocheters own a variety of hooks in both styles, allowing them to experiment and determine which works best for a specific project.

Comparison of Stitch Success

Inline hooks and tapered hooks can produce different stitch results based on how they interact with the yarn. Inline hooks have a uniform width, which can help to ensure consistent stitch size and gauge throughout a project, while tapered hooks have a gradually decreasing width, which may sometimes result in looser or more uneven stitches.

  • Inline hooks can:
    • Help maintain an even gauge for the project.
    • Provide predictable stitch outcomes.
  • Tapered hooks can:
    • Allow for easier stitch manipulation.
    • Produce a wider variety of stitch sizes.

Is There a Difference in Durability?

Durability for crochet hooks depends on the material rather than the inline or tapered design. Both types of hooks come in a variety of materials, such as aluminum, plastic, bamboo, and wood. As such, either hook type may be equally durable, for a given material.

  • Inline vs. Tapered:
    • Generally, the material used for both types determines the durability.
    • Quality can vary among different brands or production methods.
    • Durability is not directly linked to the inline or tapered design.

Considerations for Selecting a Crochet Hook

Selecting Based on Pain and Fatigue

When it comes to crochet hooks, comfort is crucial, especially if you want to avoid hand and wrist pain. Ergonomic crochet hooks are designed to alleviate discomfort and reduce the likelihood of suffering from arthritis or fatigue. These specialized hooks often have a wider handle, making them more comfortable to hold even after long crochet sessions.

Selection Based on Crochet Style

Different crochet hooks cater to different styles and tension preferences. Inline hooks tend to have a smaller head and narrow throat, which can contribute to a more precise stitch and a tighter tension. As such, these hooks can work well for tight-woven projects where control is necessary. On the other hand, tapered hooks usually have a slightly larger head, which can make it easier to create looser stitches with an even tension. Deciding between inline and tapered hooks largely depends on your desired style and project requirements.

Selection Based on Personal Preference

Ultimately, the chosen crochet hook should reflect your personal preferences in terms of aesthetics, feel, and functionality. Here’s a quick list of factors to consider:

  • Grip style: Are you more comfortable with the pencil or knife grip? Choose a hook handle that accommodates your preferred grip.
  • Thumb rest: Does the hook offer a spot for your thumb to rest comfortably and maintain control?
  • Shape of the hook head: Do you prefer a pointed head for better stitch penetration or a more rounded head for easier yarn capture?
  • Hook material: Hooks made from different materials – such as metal, wood, or plastic – can create different sensations in your hands and potentially affect your tension.
  • Aesthetics: Beautifully-crafted hooks can boost your crochet experience and can be a lovely treat.


Inline and tapered crochet hooks offer different benefits to different crocheters, catering to various preferences and styles. Both types of hooks have their unique features that can improve the crocheting experience, depending on the user’s skill level and technique.

Inline crochet hooks, also known as Bates hooks, are characterized by their uniform width, sharper edges and more squared-off throat. These features can provide a tighter grip on the yarn, making it less likely to slip off the hook. This type of hook can be particularly useful for beginners or those who tend to crochet tightly. The consistency in stitch size offered by inline hooks can help create an even, polished fabric.

Tapered crochet hooks, or Boye hooks, have a smoother, curved throat, that narrows towards the head. This construction can allow for easier sliding of stitches and is generally preferred by those with a looser crocheting style. The fluid movement offered by tapered hooks may enable crocheters to work faster and more comfortably.

Possible pros of Inline Hooks:

  • Tighter grip on yarn
  • Consistent stitch size
  • Suitable for beginners and tight crocheters

Possible pros of Tapered Hooks:

  • Easier sliding of stitches
  • Faster crocheting
  • Preferred by those with a looser crocheting style

When it comes to choosing between inline and tapered crochet hooks, personal preference plays a significant role. Some crocheters may find it helpful to try both types and assess how each one feels in their hand and how it impacts their stitch quality. Ultimately, it’s essential for individuals to select the crochet hooks that best suit their unique needs and create a comfortable, enjoyable crocheting experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between inline and tapered crochet hooks?

Inline and tapered crochet hooks differ mainly in their shape and the way they impact yarn tension. Inline hooks have a flat throat and a consistent width along the shaft, while tapered hooks have a rounded throat with a gradually increasing width towards the handle. This results in different crocheting experiences:

  • Inline hooks can provide more consistent gauge due to their flat throat.
  • Tapered hooks can allow for smoother yarn gliding due to their rounded shape.

Which brands offer inline crochet hooks?

Several brands manufacture inline crochet hooks, including:

  1. Susan Bates
  2. Addi
  3. Laurel Hill

These brands produce high-quality crochet hooks in various sizes, materials, and designs.

Which brands offer tapered crochet hooks?

Tapered crochet hooks are widely available from a variety of brands, such as:

  1. Clover
  2. KnitPro
  3. Prym

Each brand offers a range of sizes and materials to suit individual preferences and crochet projects.

How do inline and tapered hooks affect crochet techniques?

Inline and tapered crochet hooks influence techniques in different ways for different crocheters. However:

  • Inline hooks tend to support tighter stitches since they can maintain consistent tension on the yarn.
  • Tapered hooks often facilitate looser stitches due to the rounded throat and gentle increase in width.

Ultimately, the choice between inline and tapered hooks depends on personal preference and the desired outcome of the crochet project.

Are there ergonomic options for inline and tapered crochet hooks?

Ergonomic crochet hooks are available for both inline and tapered types. They feature comfortable handles, designed to reduce hand strain and fatigue during long crocheting sessions. Some ergonomic crochet hook brands include:

  1. Furls
  2. Clover Amour
  3. Tulip Etimo
  4. Ergo Hooks

These brands offer various ergonomic handle materials such as wood, silicone, and rubber, catering to each crocheter’s comfort needs.

What factors should I consider when choosing between inline and tapered hooks?

When deciding between inline and tapered crochet hooks, consider the following factors:

  1. Personal preference: Some crocheters find inline hooks easier to handle, while others prefer the smooth glide of tapered hooks.
  2. Stitch consistency: If you desire tighter and more uniform stitches, inline hooks may be a better choice. For looser, more flexible stitches, opt for tapered hooks.
  3. Material: Both inline and tapered hooks come in various materials (wood, aluminum, plastic), affecting their weight, durability, and feel.
  4. Brand availability: Certain brands specialize in either inline or tapered hooks, so explore their offerings and read reviews to determine the best option for you.

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