I've been wanting to make this post for a long time but it takes a little more preparation than most others and, as I'm sure you know, I'm pretty lazy. I have tried out a lot of different hooks, some of which have become my favorites and others of which I hated and never used again. There is much debate in the crochet community over whether Boye type (tapered neck and bulbous head) or Bates type ("in-line" neck and head) hooks are the best. (Here is a good comparison article.) I happen to be in the Bates camp but I'd hesitate to say it's the most popular opinion. They just slide through stitches much easier for me. I'm also a big fan of plastic hooks which is definitely an unpopular preference. I'd say most people prefer aluminum or bamboo but, for me, metal is so cold and hard and wood is either snaggy or shaped weirdly. Anyway, here is a sampling of my hook collection:
1. Susan Bates Quicksilver size I - a favorite, very smooth, perfect shape
2. Clover Bamboo - don't remember what size, I never use this one. The throat is too shallow and it snags too much
3. Susan Bates Silvalume size K - perfect shape but snags a bit on a tiny dent in the tip, probably from a pug ;)
4. Boye Aluminum size K - way bigger diameter than the Bates K, but smaller at the tip. I never use this due to the head/throat shape
5. Bates Afghan hook size K - for some reason even Bates afghan hooks have the Boye shape. I don't love it but I use it when needed.
6. Rosewood size L - quite possibly my least favorite hook. The head shape is so pointy and throat so skinny, it's almost impossible for me to use.
7. Susan Bates Crystal Ice size L - I also have this in M, N, and P. Slightly disappointed in them because I love Bates Crystalite and hoped these would be the same but they have a little catch in the throat that really bothers me (I'll try to show this below)
8. Susan Bates Luxite size L - I also have this in F, G, H, I, J, and K. These were my first hooks and remain my favorites. I know a lot of people don't like plastic hooks but for some reason they are more comfortable to me than anything else. Perfect shape, very smooth and warm. The smaller gauges bend a little but I don't mind it.
9. Susan Bates Crystalite size M - Love this one. I've used it so much that it's getting worn down on one side. Unfortunately I think they make them differently now (like the Crystal Ice mentioned above.)
10. Boye Aluminume size N - Same size as Bates size M. Another Boye hook I don't use.
11. Balene II size P - This is sort of half way between Boye and Bates shapes. I don't love it but it's perfect for plarn.
12. Lion Brand size Q - great Bates shape with no grip so it's great for tunisian crochet.
My favorites, very consistant shape:
Least favorites, notice the hook/throat shape:
Crystal Ice, hard to see but notice the ridge:
Bates and Boye size K comparison:
Bates size M and Boye size N comparison: