Clover 'Amour' v 'Soft Touch' Hook comparison (& hook rolling)

Although I am 'a knitter', it has to be said that I'm in the midst of a crochet crush. It might be because I hang out with more crocheters than knitters - my designer/blogger friends are mostly crocheters, and even my 'crafty' neighbours prefer hook to needles. (Don't worry, I'm working on it!) There's also the fact that the majority of my knitting projects feel like 'work' these days and crochet is my relaxation, especially during the Last Dance on the Beach crochet-along (CAL), which I'm really enjoying.

To make the weekly CAL motifs the same size, I've needed to use a selection of different hook sizes (the base sts are not all the same) and this was all the excuse I needed to consider updating my tools. Until now, I've used a mixture of hooks, but mostly Clover Soft Touch* - which I like. After watching other people crochet, seeing lot of them using Clover Amour*, and realising the set comes in a pretty rainbow of colours I decided to give them a try. I have to state up front that I'm not an expert on hooks OR crochet, but thought that some of you may be interested in my experiences with them so far. Note: this post is NOT sponsored by anyone. Some affiliate links are included, and indicated with an asterisk (see footnote). 


From a purely aesthetic perspective, this is a very attractive set of nine hooks, ranging in size from 2mm to 6mm (in 0.5mm increments).  Each size is a different colour, which makes it easy to select those you use most often. A minor niggle with the Soft Touch is that I have to pull similar sizes out of my jar to see which is which. Plus, being completely honest, colourful things just make me happier than plain things. But onto more discernible differences...
Top: Amour, Bottom: Soft Touch
Amour hooks are slightly longer overall and also have a longer shaft (the bit where the stitches go). This is useful for bobbles and other stitches where you're dealing with multiple loops of yarn. I have quite big hands and the beginnings of arthritis in my thumb and forefinger - I suffer when using small needles or hooks for a long time, and this is the main reason I have been using Soft Touch, whose handles are easier to hold than plain metal hooks. The larger rubberised handle on the Amour is even easier to grip and requires less pressure, which makes for more comfortable crochet. 

The difference in handle - the size and shape - is even more pronounced when viewed side-on and this is the thing that has already made a difference to my crochet in the last week.

I learned to crochet in a way that requires a reasonable amount of wrist movement, and after a while this can lead to discomfort in my wrist and that pesky thumb. After watching several crochet 'masters' at work, I noticed that they roll the hook more than their wrist - a technique which is much smoother and more efficient. The Amour hooks have made this much easier for me to practice - it really wasn't working out with the others, due to the broad flat thumb rest. As my knitting speed/productivity and comfort improved dramatically when I switched to 'Continental' knitting, I'm feeling hopeful that this more efficient way of crocheting will help in similar ways.

The groove underneath the head is slightly more pronounced on the Amour hooks, and when working with fine yarns, this means it's a bit easier for me to hook (and hold onto) the whole stitch - my inexperience means I need to be careful with that.

Top: Soft Touch, Bottom: Amour
You'll see that the points at the top of the hooks are pretty much the same - smooth and polished so that they don't catch on the yarn. The similarity works well for me, as (a) I'm used to the shape and (b) it's sufficiently pointy, but not too much so. (With KnitPro hooks, which I also have, I find they have a sharper point, which gives me a tendency to split the yarn when inserting the hook.)

Looking at the price (see note below) the Amour hooks* are mid-range - more expensive than the Soft Touch, but not up there with the Tulip set which comes in a fancy case (which I'm also curious to try) and in my opinion, it's worth the extra for the added comfort, not to mention the added extra of being in lovely colours. 

So for me, these tick the right boxes and I'm very pleased with them. Like all these things, it's a matter of personal taste and preference - if you've tried them, let me know what you think by leaving a comment! 

* Asterisks indicate affiliate links. I purchased these hooks myself for my own use from Amazon* for £38.72 (inc next day Prime delivery), at the time of writing, the same set is on sale at yarns stores I am also affiliated with: Wool Warehouse* and Deramores* are selling them at £49.99. They are widely available elsewhere at a similar price. 

14 comments

  1. Have you tried the Prym soft touch hooks? They're round so you can roll them between your fingers very easily... Sadly they are black, and not brightly coloured. I love them and have started to buy duplicates of certain sizes that I use frequently.

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    1. No, but I will keep an eye out. I did try some of the Addi hooks which are circular and liked those, although they weren't as tactile as these...

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  2. I've just converted to Tulip Etimo hooks after trying them out at the bloggers days. I'm completely blown away by the difference! They're very comfortable to use and I've already found that I have more control. I have early arthritis in my hand and wrist joints and so far no pain and no need to rest! Result :-) I haven't tried the Amour but the soft touch I liked. X

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    1. Oh you temptress! I'll try yours when I see you next!

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  3. I bought the amour set especially for the CAL. So pleased with them, lovely to use and the colours are gorgeous. I prefer them to the soft touch and they have made me well and truly ditch the spindly skinny metal hooks I liked for being 'retro' despite considerable finger pain !!

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    1. Hahaha, I can totally get that! Here's to pain free crochet! (And I'm glad I'm not the only one who bought them for the CAL!) :)

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  4. I'm another Etimo addict. The Amours look a lot like them, I have to say! I think it's a shape that works well for most grips. I can't use the Clover Soft Touch or any very flat hooks because of the way I hold them, but I tried a completely round hook the other week and got serious elbow pain. Apparently that 'mostly round with a flat bit' shape is optimal!

    I bought my Etimos six or seven years ago and have definitely had my money's worth from them! They're eye-wateringly expensive compared to most hooks, but the quality is unbeatable for me. Although looking at the Amours, I am wishing they came in more exciting colours :)

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    1. I held one of those Etimo sets recently, and it was lovely if a bit too PINK! It was before my crochet addiction started so I didn't really take as much notice as I might have! Definitely will give them a go at some point, especially if I still want to crochet after the CAL and my current fascination are over - I tend to get a bit obsessed with things and then drop them again when something else comes along.

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  5. The Amour hooks look a lot like the Etimo hooks. I'm another Etimo convert - there is nothing so wonderful as an Etimo hook. I recently treated myself to that pink set in the ostrich case...

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    1. It's very pretty - especially if you like pink - I can't help thinking that my 7 year old daughter would try to take them - she already 'borrowed' half of my Soft Touch set, never to be seen again!

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  6. When my trusty 50 year old Aero hooks roughed up at the inner hook - I think it must have been from using acrylic yarn which I've never used before - I bought Prym Soft Handle, Pony Easy Grip and Drops Circus to try. I didn't like the other two butlove the Drops, (pretty handles and only £1.60 from Wool Warehouse). I searched for the longest shanks but was willing to try the different handles. Depending on how you hold your hook you might might find the Drops comfortable too. I hold my hook like a pencil and I cannot get on with round or bulky hooks, especially those bulgy wood handles. I also hold my hook very lightly and find the flatter handles much more comfortable and no pain whatsoever even crocheting for long periods.

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    1. I'll have to try one of the Drops hooks now! Sounds great :)

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  7. I also like the set by Knitters Pride. As far as I am concerned they rate right up there with the Armour set.

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    1. You know my list of things to try is getting longer with ever comment :D x

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