Let’s get down to it — looking at the cheapest hooks you can get anywhere, there’s a good brand of hook and a bad brand. The best, most inexpensive metal or plastic brand of hook that I’ve found is Susan Bates. Boye is unfortunately sold everywhere, but Boye hooks are so frustrating! Look here at the difference between Boye and Susan Bates:
Boye is on the left, Susan Bates on the right. Look how the Boye hook tip curves out to the left past the straight vertical line of the handle, and the Susan Bates hook tip is perfectly aligned with the handle. This is what makes Susan Bates the best, because if the tip of your hook is not aligned with the handle portion, the hook will easily catch on yarn you’re not trying to pull through and keep your motions stuttered. In essence, for a smooth and quick movement that is a lot less frustrating, Susan Bates is #1. (Btw, this is just my personal preference — if you love Boye and can use them easily, more power to you!)
Brittany has gorgeous wooden hooks, but you have to buy them on ebay or in specialty stores because they’re not just sold at Hobby Lobby or even on their official website. Here’s a detail pic:
addi hooks look nice because of the grips. The hook part itself, however, does look like the Boye hooks:
In addition to these hook choices, there are obviously different sizes of hooks. All I can say to this without making a table is that most yarns say on the label what hooks are most appropriate, as do most patterns. However, I personally don’t follow these guides all the time, because I find that they tend to make looser stitches than I like.
Another tip: the material your hooks are made of actually do make a difference in how you crochet. Plastic hooks are more flexible and so tend to make looser stitches than metal hooks do, for instance. Not a huge deal, of course, but a matter of personal preference, and there’s lots to choose from! Bamboo or wood has more of a grip, and therefore is perfect for slippery yarns like silk.
One thing you can do to make your hooks more comfortable to hold is to get little grippies — like those things you put on your pencils in 3rd grade. They sell packs of different sizes at places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, so you don’t have to search far, and they’re cheap.
They do make hooks with built in lights, just so you know. Pretty cool, but useless for the most part in my personal opinion.