I tried out the size "K" crochet hook (6.5 mm) from ChiaoGoo and was pleasantly surprised! The hook was incredibly smooth and it didn’t feel any different from a wooden hook at all, which is my hook material preference. The color of the hook was very similar to a birch wood, as opposed to the typical grain you would expect to find in a bamboo hook and the thumb grip and finger rest were perfectly placed and exactly the right size for my hand. Most important to my crochet hook preferences, ChiaoGoo hooks are manufactured as inline hooks. Again, a personal preference, but it makes a major difference in my crochet speed and comfort.
What I may have liked best about this crochet hook has really nothing to do with crochet at all. ChiaoGoo imprints a Chinese blessing on each crochet hook. Each size hook has a different blessing. The "K" hook is imprinted with the blessing of "Faith." Certainly a lovely sentiment and a nice touch to the hook, which is unexpected; I have never seen this on a crochet hook before.
One minor issue I found was actually with the packaging. The back of the packaging refers to "needle size" instead of "hook size." A minor point, I know, but the use of the term "crochet needle," while historically correct has always rubbed me the wrong way.
Crocheting With the ChiaoGoo Bamboo Hook:
Unlike my first experience with a bamboo crochet hook, there was no splintering or catching at all with the ChiaoGoo hook. The hook moved through the yarn swiftly and effectively. I was able to keep my stitch rhythm, just as if I was using one of my favorite wooden hooks. I tried using several different types of yarns, including bamboo silk, which just seemed appropriate, with the ChiaoGoo hook and it didn't catch once.
The price of the hook was $6 US; slightly more pricey than the average plastic or metal hook, but in line with most wooden hook prices. I would say, however, the hook is well worth the price.
ChiaoGoo Bamboo Crochet Hook: Overall Rating
Honestly, I really couldn't find any negatives about this hook at all. This was as similar as you could get to a wooden hook, which is what I use most often, without actually using a wooden hook. Also, I didn't experience any "adjustment" period that I would normally expect when trying a new hook. Ultimately, I must give the ChiaoGoo crochet hook five stars!
If you have crocheted using one of these hooks, I would love to hear your thoughts!