I suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome which can cause painful and aching wrists and hands. It is a condition that has already prevented me from knitting because it gets triggered off too much in the process. One of my craft friends mentioned the Addi Swing for me to try. This brand of crochet hook is an unusual shape since it is ergonomic and the manufacturers claim it is comfortable to use and hold. Keen to relieve my hand cramping when crocheting, I decided to test it out.
Before purchasing one to test it, I read lots of reviews online. Other yarn crafters suggest that these are good for conditions such as muscular strain, cramps and even arthritis. So I was keen to put these theories to the test and try it for myself. I've reviewed this item in full from my own personal use.
Description of the Addi Swing
The Swing hook is at the top of the photo compared with other types of hooks and many handle-less versions displayed at the bottom made from metal and bamboo. It is immediately clear that the Addi has a very large, curved plastic handle with a very short metal shaft. The shaft is the part of the hook where the yarn goes.
At the time of buying. the Swing version was one of the most expensive of the designs and brands available to buy. Since I only wanted to test it out, I opted to choose my favorite standard size which is a 4mm (F) and resisted the urge to get a whole set. I like how each size comes with a different color handle. This color differentiation should make it handy if you have lots of hooks because you can quickly pick sizes out by color when stored in a holder or case.
Testing this Ergonomic Design Out
The only way to test this was to do some crocheting with it. The first issue was how to hold it comfortably in my right hand. My hands are very small and did not fit around the handle nicely to get a good grip. The only way I could get any kind of comfortable hold with this hook was to have the handle resting in the palm of my hand. The problem with this hold meant that my thumb was then too far away from the metal shaft to crochet well. I persisted with this really unnatural hold thinking it might get better with practice. However, I could not enjoy crocheting in this way.
The other main issue was that the metal shaft or shank which holds the yarn is extremely short. In fact, it is the shortest when I compared it against every other handled hook that I own. Because the metal shaft is so short, I find that it is really not very good for crocheting with taller stitches like treble crochet. It is also not ideal for using with thick or bulky yarns which need more room. I think the manufacturers really need to revise this product to shorten the handle and lengthen the shank area instead.
My gut feeling is that people with bigger hands might enjoy using this product far more than I did. Indeed, that would really explain all the great reviews from other crafters who swear by it for being so comfortable. It actually made my carpal tunnel condition worse when I used this.
If you have small or petite hands, be prepared to find this hook very awkward to use. If the handle section on this was shorter, it might be good to hold. For people with large hands, the handle may work as it is.
Unfortunately I do not have too much to say about this item that is positive. It looks to be well-made in terms of the construction and I like the different color handles. It might suit people with large hands and could be worth testing if you do also have hand issues.
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My Overall Rating for the Addi Swing
I Find it Uncomfortable to Use and Don't Like It
See it Compared with a Clover Soft Touch Hook
I Prefer Clover for My Hooks
For real comfort and being able to hold on and crochet for long periods of time, I have found the Clover brand of hooks the absolute best choice. I like their Soft Touch range and their Amour design. My top pick for both comfort and quality is the Amour range because these have really easy grip handles that fit snugly in my palm.
They are light weight which means that I can hold them for long periods of time with no cramping and no pain from carpal tunnel flare ups. They have different color handles which makes it easy to find which size you need without having to squint at the numbers on the handle. The other great plus point is that they are far cheaper to buy than the Addi Swing version and this makes getting a whole set much more affordable.
Clover Amour Hook Shown Here Making a Sunburst Design
You Might Have to Test a Number of Hooks to Find Something Really Comfortable
One-Size Does Not Suit All When it Comes to Crocheting
This so-called ergonomic Addi Swing hook seems to work for many people and might be good for some yarn crafters who suffer like me with hand issues and complaints. Unfortunately it doesn't work for me and I really don't like using it at all.
However, I'm not sorry to have tested it out. I'm just glad that I only bought one of these instead of a large set and I'd recommend that you just buy or borrow one to try it out. I've tested lots of hooks since this and my favorite ones for comfort are both made by Clover: the Amour and the Soft Touch.
Image Credits: The introductory image belongs to the author, Marie Williams Johnstone. All other images (unless watermarked with the author’s name) are product photos from Amazon.