Your Guide to Buying a Hook

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Your Guide to Buying a Hook

Hooks are used to hang articles of clothing and other items. With both decorative and practical uses, hooks serve a variety of purposes from hanging utensils or clothing, to simply adding an articstic touch to a space. Hooks are affixed to a wall, rail or panel using built-in fastening mechanisms or one or more screws. They are typically mounted to walls or doors, but are also found inside lockers, wardrobes, and cabinets.

Choosing the Right Hook

When purchasing a hook, it is important to select a style and design that complements a room or space. In addition to the design, consideration should be given to the utility of the hook and how it will meet individual storage needs (for example, the number of prongs and how many items the hook holds). Other factors that should be considered include the price and the type of hook, as well as the material and finish.

Type of Hook

Hooks are available with a range of features that facilitate organisation and increase storage space. Some hooks with multiple prongs are designed so that larger items can cover smaller articles, such as a jacket hung over a purse or scarf. This provides for a more streamlined and less cluttered appearance with fewer items in direct view. The following chart provides information on the various types of hooks.




Single hooks have one prong. They are designed to hold one item, such as a towel, coat, or bag.


Double hooks feature two prongs. Prongs are either positioned side-by-side in a horizontal manner or vertically with one prong above another. When arranged vertically, the top prong is typically longer. The shorter bottom prong is generally used for smaller or lighter articles.


With three prongs, triple hooks are used to hang three articles. Triple hooks are typically arranged in a triangle position, with a longer prong above two shorter prongs.


Flip hooks are can be hidden in order to create a streamlined look. Hooks are moved into a panel, rail, or wall when they are not in use.


Safety release hooks automatically drop any item that exceeds the weight the unit was designed to hold. Once an item is released, the hook resets itself into the original upright position.

Hook Tip Designs

The tip of a hook is typically stylised to enhance its appearance. The curvature or decorative nature of the tip of a hook is influenced by both modern and traditional characteristics. The table below outlines three common styles of hook tips.




Curved-tipped hooks curl inward at the end of the unit. Traditional and antique hooks typically feature pronounced or decorative curves. By comparison, contemporary or modern hooks have subtle and minimal curvatures.


Straight hooks have no curvature at the tip of the unit. The body of the hook itself may feature minimal or no curvature. Most contemporary and modern designs incorporate straight tips.

Ball Tip

Ball-tipped hooks have a distinct shape at the end of the prong. A ball point or sphere is a common feature, although decorative tips such as an animal or other object can be present. The tip is either moulded as part of the hook or an added component, such as a white ball, crystal, or wooden sphere.

Materials Used for Hooks

The table below summarises the most commonly used materials for domestic hooks.



Metal and Metal Alloys

Most hooks are made from metal and metal alloys. Examples of metals and metal alloys used to produce hooks include steel and stainless steel, iron, aluminium, and zinc die cast material. Metal hooks also feature various metal finishes, including bronze, brass, chrome, and nickel. Cast iron is also used to create heritage and antique hooks with elaborate designs.


Wooden hooks evoke a country or rustic feel. Common types of wood used for hooks include cherry, oak, mahogany, and pine.


Plastic is used to create contemporary and modern designs, as well as introduce vibrant colours, and modern textures. Although not as common, plastic hooks are generally lightweight and inexpensive.

Common Finishes Used on Hooks

Hooks can be finished in a variety of ways to add texture, sheen and visual appeal. The table below summarises some of the common finishes for hooks.

Metal Finishes



Brushed metal finishes feature a smooth yet textured effect, often with a matte or satin appearance. As a result of their softer look, brushed or matte finishes are typically used for antique and vintage styled hooks, as well as more contemporary designs. Brushed finishes are found on nickel, steel, aluminium, and other metal hooks.


Polished metal surfaces are shiny, creating an elegant and brilliant appearance. In order to maintain their sheen, polished hooks may require some care depending on the material, including rubbing a metal polish on the hook from time to time. Polished finishes are common on brass, bronze, stainless steel, chrome, and other metal hooks.

Metal Plated

Metal plated hooks are treated in a chemical bath to coat the surface. For example, a thin layer of metal, such as chrome or nickel, is added to a hook made from steel or zinc die-cast. Metal platted hooks are durable and resistant to corrosion. They also have a refined and attractive appearance.


Brass and bronze hooks with an oil-rubbed bronze finish provides a rich and dark look. This sophisticated finish is created using a lacquer and protective seal.

Wood and Metal Finishes



Paint can be used to add colour to a wooden or metal hook. Painted hooks evoke a range of emotions and achieve various design objectives. For example, they can be playful with vibrant tones or elegant with subtle tones, such as black and white.

Wood Finishes



Varnish is used on wooden surfaces to add sheen, including a subtle matte finish or a shiny semi-gloss and gloss finish. Varnish is also used to protect the wood from scratches, stains, and water.


Natural wax such as beeswax and carnauba is used to seal and protect wood, as well as enhance their appearance by adding a sheen or luster. Unlike a varnish, wax is not water or heat resistant.


Oil finished hooks are coated with natural or blended oils that seal and protect the wood. Oils enhance the wood’s appearance by creating a matte or satin and semi-gloss or glossy surface.

Type of Installation Mechanism

The manner in which a hook is mounted on a wall depends on its design, as well as the recommended weight and size a hook is designed to hold. If buying a used hook, verify that any fastening or mounting mechanism, as well as screws, are not worn or damaged. A hook with a damaged or cracked mounting mechanism or worn screws may not be properly secured on a wall or door, and may not be able to effectively hold articles hung from it.



Built-in Screw

Often found on small one-prong hooks, built-in screws are used to fasten and tighten the hook into place. This type of hook is often ideal for hanging small items, such as a mug or measuring cups.


Hooks with built-in fasteners can be pressed and secured into place against a panel, wall, or door. This type of hook is best for hanging light items, such as a photograph or painting.


Most hooks are fastened using mounting hardware, such as two or more screws. These hooks have holes where screws are fitted through in order to fasten the hook to a surface, and typically accommodate heavier items compared to hooks with a built-in screw or fastening mechanisms.


Much more than a useful storage tool and solution, hooks can help define a space and add to a room’s character. They are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, wood and, more commonly, metal and metal alloys, and finishes are used to add aesthetic appeal. Many times a hook’s finish and design, including its curvature, reflect contemporary or traditional styles. Traditional hooks often feature pronounced curved-tips and elegant polished finishes, while antique hooks incorporate heritage elements and weathered finishes. By comparison, contemporary or modern hooks have subtle curvatures and straight designs that offer a refined and sophisticated look.

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