Japanese Needle and Hook Size Conversions

Introduction

In Japan, as with the rest of the world, crafters typically use needles (棒針, bouhari) for knitting and hooks (かぎ針, kagibari) for crochet.

In a Japanese knit/crochet pattern, the needle/hook section is often designated with one of the following:
用具 (yougu, tools)
(hari, needle/hook)

Examples of needle/hook sizes:

  • Straight knitting needles: 針5号
  • Circular knitting needles: 針4号
  • Jumbo straight knitting needles: 棒針ジャンボ8ミリ
  • Crochet hook: かぎ針3/0号
  • Jumbo crochet hook: かぎジャンボ12ミリ or occasionally かぎJ12ミリ
  • Crochet lace/steel hook: レース針2号
  • Tunisian crochet hook: アフガン針8号

In US standard sizes, a size X needle and a size X hook would be the same, e.g. a US 6 needle and a US G-6 hook are both 4.0 mm in diameter. However, this is not the case with Japanese needle and hook sizes, e.g. a JPN 6 needle = 3.9 mm, a JPN 6/0 hook = 3.5 mm, and a JPN lace 6 hook = 1.00 mm. Both needle and hook chart conversions are listed below. Japanese needle sizes do not always have an exact equivalent in standard US sizes, in which case the closest size is listed.

Knitting Needle and Tunisian Crochet Hook Sizes – Standard

JPN needle size (号) US needle equivalent
0 2.1 mm 0 2.0 mm
1 2.4 mm 2.5 mm
2 2.7 mm 2 2.75 mm
3 3.0 mm 3.0 mm
4 3.3 mm 3 3.25 mm
5 3.6 mm 4 or 5 3.5 or 3.75 mm
6 3.9 mm 6 4.0 mm
7 4.2 mm 6 or 7 4.0 or 4.5 mm
8 4.5 mm 7 4.5 mm
9 4.8 mm 7 or 8 4.5 or 5.0 mm
10 5.1 mm 8 5.0 mm
11 5.4 mm 9 5.5 mm
12 5.7 mm 9 or 10 5.5 or 6.0 mm
13 6.0 mm 10 6.0 mm
14 6.3 mm 10 or 10½ 6.0 or 6.5 mm
15 6.6 mm 10½ 6.5 mm

Knitting Needle Sizes – Jumbo

JPN needle size (ミリ) US needle equivalent
7 7 mm 10½ 6.5 mm
8 8 mm 11 8 mm
9 9 mm 13 9 mm
10 10 mm 15 10 mm
12 12 mm 17 12.75 mm
15 15 mm 19 15 mm
20 20 mm 35 19 mm
25 25 mm 50 25 mm
30 30 mm

Crochet Hook Sizes – Standard

JPN standard hook size (号) US standard hook equivalent
2/0 2.0 mm A-0 (or 4 steel) 2.0 mm
3/0 2.3 mm B-1 (or 2 steel) 2.25 mm
4/0 2.5 mm B-1 or C-2 2.25 or 2.75 mm
5/0 3.0 mm C-2 or D-3 2.75 or 3.25 mm
6/0 3.5 mm E-4 (or 00 steel) 3.5 mm
7/0 4.0 mm G-6 4.0 mm
7.5/0 4.5 mm
8/0 5.0 mm H-8 5.0 mm
10/0 6.0 mm J-10 6.0 mm

Crochet Hook Sizes – Jumbo

JPN jumbo hook size (ミリ) US standard hook equivalent
7 7 mm K-10½ 6.50 mm
8 8 mm L-11 8.00 mm
9 9 mm M/N-13 9.00 mm
10 10 mm N/P-15 10.00 mm
15 15 mm P/Q or Q 15 or 16 mm
20 20 mm S 19 mm

Crochet Hook Sizes – Lace and Steel

JPN lace hook size (号) US steel hook equivalent
0 1.75 mm 6 1.80 mm
2 1.50 mm 8 1.50 mm
4 1.25 mm 10 1.30 mm
6 1.00 mm 12 1.00 mm
8 0.90 mm 13 0.85 mm
10 0.75 mm 14 0.75 mm
12 0.60 mm
14 0.50 mm

Edited 06-05-2011 to add straight/circular needle types, and jumbo needle and hook sizes

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7 Responses to Japanese Needle and Hook Size Conversions

  1. mtdish says:

    Thanks for the info – it’s actually hard to come by!

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you so much! I have been looking for this info for days! Can you help with Japanese yarn weights? I live in Japan, but am trying to use U.S. patterns. I have a hard time knowing what kind of Japanese yarn is appropriate for the yarn weights (i.e. worsted, bulky) listed in my patterns. Thanks!

  3. Farah says:

    thank you for your complete needle size conversion ^_^

  4. janine says:

    Thanks so much for this information! It’s so helpful! Thanks thanks thanks!!! :D

  5. Pingback: Osito y patrón | Tricotoseando

  6. Cristina says:

    Thank you for the valuable and rare information that you have posted
    Please tell me if the Tunisian crochet hook Japanese sizes are the same as Crochet Hook Sizes – Standard
    Thank you :)

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