Hook and Eye Clasps have a round ‘eye’ for one half and a ‘hook’ for the other, as the name suggests. Sometimes the hook can be more of an ‘S’ shape, making it a little more secure as a fastening and creating a different design dynamic.
Pros: hook and eye clasps are incredibly easy to fasten and, because they involve no ‘mechanics’ there is very little danger of breaking. They are widely available and can come in simple or more ornate designs, so that gives some flexibility from a design perspective. I like to try and incorporate the style of clasp into my designs. For example, I designed a necklace based around the theme of ‘Wine O’Clock’ and found a lovely clasp with a grapevine theme. It suited the project perfectly!
Cons: as with the other varieties of clasp, always buy the best that you can afford – I have made the mistake of thinking I would save on the cost and then found that the hook snapped in half on a cheap hook and eye clasp, much to the distress of the unlucky owner of the necklace I had made, and to my own embarrassment! There is nothing to hold the hook through the eye, so if the jewellery moves or catches (especially bracelets) as it is being worn, it is possible for the hook to just fall out of the eye. This is less likely to be a problem with a necklace where the weight of the beads will hopefully ensure that the hook is pulled firmly down in the eye.
If you want to find out more about when hook and eye clasps are a good idea to use, or when you might consider a different type of clasp, I have actually published a book on clasps. Although my focus was on making beaded clasps, I talk a lot about the different varieties of shop-bought clasps, including hook and eye clasps, and how to choose the best clasp for your project.