Yes, you can make a v-thread hook yourself out of a spare coat hanger. Go for it, McGyver. Just don’t come whining to me when it straightens out on you three pitches up your worst frozen nightmare. Or you can buy a Camp Joker v-thread tool for the cost of a six-pack of good beer.
The Joker is an improvement over other abalakov hooks because it has a rigid stem instead of a flexible one. Also, the hook itself is nice and beefy so you can really crank on it. I usually run the rope itself through the v-thread rather than using cordelette, and I’ve had other hooks straighten out on me under the increased force required to snag a 10mm line. The Joker had no problem at all.
The hook was not very sharp from the factory, but a few seconds with a file solved that. A handy coil at the end clips into a ‘biner and you’re good to go.