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Question: "Which grip is best when deadlifting and why?"
The best grip to use for deadlift depends on a couple of factors. First, if you have big enough hands, I would say that a double overhand hook grip is the best grip because it is very secure (i.e. will rarely, if ever, fail), protects the biceps because neither hand/arm is underhand, and also allows the lifter to be more symmetrical. When using a mixed or staggered grip (i.e. one hand over and one hand under) there is a slight rotational force that acts on the back and hips. If this is done a lot over time, it can result in muscle or joint imbalances, which can lead to injuries or decreased performance. If your hands are too small to use a hook grip, then I would suggest you use a mixed or stagger grip with one hand griping the bar overhand and one hand gripping the bar underhand. The bar will then roll in opposite directions into the hands, allowing for a secure and strong grip. Below is a video demonstrating the double overhand hook grip.
-Bryan Dermody, Powerlifter/Strength Athlete