*Last Updated: May 2024

The 5 Best Pinch Gauges

Pinch Gauges

Pinch gauges are designed to measure pinch strength in an accurate, convenient and repeatable way.

The pinch gauges below, whether they are mechanical, hydraulic or digital, are all equipped to measure tip, key and palmar pinch tests and provide pound and kilogram readouts consistent with the published Mathiowetz studies. 


One Of Our Favorites: The Jamar Digital Pinch Gauge

There are a bunch of quality pinch gauges on the market today- let's take a look at them and see how they compare.

Pinch Gauges Compared

Pinch GaugesPriceDimensionsWeight
Baseline Pinch Gauge$6 x 4 x 2 inches1.1 lbs
Jamar Hydraulic Pinch Gauge$N/A1 lbs
Jamar Digital Pinch Gauge$$10 x 5 x 2 inches5 oz
50-lb-pinch-gauge-8981-health-care-physical-therapy-equipment-rehab-aids-and-strength-testing-8The Health Care 50 Lb Pinch Gauge$$$N/A4 oz
bulb pinch gaugeThe Pneumatic Pinch Gauge & Dynamometer - 12-0297$6 x 10 x 14 inches3 lbs

How to measure pinch strength

A pinch meter gauge is an effective means of measuring an individual's pinch strength. This test is generally provided by a physical therapist or physician that will have the patient pinch as hard as they can on a pinch gauge.

Typically there will be three different trials with resting in between. The patient scores on these three trials will be recorded and then averaged. There are three different types of pinch that are assessed: the lateral pinch, the three point pinch, and the two point pinch.

Pinch strength gauges are part of a category of grip strength instruments. There are four different types of grip strength devices: the vigorimeter, the dynamometer, the sphygmomanometer, and the computerized Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment.

Hand grip strength assessments and tools

Hand strength, and as a subcategory, pinch strength, refers to the hands' ability to perform different tasks like pinching and gripping effectively. Finger flexion is a common means of assessing an individuals hand strength.

Many times, people will wish to improve their hand strength and they can find the various exercises are available to enhance the musculature of the hands. On the other hand, no pun intended, people will often become interested in hand and pinch strength only after they have suffered an injury that has debilitated their hands to some degree and made them weaker.

Physicians, physical therapists and other medical professionals will assess the patient's hand by having them perform different hand muscle tests of strengths either manually or by use of a machine like a dynamometer. Medical professionals will evaluate the results of these exams to determine whether an individual is suffering from a hand injury or disability.

Grading hand weakness

Typically these injuries are assigned grades-and these grades sorted on a clinical assessment scale will run from 1 to 10. A 10 score will indicate the worst possible outcome and truly debilitated muscle functionality.

For example, a light case of carpal tunnel syndrome would be assessed something like a two score on the scale-because it is a neuromuscular disability that is often mild in many cases. On the other hand, if a patient is assigned a grade of 9 or 10 it is likely that they are a quadriplegic.

These different scores can be assessed by a variety of different devices that a patient will pinch grip. Crushing strength refers to grip strength and is an indication of how much force an individual's hand can generate when it is trying to contract from an open palm into a closed fist. Sometimes manual tests are also effective- a physical therapist can get a lot of insight just by manipulating a person's hands by bending their palms, having them hold objects between the fingers and thumb, as well as carefully flexing their wrists.

How the hand works

Treating hand injuries

If a person needs to strengthen their hands, there are a variety of different strength enhancement is on the market that can be used to accomplish that physical therapy purpose. Stress balls and rubber bands placed between the fingers can help.

As well, maintaining strong blood flow throughout the hands is another key method of preserving their hand functionality.

Contrast baths also work well after a strenuous strength and grip training workout. These training methodologies should always be conducted by a trained physical therapist or physician. 

Final thoughts

If you're looking to purchase a pinch gauge for your professional practice, take a look at some of the options we outlined the comparison table above. They are all strong options to consider-make sure you check out their product pages to read up on warranty information and what other consumers are saying about them.

The Top 5 Team

We are a team of product researchers that specializes in assembling comprehensive buying guides. Our team has a variety of backgrounds, with a mixture of soft and hard sciences represented. Check out our About page to read more about our reviews and editorial process.

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