What is normal palmar pinch strength?

What is normal palmar pinch strength?
What is normal palmar pinch strength?

What is normal palmar pinch grip is a common question we get as physical therapists.

Measurement of pinch strength is an important parameters to determine hand function.

Researchers often conduct studies and establish reference ranges to determine what might be considered “normal” for a specific population.

These ranges can help assess an individual’s pinch strength compared to their peers.

What is palmar pinch strength?

Tip, Key, and Palmar pinch are the three types of pinch strengths. Workers frequently use a combination of these pinch grips with various force levels in the workplace.

In this blog, we will discuss palmar pinch strength.

Palmar Pinch

  • A palmar pinch is also known as a three-jaw chuck pinch or pad-to-side pinch.
    • This type of grip involves holding an object using the thumb pad (the fleshy area at the base of the thumb) and the side of the index finger, with the other fingers providing support.
    • This grip resembles a three-jawed chuck, with the thumb and the side of the index finger acting as opposing jaws that secure the object in place.
    • Palmar pinches are often used when grasping objects that are larger than what can be held with a tip or key pinch but still require precision and control.
    • For example, holding a pen or pencil would typically involve a palmar pinch, as it allows for stability and fine motor coordination.
    • This grip can be particularly useful in activities that require writing, drawing, or manipulating tools where a secure yet precise hold on the object is necessary.
Average Palmar Pinch Strength
Average Palmar Pinch Strength

Interpretation of the research

Palmar pinch strength, which measures the force exerted by the thumb and fingers, can vary widely among individuals.

Achieving an appropriate pinch grip necessitates the ability to accurately coordinate the fingers through a combination of sensation and force control.

Normal palmar pinch strength depends on factors such as age, gender, and overall health. Research results can vary from study to study.

Overall, palmar pinch strength tends to decrease with age and may differ between males and females.

Here are some general values to take out of the research.

  • Palmar (Three-Jaw Chuck Pinch or Pad-to-Side Pinch):
    • Normal range: 20-30 pounds of force.


Physical therapists can discuss health exercise programs for you but more specifically, we can help if you have a weak or painful grip. A systematic approach of proper testing to determine impairments, then manual therapy and muscular re-training is usually necessary to get better.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team in musculoskeletal conditions to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Grip Strength Program.  This includes manual therapy and exercises to improve finger and hand mobility and wrist stability. The primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying muscular imbalance issues and strength deficits causing impaired grip.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!