Get a Grip: A Basic Guide on How to Properly Hold Chopsticks

how to properly hold chopsticks

Have you been practicing your chopsticks skills but still can’t seem to get your hold right? Well, whether you hate it or love it, chopsticks are here to stay. Still, don’t let your frustration stop you from getting that practice in! Grab your chopsticks, clean your hands, and be ready to take down notes because, for today’s blog post, we’ll be having a quick review of the basics on how to properly hold chopsticks!

STEP ONE: Position your Chopsticks Properly!


In order to learn how to properly hold chopsticks, proper positioning must be learned! Firstly, find your dominant hand and place one of the chopsticks in the space between your index finger and your thumb. Make sure that it fits snugly in that space and that it does not wobble since the first chopstick should always stay stationary.

Remember, the tapered end is the end that touches the food and should point outwards towards the food!  Also, only allow half-an-inch or an inch of the chopstick’s thicker end to stick out from this sandwich space!

Secondly, rest the long end of the first chopstick on the uppermost portion of your ring finger. Doing this will further make the chopstick more stable. This does mean that you won’t be moving both your ring finger and pinky finger but that’s what’s supposed to happen!

Thirdly, add the second chopstick to your hand. This one needs to be placed in between your middle and index finger and gripped like a pencil. The long end needs to rest on and be supported by the middle finger while your index finger controls it from above. Your thumb must also support it from its side. This piece is the one that moves during your meal so make sure that you’ve got a good grip on it!

STEP TWO: Adjust! Adjust! Adjust!

disposable chopsticks

If your fingers feel comfortable in their new positions, now is a good time to work on your grip. It’s easier if your grip on the chopsticks is a bit loose and too tight as gripping them too tightly will make it harder for you to move both your fingers and chopsticks.  Make sure that the ends of your chopsticks are even and are pointing in the same direction! Having uneven chopsticks makes it harder to control and to use!

STEP THREE: Hold! Move! And Practice!
how to properly hold chopsticks

Moving your chopsticks is simple! Practice moving your second chopstick up and down until you are able to do it comfortably. If the movement reminds you of a pair of scissors or of pincers, then you’re on the right track!
Now that your hold and position are all-set, try practicing with food! While it’s not good to play with your food, when you’re trying to get the hang of holding chopsticks properly, you might need to break that rule!  You’ll find that you might need to adjust your hold and grip depending on the weight and size of the foodstuff that you’re trying to pick up, so variety is good! Start with small things and work up to bigger pieces or even different textures.

If you feel confident enough and are ready to eat at an Asian restaurant, just remember to never use spear your foods through with your chopsticks, to never move dishes using your chopsticks, to never pass food from your chopsticks to another, and to never stick them down vertically on your dish after you eat! Once you got everything down and can pick things up with ease, you’re well on your way to getting more satisfaction from your Friday night outs with your friends!

If you want to practice your newly gained chopsticks skills and have your own Asian food trip, you can try to check out our highly-praised chopsticks at the Panda Prime store!

Since you’re interested in chopsticks, you may also like our other blog posts (links found below):

  1. Your Basic Guide on How to Use Chopsticks for Beginners!
  2. Chinese Versus Japanese Chopsticks: What’s the Difference?


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