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Have you noticed that your grip strength is a major limiting factor to how much weight you can lift, especially in pulling exercises?
This happens because our bodies are developed in a way that allows us to pull a lot more weight than your grip can handle. However, you can still use a hand strengthener to boost your gripping abilities.
So what is the best hand grip strengthener out there? The best grip strengthener is the IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper. IronMind is the go-to brand for competitive grip athletes because of its unmatched standardization. It also won’t break down over time, and comes in many sizes, so you can increase your resistance as you get stronger.
Even though most people only think of barbells, plates, and dumbbells when they think of exercise equipment, hand grips are a beneficial tool to add to your collection. However, different types of grip strengtheners are available, so you need to know which one will work best for you.
In today’s article, I’ll provide you with an in-depth review of the best hand strengtheners on the market and how to improve your grip strength.
How We Determined the Best Grip Strengthener
As athletes and coaches ourselves, we know how much of a role grip strength plays when lifting heavy weight. We’ve used multiple grip trainers throughout the years to help in both training and competition.
To come up with the below list of the best grip strengtheners, we considered grip strengtheners we already use and bought new products that we tested over several weeks.
We evaluated features like the materials, construction quality, durability, and versatility. We also considered how applicable they are to athletes in multiple sports and non-athletes who want to develop a stronger grip.
Top 7 Hand Strengtheners Available on the Market for 2023
The 7 best hand grip strengtheners are:
|Product||Rating||Materials||Adjustable Resistance?||Trains Individual Fingers?|
|IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper||5/5||Aluminum, alloy steel||No||No|
|Twist Yo’ Wrist||4.7/5||Polymer||Yes||No|
|FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Kit||4.2/5||Silicone, plastic||Yes||Yes (has separate tools for individual finger training)|
|BBTO Finger Strengthener||4/5||Plastic||No||Yes|
|Pnrskter Hand Grip Strengthener||3/5||Silicone||No||No|
|Rogue Anvil Grip||4.6/5||Solid steel||Yes||No|
|Hub-Style Pinch Gripper||4.4/5||Solid steel with a crinkle finish||Yes||No|
- Extremely durable springs that won’t soften with time
- Available in a variety of resistance levels for everyone
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Requires you to buy multiple sizes to have a complete set
When it comes to hand grips, there’s almost nothing more iconic and widely used than Captain of Crush Hand Grippers from IronMind, which is why they’re at the top of the list of best grip strengtheners. These hand grips deserve the popularity they enjoy, as they’re the best hand gripper to work your general grip strength.
These grip strengtheners took the world by storm when they were first released in 1995. The grips are made with high-quality materials, such as the aircraft-grade billet aluminum used for the grips and the ultra-durable alloy-steel GR8 springs.
The quality of the springs ensures highly consistent performance, as the springs won’t break in or become softer with time, which is the key feature of the Captain of Crush quality.
You should know that these grip strengtheners belong to the fixed type – they’re not adjustable hand grippers. However, they’re available in different sizes, which provide up to 10 different strength levels.
In other words, if you’re going for this hand grip strengthener, you’ll need to buy multiple sizes with strength levels. Here are my recommendations on what to get:
- Beginner or Women's Set: Guide (60 lbs), Sport (80 lbs), and Trainer (100 lbs)
- Men’s Set: CoC 1 (140 lbs), CoC 1.5 (167.5 lbs), and CoC 2 (195 lbs)
- Advanced Set: CoC 1 (140 lbs ), CoC 1.5 (167.5 lbs), CoC 2 (195 lbs), and CoC 2.5 (237.5 lbs)
- King Kong Set: get one of Every CoC Grip
Also, a tool is only as good as knowing how to use it properly. That’s why I recommend that you pick up the Captains of Crush Grippers 2nd Edition Book too along with your hand strengtheners.
This book will provide you with everything you need to know about these grips as well as guiding you through a step by step program for improving your grip strength using CoC grips!
- Comes ready with all the needed accessories
- Trains wrists and forearms too
- Works on the eccentric and concentric twist strength
- A bit pricey
If you’re looking for a more complete hand-strengthening tool that will also work on your wrist and forearm strength, you might want to check this one out.
The Twist Yo’ Wrist is one of the most advanced grip exercise tools that are also made by IronMind. This means that you should expect IronMind’s level of quality and attention to detail to be present in this item.
This grip trainer works using a roller that’s 4 inches in diameter. The roller is attached to a climbing-grade accessory cord and ends with a weight plate that’s attached using a small snap clip. In addition to the weight plate, you may use this device with a loading pin.
You use the roller in a radial motion, exactly as if you’re opening a jar. The weight added to the device controls the amount of resistance of the Twist Yo’ Wrist grip strengthener.
The tool works by ulnar and radial flexion to work the fingers, wrists, and forearms muscles.
- Ideal for buyers on a budget
- The kit includes different tools to trains various parts of the hand
- Available in a variety of color options
- Not as durable as other options
The FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Kit is a full bundle that’s composed of 5 different tools, allowing you to train various parts of the hand.
The greatest highlight here is that this grip trainer kit is remarkably inexpensive, making it a great purchase for someone on a budget and saving you the hassle of buying each of these grip strengtheners separately.
The kit features an adjustable hand grip strengthener, fingers stretcher resistance band, finger exerciser, a grip ring, and a stress relief ball.
The kit comes in a variety of colors to suit various tastes and offers a wide range of resistance levels, starting from 22 lbs and up to 132 lbs.
This means that it’s good for beginners and intermediate-level training, as it doesn’t offer 150+ lbs resistance like IronMind’s CoC grips.
Moreover, while they’re great for basic training, don’t expect them to last for a long time, as the hand tightener adjustment bolt will lose its tension over the course of long-term use.
- Specifically designed for training individual finger strength
- The package comes with various resistance levels
- Improve finger dexterity for musicians too
- The spring will rust if it gets wet
If you’re all about training your pinch grip, you’ll need a gripper trainer that trains your individual fingers rather than the entire crushing grip or wrists.
This becomes increasingly important for climbers and physical therapists. In addition to having a firm grasp on the barbell, it’s also crucial for the dexterity and precision of the fingers for precision, such as musicians.
The BBTO finger strengthener is the best hand grip strengthener for training individual fingers. It’s a kit of 4 different finger exercisers that are coded with various colors according to their resistance levels.
The lightest to toughest finger exerciser will give you a range of 2 kg (2.65lbs) to 5 kg (11 lbs) per finger. This is suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
The finger exercisers are easy to clean. However, you can only use a dry cloth for the job because the steel springs will rust after they come in contact with water. This also means that they’re not ideal for excessively sweaty hands.
- An excellent choice for an entry-level athlete
- Come in various resistance levels of an extended range of usability
- Safe to clean with soapy water
- Features a 1.5 years warranty
- The bands might rapture with time
If you’re a beginner, especially in lifting, the limitation of your grip power might not impact you as much as intermediate and advanced lifters. That’s why you might not need advanced hand strengtheners with very high resistance.
In that case, finger extender resistance bands and grip rings might be more than enough for you as you start grip training.
The Pnrskter hand grip strengthener comes in a kit of 3 x 2 pieces of both these tools with various resistance levels, spanning from 30 to 50 lbs. The low resistance levels make it the best hand exerciser for beginners.
The grip trainers are made of premium silicone, which lasts for a long time and won’t make your fingers sore with time.
The pack is well-priced and color-coded for easier identification. Moreover, the package comes with an 18-month warranty for a worry-free purchase.
- Unique design
- Trains crushing grip to theoretically unlimited resistance levels
- Eligible for the 2020 Rogue Record Breakers Men and Women Qualifiers
- The necessary Rogue Loading Pin is sold separately
If you’re looking for a unique way to strengthen your hand, here’s one to keep in mind! The Rogue Anvil Grip is a cone-shaped grip strengthener that is designed by Rogue and made of solid steel.
The cone measures about 13.5 inches in length and ends with an eyebolt at the base. To use the anvil, you’ll need to use a steel carabiner to connect it to a loading pin with your desired amount of weight.
Using this versatile grip strengthener, you can do reps or hold it for some time to train grip endurance.
The anvil weighs 12.33 lbs alone and goes up to 17.58 lbs with the attached loading pin. Unfortunately, the 12-inch loading pin that’s necessary for this device to work is sold separately.
The anvil is available in steel and black finishes. Rogue inspired the idea of the anvil grip from traditional Strongman attempts at lifting blacksmith anvils.
In fact, Rogue even organizes the 2020 Rogue Record Breakers Qualifier, which is a competition for both men and women to break world records while lifting the Rogue Anvil Grip.
If you participate in Strongman/Strongwoman competitions, the anvil grip is the best grip strengthener you can buy to improve your grip.
- Excellent tool for advanced pinch grip strength training
- Allow you to adjust the load according to weight plates
- Portable and easy to use
- Doesn’t come with a loading pin, chains, or a carabiner
Lastly, another product by Rogue Fitness that you can use to improve your grip strength is the Hub-Style pinch gripper.
As the name suggests, this tool is specifically designed to enhance your pinch grip strength. This makes it exceptionally ideal for climbers, which rely heavily on the strength of their thumbs and fingers to pinch on small climbing rocks and pins.
The pinch gripper is 2-7/8 inches in diameter and has a textured crinkle finish. To use it, you’ll need to attach it using chains and a carabiner to Rogue’s 12 inches loading pin. You can add the weight plates to the pin to adjust the resistance level while lifting.
However, similar to the previous model, this one also doesn’t come with the necessary accessories to use the device, such as the loading pin, the chains, or the carabiner. So you have to also buy them separately.
Are Hand Strengtheners Worth It?
Hand strengtheners will provide you with a wide range of benefits, whether you're a weightlifter, climber, or an athlete with weak hands in general. Here are some of the best benefits you’ll get from having one:
Boost Grip Strength for Deadlifts
One of the keys to maximizing your deadlift grip is by having a strong squeeze on the barbell. It’s also essential to be able to keep the bar as close to your body as possible while lifting to avoid shifting the weight forward and losing your balance.
Using a hand strengthener will allow you to gain enough grip power to keep the barbell secure and never fail a deadlift because of grip again. It can also help you better pull off a mixed grip deadlift, which is one of the best techniques for lifting.
Related Article: 6 Fat Gripz Alternatives (That Will Save You Money)
Eliminates the Need for Straps and Hooks While Lifting
A lot of people with weak hands will opt for deadlift straps and hooks to help them keep their firm grasp on the barbell while lifting.
The problem is, once you use these tools extensively without properly strengthening your grip strength to make your maximum pull load, you create a state of over-reliance that will widen the gap between your pull power and grip power.
A lot of people with weak hand muscles will opt for deadlift straps and hooks to help them keep their firm grasp on the barbell while lifting.
The problem is, once you use these tools extensively without properly strengthening your grip to make your maximum pull load, you create a state of over-reliance that will widen the gap between your pull power and grip power.
Essential for a Wide Variety of Activities and Sports
Having a strong grip isn’t only essential for lifting, but also for a lot of activities and sports. For example, climbing requires a strong pinch grip for stability.
Even sports like golf and baseball will rely on a strong grip too. That’s why hand strengtheners are crucial for any athlete with weak hand or forearm muscles in general.
Improves Dexterity and Hand Accuracy
Hand strengtheners also improve the neurological functions of the hand. In other words, they’re great for improving the stability and dexterity of the hands.
Whether you’re a physical therapist or you practice darting or shooting, using a hand strengthener, especially finger-specific ones, may improve your accuracy significantly.
Enhances Forearm Muscularity
Although hand strengtheners are more likely to enhance the gripping power, they also add more muscles to the forearms. In addition to looking good, stronger forearm muscles can help improve your bench press.
In fact, the best hand grippers on the market will give you significantly great results when it comes to building forearm muscles, such as IronMind’s Twist Yo’ Wrist.
Prevent Injuries due to Weak Grips
Weak grips won’t only hinder your progress, but it can also cause you some serious injuries. Having a strong grip will prevent you from contracting such injuries.
Also, a lot of doctors will recommend that you use a hand strengthener to gradually recover from such injuries.
Types of Grip Strength
There are 3 different types of grip strength. Each of them is important for some activities, so let’s have a brief overview of each and the ideal type of hand straighteners to improve them.
The Crush Grip
The crush grip is the standard type of grip that comes to your mind when you think of grip power.
The grip between your palm and finger dictates how much you can squeeze on the barbell during lifts or crush things with your fists, hence the name.The ideal hand strengthener for this type of grip is a coil strengthener or crush hand gripper, such as the IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Grippers. However, stress relief balls are also considered a simple type of crush hand gripper.
How effective are grippers in building hand and forearm strength? Check out my article on Will Gripers Build Forearm Strength?
The Pinch Grip
Pinch grippers dictate the ability of your thumb and fingers to grip on things without using the palms of your hands.
A grip strengthener that works the pinch grip will focus on strengthening the muscles of the fingers themselves. The most common pinch grip strengtheners are the finger stretcher resistance bands, finger spring exercisers, and grip rings that are made of silicone.
The Support Grip
Unlike the previous two, the support grip is more about the level of grip endurance rather than the squeeze itself.
This one depends mainly on how long can you hold on to your grip before it fails. One of the best grip strengtheners to train your support grip is Rogue’s Anvil Grip.
What To Look For When Buying a Hand Grip Strengthener
While shopping for a hand strengthener, there are some aspects that you need to keep in mind. To land the ideal pick for your needs. Let’s have a quick look at these points.
Different hand strengtheners come in various resistance levels. It’s critical that you pick the one suitable to your current gripping abilities and work your way up as you improve.
As a rule of thumb, those who are new to grip training will require a resistance level of about 25 to 30 lbs, while advanced lifters can go as high as 250 lbs.
Grip Design: Hand Strengthener vs. Finger Strengthener
There are different types of grip strengtheners out there that target different parts. You should choose the type of strengthener you need depending on the type of grip you want to improve. For instance:
- Coil strengtheners like IronMind CoC are great for the strength of the crushing grip
- Resistance bands and finger strengtheners like BBTO Finger Strengthener are ideal for working individual fingers
- Weighted grips like Rogue Anvil Grip can be held for some time to improve endurance (support grips)
The Range of Usability & Adjustability
Some grips are called “fixed grips” because they’re locked to a specific resistance level. They’re much more durable, but you’ll need to buy several ones of different resistance levels.
On the other hand, some are more useful because they provide adjustable resistance. However, an adjustable hand grip strengthener is often not as durable because the adjusting bolt comes loose with time.
Which Hand Strengthening Tool Is Best For You?
This depends mainly on the kind of training or activity you use your grip at. Also, it relies on the type of grip you want to strengthen.
Ideally, I’d recommended that you go for an all-around tool to strengthen all your grip types and keep them rounded up.
Want to know how often you can train your grip and forearms, check out my article Can Forearms Be Trained Every Day?
How To Train Your Grip and Hand Strength
The best way to train your grip is by using hand strengtheners consistently and avoid over-reliance on straps and hooks.
However, you can also apply various workouts and exercises to train your grip properly:
- Farmer’s walks
- Pull up hangs
- Plate pinches
- Sandbag deadlifts
- Plate curls
Check out my other forearm and grip guides:
- How To Use A Grip Strengthener
- How To Workout Forearms With Dumbbells
- How To Increase Forearm Size (Complete Guide)
How Fast Will Your Hand Strength Improve?
The answer to this question depends mainly on your level of dedication, your training frequency, as well as your current grip strength level.
Just like building muscles, the gains are usually much bigger in the beginning then the progress curve starts slowing down.
For example, if you’re a beginner with weak hands, you should expect results anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on how much time you exercise.
However, if you already have a strong grip and want to enhance your total gripping power, it might take up to 3 months before you notice any significant results.
Yet, it all comes down to various factors, such as genetics, the hand strengthener used, and following the right techniques.
That’s why I always recommend that you get a step-by-step guide for your tool, such as Captains of Crush Grippers 2nd Edition Book
Are Grip Strengtheners Any Good?
Grip strengtheners are good and help improve grip strength, which can help with deadlifts, pull-ups, and other pulling exercises. A grip strengthener is inexpensive, small, and easy to use, so buying one is no harm.
What is the Strongest Grip Strengthener?
The strongest grip strengthener is the IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper. This hand grip strengthener comes in multiple sizes with varying strength levels ranging from 60 lbs to 237.5 lbs.
How Often Should I Use Hand Grippers?
It’s best to use a hand gripper 2-3 times weekly. Ideally, use a hand grip strengthener on days when you aren’t doing a lot of pulling exercises, so your hands and forearms aren’t already fatigued. Perform anywhere from 3-4 sets of 5-20 reps. You can also hold them closed for 20-30 seconds.
Hand straighteners are critical not just for lifters, but also for climbers, musicians, therapists, and people with weak hands in general. They can also be used to prevent and rehabilitate the nerves in your hands.
If you’re looking for the overall best hand strengthener to go for, you should go for the IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper.
They’re unrivaled regarding durability and consistency, and remember to buy multiple grips that suit your grip strength.
However, if you’re looking for an adjustable tool to take your grip strength to a whole new level, you might want to consider the Rogue Anvil Grip.
This special anvil grip will give you a true test of grip strength. If you’re planning to get this one, make sure to include the 12-inch loading pin to your purchase, as it’s necessary for the anvil to function properly!