A hand grip dynamometer is a tool used to measure a person’s hand grip strength and ability. Although styles and manufacturers vary, there are three basic types of dynamometer, namely, a hydraulic gauge dynamometer, a pneumatic dynamometer, and Myogrip strain gauge dynamometer. Each of these dynamometers is used primarily in the health care industry to assist in evaluating and rehabilitating patients with regard to hand motion and strength.
One of the most common types of hydraulic dynamometers is called a JAMAR grip dynamometer. This instrument generally has a curved metal or plastic grip that a person holds in his or her hand and squeezes. The handle itself does not ordinarily move, but a hydraulic mechanism measures the pressure exerted by the grip, which is then displayed on a gauge located on the top of the instrument. Some models do not utilize a gauge but instead have a digital display. The JAMAR grip dynamometer is considered one of the most accurate and reliable models in the industry.
Another type of dynamometer is known as a pneumatic hand dynamometer. This type of grip dynamometer utilizes a rubber squeeze ball on the end of a tube. The patient squeezes the ball, and the force exerted is then measured by a gauge at the other end of the tube. There are models available that utilize digital displays for this type of grip dynamometer as well. The most commonly used pneumatic dynamometer is called a Martin vigorimeter and is relied upon by many health care facilities for its ease of use and accuracy.
The Myogrip dynamometer is a type of grip dynamometer that utilizes a strain gauge. This type of dynamometer is smaller than either the JAMAR or the Martin vigorimeter. It is also much more sensitive and is used primarily with patients who are frail, weak, or who otherwise have very poor grip strength.
Regardless of the type of grip dynamometer, most will measure grip strength up to 200 pounds (about 90 kg). Each dynamometer can be used in a number of ways to conduct a variety of different tests, each measuring a different ability. The most versatile grip dynamometer in this regard is the JAMAR, or hydraulic type dynamometer. While used primarily in the medical field, both the hydraulic and pneumatic type grip dynamometers are available to the general public and are used by people who are interested in measuring and increasing their grip strength for occupational or other reasons. Due to its nature, the Myogrip dynamometer is used almost exclusively in the health care industry.