How to Hold Chopsticks: 5 Steps to Use Chopsticks Properly!

Aren't most of us unsure of how to hold chopsticks properly?

Yes, most of us might have to agree to this. Chopsticks are a staple in the cuisine of many cultures. In fact, over 260 million people in China and Southeast Asia use chopsticks on a daily basis. But using chopsticks improperly can give you an awkward grip and make the food slip right out of your hands. Yes, the chopsticks indeed can be tricky for people who are not used to eating with them. However, it only takes a little practice and patience to understand how to use chopsticks, and then you will be able to eat at full speed with them!

The most common way to hold chopsticks is to place one on the top of the other, with the tips pointing towards yourself. This technique can be challenging for many people due to how it requires you to use your hands exclusively. In order to make things easier for you, here are some helpful steps.

So, let us get straight into a step-wise guide on how to hold chopsticks properly. These 5 steps, along with some patience and practice, will help you ace eating with chopsticks.

How to Hold Chopsticks Properly in 5 Simple Steps?

Step 1: Place the first chopstick between pointer finger and your thumb and balance it on your ring finger

If you've ever tried to pick up a single piece of rice with chopsticks, you know how frustrating it can be. You can either end up with rice all over your plate, or the food slips out the sides. Prior to learning how to use chopsticks properly, choosing the right chopsticks is also an important step when starting to use them because they can make or break your dinner experience. After you have got the right pair of chopsticks and chopsticks rest, start learning already. The first chopstick should go between your pointer finger and your thumb and balance on your ring finger. This will be the base that holds the other chopstick in place.

Step 2: Place second chopstick between pointer finger and your thumb and rest second chopstick on the middle finger

Place second chopstick between pointer finger and your thumb and rest second chopstick on the middle finger

Certainly, one chopstick isn't enough to eat with chopsticks. You actually need a pair of them. Therefore, now you ought to place the other or second chopstick within the same hand you have placed the first one. Also, you can't just hold it somewhere between your fingers and eat with your chopsticks properly. Instead, you have to place this chopstick between pointer finger and thumb and then rest it on the top of the middle finger. Keep both chopsticks together, but not touching one another, until they are against the food that you want to pick up. It's a little tricky, but with a bit of trial and error, you'll be able to ace it like a pro.

Step 3: Use your thumb finger, pointer finger, and middle finger to firmly grasp the chopstick

Confused about how to hold chopsticks? When using a pair of chopsticks, use your thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger to firmly grasp the second chopstick. This will help ensure that the sushi or any other food item does not slip off of the chopstick while you are eating it. Place your fingers close together at the bottom of the chopstick closest to you. Therefore, with the chopsticks in one hand, grasp second chopstick with your other hand's thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. Holding the first chopstick in your dominant hand, use it as a guide to help you pick up and move food with the second stick.

Step 4: Use index and middle fingers to do all lifting with the second chopstick

Eating with chopsticks is an art, especially in Japanese table settings, Whereas most people are inept at using it. The most common mistake people make is using their thumb and first finger to do the work of the second chopstick. However, this will lead to injury or frustration. A better way to hold your chopsticks is with the index and middle fingers extended on either side of the stick, which will allow you to use both hands more freely. Therefore, when picking up food with chopsticks, always use your index finger and thumb on the first chopstick and the middle finger on the second.

Step 5: Use index and middle fingers to close chopsticks to pick food

Use index and middle fingers to close chopsticks to pick food

When eating with chopsticks, it is important to close them so that your fingers do not touch the food. This will help to prevent the spread of germs that can cause illness. The most important factor to consider when using chopsticks is how to close them. One way to close them is by using your index and middle fingers. With your index and middle fingers, hold the chopsticks as you’d hold a pencil. Using these two fingers, pinch the top of the chopstick shaft until it snaps closed, then open your fingers back up slightly to release the pressure from the joint.

Always use index and middle fingers to close chopsticks to pick food. There are many ways of holding chopsticks, but the easiest way is to use index and middle fingers to close the chopsticks together. Next, use your thumb on the other side to stabilize them while using your index finger to point outwards.


A healthy lifestyle starts with healthy habits. One of the most important habits is eating healthy foods, but eating well doesn't stop at food! Get sleek and durable chopsticks from Table Matters and learn the proper etiquette for holding chopsticks to ensure you can enjoy your meal without any hassle.

Remember healthy eating starts with good manners! Hold them like pencils, not like toothpicks. Therefore, it is essential to get comfortable with using chopsticks before diving into Japanese cuisine. Besides holding it right there's some etiquette you need to learn. Our Japanese chopstick etiquette guide will help you to master it.

We hope the step-wise guide mentioned has got you covered on how to hold chopsticks properly to eat food. In today's world, it is almost impossible not to have a set of those handy sticks that we use for everything from eating meals to cooking. By using chopsticks properly, it can really make a difference in the enjoyment of whatever you're consuming.

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