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How to Hold Chopsticks

Updated on December 12, 2007

Growing up, we had a family rule when eating at any restaurant where chopsticks were available: no forks! So, I learned how to use chopsticks at a very early age. For a long time, however, I did not know how to hold them properly (you can find a lot of wrong - I prefer to say different- ways to hold them that work).

There is such a thing as chopstick etiquette, but you need to start out by learning how to use them.

Hold those chopsticks!
Hold those chopsticks!
Holding them closer to the end gives you a wider range of motion.
Holding them closer to the end gives you a wider range of motion.
The Easy Steps to Holding Chopsticks
The Easy Steps to Holding Chopsticks
Don't hold the chopsticks so close to the front.  See how it doesn't give you much range of motion?
Don't hold the chopsticks so close to the front. See how it doesn't give you much range of motion?
A Do & A Don't
A Do & A Don't

Let's Grab Those Chopsticks!

Here are the two basic steps to holding chopsticks:

  1. The upper chopstick is held with your index finger, middle finger, and thumb.
  2. Hold the bottom chopstick between the bottom of your thumb and the top of your ring finger.

Yes, it is as simple as that.

Now, you need to know how to use them. The bottom chopstick basically remains still. The top chopstick is the one you use to grab food.

The Chopsticks Dos and Donts


Do hold the chopsticks closer to the end.

Do wrap disposable chopsticks in the wrapper, folding it in half, when done.

Do set the chopsticks down in front of you with the tips pointing to the left when you aren't using them.

Do eat any kind of food you can with chopsticks.

Do go on the chopstick diet (think of the weight you will lose...until you figure out how to use those chopsticks to pick up cookies and pieces of ice cream...).


Don't hold the chopsticks near the tips.

Don't stab pieces of food with your chopsticks.

Don't play with chopsticks like they are swords (unless you are in the privacy of your own home).

Don't stick the chopsticks under your top lip and pretend you are a walrus (unless you are attempting to get a cranky two year to stop screaming and start laughing).

Don't hold other things in your hand while holding the chopsticks.

Don't eat off of communal plates with your chopsticks.

Don't use your chopsticks to pick up anything but food.

Don't stick the chopsticks up your nose.

Don't use chopsticks to scratch any part of your body.

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Do You Use Chopsticks?

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    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 2 years ago

      Great stuff. I used to know how to use chopsticks when i was younger, but have sicne forgotten.

    • profile image

      Jackie Chan 7 years ago

      did you really use those chopsticks?

    • profile image

      Jessica 8 years ago

      Love it! It teaches me how to actually hold them right. But this method is still quite tricky with noodles, i found. (my fave chinese food = noodles)

    • profile image

      Neko 9 years ago

      It's funny how "American" the man looks...

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      I've never been agile enough to handle chopsticks. But I promise to follow your great instructions and see if I can improve. Maybe learning to use chopsticks could be a New Year's resolution.

    • Rapidwriter profile image

      Rapidwriter 10 years ago from UK

      Hilarious hub, Stacey - and so precise and informative. I've never mastered the art of using chop-sticks - I faff around pretending by using some of the 'different' ways - but I shall be practising hard with your clearly explained steps and will let you know how I get on. Thanks you.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      Great explanation - I LOVE the pictograms for not ramming it into your ears, nose, etc.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      Fabulous Hub Stacie, I am going to practice this skill at home, next time I will give it a try with chopstick at restaurants and see how it works.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      Good style and thank you for humorous hub