Tools and Manners...

How to use chopsticks:

Put one chopstick between the palm and the base of the thumb, using the ring finger (the fourth finger) to support the lower part of the stick. With the thumb, squeeze the stick down while the ring finger pushes it up. The stick should be stationary and very stable.
Use the tips of the thumb, index and middle fingers to hold the other stick like a pen. Make sure the tips of the two sticks line up.
Pivot the upper stick up and down towards the stationary lower stick. With this motion one can pick up food of surprising size.
With enough practice, the two sticks function like a pair of pincers.


For easier handling in the beginning, hold the sticks at the midpoint. As proficiency increases, hold the sticks at the upper ends for a farther reach and greater carrying capacity. Make sure you handle both sticks at least 3½ inches away from the tip and 1¾ of an inch spaced away from both sticks.

If the tips fail to line up, it will be difficult to hold things. Hold the chopsticks upright with one of the tips lightly touching the table, and gently push the chopsticks down or gently loosen your grip for a moment to let both tips become equal in length. You can also adjust your grip or holding position this way.

With practice, it is possible to perform step one and two simultaneously, on picking up the chopsticks with one hand, with a single fluid and seamless motion. Adjust your grip if necessary.