T-shaped handle set-up: effects of handle diameter, between-handle distance, workpiece orientation, working height, and exertion direction on two-handed torque strength, usability, comfort, and discomfort

Ergonomics. 2022 Sep 7:1-44. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2022.2122587. Online ahead of print.


The use of both hands is often required for force/torque exertions, particularly when using hand tools. This study investigated the effects of handle diameter (3-5 cm), between-handle distance (0.5-1.5 shoulder span (SS), workpiece orientation (horizontal/frontal), working height (shoulder/elbow/knuckle), and exertion direction (clockwise/counter-clockwise) on maximum two-handed torque strength, usability and comfort/discomfort while using T-shaped handles. Participant (n = 20) performed 36 experimental conditions. The handle diameter had no significant main effect on torque strength. The 3 cm diameter handle was associated with better usability and comfort compared to other options. Higher torque values were recorded with between-handle distance of 1.0 and 1.5 SS, in frontal plane, in shoulder and knuckle heights, and in counter-clockwise direction. The between-handle distance of 1.0 SS had better comfort and higher usability than other conditions. Interactions between the between-handle distance and working height, between-handle distance and workpiece orientation, and workpiece orientation and working height were also significant.

PMID:36069666 | DOI:10.1080/00140139.2022.2122587

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