This is as much a product review as a commentary on my father. My father – who’s about seventy now, maybe more, we ask him how old he is but he claims he doesn’t know – brought me this device for my 25th Birthday.
The device is, of course, a dynamometer. For the hand. In short, it measures how hard you can grip on a scale from 10 to 60 – and, as we’re helpfully informed on the device itself, “the unit of scale kg.” Can you grip 60 kilograms, whatever that means? Or will you be relegated to weakling status with a paltry 10kg grip? Only testing your strength against the dynamometer will tell.
On the front of the box, as you can see, is a price tag – this originally read 1 Euro, but it’s since been updated to 101 Euros because my father is a MASTER OF FORGERY. It’s probably worth mentioning that my father lives in Portugal, which explains how he’s a) able to purchase items using the Euro and b) able to access products of such blisteringly low quality as this one. He handed this to me, after the birthday cake – and the other discount plastic gift he got me, from the same Chinese shop – and said that it was a very expensive gift. Then he waggled his eyebrows at me and managed to keep a straight face for a full half a second before laughing and pressing the item firmly into my hand.
The real reason he got me the device is, of course, the mangled English all over the packet (that, and the fact that the device itself is almost entirely useless). So let’s take a look at the instructions before we break it out of the packet for reals.
THE INSTRUCTIONS, WRITTEN VERBATIM
1. You can mensurate your physical strength no matter you are at home or in the office.”
Jesus, guys, it’s like you’ve read my mind. Quite often I’m in the office and really want to mensurate my physical strength, but I can’t cope with dragging in a heavy, non-portable dynamometer from home. This is the answer to my prayers.
“2. You can mensurate your physical strength no matter you are home or in the office in any time.”
Did you, um, did you read point one? No? Anyway. Not only are you not limited to the location of your mensuration (how do you mensurate, by the way? My thesaurus indicates that it might mean “measure” but I get the feeling it involves a special kind of absorbent pad), but you can do it in any time. Not at any time, mind. In any time. We’re going to have a go at Wild West later on, or failing that, Regency England.
1. please hold the Hand dynamometer in the hand and let its pointer towards outside.”
I think I’ve worked out what this means. Carry on.
“2. use the standing pose and let the distance between two foot same with the width of your shoulder, please note that the Hand dynamometer cannot touch your body, use your full strength to hold it.”
I should note now that this thing is about three inches across. I’m not sure who’s bracing this thing against their body when they mensurate (presumably the same sort of person who needs help getting upstairs) but if you’ve reached that point, accurate mensuration of grip is the least of your problems. You should probably focus on not breaking your hip and making sure your will is in order.
“3. you can mensurate your physical strength with your right hand or left hand.”
Hey, guys! I know you’re all tired about shelling out twice for left- and right-handed dynamometers, but your worries are over! Yeah! Haoyue have brought out a new model that can be used with either hand, cutting your spending in half. It’s a great saving, I know.
1. please don’t use it in any others purposes except physical strength mensuration.”
What the merry fuck else are you supposed to use this for? A mouth or foot dynamometer? An emergency saw handle? A massively inaccurate stopwatch?
“2. keep away from the fire, don’t beat it hardly, it cannot touch any medicaments.”
Hey! HEY. Hey. Guys. Don’t put that dynamometer near the fire. Don’t beat it – not even slightly. Not at all. And for the love of God, don’t smear Calpol all over the fucking thing. I don’t know what would happen if you even tried that, but I don’t want to find out.
“3. this Hand dynamometer is not the equipment for mensurating your physical strength by the measure law,please only use it as a reference dynamometer.”
I should probably have told you earlier that this isn’t one of those official dynamometers, like the ones I imagine that the trainers use in weight lifting and rock climbing. No. This is just for fun. It’s a fun dynamometer, you know? Just for when you and your friends are sitting around the fire (keep the dynamometer away from it though, eh) and seeing how much grip you have in terms of kilograms in comparison to each other. It’s relaxed. It’s a laid-back dynamometer. For reference. Not for measure law. Yeah?
“4. don’t apart this hand dynamometer. Otherwise it will lead faults.”
Fair play. I don’t really want to know what’s inside anyway – children’s fingerbones and chicken tendons, I’d wager. Nothing you want to go digging around in.
The side of the box, and the underside, share this missive:
“Do exercise body and hold to hand,all new products extrusion.”
Sage advice indeed, Hand dynamometer! How would I extrude all new products, though? I mean, one or two I could handle, but all of them? That sounds painful. Some of them probably have sharp edges.
I was wrong – it doesn’t measure your physical strength on a scale from 1 to 60 kilograms, that’s just what it says on the outside of the box. Inside, the dial ranges from “6” to “130” kilograms, in non-sequential and seemingly random increments – 6, 13, 20, 28, 38, 50, 62, 75. There’s no rhyme or reason to it at all.
I pull down hard and manage to sort of level out between 38 and 50 – about 42, I’d guess, but it’s hard to tell whilst the pointer is shaking around due to me being at the limits of my squeezing ability. According to the box, the unit contains a “high quality spring,” and you can definitely feel the extra money they’ve put towards it. The thing barely fucking moves.
I try a second time and manage to get it to 50 – a third time, after I shut off the camera, results in me almost hitting the 62 mark. It’s progress, I guess. My hand now hurts.
In closing I have had maybe too much scotch. But the hand dynamometer, considering it cost only one euro, has provided me with a) minutes of entertainment and b) material to write a fairly long article about, so it was definitely worth the investment. Are you wondering what your physical strength might be? Do you require the flexibility to mensurate it in the home or office, in any time, using the left or right hand, but not in any official capacity? My friend, your prayers have been answered.