AIM The aim of the present study was to compare hand grip strength and pinch power, which are important parameters of hand function, in 76 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (mean age: 50.11+/-7.6) with 47 non-diabetic control subjects (mean age: 46.93+/-10.2). METHODS Grip strength was assessed with a Jamar dynamometer and pinch power was measured with a pinch gauge. Body composition was measured using a Tanita body composition analyzer. Mann-Whitney test, chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, T-test, Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis, Wilcoxon's signed rank test and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to determine the differences and relations between groups. A p-value <0.05 was taken as statistically significant. RESULTS Hand grip strength test values were significantly lower in the diabetic group compared with the control group. Key pinch power value for the right hand was significantly lower in the diabetic group than in the control group whereas the left hand value was similar. CONCLUSION Hand grip strength and key pinch power values were found to be lower in patients with T2DM than in age-matched control subjects. Hands, as well as feet, are also affected by diabetes and physicians should be aware of this.