This is an interesting idea. The Pinch Hold Mug is a ceramic mug without a handle. Instead, the mug is sculpted with a rocky handhold which requires the drinker to pinch the hold, in a similar way to holding a rock handhold on a crag or indoor climbing wall.
Designed by London-based collective ma3t, the Pinch Hold is made in one of England’s oldest pottery areas in Stoke on Trent (about a three-hour drive from where we’re based in the South West).
It’s not officially graded for difficulty, but the handhold is sculpted at right angles at the top of the mug, for easier grip, and slopes off towards the bottom for harder training.
According to the makers, the Pinch Hold is designed to be lifted by anyone, regardless of how much climbing experience they have, but still requires a good pinch and therefore helps build strength in your fingers.
Even though we mentioned coffee in the title of this post, it’s not advised to use the mug for hot drinks (for obvious reasons). But you could probably get away with it as long as the water isn’t boiling hot.
In the end, whether or not the mug can be used as a serious training aid or is just a fun novelty mug for a passionate climber is probably down to personal preference.
Regardless, this rock climbing mug is a fun idea and, as the slogan says, it’s “restful exercise for climbers”.
The Pinch Hold Mug is available at a handful of climbing shops across the UK, but you can also get your hands on one online at Dick’s Climbing. If you do, let us know your thoughts about it (whether it’s a good training tool or just for fun) in the comments below.