In order to find out whether the movements of single digits are controlled in a special way when grasping, we compared the movements of the digits when grasping an object with their movements in comparable single-digit tasks: pushing or lightly tapping the same object at the same place. The movements of the digits in grasping were very similar to the movements in the single-digit tasks. To determine to what extent the hand transport and grip formation in grasping emerges from a synchronised motion of individual digits, we combined movements of finger and thumb in the single-digit tasks to obtain hypothetical transport and grip components. We found a larger peak grip aperture earlier in the movement for the single-digit tasks. The timing of peak grip aperture depended in the same way on its size for all tasks. Furthermore, the deviations from a straight line of the transport component differed considerably between subjects, but were remarkably similar across tasks. These results support the idea that grasping should be regarded as consisting of moving the digits, rather than transporting the hand and shaping the grip.©The Author(s) 201.