Soil Texture Finder (Hand Feeling Method)

Soil texture class is one of the first thing need to be determined when studying the soil. The soil texture classes convey an idea of the textural make up of soils and give an indication of their physical properties. The soil is fractioned as Sand, Silt and Clay. According to the proportion of sand, silt and clay, there are 12 soil textural classes.


Loamy Sand

Sandy Loam

Silt Loam

Clay Loam

Silt Clay



Sandy Clay Loam

Silt Clay Loam

Sandy Clay


Soil texture class can be determined in the field by the hand feeling method. The amount of clay can be estimated by feeling the stickiness by making a ball and ribbon. Soils with higher amounts of clay form longer ribbons. Feeling of gritty of wet soil sample indicates amounts of sand and feeling of smoothness of wet soil sample indicate amounts of silt.


1. Take about 25 gram of soil in the palm, add water and moisten it. Knead the soil to break all aggregates

2. Try to form a ball and squeeze it. If the soil does not remain in a ball when squeezed, the textural class of the sample is SAND

3. Place the ball of soil between the thumb and the fore finger of the hand and gently push the soil with the thumb against the fore finger. Squeeze it upward and form a ribbon (1mm thick). If it does not form a ribbon, the textural class of the sample is LOAMY SAND.

4. If the soil forms a ribbon, then determine the size of ribbon.

5. Place a pinch of the soil ribbon on the palm of one hand. Add water to make it wet. Gently rub it with the fore finger of another hand to feel the grittiness or smoothness or neither.

6. Fill up the information and get the textural class.

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