Abstract Mechanical loading is considered a very important factor affecting bone mass. To investigate the effect of heavy hand use on bone status in the dominant and nondominant hands, 17 ironers and a control group were evaluated with a new quantitative ultrasound system measuring the speed of sound (SOS). Both the dominant and nondominant hands were measured in all subjects, at both the proximal III phalanx and distal one-third radius. The ironers had significantly ( p = 0.001) higher SOS values at the proximal III phalanx of the dominant hand than at the nondominant hand, whereas no difference was found between the hands in this group when measured at the distal one-third radius. There was no significant difference in SOS values as related to hand dominance in the control group. In conclusion, the SOS differences of the hands seems to be related to overuse rather than to side dominance.