Experiment 1 documents modality effects on the material-weight illusion for a low-mass object set (58.5 g). These modality effects indicate that the material-weight illusion is principally a haptically derived phenomenon: Haptically accessed material cues were both sufficient and necessary for full-strength illusions, whereas visually accessed material cues were only sufficient to generate moderate-strength illusions. In contrast, when a high-mass object set (357 g) was presented under the same modality conditions, no illusions were generated. The mass-dependent characteristic of this illusion is considered to be a consequence of differing grip forces. Experiment 2 demonstrates that the enforcement of a firm grip abolishes the low-mass material-weight illusion. Experiment 3 documents that a firm grip also diminishes perceptual differentiation of actual mass differences. Several possible explanations of the consequences of increasing grip force are considered.