Rapid transients were applied to the outstretched human index finger tip, which resulted in motion primarily at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint in extension and in abduction. A second-order linear model was fit to approximately 20 milliseconds of the force and displacement data to determine the effective mechanical impedance at the finger tip. Ranges of mass, damping, and stiffness parameters were estimated over a range of mean finger tip force (2-20 N for extension, 2-8 N for abduction). Effective translational finger tip mass for each subject was relatively constant for force levels greater than 6 N for extension, and constant throughout the abduction trials. Stiffness increased linearly with muscle activation. The estimated damping ratio for extension trials was about 1.7 times the ratio for abduction.