An exciting new line of research that investigates the impact of one's own hands on visual perception and attention has flourished in the past several years. Specifically, several studies have demonstrated that the nearness of one's hands can modulate visual perception, visual attention, and even visual memory. These studies together shed new light on how the brain prioritizes certain information to be processed first. This review first outlines the recent progress that has been made to uncover various characteristics of the nearby-hand effect, including how they may be transferred to a familiar tool. We then summarize the findings into four specific characteristics of the nearby-hand effect, and conclude with a possible neural mechanism that may account for all the findings.