The group of passive prostheses consists of prosthetic hands and prosthetic tools. These can either be static or adjustable. Limited research and development on passive prostheses has been performed although many people use these prosthesis types. Although some publications describe passive prostheses, no recent review of the peer-reviewed literature on passive prostheses is available. OBJECTIVE: Review the peer-reviewed literature on passive prostheses for replacement of the hand. STUDY DESIGN: Literature review. METHODS: Four electronic databases were searched using a Boolean combination of relevant keywords. English-language articles relevant to the objective were selected. RESULTS: In all, 38 papers were included in the review. Publications on passive prosthetic hands describe their users, usage, functionality, and problems in activities of daily living. Publications on prosthetic tools mostly focus on sport, recreation, and vehicle driving. CONCLUSION: Passive hand prostheses receive little attention in prosthetic research and literature. Yet one out of three people with a limb deficiency uses this type of prosthesis. Literature indicates that passive prostheses can be improved on pulling and grasping functions. In the literature, ambiguous names are used for different types of passive prostheses. This causes confusion. We present a new and clear classification of passive prostheses. Clinical relevance This review provides information on the users of passive prosthetic hands and tools, their usage and the functionality. Passive prostheses receive very little attention and low appreciation in literature. Passive prosthetic hands and tools show to be useful to many unilateral amputees and should receive more attention and higher acceptance.