Background A higher risk of shoulder injury in the athletic and non-athletic population is frequently associated with strength deficits. Therefore, shoulder strength assessment can be clinically useful to identify and to quantify the magnitude of strength deficit. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of a DiCI (a new hand-held dynamometer) for the measurement of shoulder flexion and abduction strength in asymptomatic and symptomatic subjects. Methods Forty-three recreational athletes (29 males and 14 females; age: 22.1 ± 0.47 years; body mass: 68.7 ± 13.1 kg; height = 173.3 ± 9.7 cm) and 40 symptomatic subjects (28 males and 12 females; age: 49.9 ± 8.1 years; body mass: 70.6 ± 14.3 kg; height = 171.7 ± 9.0 cm) completed shoulder flexion and abduction strength tests in two identical sessions one-week apart. Both types of movement were evaluated at 45Âº and 90Âº. Results Relative reliability analysis showed excellent intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) for all evaluated movements (ICC range = 0.90 to 0.99). Absolute reliability analysis showed a standard error of measurement (SEM) ranging from 1.36% to 2.25%, and minimal detectable change (MDC) ranging from 3.93% to 6.25%. In conclusion, the DiCI is a valid and reliable device for assessing shoulder strength both in recreational athletes and in subjects with restricted mobility and loss of strength.