Sex estimation is important in both forensic and archaeological cases and requires a variety of bones and measurements to obtain accurate estimates. Discriminant function analysis equations on postcranial elements are associated with population specificity, hence the need to generate equations for each population group. The current study examined the utility of the measurements around the nutrient foramen of the metacarpals for sex estimation from white South Africans. The study utilized 520 left metacarpals from 104 adult skeletons of white South Africans of known sex (53 males, 51 females) and age at death (range 21 to 65 years) obtained from the Raymond A. Dart Collection of Human Skeletons at the University of the Witwatersrand. Measurements that were subjected to stepwise and direct discriminant function analyses include total length, distance from proximal end to nutrient foramina, circumference, palmar-dorsal diameter, and mediolateral diameter at the level of the nutrient foramen. Combinations of breadth measurements of the first and second metacarpals produced high sex estimation scores ranging from 82% to 91% (stepwise discriminant function analysis) and 82–94% (direct discriminant function analysis) indicating that the dimensions around the nutrient foramen of the metacarpals are useful in sex estimation and can be used in fragmentary bones. © 2020 Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.