The focus on the Seattle grunge scene helped make Badmotorfinger a smash. The album produced three singles that have become iconic, "Jesus Christ Pose," "Outshined," and "Rusty Cage." The album became the band's highest charting album at the time on the Billboard 200. It eventually was certified two times platinum for sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States, and had, by October 2010, sold 1,517,000 copies in the United States.
"Badmotorfinger became far and away their most fully realized album to that point. Pretty much everything about Badmotorfinger is a step up from its predecessors — the production is sharper and the music more ambitious, while the songwriting takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency. In so doing, the band abolishes the murky meandering that had often plagued them in the past, turning in a lean, muscular set that signaled their arrival in rock's big leagues… [T]he whole band has greatly expanded the scope of its ambitions. And Badmotorfinger fulfills them, pulling all the different threads of the band's sound together into a mature, confident, well-written record. This is heavy, challenging hard rock full of intellectual sensibility and complex band interplay."