We analyse the thermal motion of a holographically trapped non-spherical force probe, capable of interrogating arbitrary samples with nanometer resolution. High speed video stereo-microscopy is used to track the translational and rotational coordinates of the micro-tool in three dimensions, and the complete 6 × 6 stiffness matrix for the system is determined using equipartition theorem. The Brownian motion of the extended structure is described in terms of a continuous distribution of thermal ellipsoids. A centre of optical stress, at which rotational and translational motion is uncoupled, is observed and controlled. Once calibrated, the micro-tool is deployed in two modes of operation: as a force sensor with <150 femto-Newton sensitivity, and in a novel form of photonic force microscopy.