Being left-handed sucks. Not because there’s anything wrong with being a 'lefty' but because most tools, implements and accessories are designed to be used by right-handed people. So, those of us who predominantly use our left hands are often left doing things caggie-handed and feeling pretty uncomfortable.
The good news is that there are a lot of companies who are now catching onto the idea that 'lefties' matter and we too need items that are easy and comfortable to use. Things like left-handed scissors and left-handed notebooks are becoming much more common; of course, they've yet to invent that elusive left-handed screwdriver ;)
But one thing that can make life much easier is a set of left-handed knives. When you look at a knife, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that making one for left-handed people would be as pointless as that screwdriver we mentioned. But this isn’t the case. If you’ve ever tried, as a left-handed person, to use right-handed knife, you’ll know that it is no mean feat.
If you have been considering investing in some left-handed knives but aren’t entirely sure of the differences and whether it’ll be worth it, you’re in the right place. We will be looking at what a left-hand knife is and giving you a few good reasons as to why we think you should take that leap of faith onto the left-handed train.
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What’s the Difference Between Left and Right Handed Knives?
When you use right-handed knives, you will have noticed (if you’re a 'lefty') that you have to drag the blade through whatever you are cutting. It’s either this, or you are forced to cut with your non-dominant hand, which anyone will know is nothing short of a pain in the hindquarters.
This is because most blades are designed so that the sharp edge is more towards the right-hand side of the blade, allowing those with right-handed dexterity to cut with ease. The knife blade is angled at the right, usually quite steeply. This is known as a single bevel knife and is something that is commonly seen on all types of kitchen knives.
However, there are some Japanese knives out there that are double bevel knives making them more suitable for a left-hander. While a double bevel knife can be difficult to find, knife manufacturers are catching onto the need for this type of implement and more and more are launching their own versions for left-handed users.
On the other hand...or perhaps, the ‘third hand’ for want of a better term, there are knives that are created equally for both left and right-handed people. In all honesty, these double-bladed knives aren’t designed with ambidextrous use in mind as a priority but this is more to do with the sharpness of the blade. It is believed, but not certain, that single bevel knives were created back in Japan as a way of putting poorer quality steel to use. If you look at most Japanese chef knives, you’ll notice that they are double-edged.
But there is yet another problem that us 'lefties' have to face; the handle. While double edge knives do allow for a cleaner and easier cut for people of both dexterities, the handles are usually designed to be gripped by a right-handers. Oh isn’t that just typical!
That said, the knife manufacturers that are paying attention to the 10% of all people who are blessed with left-handedness, are also paying attention to their handle design. So there is hope yet! The only problem is that there isn't currently a huge selection of these knives on the market, but we’re getting there. There are now more left-handed and ambidextrous knives available on the market.
Do I Need a Left-Handed Knife?
If you have spent your life smearing your own writing and trying to cut a straight line with a pair of scissors then you will know the pain that comes with being what society calls ‘a more creative person.’ Yes, us left-handed people have been branded as more creative and while this isn’t a bad thing, it’s very difficult to create anything when we aren’t able to use our hands properly.
When it comes to cutting food, a left-handed knife user will naturally twist their hand in the opposite direction to the angle of the knife. This means that they cannot easily achieve a clean or straight cut. The result is that we are left looking rather incompetent as we attempt to saw through our steak or slice through our onions in one of the most uncomfortable manners possible.
It’s also incredibly important to add that using such knives in this way increases your chances of sustaining an injury. If you slip or make any sudden movements, there’s a risk that the blade will make contact with your skin and this could be incredibly dangerous, depending on the type of knife you are using and its sharpness.
There’s really only one way around this issue, and that is to use a left-handed knife. When asking the question of whether you need to buy left-handed knives, you only need to think about which is your dominant hand. If the answer is your left then why not make your life easier and take the plunge?
Final ThoughtsAt first glance, a knife looks like a knife. There isn’t a vast amount of difference between right-handed and left-handed kitchen knives, at least not without looking a little more closely. The blade on a left-handed knife is angled differently and while this is a very intricate aspect of the design, it can make cutting so much easier.
For anyone who predominantly uses their left hand, switching your kitchen knives for something more Southpaw-friendly, will be one of the best decisions you have ever made. We promise!