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Chris Amirault

Left-Handed/Ambidextrous Tools & Utensils

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Whenever I shop for a handed cooking item, I remember my middle school language classes. Left-handed is "sinester" in Latin, and boy do I feel like I'm bad-handed when looking for most items. Due to blind luck I've found a few left-handed items, though, and I'll bet there are a lot more out there.

One item I use regularly is this Lamsonsharp slotted turner, which comes in a lefty version; having that acute edge in the right place makes a big difference.

Today, I grabbed this Calphalon citrus zester/twister, which is ambidextrous; you can use the cutting channel from either side.

Interestingly, this was clearly designed to work in either hand, but none of the marketing materials indicate that. No one cares about us lefties, so we gotta look out for ourselves! So what else is out there?

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We used to carry Rosle items for our store. If I remember correctly, their kitchen tools are uber-engineered, and I believe they had some items that were designed specifically for left-handed people. Be forewarned - their products, while some of the best in the world, are pretty pricey.

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Even most lefties don't realize that knives are right-handed! You can cut left-handed with them, but some professional grade knives are available with the bevel cut on the other side of the edge for southpaws. :wink:

Coincidentally, when I was at my local Ford dealer's today I saw my old retired left-handed one-eyed ex-rodeo bull riding butcher, Dave. He has some mighty mean looking left-handed cutlery! :cool:

SB (inventor of the Left-Handed-Flying-Pink-Pig Pen) :laugh:

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Oh my goodness, a topic close to my heart, even though I am ambi, and chop and cut, and play sports, right-handed. Came this close to starting a protest over the dearth of left-handed tablet desks while in school. Discrimination, pure and simple.

I have a left-handed wooden spatula at least 20 years old that I treasure, picked up without much serious consideration beyond well it's about time at a Laguna Beach business, Pottery Shack, that is no longer in business. Shoulda bought like 20 of 'em!!! Beautifullly made, from Germany as I recall.

Picked up without serious consideration, but quickly became a vital part of my batterie in those pre-silicone-spatula days. I also have a wooden spoon with a straight bottom edge that I use the wrong way about. Silicone spatulas with their swing-both-ways orientation cover a lot of ground, but sometime a person just needs something rigid, eh?

I am intrigued by the Lamson spatula you link to, Chris. Have been surveying the category for a couple of years now, for fish and so forth, but never committed on account of the hegemony of the droite.

Srhcb: FORD???!!! OK, Mercury, maybe, as in '68 Cougar.

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Total southpaw here. Batting, writing, cutting, etc. I'm intrigued by the ambidextrous channel knife, as I've never been able to work one of those suckers correctly. They're meant to be pulled toward you, not pushed away. I make irregular not-so-pretty twists with a standard Y-shaped vegetable peeler. The fact that I make them to order seems to make up for their lack of aethetic appeal, at least with my clientele. But I'd love to make pretty Horse Neck twists for special occasions.

Did you know that about 1500 lefties die each year, using tools meant for right handed folks?? :angry:

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Even most lefties don't realize that knives are right-handed!  You can cut left-handed with them, but some professional grade knives are available with the bevel cut on the other side of the edge for southpaws. :wink:

Coincidentally, when I was at my local Ford dealer's today I saw my old retired left-handed one-eyed ex-rodeo bull riding butcher, Dave.  He has some mighty mean looking left-handed cutlery! :cool:

SB (inventor of the Left-Handed-Flying-Pink-Pig Pen)  :laugh:

I can use my knives left handed. The only one that cannot be properly used left handed is a bread knife for some reason.

Scissors. A major irritant to left handed people. You've got to look hard for left handed scissors

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I can use my knives left handed.  The only one that cannot be properly used left handed is a bread knife for some reason.

This is the most easily noticed and common manifestation of using a "regular" knife left handed. It's due to the serrations.

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Ambi here...most of my kitchen knife work is done with my left hand (yet I write with my right!), except when I'm peeling things with a paring knife - for some reason, I then hold the thing I'm peeling with my left hand, and the paring knife is in my right - weird! Same thing when I use a channel knife for twists.

I know most Japanese knives are beveled more for right-handers; German knives are probably more of a 50-50 bevel, making them easily used in either hand.

Haven't found that many other kitchen utensils specifically made with lefties in mind - but I do own the Lamson fish turner in chris' original post.

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another lefty here, but i think every kitchen tool i use is righty, except for these:

gallery_8685_4279_832715.jpg

we sell them in spoon and spatula models, and they also come in right-handed....i love the feel of them in my hand.

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...

Scissors.  A major irritant to left handed people.  You've got to look hard for left handed scissors

Ahem... http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/acatalog/scissors.html , and don't their worldwide delivery charges and satisfaction guarantee look pretty reasonable?

For the record, I'm right-handed, but Someone-I-Used-To-Know was cack-handed...

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I got my sissors for lefthand 20 years ago and still have it. I must admit it feels good when a right handed mate picks it up :raz::raz::raz:

Beside my peeler i dont use anything special in the kitchen


Edited by Morten (log)

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Any recommendations for my first left handed yanagiba? I'd like it to be under $200 until I get used to it and then I can upgrade. I have been using Japanese knives for years (Mac, misono, tojiro, Hiromoto) but all western style double bevel blades and western handles. So jumping to a single bevel blade and octagonal handle is going to be new for me. I am not going to be doing a lot of true sushi and sashimi work but will be using it for slicing raw fish for crudo and other more European/American style preparations as well as a precise slicer for various meats and possibly fish butchery. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Not a knife for meat or fish butchery, it is a single purpose design for making precise square cuts on soft fish or mollusks.

Usually when starting to use a yanagiba, most prefer a shorter blade.

I started with a 23 cm, then a 27cm and finally a 30cm blade as I became accustomed to working with a yanagiba.

I don't have an experience with any of the models you listed but any will probably fit the bill. KnifeForums has a section on these knives and a few purveyors are usually on-line. My experience is that they know what they are taking about although I have never purchased any of their blades as I am comfortable in the Japanese knife world. My first was a commercial blade sold from Yamasho about 30 years ago. My next two were custom blades built for me. There really is no difference in cutting between a commercial three part blade and a single piece blade, the difference is in the aesthetics of which you pay a lot of money for if made by a qualified Japanese smith.

Murray Carter is an excellent maker back in the US after spending a number of years in Japan learning the art. Murray understands that Japanese knife making at these levels is an art form rather than a commercial process. He would be another resource.

Good luck-Dick

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