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Left or right-handed knives???

xnyorkr Feb 9, 2007 08:25 AM

Hi. I have been reading the threads about which knives to get, and now I am worried. I'm a lefty-Louie. I bought a set of Wustof Classic and I love it. But I see on some postings sort of a "beware" if you are left handed, get a left handed knife.

I thought knives (at least the ones with bevels on both sides of the blade) are semetrical. No?


  1. n
    nothingman Feb 9, 2007 10:26 AM

    most knives with bevels on both sides are semetrical. There are a few out there with funky handles that might make them right or left handed but most of the mainstays are symetrical.

    the right/left handed comes into play with japaneese knives that can be beveled only on one side. these are mostly right handed but there are a few that can be ordered lefty.

    1. b
      Buckethead Feb 9, 2007 01:08 PM

      The left vs. right-handed thing applies to knives that have asymmetrical handles, for example the Shun Classic line. The handles on those are D-shaped and designed for righties. The Wusthof Classic are symmetrical, you're fine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead
        Allstonian Feb 10, 2007 04:37 AM

        I'm a lefty, and I was very worried about that D-shaped handle, but I have had no problem at all with my Shun Classic tomato knife. The handle is not too big in my hand, so the odd shape doesn't feel unwieldy.

        1. re: Allstonian
          xnyorkr Feb 10, 2007 04:41 AM

          That's good to know. As a life-time left-handed person, I have had to get used to everything being right handed, like scissors. They still somehow work!

      2. gargantua Feb 10, 2007 02:25 PM

        As long as you use a left handed fork there should be no problems

        1 Reply
        1. re: gargantua
          xnyorkr Feb 10, 2007 08:02 PM

          OK, now I am really confused! (kidding)

        2. f
          FAL Feb 11, 2007 04:00 AM

          I am a southpaw also . Never had a problem with any knife .

          1. m
            markabauman Feb 11, 2007 06:51 AM

            I thought the only time it became relevant was for something like a sashimi knife. If you're a sushi chef, or are very serious, you can go to someplace like Korin in NYC and order a left-handed knife for lots of money. I only occasionally do sashimi/sushi and found an excellent left-handed Global for a lot less money-still not cheap, but for the quality/price point, it's great. Technically, I would imagine a serrated knife would be made for righties, but it doesn't seem to ever have been a problem.

            2 Replies
            1. re: markabauman
              scubadoo97 Oct 3, 2010 07:41 AM

              Most knives have symmetric bevels and can be used by both right and left handed individuals. In Japanese cutlery it is more common to see asymmetric bevels which can be either ground for right handed or left handed users.

              1. re: scubadoo97
                cowboyardee Oct 3, 2010 12:47 PM

                This is true. But generally speaking, left handed people (me being one) can use asymmetrically ground right handed knives and vice versa. In my experience, only the most extreme grinds (90/10 or so) are particularly awkward to handle as a lefty. For everything else, the knife won't steer and is easy to adjust to, though food may not fall away from the blade quite as easy as it would for a righty (the difference is really minimal though).

                The main reason I point this out is because sellers like Korin offer services where they regrind an asymmetrical edge for lefties. And this is a bad idea. It's costly. It's unnecessary. And worst of all, it fails to take into consideration that asymmetrical knives are not ONLY asymmetrical at their edges - the entire grind of the knife is asymmetrical. Moving the edge over for a lefty only weakens the edge itself while not addressing the asymmetrical-ity of the knife itself. It may even wind up steering more than it would have left alone. For a hefty upcharge, it creates a weak-edged, hard-to-sharpen, sometimes-steering Franken-knife for lefties when they could have just used the original righty grind with no problem at all.

                Single-bevel knives are a completely different story. Here, a lefty really needs a left-handed knife. Of course, no reputable knife seller would reprofile a right-handed single bevel knife into a left-handed one. Lefties just have to fork out twice as much for a knife made for them (@%$#!).

            2. d
              daniel pennington Oct 2, 2010 04:06 PM

              Knives are indeed left or right handed. One side of the cutting edge is straight up and down and the other side is beveled. That means if you are left handed and you try to cut straight down with a right handed knife the blade pushes the cut outward because of the bevel.

              1 Reply
              1. re: daniel pennington
                JayL Oct 3, 2010 07:56 AM

                This is not true for most Western knives.

                Many Japanese knives will have only one bevel...that's why the custom makers offer left & right handed versions...making your statement true, but only for these knives.

              2. BiscuitBoy Oct 4, 2010 06:27 AM

                Your knives will be just fine, enjoy them, and don't believe everything you read on the internet! Even a blade with an asymmetrical edge, on the perceived "wrong" side will work, it's all how it feels for you, and your preference. Just don't forget the left handed cutting board

                7 Replies
                1. re: BiscuitBoy
                  cowboyardee Oct 4, 2010 06:49 AM

                  While picking up that left-handed cutting board, you may as well get a left-handed spatula.

                  Or a nice lefty-zester:

                  Always spilling your soup on your lap with all those right-handed spoons? Here ya go.

                  And no one even mentioned serrated knives - they're all right-handed. Do you have the same problem as the lady in the picture?

                  1. re: cowboyardee
                    BiscuitBoy Oct 4, 2010 07:30 AM

                    ! Unbelievable

                    1. re: cowboyardee
                      Allstonian Oct 5, 2010 06:12 AM

                      Actually, when those fiddle-bow style bread knives were all the rage I *did* have to get a special left-handed version - you would not believe the gyrations I had to go through to use the right-handed version.


                      1. re: Allstonian
                        cowboyardee Oct 5, 2010 08:58 AM

                        I guess that would be hand-specific (maybe you could glue/screw a handle onto the opposite corner of the right handed one?) When were those popular? I don't think I've ever seen one before. Maybe I just missed the trend.

                        The picture I posted, by the way, was for an ad pushing traditional left handed bread knives.

                    2. re: BiscuitBoy
                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 4, 2010 07:29 AM

                      left handed cutting board.... Ha

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        mikie Oct 5, 2010 07:14 AM

                        Ha! in deed, all you have to do is flip over a right handed cutting board . . . ;) Now the grian is lined up for lefties.

                        1. re: mikie
                          Chemicalkinetics Oct 5, 2010 07:44 AM

                          :) So cool. I didn't think of that. I was thinking about burying my wood cutting board in the dirt and set up a plant growth lamp 45 degree away, so the grains will start growing at an angle.



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