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Feb 9, 2007 08:25 AM

Left or right-handed knives???

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?


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  1. 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. 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

        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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: gargantua

          OK, now I am really confused! (kidding)

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

          1. 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

              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

                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 (@%$#!).