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Cooking knives for lefties

d
diabless55 Apr 22, 2011 01:32 PM

Hi,
I am a lefty and desperately looking for...you guessed it, a knife for lefties!
I absolutely love to cook but I am having the hardest time cutting/slicing food properly.
If someone could tell me where I could find a knife for lefties or even a 2 sided blade knife.

Thank you very much :-)

  1. p
    Plateaumaman Apr 25, 2011 07:57 AM

    Fyi, I bought a left-handed serrated bread knife at Première Moisson once. Although my left-handed husband never uses it so we changed it to right-handed for me by turning the blade around.

    1. w
      wattacetti Apr 23, 2011 08:54 AM

      If it's a question of basic knife skills, Appetite for Books holds knife skills classes (classes come with a Victorinox knife). Suggest you also check out the handles and hold the knives rather than blind-purchasing.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti
        d
        diabless55 Apr 23, 2011 09:31 AM

        Hi, Do you have a phone number I can call to register for such classes?

        1. re: diabless55
          kpzoo Apr 23, 2011 09:40 AM

          http://www.appetitebooks.ca/
          (514) 369-2002

          1. re: kpzoo
            d
            diabless55 Apr 25, 2011 07:46 AM

            Thank you kpzoo, the next three cooking knife skills classes are already sold out. I may get lucky in July but not sure yet as I am on an already packed waiting list.
            I guess it's super popular.

      2. Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2011 08:15 AM

        Pretty much reiterate others' views. Most European-style knives are symmetrical, that includes French knives, German knives, American knives... etc. It absolutely makes no difference if you are a left-handed or a right-handed. Japanese knives often are asymmetrical with a bias toward one or the other. There are biases on the handle, on the grind of the blade, and on the bevel. For example, most Shun Classic knives are biased at the handle only. Many traditional Japanese knives are biased at the grind and the bevel, but not necessary at the handle.

        First and most foremost is to make sure your issue is indeed about handiness. It is possible that your challenge is not due to handiness but rather general knife skill.

        1. m
          Maximilien Apr 22, 2011 01:45 PM

          (disclaimer, I'm left-handed and i've been using "normal" knives with no issue at all forever)

          hmmm, I'm probably mistaken, but most "european" type knives are or should be right and left handed, the blade is symetrical.

          there might be some exceptions for bread knives or other serrated blades, but that should not make a difference.

          On the other hand (pun intended), Japanese (and other asian) knives are made with assymetrical blade shape and are intended for right handed people; but they make left-handed knives.

          So ...
          if you want japanese knives, go to Miyamoto ( victoria st. in Westmount) or L'Émouleur (Laurier st. W. in Outremont) they should have left handed knives.

          For other knives, most cookware store will have a good selection.

          M.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Maximilien
            d
            diabless55 Apr 22, 2011 01:52 PM

            Thanks for your help!
            I've had a really hard time all my life with knives and scissors. When I try to cut up food it always comes out looking warped on one side. I lived in Europe for over 10 yrs and never came across a knife I could properly use. Basically I find myself to be really challenged in the kitchen when using all kinds of utensils, even with the cap opener. I don't know about you but I am 200% lefty, cannot do anything properly with my right hand.
            I will definitely try those two stores.
            Thank you very much :)

            1. re: Maximilien
              cowboyardee Apr 22, 2011 02:02 PM

              Even asymmetrical Japanese blades can easily be used by lefties (I'm one too) - though a grind of more than about 80/20 can start to feel pretty awkward. YMMV though. Generally speaking, the firmer you hold the knife and the lower your grip (not a pinch grip), the more likely an asymmetrical blade is to steer on you.

              Single sided Japanese knives like yanagibas, usubas, and traditional debas are not lefty friendly (unless they're made for lefties). Generally speaking, neither are knives with d-shaped handles (like Shun classics) - you can use them but they'll feel odd.

              You can custom order Japanese knives ground for a lefty. Expect to pay a 30-50% markup if you do. I did this with my main gyuto. No regrets, though it wasn't strictly necessary. It makes a very slight but noticeable difference to me in use.

              Also, some sellers like Korin offer to regrind asymmetrical right hand edges already in stock into left hand edges - this is not a good idea since you can typically use these knives as a lefty anyway, and they can damage performance by moving the edge away from the natural grind of the knife (it's not only the edge that is asymmetrical). At any rate, you can always regrind an edge to 50/50 yourself (you should probably be able to sharpen if you're gonna get much out of Japanese knives).

              And of course most Western knives have 50/50 edges.

              1. re: cowboyardee
                cowboyardee Apr 22, 2011 02:49 PM

                Forgot to add - if you're talking about serrated knives, then Max is right that traditional serrations are ground for righties. You can search out either lefty-ground traditional serrated knives (easier to find online than in a brick and mortar store) or a knife with mini serrations which tends to behave more ambidextrously.

                However, if you maintain your knives well, you'll find that serrated knives do very, very few things as well as a good straight edge knife.

                1. re: cowboyardee
                  d
                  diabless55 Apr 22, 2011 04:02 PM

                  I really appreciate the response. I will go see if I can order a custom knife. I really hope this will work out as I have been looking for the perfect knife for years.
                  Do you know if there are lefty stores in the city?
                  Thanks

                  1. re: diabless55
                    petek Apr 22, 2011 04:12 PM

                    www.montrealknife.com

                    I'm sure they can hook you up with the right knife.

                    1. re: petek
                      b
                      bboss Apr 22, 2011 06:22 PM

                      Shun makes Knives for left handed people.
                      www.kershawknives.com

              2. re: Maximilien
                SnackHappy Apr 22, 2011 10:40 PM

                I'm a lefty as well, and I've never had any problems with European knives. They are ground symmetrically so it doesn't matter what hand you use them in. Some knives have asymmetrical (ergonomic) handles, but they are the exception not the norm. I also have a right handed Japanese santoku and, although I'm certain a lefty version would work better, it works great used left-handed.

                The only knives I've really had problems with have been serrated knives and certain paring knives.

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