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Lefty needs a knife!

I have tried many cheaper knives, and some more expensive ones just to find they are balanced for a right hand, and sharpened in just the left side of the blade. I need a chefs knife that works for me as a left! Does anyone have any suggestions? I am sick of looking and don't want to drop a ton of money for a knife made for someone else.

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  1. <and some more expensive ones just to find they are balanced for a right hand>

    Some maybe, but most knives are neutral.

    <sharpened in just the left side of the blade>

    You are looking for a personal knife?

    cowboyradee bought a lefty knife and he wrote about his decision and all. You can read about this if you want time.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757992

    I would suggest that you can look for a specific knife you like and then contact the sellers. You will likely have to pay more.

    By the way, what kind of knife are you looking for?

    1. Southpaw daughter has been working her way up the culinary ladder and over Christmas holidays we visited Korin in lower Manhattan to look at some serious steel that is designed for a enormous range of hand tasks much of which is either fabricated for OR can be converted for lefties. Impressive collections that range from the affordable ($100 or less) to the insane $11 k knives that belong in the hands of Jiro and his descendants. Website is almost as helpful but no substitute for their sales reps or their in store sharpening craftsmen working in full view.

      1. Shun makes their knives with handles for both right and left-handed people.

        http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0706L-Cl...

        10 Replies
        1. re: Philly Ray

          I'm ambidextrous (though I write left handed) and I have left and right handed Shun's. To be honest, I'd actually recommend getting something with a symmetrical handle rather than going for a left handed Shun.

          1. re: Philly Ray

            I know a lefty that used the left-handed Shuns. I used them too as a righty and really had no problems. However, I agree w/ Cynic and you're probably better off just getting a solid knife that isn't "handed."

            1. re: Philly Ray

              my knives are Kershaw Shun Classic designed for LEFT HANDED people.

              i love them.

              1. re: westsidegal

                Is there anything besides the D shaped handle that makes them RIGHT v LEFT?

                1. re: paulj

                  I'm pretty sure it's just the handle--the grind doesn't appear to be handed.

                  1. re: paulj

                    i believe that only the handle is different, but the difference is pronounced enough so that i can feel it.

                  2. re: westsidegal

                    I'm left handed & just received a right handed shun nakiri at christmas. I don't think the nakiri is made for left handed people or at least not without special order or something. Anyway, i was concerned that it would be uncomfortable to use but its fine.

                    1. re: flourgirl

                      the nakiri does not come in a left-handed version.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Yeah, I didn't think so. I'm
                        doing fine with the right handed version anyway. I can actually cut with either hand but i prefer using my left and the handle feels fine.

                2. What's your price range? What style of knife do you like?

                  1. I should have been more clear. I need a chefs knife. I was surprised when looking how many didn't have a straight blade. Also I am looking for under $150 but preferably under $100. I am just a home cook so I don't need something perfect, just a well balanced straight blade knife or knife for a lefty (let's face it husband will not use it!)

                    Any lefties out there I would love to hear what you use. It is nice to hear what right handed people think, but it is kind of like getting advice on woman's underwear from a man. :)

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: chickennosenshi

                      Thanks for letting us know. What kind of care are you used to giving your knives? Do you sharpen your own knives? Would you be willing to use a carbon steel knife that may require a bit more care and maintenance than a stainless knife?

                      1. re: chickennosenshi

                        At the risk of treading way outside my personal experiences Asa right-ie there is a wide range of options for someone looking for a 'flat' blade profile knife; however, they might be more readily described as santuko or natiri type blades rather than a traditional Chef's knife only because most examples of the latter tend to have a curved blade profile, sometimes with a pronounced belly and other times with a curve up to the tip that enables 'rocking' cut movements. Flat blades enable precise push/pull cutting or chopping motions. It seems cutlery designed with 50/50 symmetrical blade profiles and symmetrical handles should prove usable for righties and lefties. When you begin to consider asymmetrical that favor a right hand or a lefty hand, then it's likely the handle may favor the specific orientation as well. Most asymmetrical blades beyond 5" likely exceed your $100 target. Shun may provide a dedicated leftie handle with their symmetrical blade line

                        1. re: chickennosenshi

                          <I need a chefs knife. I was surprised when looking how many didn't have a straight blade. >

                          By Western cutlery definition, a Chef's knife is curved. If you want a straighter edge blade, then you should look for "nakiri", "santoku", "Chinese slicer", "Chinese cleaver"....etc.

                          http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/...

                          All of these knives above are usually neutral without left or right handed orientation.

                          This is assuming I understand your meaning of "straight blade"

                          1. re: chickennosenshi

                            I am a lefty, but without much to offer. I mostly use a Westhof santoku and a boning knife, but I am not sure if it's ones I bought for a lefty. I'm thinking the boning knife was sharp on the right side for a lefty. I have bought some other lefty knives and scissors , but I also often get by with a tool designed for someone right handed without realizing it. It's such an "aha!" moment when you realize it, and something many just don't get.

                            Have you seen this thread? Title is misleading; VERY informative:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760308
                            Or

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/369362

                            Or
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918171

                            1. re: chickennosenshi

                              wow, knives to women's underwear and within 10 posts, I think that's a new one. very "Special Victims Unit"

                              seriously though, this is a topic I had never considered occurred in the mass-produced world.

                              1. re: chickennosenshi

                                Not a straight blade - do you mean when viewed from above? Why would a knife have a intentional curve or bend that way?

                                1. re: chickennosenshi

                                  I'm a lefty. My knives are a mix of Kanetsune and Tojiro DP. The K's are slightly RH biased(60/40), the DP 50-50. Both have similar handles. I have not had problems with either.

                                  I would recommend the DP as an excellent knife in your price range. The K's are slightly higher in price, but still a good value.

                                  1. re: Bigjim68

                                    What Kanetsune's do you have, and what do you think of them? I've been eyeing them as a good gateway to Japanese knives for friends, but have never handled one before.

                                    1. re: Cynic2701

                                      Mine are the 100's. VG 10 with damascus blades I have been very satisfied. They hold an edge well and are comfortable to use. The 200's are the same knife with a blue handle.

                                      About equal in performance at a lower price point is the Tojiro DP line. VG 10 with single layer cladding. But you don't get the damascus pattern. Both represent good value compared to other similar knives.

                                      1. re: Bigjim68

                                        Yeah, I saw some Kanetsune from JapanBlade (website). Some are at higher price point than Tojiro, but some are lower. I actually bought my brother a lower price point Kanetsune Santoku

                                        1. re: Bigjim68

                                          Cool. Thanks for letting me know.

                                          I got my brother a 210 mm Tojiro DP for Christmas and I was satisfied with the product that you get for the money. Take a little bit of time and elbow grease - and some Chosera's and Shapton's - to thin it out and it cuts quite well.

                                          The damascus pattern seems to be equated with being expensive, so it's nice to know another alternative for the next gift.

                                    2. re: chickennosenshi

                                      I'm left handed and use a 9 1/2" Tojiro gyuto & i love it.