How is it left-handed?

How is it left-handed?

Can't see what's different about left-handed scissors? Not sure how you would benefit from a left-handed pen? Here are the answers! We've created these quick, clear explanations of the benefits of left-handed products so you can see what a difference they make and how they will make everyday tasks a lot easier.
The items below will give you a very brief explanation and you can click on any of the images or titles to get a fuller description. Don't forget to watch our videos in the left-handed product videos section as well.

How scissors are left-handed

The blades on left-handed scissors are set so that, whichever way up you hold them, the left blade is always on top. This means that the cutting action of the left hand pushes the blades together to give a smooth cut the whole length of the blades and also that a left-hander has a clear view of the cutting line. When a left-hander uses right-handed scissors, they have to push the thumb and index finger together in an unnatural way to make the scissors cut, causing marks on the hand and eventually callouses. Also, they have to look over the top blade, which obscures the cutting line.

With properly designed left-handed scissors these problems do not arise, as your natural cutting action matches that of the scissors. Just hold the scissors straight and naturally and do not try to twist the blades. After a short time, you will be completely comfortable with your new scissors and wonder how you put up with mis-using right-handed scissors for so long! All our scissors are fully left-handed with blades reversed and left hand moulded grips.

Cutting with left-handed scissorsLeft-Handed Scissors
With the blades reversed so the left blade is on top, you can see the cutting line and the blades have a proper cutting action when squeezed together. The grips are moulded to fit comfortably around the thumb joint.

Cutting with right-handed scissorsRight-Handed Scissors
The top blade covers the cutting line so you usually end up cutting inside it. The blades are pushed apart by the left handed squeezing movement and the paper bends between the blades. Also, the handle shape is very uncomfortable and leaves marks on the left thumb.

A word of warning! As we have explained, it is not possible to make "ambidextrous scissors", although many manufacturers claim their scissors are "universal" or "suitable for left and right hand use". This only refers to the handles, which have not been moulded to fit the right hand knuckle, but they have no advantage for left-handers whatsoever as the blades are still set right-handed!

How Pens are left-handed

"How can a pen be left-handed?" is a question we hear all the time. Well, writing with a fountain pen can be a real problem for left-handers, as we are pushing the pen across the page rather than pulling it, which leads to difficulty with ink flow and the possibility of the nib digging into the paper. The problem is greatly alleviated by the use of a left-handed nib. Most of our pens have a rounded ball on the end of the nib that is machined to give smooth ink flow writing left-handed from almost any angle. Nibs are either fine or medium as stated in the product descriptions. Some people prefer a wider nib to produce italic script and will like our italic/oblique nib pens.

A lot of left-handers have a problem with smudging their work and if this is the case they may benefit from using a fine nib which puts less ink on the page, allowing it to dry faster.

Writing with a left-handed cartridge pen It is important to remember, however, that handwriting position is just as important as a well designed pen. For more information and help with common handwriting problems, see our Left handed writing videos page

How Stabilo Easy Pens are left-handed

The new Stabilo Easy Left-Handed Rollerball is a very exciting development in pen design for left-handers. By carefully studying the most comfortable and efficient position for the left-hand to write most effectively and then moulding the pen body to exactly fit that position, Stabilo have created a pen which remains perfectly placed whilst writing, with little or no effort, and requiring the lightest of grip on the moulded rubber fingerplate. Anything Left-Handed are delighted to launch this pen in the UK and recommend it highly both as a training aid for teaching children to write, and as a comfortable and stylish pen for adult left-handers to enjoy.

Stabilo Easy pen in useThe funky, freaky pen that looks the part, writes like a dream and is great fun to use. Unusually, the pen has been made with a special left handed version with the grip moulded for a comfortable fit in the left hand. Top marks to Stabilo for looking after the left-handers for a change!

With its exchangeable rollerball tip, which is new after each refill, the Stabilo 'Easy glides perfectly over the paper and it can be erased with a fountain pen eraser just like normal fountain pen ink.

Thanks to its extra-soft grip area, the Stabilo Easy is always comfortable to use. It also looks so special because its shape fits perfectly into your hand, making sure you feel extremely comfortable while you write.

Stabilo East pen

How Yoropens are left-handed

Using the Yoropen is great for left-handers

The unique design of the Yoropen makes it perfect for left-handers, since it creates the perfect pen grip, requires far less effort to use, and banishes smudging forever! The angle of the pen ensures that you can clearly see what you are writing as your hand does not obstruct your field of vision. The offset portion prevents fingers from slipping down towards the pen tip, allowing for a more relaxed grip, and so improving posture, saving energy and reducing writing strain. What is more, the Yoropen has a tripod grip that can be rotated until you find your most comfortable writing position.

The improved ease and comfort achieved with the Yoropen makes it ideal for writing over sustained periods such as exams, for teaching children to write and for those with handwriting difficulties or disabilities.

The Yoropen and pencil have been tried and tested by handwriting experts, teachers and children and always with a positive result, as shown from the following endorsements:

I was introduced to the Yoropen and have discovered hat many children, particularly left-handed users have found it helpful. I have received comments such as, "I feel that I can sit up straight and see and not get backache" and "I found this pen very easy to write with and did not need to move the paper as much".’ The main benefits for left-handed users seem to be associated with being able to see what they are writing, resulting in evenly spaced writing and the fact that the Yoropen offers more comfort and less pain.
Laura Barnett
Paediatric Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

The pen does what it claims - by reducing strain, improving the field of vision, encouraging correct hold and assisting left-handers. It should be particularly welcomed by educational and physiotherapy professionals as another valuable resource to help their work. A great success.
Michael Woods
Editor of the Journal of the Writing Equipment Society

"My handwriting has improved and my mum really likes it. With an ordinary pencil you cannot see what you are writing, but with Yoro you can!"
Natalie aged 7

The Yoropen is the most effective ergonomic pen ever designed. It won the gold medal at the Geneva 2002 Salon International Invention awards, the world's largest and most prestigious invention fair.

How Calligraphy Pens are left-handed

How calligraphy pens are left-handed

The problems we have with a normal fountain pen nib scratching and digging into the paper are exaggerated even more with calligraphy nibs that tend to be a lot wider. It is important that the nibs are cut off in the correct direction so that a left-hander can write with them and the end of the nib is flat on the paper. With a right-handed nib, we have to turn it sideways to make it write and end up with all the letter thicknesses the wrong way round!

How Kitchen Knives are left-handed

If you always cut bread slices that start off wafer thin and end up as doorstop wedges, it is probably because of the bread knife you use. A right-handed knife has the serrations on the left side of the blade, so that they counteract the natural twisting motion of the hand to give a straight cut. A left-hander has problems with these knives as the effect of the hand twisting and the serrations combine to give a curved cut. All of our left-handed knives have the serrations on the right side of the blade to avoid this problem.

Cutting with a left-handed knife

The correct way
The serrations are on the right side of the blade to counterbalance the natural twisting motion of the left hand, thus giving a straight cut.

Cutting with a right-handed knife
The wrong way
The serrations on a normal bread knife exaggerate the natural twisting motion of the left hand leading to a curved slice and an overhanging loaf.

This is what our customer have had to say about our left-handed knives:

"I felt I just had to write to compliment you on your speedy service. I have tried the knives already and now have perfectly straight carrot batons, perfect halves in teacakes, thin straight cucumber slices and no sliced fingers! At this rate I might even get to enjoy cooking! Many thanks.'
Allison Townsend - UK

"Just to say how pleased I am with my new bread knife...my son and I can both cut lovely slices now. It is 1st time I've used Internet shopping which was very good. The parcel arrived very quickly"
Melanie - UK

At the risk of making things more complicated... Knives can cause some confusion! Most "normal" knives for right-handers are serrated on the LEFT of the blade - the idea being that the effect of the serrations counter-acts the natural inward (clockwise as you see it) twisting action of the hand, leading to a straight cut. If a left-hander uses one of these knives, the serrations actually REINFORCE the natural anti-clockwise twisting motion which leads to the classic "overhanging" loaf or whatever is being cut. All our knives are serrated on the RIGHT side of the blade to give the correct balance action for left-handers and generally people are very pleased that they can suddenly cut straight!

All our knives are custom-made for us with serrations on the other (right) side. That said, some manufacturers DO make their standard knives with the serrations on the right and when we have asked them why, they are at a loss to explain!

It comes down to personal preference and maybe a bit of practice at cutting "naturally" if you are used to twisting a right-handed knife. On the other hand, if you already have knives with serrations on the right of the blade you may not gain anything apart from the quality of our knives.

How Peelers are left-handed

Peeling left-handed Left-handed peelers have the blade cut-out reversed so you can peel towards you left-handed. The best motion for peeling vegetables is to move the peeler towards the body. This is not possible with a right-handed peeler held in the left hand as the cutting edge is facing the wrong way. For this reason, many left-handers have developed a technique for peeling vegetables moving the peeler away from the body, and have the scraped knuckles to prove it!

Our peelers are either fully left-handed or double-edged so they can be used in either direction. We also supply double sided peelers that can be used by left-handers or right-handers for those who want to share their peeler with a rightie!

How Corkscrews are left-handed

Left handed corkscrew Left-handers would naturally hold the bottle with their right hand and the corkscrew with their left, then turn the corkscrew anti-clockwise.

The problem is that corkscrews are made for right-handers and have screws designed to turn clockwise, so if you turn them the other way nothing happens! But turning it clockwise using your left hand is a very awkward movement as you cannot use the leverage of your thumb to push it. As a result, you will often see a left-hander hold the the corkscrew still in their left handed and rotate the bottle to make it work.

Anti-clockwise screw threadOur corkscrews all have reversed screws so they turn anti-clockwise, making it easy to open bottles left-handed.

Try leaving your left-handed corkscrew around for righties to use - lets them find out what you normally have to put up with!


How Tin Openers are left-handed

No more spills! A left-handed tin opener is held in the right hand and the rotary handle turned away from you with the left hand, on the left side of the tin - allowing left-handers to use their stronger and more comfortable hand.

Using a left-handed tin opener

Using a left-handed tin opener gives more comfort and control
Using a right-handed tin opener Positioning is awkward when using a right-handed opener.

How garden pruners are left-handed

Left-handed pruners have the blades reversed like scissors

There are two types of secateur blades: anvil and bypass. It is the bypass secateurs (which have a cutting action similar to a scissor) that particularly benefit from a left-handed design. With the blades reversed and hand grips comfortably positioned for left-hand use, the cut is clean and sharp - vital to prevent damage to the plant and possible infection.

How measuring tapes are left-handed

Using a left-handed measuring tapeLeft handed tapes have the scale running from right to left. Left-handers usually hold the measure in their left hand and pull with the right, but the numbers are always upside down! When measuring with a retractable measure, most of us would like to measure from right to left. We lock the start of the tape over the right end of what we are measuring then hold the case with our left hand and pull to the left to expand the easure.That's why our range of measuring tapes have the scale (in imperial and metric) running from right to left just like our rulers. Our range includes a dressmakers tape and two sizes of steel retractable measures.

With the retractable measures, there is still the problem of which hand you use to mark with once you have measured the correct length, but right-handers have that as well!

How Craft Knives are left-handed

Using a left-handed craft knifeThe blade on a craft knife is extremely sharp, so the correct design and a comfortable secure grip in the left-hand is absolutely vital. Our craft knives have a trapezoid shaped blade with a dual edge and it can be easily set up before use to work for a left-hander, with the thumb control for the blade on the correct side.

Our Safety Retractable Blade knife uses the left thumb to push out the blade for use, but the pressure whilst cutting keeps the blade out without any further use of the thumb. Once the blade is lifted from the cutting surface, the blade automatically retracts rapidly back into the handle for safety. This is ideal where you need to keep picking up and putting down the knife between jobs.

The auto-locking craft knife has the same shaped blade, but can be locked into 5 different cutting positions, again using the left thumb. Comfortable non-slip rubber grip makes these knives strong, accurate and comfortable to use. Both are ideal for cutting paper, cardboard, carpet and all arts and crafts.

CAUTION: Blade extremely sharp. Handle with care. Keep out of reach of children!

How Pencil Sharpeners are left-handed

Using a left-handed pencil sharpenerThe advantages of a left-handed sharpener are that the pencil remains held in the left hand and is turned away from you in the natural, anti-clockwise motion... and the shavings fall away from the body and not in your lap! Or, even better, try one of our container sharpeners that catches all the shavings.

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