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Anything Left-Handed > Product Information > How it’s left-handed > Left handed knives

Left handed knives

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We recently received an email about left-handed knives that got us thinking again about a subject that always causes confusion and we would be very interested to know what you think. Linda in the UK said…

“A few years ago I was looking for a new set of kitchen knives. The ones I liked best looked and felt different – although I did  not  know why. When I got home and used the bread knife I was amazed that I could cut my bread better.

It was only when I saw your shop about a year later that I looked at a left handed knife and noticed that the blade was the same as mine. After having a disagreement with my mother about it your shop manager explained that it was a left handed knife, serrated on the right side of the blade, and that was why I could cut food properly (I wasn't going mad after all).

Like most people I thought left-handed knives were just a gimmick, but now my husband lets me cut bread (and he can't use MY knives properly). I have since noticed that some serrated knives in the shops are actually left handed knives, but right-handed people will never believe me!”

 

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 right hand, leading to a straight cut. If a left-hander uses one of these knives, the serrations actually EMPHASIZE the natural anti-clockwise twisting motion of the left hand 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 balanced action for left-handers and generally people are very pleased that they can suddenly cut straight!

Use this link to see our video showing how left-handed knives work

Cutting with a left-handed knife The correct way for a left-hander
The serrations are on the right side of the blade to counterbalance the natural inward twisting motion of the left hand, giving a nice 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.

Confusion sometimes arises because some manufacturers make their “normal” knives serrated on the right of the blade – the left-handed side. When we ask them about it, they do not have good explanation, and most have never really thought about it – they have just always done it that way!

From our practical experience and that of many customers and from discussions with our own knife manufacturers in Sheffield UK who have been in the business since 1838 we can say that a knife serrated on the right of the blade is definitely best for left-handers.

We asked our Left-Handers Club Members for their comments on left-handed knives and the responses came flooding in and they were all great to read! There were a variety of comments and opinions, , but most of you agreed that left-handed knives definitely do the trick and have saved many a loaf from becoming a doorstep wedge!

Listed below are some of the responses that we received to our questions.

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  • I bought a left-handed bread knife online because I was curious to see if it made a difference. Whenever I cut slices off a bread loaf, they are at a serious angle. Well, was there a difference with the left-handed knife! The control I felt left me awestruck. The slice I cut was perfectly straight.
  • I bought a left handed bread knife from your shop several years ago and it is one of the best items I have ever purchased. I can now cut bread in even slices without making a mess of the whole loaf! Cutting a French stick is no problem. I no longer have to ask my husband to cut my bread for me!!
    ~ Dr Claire Woodfield, Scotland
  • May I give a compliment for the quality of your knives. I'm very happy since I know my bad way of cutting has nothing to do with me, it's just the wrong knife. My 5-year old son is a lefty too (it's runs in the family – from both sides) and he is “happy to be a left hander” as he told me a few days ago and he is able to cut everything very well with a left- handed knife. This weekend he chopped meat, carrots and peppers without any problem. With a left-handed knife!
    The funny thing is: he is a real danger for himself with a right-handed knife in his hand.I'm very grateful your materials turn the world for him in a place where he can be a happy handy boy! Best wishes! Marjolein, Netherlands
Left handed bread knife

I bought a left handed knife from you last month – I couldn't believe the difference! However, its my secret as it has always got me out of any job that involved using a knife!!! ~ Michael Elliott, England

  • Amongst my first purchases from the Left handed site was a ‘Left-Handed Bread Knife'. At last I was able to cut thin bread slices. Wizard! Likewise my left-handed lawn edging shears, trouble is my wife has more or less opted out of edging the lawns. ~ Bernard Hyde, England
  • I have no problems cutting bread/food because I've used products from the Anything Left-Handed shop, including knives, for many years. I always use my left-handed bread knife. My left-handed vegetable knives enable me to cut e.g. cucumber straight. Incidentally, my left-handed York style potato peeler is the one implement I'd hate to have to do without. A final word about bread knives – the index finger of my right hand will always bear the scar which is the result of a self-inflicted injury – when I was 7 years old I tried to cut a slice of bread, obviously using a right-handed knife with my left hand, and sliced into my finger instead! ~ Nancy Shepherd, Bahrain
  • I didn't realise how much difference a left handed knife would make – until I got one! ~ Denise Cox, UK
  • Wow, I had no idea that my problems with cutting softer food like bread came from what side the knife was serrated on! I thought I was just a sloppy cutter in general. I find the same to be true when I try to cut cheese or even tomatoes into slices. What a catharsis to find out that it's not just me and the way I cut! Thank you! ~ Chris, USA
  • The only reason I have no problems cutting bread/food is because I already have a full set of your left handed knives. Previously I often served up wedges of cucumber instead of slices! When I first got my left handed knives I could not believe what a difference they made. I had never realised before that knives could be so sharp. Nowadays I very rarely use a right handed knife, although there are some in my kitchen drawer because my rightie husband is banned from using my left handed knives! ~ Helen Almond, Netherlands
  • I have been using a left handed bread knife which I purchased from Anything Left Handed in Beak Street, London about 30 years ago. It was brilliant. I also purchased a left handed ironing board, cake slice, and obtained a cheque book from the bank with no stubs! It certainly made life a lot easier for me! ~ Louise Goodacre, UK
  • I have always had a problem with knives seeming blunt to me and always cutting on an angle. Since I have invested in some left handed knives I have found them to be always sharp and I can actually cut things better. I wish I had found these years ago. ~ Sue Blunt, England
  • I've always wondered why I found it easier to cut with one particular knife so after reading your article I checked it and found that it is actually a lefties knife! My right handed partner thought I was weird finding this particular knife to be my favourite as he has never been able to cut properly with it. Thank you for clearing this up for us! ~ Vicki Barber, UK
  • Since buying left handed bread and other kitchen knives about 3 years ago, I've realised how long I struggled with right handed knives. As a child being told to put my knife in my right hand when eating meant that I just stabbed the food with my fork and tore it away with my knife as my dexterity was less at that time. Its quite amusing watching Righties use my knives and cut the most amusing pyramid shaped slices of bread!! ~ Sally, UK
It was an epiphany for me when I bought my first lefty bread-knife from you! Just like most lefties, I'd just assumed I just wasn't made to cut bread and other stuff without getting an overhang. I was so happy when I realised that it wasn't me at all, it was my old righty knives! ~ Jo Smith
  • To be honest with you I thought a left-handed knife was just a gimmick (all my knives were right-handed), I thought I was just useless at cutting bread until I read about it on your website and thought I'd give cutting a loaf of bread a try with my right hand instead of my usual left. The difference was startling and now ALL my knives are left-handed.As an aside, I have a left-handed cheque book (in that its bound down the right side instead of the left) with paying in slips in the back and whenever I go into a bank to pay something in the cashiers always struggle to even open the cheque book! And they always say the same thing “now I know what it's like for left-handers!” ~ Nicola, Wales
  • I've had trouble cutting bread and other things for years, and my loaves of bread always end up looking like the ones in the picture in your email, with that “overhang,” and I always thought it was just me! Now I know better. I'm also constantly cutting myself, and often my fingernails, when I cut things, because the knife tends to slip. Again, I thought it was just me. ~ Sue Goldian, Israel
  • I had great problems cutting with ‘normal' knives and people laughed at me for not being able to cut straight! But since I bought some left-handed knives from you my bread is no longer wonky, I can cut slices of cheese that are the same size (how exciting!!) and the grip is so much more comfortable too. Thank you! (PS – My right-handed husband can't use the knives at all – and completely gives up when it comes to my left-handed scissors!) ~ Kate Lawton, England
I always end up cutting bread so that it ends up with a huge slant on the end. For ages I thought this was just me until I found out my left-handed friend has the same problem,and also read a previous article you produced on this subject. ~ Yvonne Aburrow, UK
  • I always used to have terrible trouble cutting, especially, bread and hard cheeses, but since using your knives I am amazing! People (including me) always thought I was just clumsy, but with the right equipment I can even cut thin bread for cucumber sandwiches!Thank you! ~ Margi Merriman, UK
  • I got really lucky gowning up. My mom is also left handed. We had all the “proper utensils” in my house… Until I moved out on my own… I used to love home made BREAD! For the the longest time I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me when I moved out and tried to cut bread for the first time! I went home after reading this and checked… Sure enough, my mom's got the left handed knives! Every time my boyfriend (the WONDERFUL righty he is) comes over to my mom's house with me, he has the HARDEST time! It's HILARIOUS! My mom and I just laugh it off knowing he finally has a SLIGHT understanding of what I go through every day! It's nice to know I'm not alone! ~ Allison, USA

We had some comments that were not as favourable to left-handed knives and we thought that it was only fair that we share them with you too!

  • I really can't tell the difference between left and right serration, since my knife handles are “neutral” and not contoured toward either side (hand).~ Adele Hirschmann
  • I have a set of Calphalon Knives and I have had no problems with them. Really I don't think I have ever really had a problem working with a “right handed” knife. It is just a knife and I spend most of my life in my kitchen. It does not bother me, I have learned to adjust and accept. ~ Carolyn Laird, USA
  • Being serrated on one side or the other doesn't make much difference if I'm hungry. ~Charles Filson, USA
  • I seem to be able to cut fine even though we have no special left-handed knives, although the bread only stays straight when only my dad (who is also a leftie) and myself cut the bread, if my mum cuts it (she is a rightie) it then goes all wonky!! ~ Lily Walker, UK

Well, there you go!

Thank you to everyone who responded to our question – it is great to be part of such a helpful worldwide community of left-handers.

Click here to see our full range of   left-handed knives

Please add your own thoughts as comments below.

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14 comments on “Left handed knives
  1. Vicki says:

    I recently bought a bread knife, somewhat sceptical but a 20% offer persuaded me to give it a try! Straight away I noticed I was, for the first time, able to cut a thin and straight slice of bread. Still sceptical, I reasoned that it was just because the knife was new and super sharp. So my right handed husband goes to cut a slice with the knife and guess what…he’s produced the ‘wonky doorstep’ that I was previously famous for. I’m convinced! It really makes a difference!

  2. Eduard Mellaart says:

    What is the question: keep a smooth sharp side on the bssic piece, i.e the bread, or a smooth sharp side on the cut piece, the slice of bread. With the chissel a keep the basic planch smooth.

    When I cut a bread I don’t look to the slice, just make sure that the bread is cut as vertical as possible, all slices then come out with very even thickness; amazing isn’t it?

  3. Eduard Mellaart says:

    So sorry but I could not finbd out what is left hand serrated and life hand serrated. Non of your pcitures is clear. The picture with the E/F symbol does not show where is the handle and where is the tip, hence I can’t figure out what is left handed and vice versa.
    Comparing with the way a chisel is made I suppose that the smooth size is along the massive non-movable part of the piece to cut, and the uneven side is on the part coming off, which is movable. If I cut a piece on the top of a planch I have the bottom part of the chisel on the planch, and taking of the slice with the top part (the one that gets sharpened).

  4. Susan says:

    I never knew that so many cut their bread! I have always bought mine already cut!
    I use serrated knives for things like tomatoes, meat sometimes hard cheese. Never thought of the angle that it comes in! I will pay attention now. Maybe after 50 years of adjusting g, it just becomes second nature!

  5. Sascha says:

    I always struggled to find sharp knives, that is knives that cut well. Fed up with chewing food up I tried out some Victorinox tomato knives in desperation (Hmm the Swiss Army Knife people). I didn’t know there were left and right handed knives, I just thought there was sharp and blunt but these knives I was very impressed with. I just figured it was because they were well-made.

    I’ve had them over a year and I just went to look at them. Yep! They’re serrated for left-handers! They’re not marketed as such but at least I know why they’re the best knives I’ve ever owned. I only love them more now.

  6. June Nelson says:

    I have never been able to use electric knives. I have had two sets now – but whenever I cut the leg of lamb, both blades would shoot out. I would re-insert them only to have it happen again and again. But when my son or my husband, both righties used it, they cut perfectly for them. I assume they only make electric knives for right handed people. So that is a job I got out of!

  7. Chas says:

    I bought a set of 4 kitchen knives from your old shop in Brewer Street. I use them all the time. Conveniently, they’re on the left side of the knife drawer, which means they are the first knives I pick up. I never realised how useful they would be until I started using them. They’re still as sharp as they were when I first bought them – they were worth the price.

  8. Rhea says:

    My husband bought me left handed bread knife from America a few years ago. I had always complained about knives being right handed and was and am thrilled with the bread knife. And the best bit is, he can’t use it! Ha!

  9. Charlies mum says:

    I have always struggled to use other peoples kitchen knives because of the way they’ve naturally twisted through use but you try saying that to someone and they think you’re either nuts or just shirking cutting things until you show them. I can make a hash out of anything with knives that have been used by a right handed person but cut beautifully with my knives which have grown used to my natural lefty twist. However I didn’t know about the bread knife and I may have to invest. Am always door stopping my home baked loaves and just assumed I’d inherited my dads bad cutting technique but that may have been cos he was using a lefty knife?? May have to investigate further this weekend

  10. Carolyn Jackson says:

    I am the only left hander in my family, and we only have a right-handed bread knife. However, I am the only one who can cut a straight slice of bread with it!

    • Umashankar says:

      There’s no set rule as to have every type of knife. It depends on how you cook and which knvies feel good in your hand. Each person is different, I use knvies for different things that are designed for paring. They are more comfortable for me to use. I recommend that you locate your local restaurant equipment store. Go in and look around, you’ll find better knvies that are truly practical in the kitchen, also they have lots of items to help save time and energy and they will be at a fraction of the cost of a retail store.I would suggest you invest in good baking and sheet pans, just look and see what you find. They will also have items used some times they are in really great shape. and pennies on the dollar

  11. Suzi says:

    My husband and I are both left-handed. We need a new knife set and thought how nice it would be to have a whole set of knives for lefties. Does the company that makes the kitchen knives for you have a set including steak knives and the block that holds all the knives?

    We love your site and products! Thank you, ~Suzi~

    • Keith says:

      We used to produce a steak knife but the demand was so low we had to order them in very small quantities and that made them very expensive so the demand got even lower and eventually we had to stop making them. We have also looked at knife blocks but they are very heavy and as we ship worldwide the postage charges often came to more than the cost of the block so we thought people would rather buy their own choice of block locally and put our left-handed knives into it.

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