Anything Left-Handed, the original left-handed shop, in London since 1968
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Send an email to a friend to tell them about this site The original left-handed shop, in London since 1968

Why is that left-handed?

It is not always clear why some of our products are left-handed and what benefits left-handers receive from using them rather than the usual right-handed versions. Here we explain what it is all about. We are continuing to add information to this page, and if there are particular items you would like us to include more details on, email us at ideas@anythingleft-handed.co.uk

Around the house
Scissors
Mugs
Clocks & Watches
In the kitchen
Knives
Grapefruit knife
Pastry fork
Pastry slice
Peeler
Tin opener
Corkscrew
Fish slice
Ladle
Saucepan
Garden and DIY
Secateurs
Sickle
Scythe
Measuring tapes
Craft knives
Bricklayer's trowel
Plasterer's float
Writing
Fountain pen
Calligraphy pen
Pencil
Ruler
Pencil sharpener
Children's things
Hand hugger pens
Pencil grips
Stationery
Notepad
Ring binder
Conference folder
Address book
Sports & leisure
Golf clubs
Baseball mit
Guitar
Music
Boomerang
Playing cards
Swiss army knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scissors

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 misusing right-handed scissors for so long! All our scissors are fully left-handed with blades reversed and left hand moulded grips.

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. Rather than buy them, you might be better writing a strongly worded complaint to the manufacturer! (see our FAQ section for more info.)

LEFT-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.

RIGHT-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

Mug

We have a selection of mugs - some with slogans and images printed so they can be seen by the drinker when held in the left hand (unlike normal slogans!) and a range of "Ugly Mugs" (shown here) which have a "face" protruding from one side, making it impossible to drink from this mug if you hold it in the right hand!

Clocks and Watches

Left-handers are very good at reversing images in our heads, and as children often do it unintentionally - writing backwards or "mirror writing" which they can read effortlessly. Although not exclusively a left-handed phenomenon, the ability to read a backwards clock face is easier for us than the majority. They also make great gifts - for people who want to see time run backwards!

Knives

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 n the right side of the blade to avoid this problem.

THE RIGHT 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.

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.

Grapefruit knife

  The blade is serrated so that when the knife is held in the left hand, the grapefruit can be cut in an anti-clockwise direction, towards you.

Pastry fork

  This stainless steel fork has the flat edge reversed, so you can slice off and spear a mouth-sized piece elegantly in one movement, without spinning the fork round to do so.

Pastry slice

  As you hold the pastry fork, the serration is along the right edge, so you can cut, then slide under the slice and serve in one easy movement, with your left hand.

Peeler

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.

Tin opener

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 opener gives more comfort & control.   Positioning is awkward when using a right-handed opener.

Corkscrew

  A left-handed corkscrew has a screw which turns anti-clockwise - a natural motion for a left-hander. The waiter's corkscrews also have a small-bladed knife for removing the foil from the bottles.

Fish slice

  Slices, turners and spatulas all have an edge angled correctly for left-handers to stir and flip with ease.

Ladle

  Our ladles have lips on the right of the bowl (as you hold it) to facilitate easy and accurate pouring from the left.

Saucepan

Anyone trying to pour from a traditional milk pan using their left hand knows that it can not only be awkward but downright dangerous, as you have to pour backwards, as in this picture.

Our non-stick milk pan has the pouring lip on the right (as you hold it) so left-handers can pour in the correct direction.

Secateurs

  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. Among our range are the Felco Pruning Shears, considered to be the best in the world. The Felco Pruning Shear with Revolving Handle was recently tested in "The Independent" newspaper who stated "These are brilliant shears, for professionals and keen amateurs alike, which really could last a lifetime".

Sickle

  Sickles are still favoured by many gardeners to tackle awkward, overgrown land, and with the blade sharpened on the reverse edge, this left-handed version allows the left-to-right cutting action to slice through vegetation easily.

Scythe

  The blade arch is reversed on this traditional scythe to allow a steady, rhythmic cutting action when leading with the left hand.

Measuring tape

 

Left-handers usually hold the measure in their left hand and pull with the right, but the numbers are always upside down! That's why our range of measuring tapes have the scale (in imperial and metric) running from right to left. Our range includes a dressmakers tape, 3m retractable and 7.5m heavy duty steel retractable measure.

Craft knives

The 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 so it can be easily set up before use to work for a left-hander, and the blade position changed for a right-hander if required. Our Safety Retractable Blade uses the left thumb to push out the blade for use, but the pressure whilst cutting keep the blade out without any further use of the thumb. Once the blade is lifted from the cutting surface, the blade automatically retracts back into the handle. The auto-locking craft knife has the same shaped blade, but can be locked into 5 different cutting positions. 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 & crafts.
CAUTION: Blade extremely sharp. Handle with care. Keep out of reach of children.

Plasterer's float

A plasterers float needs to move smoothly in one direction, normally from right-to-left for a right-hander, and has the feathered cutouts on the trailing edge and top edge.

This is completely useless for a left-hander moving the float from left-to-right so ours is made back-to front, with the trailing edges on the top and the left.

Fountain pen

 

"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.

It is important to remember, however, that handwriting position is just as important as a well designed pen. For help with common handwriting problems, see our Handwriting Factsheet.

Calligraphy pen

  Our range of Calligraphy Sets have left-hand interchangeable nibs in a range of widths, to enable you to develop your skills and express your ideas through beautiful calligraphic designs.

Pencil

  Apart from the Handhugger pencils (see below) our pencils are traditional, apart from one important difference .... the slogan on them (Left-Handers Do It Right!) is printed the other way up so you can read it in your left hand!!

Ruler

A real asset for drawing precise measurements, because our rulers are scaled from right to left, which is the direction we have to draw a line, so the nib doesn't jar on the paper and our hand doesn't cover the measurements - simple!

Pencil sharpener

  The 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!

Hand Hugger triangular pens

  Handhuggers are a great innovation by Berol, as they help small children develop a good "tripod" grip. They are pens and pencils with over-sized triangular shaped barrels which are easier for little hands to manoeuvre and grip. They are suitable for all children, but are particularly useful for encouraging left-handers to hold the pencil correctly - between the first two fingers and resting on the third - which they often find difficult to do. (See our Handwriting Factsheet for more tips on helping children with their writing).

Pencil grips

  As with the "Handhugger" pencils above, pencil grips slide over traditional sized pencils to encourage children to hold the pen between the first three fingers rather than gripping it tight in a fist or curling their arm into a "hook". It can also be positioned accurately on the pencil to position the hand at the correct distance from the point.

Notepad

  We designed this as the perfect telephone jotter pad, as it is glued down the right edge for easy removal of sheets whilst writing with the left hand.

Ring binder

 

Students often complain because the ring binder in folders is just where they need their hand to go to write! The solution is a ring binder with the binding on the right side of the A4 writing pad - well away from your left hand when taking notes. It takes a standard A4 pad, put in back page first, so the margin is on the right, but the holes are on the left - simple!

We are currently looking for a supplier for this item. If you know where we can get them, please let us know using the form on our Find New Items page

Conference folder

  When you open up this folder, you will find the A4 lined pad on the left side, with the pen holder to the left of it. This makes taking notes so much easier, especially during seminars or exhibitions as you can write comfortably on your lap or standing up without the contents of the opposite side falling all over the floor!The right side is fitted with sleeves to hold loose papers, brochures and business cards.

Address book

 

Left-handers tend to hold books in their right hand and thumb the pages with their left, which is why the little address book has become such a firm favourite! It opens in reverse and has the alphabetic index cut on the right edge, to select with your left thumb, open then write all in one easy movement - no more fumbling on the phone!

We are currently looking for a supplier for this item. If you know where we can get them, please let us know using the form on our Find New Items page

Golf clubs

  The angled faces on golf clubs have to face in the direction of the swing or a disastrous result will follow! A left-handed golfer swings the club from left-to-right and needs to have specially made golf clubs with the face angles reversed in order to get the ball off the floor.

Baseball Mit

  A left-handed thrower needs the catching mit on the right-hand, so it needs to be designed to fit, with the padding in all the correct places.

Guitar

 

A truly left-handed guitar not only has the strings reversed but all other parts as well, to produce an acceptable tone. However this is an expensive option and one which becomes more important the more advanced your playing becomes. Anything Left-Handed have chosen a Fender Acoustic Guitar to include in their range, as it is not only a beautiful instrument, but an ideal starter guitar at a realistic price.

Few music shops have a good selection of left-handed guitars, but here are some that do:-
Lefties Guitars (Holiday Music Ltd) tel: 020 8556 3000
Peter Cook's Guitar World - Tel: 020 8840 1244

Teaching a left-hander to play need not be an arduous task. Sit the left-handed pupil opposite the right-handed teacher so it is like looking at a mirror - a simple and effective way to learn. Sadly, we have heard of some teachers actually refusing to teach left-handed guitar! If you are under pressure to "conform" to right-handed playing, we would advise you change your teacher, not your playing preference! You may end up being a competent right handed player, but think how fantastic you would have been using your natural hand!

Left-handed guitar books, tutorial and chord sheet provide information on playing position, tuning and chords.

Music

  A few years ago, two left-handed professional rock musicians, Tot Taylor and Mick Bass produced a "reverse" keyboard with the notes ascending from the right - a more natural direction for them to play. They set about composing music that felt and sounded great to play, and the result is the album "Music for the Left-Handed".

Boomerang

Anything Left-Handed stock a range of left-handed boomerangs and they are an item that always leads to great hilarity - from right and left-handers alike. However, they are very different to the right-handed versions, indeed they have to be designed completely backwards or they would dive into the floor rather than flying! But first, why does a boomerang "boomerang" at all?

Each arm of a boomerang is shaped like the wing of an aeroplane, with a rounded leading edge and a sharpened trailing edge. The upper edge is longer than the lower edge which leads to a low pressure area above the wing (as originally established by a scientist called Bernoulli who had this principle named after him). Therefore, as it rotates, the boomerang produces a lifting force called "aerodynamic lift". A spinning boomerang acts as a gyroscope and the combination of the aerodynamic lift and the gyroscopic effect produces an effect called "precession" which determines the flight path of the boomerang. Overall, these effects make for a very stable and accurate flying object, which is why it gained its popularity as a hunting weapon. The boomerang now enjoys general popularity and is used in fiercely contested competitions throughout the world.

A typical boomerang flight can last 8 to 10 seconds and the boomerang may travel 30m out and back in a curved flight pattern. The boomerang travels at about 60 mph and spins at about 10 revolutions per second (600 rpm).

The shape of the "wings" of the boomerang is critical and, if a right-handed boomerang is thrown with the left hand, the leading and trailing edges are reversed and it produces negative lift - causing it to hit the floor very quickly! A specially designed left-handed boomerang avoids this problem. The Skyrider boomerang is suitable for older children and adults, whilst the Trailblazer (pictured) is a long-range weighted boomerang for more experienced throwers.

Playing cards

  Traditional playing cards only have the number on two diagonal corners, which become covered up when cards are fanned in the left hand! "Left-hand friendly" playing cards have the number on all four corners, so that everyone can play!

Swiss army knife

 

Pocket knives have "thumb-nail" machinings in the blades to make it easy to open the blades from the body of the knife. A left-handed pocket knife has the machinings on the other side of the blade so that you can hold the body of the knife in the left hand ready for use and open the blade with the right thumb. More advanced knives like the Swiss army knives also have things like scissors, corkscrews and nail files built in and these also need to be made left-handed (scissor blades reversed, corkscrew motion anti-clockwise and nail file machining on the other side of the blade).

We are currently looking for a supplier for this item. If you know where we can get them, please let us know using the form on our Find New Items page

 

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