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Old 07-16-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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Left Handed Knives

So ive been reading that some knives are ambidextrous (sp?) while others are ground specifically for handedness. Apart from being able to name the parts of my knives Im not really versed in all the technical stuff. Anyone have a good resource I can read up on all that stuff (free and online preferably).

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:16 PM   #2
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I think you are talking about Japanese kinves. Some of them are ground like chisels, and therefore not ambidexterous. Leftys generally pay a premium to have them reground. There are a few very knowledgeable knife hobbyists in the forum, check out the knife threads. Free, online, and will answer your questions
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Your user name suggests that maybe you should stay away from the blade
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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I have heard this about Japanese clevers.
But being a very left-handed (right hand for strength only) person in a right handed world, I've not heard of
any other than those. But I've managed for 32 years.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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All Japanese knives are ground asymmetrical thus making them either right or left handed. Most Japanese knives are right handed and lefties pay a premium (30-50%) for a lefty version.

Some Euro/American knives can be found in right or left hand configurations but this is very rare, mostly task specific chisel ground knives and these aren't kitchen knives.

Dave
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:35 PM   #6
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Your user name suggests that maybe you should stay away from the blade
The scar on my thumb where I almost took it off the hand suggests that too but I never learn my lesson! Been playing with knives and fire my whole life despite cuts and burns to prove it.

About lefty knives I know Shun offers a full line....I actually saw some reasonably prices ones the other day. Cant remember the site.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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never heard of that but i'll ask my sister
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by D_R_Sharpening View Post
All Japanese knives are ground asymmetrical thus making them either right or left handed. Most Japanese knives are right handed and lefties pay a premium (30-50%) for a lefty version.

Some Euro/American knives can be found in right or left hand configurations but this is very rare, mostly task specific chisel ground knives and these aren't kitchen knives.

Dave
Now I am confused, I am looking at my knives (Kantesune) and can detect no difference right or left. I am left handed. Seem to work fine. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
Now I am confused, I am looking at my knives (Kantesune) and can detect no difference right or left. I am left handed. Seem to work fine. Am I missing something?

Japanese knives are ground (both at the edge bevels and entire blade) in asymmetric ratios of either 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, 90/10, or 100/0 which is unlike the 50/50 symmetric grinds of Euro/American knives. If a Japanese knife is real thin, and ground almost even (like 60/40), then it is hard to detect a distinction between right and left hand knives in use. This is likely the case with your Kanetsune. Problems often begin to show up in the form of knife twist (rotation of the knife during the cut) as a byproduct of sharpening. Meaning that if the knife isn't sharpened correctly overtime it will thicken at the edge and/or the ratio will change making the knife much more right handed. This is a very common occurrence which often needs correction. Be aware though that even if your knife was left handed (which it isn't unless you specifically purchased it marked as a lefty) this same thing could happen making the knife more right handed and/or twisting during the cut. It's a tough thing to explain but it does exist non-the-less.

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Old 07-17-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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I forgot about serrated knives. The serrations would be on the right side, instead of left.
Bigjim, just google "left-handed knives. You'll see a list of suppliers and descriptions.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:00 PM   #11
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I am ambidextrous in everything except writing and I find that my MAC (Japenese) knives are very good for those odd occasions when my arthritis is better in my left than right. The only holdout in the knives I have is of course my serrated bread knife.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_R_Sharpening View Post
All Japanese knives are ground asymmetrical thus making them either right or left handed. Most Japanese knives are right handed and lefties pay a premium (30-50%) for a lefty version.

Some Euro/American knives can be found in right or left hand configurations but this is very rare, mostly task specific chisel ground knives and these aren't kitchen knives.

Dave
I work only with fish and have found that to sharpen my knives Japanese style is much better for filleting, skinning and slicing fish. I don't buy the knives this way but gradually work them in to the shape each time I sharpen them. You would [not] be impressed with my trusty little angle grinder method Dave.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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Check this out for your left-handedness:


www.anythingleft-handed.com.uk/lh_tests.html




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Old 07-17-2008, 06:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by attie View Post
I work only with fish and have found that to sharpen my knives Japanese style is much better for filleting, skinning and slicing fish. I don't buy the knives this way but gradually work them in to the shape each time I sharpen them. You would [not] be impressed with my trusty little angle grinder method Dave.

An angle grinder? I love it!
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:55 PM   #15
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could i over time convert my ambidextrous knives to be left handed? For example, sharpen one side on a 15 degree and the other side on a 20 or so......
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:58 PM   #16
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Left handed Shun knives on sale!!
Kershaw Shun Classic Left Handed Knives - Shun Knives

It says the handle design is what makes it lefty and nothing about the grind angle though......
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:23 PM   #17
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could i over time convert my ambidextrous knives to be left handed? For example, sharpen one side on a 15 degree and the other side on a 20 or so......
You sure can, looking from the handle sharpen the left side only and take just the burr from the right side each time you do it.
Here's a site showing more detail that Dave might like to comment on
Korin - Fine Japanese Tableware and Chef Knives
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by BloodOnTheBlade View Post
Left handed Shun knives on sale!!
Kershaw Shun Classic Left Handed Knives - Shun Knives

It says the handle design is what makes it lefty and nothing about the grind angle though......
Shuns are ground 50/50. The only thing left or right handed is the handle itself. If you own a right handeled model and you are left handed you can knock the handle off, turn it 180 degrees, and reglue it.

If you want a left hand bias, sharpen only the left hand side of the blade until you get the bias you want, 60/40/, 80/20, etc.

Japanese left or right handed knives are different animals all together, with a back side that looks flat but is actually slightly concave, and 99% or so of the sharpenng is done on the front side. As a lefty, I can't stand using a right handed knife as it is difficult to maintain blade alignment.

That's a very brief synopsis but should give you an idea.

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