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Life as a left hander

Being cack handed

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martin perman20/03/2015 20:51:15
1835 forum posts
78 photos


Whilst reading another thread I saw mention of somebody being left handed and wondered who is that way inclined on here, what difficulties you have had to overcome or equipment you have had to modify to make your day easier, everyday life is designed around right handed people and anything to help us awkward buggers costs money.

I was born left handed and have remained so all my life, even though schools did there damndest to force me to change, the odd rapped knuckle on my left hand for instance.

As an apprentice machines were right handed, like the saddle wheel of a lathe or using verniers or micrometers because the coordination of my right hand could not cope, writing I had to change because you couldn't see what you had written because your hand got in the way. When I started as a machine tool fitter I found that I could get my hand and arm in places that the right handers couldn't when repairing machines.

Even after sixty one years of being awkward I still find something that makes me think first before I do it.

Martin P

John Stevenson20/03/2015 21:13:44
5068 forum posts
3 photos

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous............................

Max Tolerance20/03/2015 21:31:13
50 forum posts

I am also a sinister. However it has never really bothered me I use most tools as well as any ordinary right hander and since all the machines I have ever used are all designed the way they are I simply learnt to use them as they were. There are however two area's where things can be awkward. Scissors oddly enough are a pain in the butt, if I use them for any length of time they dig into my thumbs. Hence I didn't become a tailor!!!!

The other item which I find very poor and in-fact a danger to all left handers is that the manufacturers of power tools ALWAYS assume everyone is right handed and they fit those annoying trigger locks on the drills etc. THEY think the operators will press them in with their thumbs but us poor lefty's tend to push them in with our palm when we grip the handle. If you have ever had a drill powered up and been unable to stop it when you let go of the trigger you will realise what a dangerous idea the trigger locks are. The first thing I do with any power tool I buy ( or am asked to use at work or anywhere else) is to rip the annoying little buttons out and destroy them. I have written in the past to various tool manufacturers pointing out this obvious H&S issue but I have never received a reply. It seems odd to me that in all the risk assessments etc. required by law no-one has ever pointed out this one. There is a similar though less dangerous problem with battery operated drills where the forward / reverse button always seems to be designed so that a left hander will accidentally push it in and the chuck will revolve backwards ARRRRRRRRRG.

Andrew Johnston20/03/2015 21:40:21
5559 forum posts
650 photos

While I am left handed, and left footed, that is not the whole story. From a sport and dancing point of view I have two left feet. As for hands I am ambidextrous, as a kid I would sit and do one drawing with the left hand and one with the right, at the same time. I normally write left handed, and file and hacksaw left handed. But if get tired I just swap over and file or hacksaw right handed. I normally fly right handed, as that is the way the controls are set out. The throttle, flaps, airbrakes and so on are normally on the left, so you fly the aeroplane right handed. However, the Auster I used to own had a single, central throttle, so to use that during take off and landing you had to fly left handed. I never found it a problem.

Overall I suppose I haven't really had many issues. The biggest issue was sport. When I was at primary school we had a demonstration of how to hold and use a cricket bat, right handed of course. I said I was left handed and got the withering reply that I'd just have to sort it out for myself. May be that sowed the seed of my contempt for organised sport.

My father was also left handed, and like Martin, he was rapped over the knuckles to force him to write right handed. However, my grandmother went down to the school and laid the law down, saying if he wanted to use his left hand then that was what he was going to do. Quite an unusual attitude in the early 1930s


jason udall20/03/2015 22:07:01
2025 forum posts
41 photos

the victorians used brain surgery to "cure" glad times are more enlightened

Gray20/03/2015 22:09:58
1035 forum posts
13 photos

I too am a lefty, it has never hindered me in anything, I play guitar the way most people consider right handed although I maintain they are wrong, the left hand is doing all the clever stuff fretting the neck whereas the right is performing a relatively repetitive strum or picking motion so as they say, go figure. Everything else I have simply adapted to, scissors no problem, I used to fly right handed, play golf right handed (badly I might add), when in the RAF I shot right handed simply because many of the weapons I used could not be fired left handed. I do now use a lefty shotgun but that is probably more to do with my left eye being the more dominant after a cornea graft, still waiting to get the right one fixed.

Never had a problem with machines except circular saws which are just badly designed for a lefty in most cases. Power drills just naturally fall to my right hand, I learned to write with my right hand after an accident as a youngster left me with my left arm in plaster for several months. Normally write lefty now but can still swap if need be.If I have one peculiarity it is that when using screwdrivers, I tighten with my right and loosen with my left, I can do the reverse but it feels slightly odd!

Nick_G20/03/2015 22:20:52
1808 forum posts
744 photos


I am strange. indecision

Right handed but left footed. - Don't know how common that is or if it has a name.


John Stevenson20/03/2015 22:23:18
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Nick_G on 20/03/2015 22:20:52:


I am strange. indecision

Right handed but left footed. - Don't know how common that is or if it has a name.



Clumsy ??

John Rudd20/03/2015 22:36:22
1372 forum posts
66 photos

I am left handed too, Not really found it an inconvenience.....Just got on with the job in hand...

Johnboy2520/03/2015 22:41:04
259 forum posts
3 photos

Generally I'm right handed but I can do many things with either right or left. Racket games and fittings nuts on bolts for an example. But generally these days I'm just kack handed! wink 2


dave greenham20/03/2015 22:47:31
100 forum posts

I find that I can cope with most machines, although, I did buy an exact saw that I've never managed to use because its for the right hand And I just can't hold the lever down with my left hand, For most of my working life, I was a sewing m/c mechanic which was fine as most sewing m/cs are left handed, but micrometers, scissors and verniers are a problem, why are left handed versions so expensive ? At school, I was constantly being told off for writing so small, but back in the day, when we used soot ink and italic knibs on a stick, if I wrote bigger, it just smudged and no one including me could read it. But, I get by. Yes, sometimes I curse because the things the wrong way round. But hey ho. That's life for lefties.


Mick Berrisford20/03/2015 23:26:07
129 forum posts
2 photos

I'm pure left handed as regards writing, but am ambidextrous for everything else usually favouring my right for most other things bats, shooting etc but can swop with no problem to the left if I want or need to. My pet hate is Banks, Post Offices etc that always have fixed pens on chains on the right side that keggies can't use without performing contorsions.

Mike Poole20/03/2015 23:41:28
2621 forum posts
63 photos

I thought left handedness was caused by the brain being upside down, as surgical techniques improve we may be able to sort this out with a simple little op.


merlin20/03/2015 23:44:34
141 forum posts
1 photos

I agree with others that we just have to get on with things. When something new and 'handed' comes along, such as an air rifle, we must try to use it from the beginning as a right-hander.

I also am surprised that electric hand drills are made in only the one version.

It is possible to buy scissors with the handles moulded for lefties.

There is, or used to be, a 'left-handed shop' in London.

I wonder how many of us use the pc mouse in the left hand.

John Alexander Stewart21/03/2015 00:32:22
771 forum posts
52 photos
Posted by merlin on 20/03/2015 23:44:34:

I wonder how many of us use the pc mouse in the left hand.

It was pointed out to me once that, in a work lab I had, about half the mice were on the left side, the others (of course) on the right.

Interesting question - I'll have to go and actually look to see what side of the keyboard the mice at work and in my workshop are...

Danny M2Z21/03/2015 06:41:27
871 forum posts
283 photos

A good friend is cacky handed. When I service his PC's I always notice that his computer mouse is upside down.

I offered to re-program the rodent, but he would not have a bar of it - he's comfortable with it as it is.

Biggest problem is finding a l/h rifle for the sinister people. They can shoot too (unless they are village idiots).

* Danny M *

Trevor Wright21/03/2015 07:28:37
139 forum posts
36 photos

Like Nick G I am also right handed but left footed.

Didn't have a problem with this until watching a news item on the tv a few years ago that said people who were opposite handed were usually mentally retarded.............


Michael Gilligan21/03/2015 08:04:00
15891 forum posts
693 photos
Posted by merlin on 20/03/2015 23:44:34:

It is possible to buy scissors with the handles moulded for lefties.


[hopefully] the manufacturer does more than just change the mouldings!

Properly engineered; left-handed scissors should have the blades hinged appropriately, so that the pressure of the thumb biases them towards each other. ... The blades of Scissors used in the 'wrong' hand will be biased apart, and therefore will not cut so effectively.


pgk pgk21/03/2015 08:28:55
1851 forum posts
288 photos

As a student I had the privilege of working in a practice that allowed me to do much more than convention allwos. The 4 partners and one assistant there were all left handed so the only handed instrumentation was obviously also thus. LH needle holding gillies forceps in particular required an interesting hold on my part to use them - but I became quite adept. That then caused more confusion back at college when the surgeons saw the bizarre way I was now using right handed pairs and still suturing fast....

Ian S C21/03/2015 08:34:25
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Watch the movies, see how many people using a rifle hold and fire it left handed(maybe someone turned the film inside out)There used to be a left hand shop in Christchurch NZ, the scissors they sold had the blades on the opposite side.

I found that when I took up wood turning, I had little difficulty in using either hand when using chisels, and scrapers. I'm right handed.

Some of you may have heard of Bob Charles, left handed NZ golfer, he's right handed in everything else, he only became a LH golfer because the only clubs that were around home were a set of LH ones.

Ian S C

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