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What are Left Hand Scissors?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Left hand scissors are scissors which have been engineered for use by someone who is left handed. For the right handed majority in the world, a simple thing like scissors might not seem terribly important, but left handed individuals often struggle with right hand scissors, because they are difficult for a left handed individual to use. Many stores which stock scissors also carry or can order left hand versions, and it is also possible to buy lefty scissors, as they are called, at stores which specialize in products for people who are left handed.

Conventional scissors are designed to be used with right handed pressure. When conventional scissors are used in the left hand, it is difficult to control the scissors and hard to make a precise cut. It is also sometimes challenging to see what is happening without peering around the scissors or holding the scissors at a very awkward angle. All of these issues can make left handed cutting frustrating, imprecise, and sometimes dangerous.

Scissors engineered for the left hand are designed to respond to left handed pressure, and they are also customized with blades which have been reversed, making it easy to see the path of the cut and to control the process of cutting. In the case of angled scissors, the angle is also adjusted to accommodate left handed users. The left hand scissors will be more comfortable and easy to use for lefties, and they will also be significantly safer. In the hands of a right handed person, of course, left hand scissors would feel uncomfortable and awkward.

A wide variety of types of scissors can be tooled for someone who is left handed, including kitchen shears, children's scissors, craft scissors, haircutting scissors, and so forth. In all cases, left hand scissors are most effective if the blades are kept sharp, and if the scissors are oiled to promote free movement of the blades. Additional features like ergonomic and cushioned grips may be available in some instances.

Left handed individuals should strongly consider purchasing left hand scissors, assuming that they do not own a pair already. It is also a good idea to keep lefty scissors on supply in school rooms and offices, so that left handed individuals can find an appropriate tool within the supplies on hand, rather than needing to use scissors which are not designed for their hands. Right handed individuals may also want to try using left handed scissors in their dominant hands to get an idea of how frustrating it can be to use inappropriate tools.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon344376 — On Aug 09, 2013

Almost everybody needs lefty scissors, nevertheless most don't use them, to my amazement. How else do you want to cut the nails on your right hand? The pedicure sets should all contain two scissors, which they don't.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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