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Left-handed scissors

Elisabeth | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

In the upcoming Threads article on scissors I hope that left handed scissors are at least mentioned. The current Vogue Patterns Magazine has a nice piece on scissors and I cannot find one word about left handed scissors! It is difficult to find “true” left hand dressmaker shears and next to impossible to find any other type in a true left hand. Sometimes just the handle shapes are switched and the blades are still for right handed cutters. The most ridiculous thing I have seen was a package with an inexpensive pair that I bought quite a few years ago just to have as spares. While the larger shears were true left hand the extras in the package, some tailors snips and embroidery, were both for the right hand!

Many sewing tools are for right handed people and I figure out how to use those and really don’t mind. Often the little seam gauge is upside down when I hold it but oh well, I’m getting training in reading upside down. The scissors though, they really need to be for lefties or it doesn’t work. Please remember the lefties!


  1. barbchr | | #1

    I completely agree.  I'm tired of seeing ads for very expensive scissors without a mention of whether they can be used by lefthanders.

    Another adjustment lefties make is rulers (and gridded cutting boards).  The numbers, of course, go from left to right.  A righty usually draws a line pulling the pencil or maker or rotary cutter from left to right.  A lefty has to push it along from left to right.  Or work upside down and backwards.  This does not facilitate accurate cutting!

    1. DK123 | | #9

      I am a left hander.  I have been cutting with my right hand since I was a child(the left handed scissors made 30plus years ago never cut). 

      I saw a note about yardsticks and being right handed.  I do have a treasure from my grandmother--it is an antique left handed yardstick.  the numbers go from right to left.  I don't know where she found it, but she is a seamstress as well, so it was a special gift that I treasure.

      1. CLeoCre8 | | #10

        I've read that left handed people are the most creative. So with that said I figure that there should be a large percentage of leftie sewers. Having sewn for over 25 years, I personally have never had any issues with right handed tools (even scissors and yes I too used to get that nasty red mark on my thumb but thought nothing of it, no pain no gain!) I guess to me it would be like living life deaf or blind you learn to adapt, I have never really sat down and though that my ruler, machine etc. are made for the right handed (except for now). Long live the lefties.


        1. juliaxyz | | #11

          I am a lefty and never adapted to the "truly" left-handed scissors with the blades reversed. My first pair of left-handed scissors were a nice pair of Fiskars that my Mom gave me when I was a teenager. I used them for yearts for all sorts of projects and I still have them. The blades weren't reversed but I never noticed this until years later, when I bought another pair of left-handed Fiskars and could never cut properly with them; I took a close look and noticed that the blades were reversed. I stopped using the new scissors and got a pair of the Fiskar soft-touch.

      2. mimi | | #12

        As a teacher/para working in kindergarten for 15 years, I have used the old red training scissors (they have four finger holes, two for the child and two for the teacher to guide the child in learning to cut) as well as the leftie scissors.  I agree that they never really cut well, but neither did the right hand scissor.  Even though I knew how to cut, those training schissors would make my hands hurt after a few minutes.  The only good thing to come out of that was that I can now cut with either hand!

        The newer fiskar scissors we now use in the classroom are a godsend, as they are "ambidextrous" and everyone can cut with them the same day we introduce them!  Not well of course, but that is what kindergarten is all about: learning to do new things.

        I don't know if left-handed people are more creative (my husband, a lefty, says they are!) but they are certainly better at compensating for an inherent handicap.


  2. mimi | | #2

    Have you tried the Fiskars soft touch scissors?


    1. KarenW | | #3

      Gingher, Kai and Fiskars make true left handed scissors.  I have ordered the Ginghers from Joann's (well... didn't mean to, I'm not a leftie, they got the wrong ones in but I had leftie DS try them to see if they were REALLY lefties - i.e. not just having  handles adjusted but blades reversed so a leftie could really use them and see what they were doing).  I got him Fiskars years ago as they were the first true left handed scissors we found.  And I believe Kai carries them as well (got my regular Kai shears from http://www.bullarddesigns.com at a show).  Mention of where to get real left handed scissors would definitely be an important inclusion in the article!Just curious, I've always wondered if it's really awkward using a sewing machine for left handers - it is designed for righties... is it uncomfortable or something you just never think about because there was never a left handed one? 



      1. mimi | | #4

        My DH is a leftie too.  He adjusts everything he does to make it work.  I'm sure that is true of most of the left handed populaltion.  When I was a child, the nuns would not allow us to write left handed; you would get smacked with a ruler if you tried!


        1. carolfresia | | #5

          I come from a family with a fair number of left-handed people (I'm not one of them), and I'm married to a leftie--but somehow managed to have both of my kids turn out right-handed. I'm actually ambivalent about that: glad that I don't have the awkwardness of trying to help them through a predominantly right-handed world (I remember my little sister trying to cut with those blunt, right-handed scissors as a kindergartener), and also a little sad, because I've always felt that left-handed people have some special form of creativity.

           I believe I read somewhere that statistically, left-handed women have the highest average IQ of all adults--that's probably why there are so few left-handed sewing scissors. The manufacturers must figure that these women already are so far ahead of the rest of us that they don't need the extra help! (Just kidding--I can't imagine what it would be like not to be able to get tools configured to the way I want to use them.)

          I've always figured left-handed sewers get accustomed to sewing machines the same way that they must get accustomed to driving a car, which is also kind of oriented (at least in the US) to right-handed people. And for what it's worth, no matter how I try to use a gridded rule with a rotary cutter, I, too, always seem to find it going the wrong direction. Either I'm just a dummy about it, or I've somehow obtained a left-handed ruler!

          I invite anyone with tips on how lefties can more easily use any kind of sewing equipment to post ideas here.


          1. mimi | | #6

            The best thing about fiskars is that they started making scissors for children that can be used by either right or left handed children.  What a blessing in the classroom!  Left handed scissors NEVER worked!


      2. vaaardvark | | #7

        I'm a leftie and I have always felt comfortable with a sewing machine and figured it must have been made for a leftie.

        Except for raising the presser foot. That was always a little bit akward.  But with the knee lifter on my Janome, I don't have to worry about that any more.


        They never had left handed scissors when I was in grade school. I remember having red rings and much discomfort around my left thumb when trying to cut paper.



  3. classysewer | | #8

    I have two pair of left handed Fiskars scissors. My first pair I can no longer use until I find an expert scissor sharpener who understands what is wrong and can fix it. (I now rely on my Mondials and Ginghers. The other pair of left hander Fiskars is not left handed at all, but rather right handed blades with left handed handles.

    However, I have found that there are certain circumstances where I want those right handed blades to see what I am cutting.

    A further note to all you lefties out there. Duck bladed scissors used for grading seams appear to be right handed, but they work just fine if you turn them upside down and work with them that way since the handles are not contoured!

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