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 Post subject: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:50 am
Posts: 9
In not left handed, so this is just speculation, but I've read a few threads with a few people looking for a southpaw friendly knife. Seems like CKTG could open the door to other choices by offering a conversion option(s) for these buyers. The simplest I see is flipping the Wa type handles over. In a few threads I read, it was indicated that the Wa handles are just pressed and sometimes glued on. Perhaps a lefty could pay for your rehandle service and you can just pop the handle off, flip it 180° and glue it back on. I can see where an asymmetrical grind would be much more difficult, maybe impossible to correct, but flipping a "D" Wa type handle over should be simple. No?


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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 393
It will be a little more complicated than that for two reasons at least. One is that the D-shape is not symmetrical with respect to its vertical center: the ridge is high on the handle, so flipping it would put it low. This could still be a comfortable shape for some, but it would put the thicker part of the handle on the bottom rather than the top. The second issue is that tangs are rarely straight. Even if it is straight in the horizontal dimension, and isn't bent side-to-side, it is unlikely to be even enough in shape vertically to flip the handle over without having the handle change angle compared to the knife's spine. The tang hole would need to be widened in the appropriate direction to get the blade straight with the handle again.

Could it be done, yes. Would it work with regular, repeatable results? I think that is a lot less likely.


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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 1:52 am
Posts: 316
Location: Philly
The left handed knife I think has more to do with japanese knives that are only singled beveled with the edge on the right side. it creates steering problems for lefties. Or even some dual beveled knives that favor the right side bevel heavily.

I would say being a lefty most handles don't actually bother me. Its not like trying to use right hand scissors with your left hand, godforbid.



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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:57 pm
Posts: 393
whosthebestcop wrote:The left handed knife I think has more to do with japanese knives that are only singled beveled with the edge on the right side. it creates steering problems for lefties. Or even some dual beveled knives that favor the right side bevel heavily.


You know, the Kajiwara damascus knives are very intersting in that respect. They are heavily convexed on the left-hand side of the blade, and slightly S-curved on the right (convex, then slightly concave) but largely flat. They are distinctly double-bevel but this is opposite the traditional single-bevel shape and different than a lot of convexed-right flat-left knives ground for righties. I think it does steer slightly but I have no trouble adjusting for it subconsciously with a little use. I tried using it the opposite way and food release was actually better. I wonder how its apparently lefty-friendly shape would fare for a lefty, and/or whether handedness of double-bevel knives regardless of overall grind is usually subtle enough to be compensated for easily. Some people seem to say yes and some no, but maybe that depends on the knives themselves? or the people? Being right-handed it is rarely an issue I run into.


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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:31 am 
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Location: Philly
I never tried it. I know SteveG is a lefty I wonder if he has handled that particular knife.

I know sometimes with serrated bread knives since most are flat on one side causes me a problem. If I was doing cakes I would have to use the floss or string trick to make sure I was even. Sometimes even with the serrated utility knives for cutting bagels I can't steer it. Never know whose kitchen I will end up in and my friends will put me to work so sometimes I just have to use my right hand.

I can hang with using serrated with my right hand, also cutting proteins raw/uncooked, general chopping however I can't mince or julienne with my right hand at all.

I ended up using my right hand a little more because I when I taught family/friends some knife skills they at points get confused since they were all righty. So eventually I was like screw it I will just show you as a righty then.

Figure I will need like 20-30 lbs of onions and carrots each with my right hand to be pretty good with it.



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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:02 am 
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SMOKE <> As has been touched upon, a left handed knife or right handed knife is determined by their single bevel grind. The handle is simply matched to the grind. An oval or octagon Wa can be installed on a right-handed knife, but a lefty is not going to use it just because the handle fits them as the blade will fight them by steering opposite.

Steering reference <--link

Here is a right-handed knife: <--link
Image



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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:50 am
Posts: 9
I'm aware of asymmetrical 70/30 or single ground bevels, as I indicated in my OP I would think they're nearly impossible to convert over. I was thinking if a 50/50 ground knife with a "D" handle that is just a little thicker on the right hand that it wouldn't be difficult to switch it to the left for southpaws. The only "D" handle knife I've ever gripped were Shuns which have bolsters and wouldn't really be swappable. I hadn't thought that the bit of extra material in the handle is vertically offset as well as horizontally.


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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:30 pm 
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As a lefty, I really don't worry about "D" shaped handles too much when using a pinch grip. A racquet grip is another matter - for me. I've only noticed steering issues on a few double bevel knives out of all the ones I've tried. If the steering is minimal to moderate, one normally makes the adjustment pretty quickly. Not gripping the knife too tightly does seem to help.

One knife that noticeably steered on me OOTB was the Kaneshige Stainless Wa Gyuto 210/240. The edge bevel is something like 90/10, right side biased. I believe it was just not in line with the grind geometry of the knife. A more 50/50 edge bevel totally eliminated the issue for me - on those knives.

If the blade itself doesn't steer, but the "D" handle isn't to someones liking, it might be worth a re-handle with an oval or octagonal handle. The Tanaka Ginsan and VG-10's are examples that didn't steer at all for me and are definitely worth a re-handle IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Left-Right hand conversions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:30 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:25 am
Posts: 18
More options for us lefties is always welcome!


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