According to my mom, I became a lefty at the age of 3. You could tell, she says, because all of my drawings were smudged and I always had marker smeared down the side of my left hand. (Something that, when writing with a particularly inky pen, still happens to this day.) My mom was ecstatic about me being a lefty — only 10 percent of the population are — but I was not: I couldn’t use regular scissors, classroom desks were shaped for my right-handed classmates, and, as evidenced by my early foray into art, my hand was always covered in ink. As any left-handed person will tell you: It’s a right-handed person’s world and we’re just living in it.
While I’ve since adapted to society’s right-handed ways, I have discovered a few (non-gimmicky) gadgets along the way — like left-handed measuring cups, quick-drying pens, and angled cooking spoons — that make my life as a lefty a whole lot easier. Whether you or a left-handed loved one will be cooking, cutting, or crafting, below are the best, actually useful gadgets that any left-hander would be happy to own.
If right-handed scissors are used by a left-handed person, the difference in pressure forces the blades apart, rather than together, resulting in poor, jagged cuts. For larger projects like crafting, cropping a T-shirt, or opening a plastic bag, left-handed scissors are the way to go. I have a similar pair to these eight-inch ones, which are the right size for most tasks and have a soft, ergonomic grip for comfortable cutting.
Precision is important when it comes to using manicure scissors, something that right-handed ones, when used by a left hand, don’t allow. My mom gifted me these left-handed nail scissors back in high school, and I still use them weekly. They’re great for righties as well if you like to trim your fingernails with scissors and want to be able to trim your right hand. Mine are still sharp after however many years of constant use, and I use them for everything: shaping my eyebrows, trimming my cuticles, and even snipping loose threads on sweaters.
And for those who sew (or know a covetable objet d’art when they see one), these left-handed sewing scissors are shaped like a stork — a design that dates back to the 19th century — and should have no problem snipping delicate threads.
The same principles of physics apply to gardening shears as they do scissors, so a pair designed for left-handers will be key for the perfect prune. I use a similar pair to these ones, which have steel blades, a rotating handle, and ergonomic shock absorbers for maximum comfort while gardening.
There are two things I love about this measuring cup. One, it looks like a vintage Pyrex. And two, the handle (and therefore the measurements) is on the left side, so it’s easy to read while cooking. Plus, it’s microwave safe, made of tempered glass, and can measure up to two cups at a time. (It’s also earned a spot on my very own Christmas list.)
It’s virtually impossible to use a right-handed can opener with your left hand — I’ve tried. This left-handed can opener, with nonslip grips and a bottle opener slot at the top, should be a staple in any left-hander’s kitchen.
Opening a bottle of wine can be tricky for anyone, but even more so for left-handed people. This corkscrew turns counterclockwise so that lefties can twist with their left hand for optimum leverage, and includes a foil-cutting knife, bottle gripper, and bottle opener.
Gone are the days of smeared ink with the proper quick-drying pen. Back in 2018, we declared this ballpoint pen the “star among rollerballs” — namely because it doesn’t smear or smudge. It leaves a “heavier distribution of ink onto the page,” reports former Strategist editor Jason Chen, yet passes the left-handed smudge test with “flying colors.”
In 2019, we found these ruled notebooks from Field Notes to be “small enough to fit in a chore-coat pocket, but vertical enough for jotting down lots of notes.” The left-handed version is flipped the other way to minimize smudging, meaning that you write or draw from the right page to the left. While it might take some getting used to, reviewers say that they’re “awesome” for lefties who like to doodle and draw, and make for a practical, thoughtful gift (especially paired with the above pen).
While this lap desk won’t make up for years of enduring right-handed desks at school, it can vastly improve your work-from-home setup. There’s extra room on the left side for a left-handed mouse, notebooks, or snacks, and the lefty drawer underneath keeps pens and office supplies close at hand.
When watches are worn on the left wrist, the crowns can dig into the top of your hand and the dials can be pressed accidentally. But the crowns for setting the time on this Casio watch — similar to a vintage model I wear — are on the left side, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally resetting the time (or activating an alarm).