I am thinking of getting a circular saw (185mm) for a few jobs around the
place. I am plenty 'handy' enough but for woodworking have tended to stick to
hand tools for most of the things I need to do.
Apart from the fact that they are scary things, one other consideration for me
is that I am left handed, and have a small and somewhat 'malformed' right hand
(Poland's Syndrome, if anyone is interested).
This normally causes me no problems, but I am aware that tools like this are
increasingly ergonomically designed for the majority right-handed folk. My right
hand has less strength than my left and sometimes it is awkward for me to
'hold a handle and press a button' with it at the same time - stuff like that.
Are there any left-handers here who can offer opinions about designs that are
better suited (or less ill-suited) to the sinister amongst us?
FWIW I was thinking of the Evolution Rage saw, which I have seen get good press
I'd not thought of a circular saw or other power tools as being "handed",
but I can see the problem. I wonder whether holding a circular saw and
guiding it along a marked line is something that *normally* can be done with
the "wrong" hand. The fact that your "wrong" hand is weakened tips the
balance even more strongly in favour of you having to use your left hand.
I wonder whethe Poland Syndrome and handedness go [sorry for this
unintentional pun] hand-in-hand: is the fact that your left side is your
dominant side a consequence of your right hand not developing?
It's a shame that the saw is isn't designed so the handle and guide can be
fitted on the opposite side. Given that left-handed people are a sizeable
minority, I wonder if any tool manufacturers sell replacement handles and
guides that are the opposite way round.
Handedness is an interesting thing. I had lunch with a woman who ate with
her fork in her right hand and her knife in the left. I was puzzled because
I'd earlier seen her writing with her right hand. I asked her and she looked
bewildered: she was evidently so used to eating with her fork in her right
hand for any food that didn't require a knife that she hadn't learned to eat
with fork in left and knife in right, and instinctively used her knife (on
the rarer occasions) in the opposite hand to the one she habitually used her
My mum is left handed but was taught to use her fork in the left hand as a
right-hander would do because it would not stand out as much: at 82, she's
old enough to have had left-handedness stigmatised at school, though not to
the extent that she holds a pen in her left hand but still sloping to the
right as a right-hander would do; I've seen a lot of people contorting their
left hand so as to get the pen to slope to the right, usually involving
putting the hand *above* the line of writing rather than to the left of it.
Instead, Mum holds her pen in an exact mirror image of the way I would.
I was born a sinister, forced at school to use my right hand to write
with by tying my left behind my back. At 71 it now feels very odd to
try to even try write with my left, but most other things I can happily
do with either hand. I am left permanently confused by left and right,
because I don't have a natural main hand. I have to think for a while
before laying out knives and forks at the table. I use most tools with
which ever hand suits the easiest access, or in repetitive jobs often
just change hands to rest one or the other. Picking up a handed item
like a circular saw, I would need to test it with both hands, to see
which hand worked best. I get confused when shaking hands with someone
as to which hand to offer and my hand writing has always been terrible.
I can though, beat most people with hunt and peck on the keyboard.
That was more of a problem when people wrote with slow-drying fountain-pen
ink. Nowadays with quick-drying Biro ink, it's *less* of a problem, most of
the time. I can understand why in fountain pen days, left-handers used to
put their hand above the line of writing so the left side of the hand and
the little finger, which take the weight of the hand as you write, didn't
smear the ink.
I went to school with one girl who was left-handed and gripped the pen
between the first and last joints of her forefinger and middle finger
, without using her
thumb, rather than between thumb and middle finger with forefinger on top
, as most people do.
That looked a *lot* more weird than the fact she was writing with her left
hand. Mind you, she took all the weight of her hand on the end of her little
finger, which allowed her to keep the base of her hand clear of the paper to
avoid it smearing the ink.
I've also seen someone holding their pen with only the thumb and forefinger
touching it and the middle finger tucked back
which looks equally
But each to their own - whatever people find easiest.
We must be a very odd family...we are all right handed but...
SWMBO always uses fork in right hand, knife in left. So does one of our
SWMBO and I are both rodentially ambidextrous. We both have the mouse
buttons mirror imaged.
I hold a pen between thumb and forefinger, with all finger joints bent. I
get lots of comments but that's how I've always done it.
My posts are my copyright and if @diy_forums or Home Owners' Hub
wish to copy them they can pay me £1 a message.
It don't know what is the correct way, but I would hold one at the tip,
between first, second finger and thumb, with the top resting in the
crook of hand/thumb. I still have a sort of groove below the tip joint
of my second finger from the pen pressure.
I would sometimes swap to the alternative of - pen upper section
resting in the crook of first and second finger, to take the pressure
off that groove.
Yes, in my early years I was expected to use a pen and ink well at
school, once I had progresses from pencils. Only in my teens did I
progress to a Biro.
They don't now do anything like as much hand writing as we had to do at
school, the world runs on keyboard entries now. From my point of view,
I am much happier on a keyboard, than with a pen - I no longer get the
cramps and it is much more legible lol .
On Wed, 20 Jun 2018 15:29:47 +0100, Harry Bloomfield wrote:
How about mouse/trackpads ?
sudden thought: I wonder if Android/iOS can be set up for lefties ?
Currently it seems to be set up for holding the phone in the left hand,
and using the right to tap.
Sounds irrelevant, until you realise that cover-cases are handed too ...
When I use a cover-case (eg on my wife's phone) I fold the cover back under
the phone and then hold the phone in my left hand while using my right index
finger (not my thumb!!!!!!!!!) to select icons or type at the on-screen
keyboard. I'd expect a leftie to do exactly the same, though probably with
These days, my handwriting is terrible!
Lack of practice, I suppose.
I've tracked down my fountain pen for use when I have to fill
in anything important - usually anything I don't have to read
But then, I've always liked the control that a fountain pen
gives you ...
My handwriting is appalling. It was never very good - one of my first school
reports referred to the quality of my handwriting which was atrocious,
except that my parents and I had great difficult reading what the English
teacher had written on my report :-)
After a lot of practice, I got my writing reasonably OK, but at the expense
of being slow: in exams under time pressures it reverted to atrocious.
Since I've used a computer for most of what I write - I rarely write letters
to anyone when emails are easier and quicker to send and receive - my
writing has deteriorated again, so I have to take great care to slow down
when filling in a paper form or addressing an envelope.
I've still got my old cartridge pen. I found true fountain pens, filled from
a bottle of Quink, just too messy, though the smell of that ink takes me
straight back to the Lower Fourth at school, sitting in one of those desks
which had the seat joined onto the desk, and could be slid across the floor
on runners (*). But a cartridge is a good compromise. I prefer an ink pen to
a biro. Water-based ink pens (Pentel, Rollerball etc) are easier because the
ball moves more freely over the page than for a biro.
(*) One of the "masters" (teachers) at school had been a boy there 15 years
earlier and he had a foot in both camps when it came to allegiance, so he
told us how "when I were a lad" they used to all slide their desks-and-seats
towards the front, in unison, whenever the teacher's back was turned. They
did it so gradually that like the legendary "boiling frogs" experiment, the
master didn't notice what was happening, The goal was to have the master
penned into a corner by the end of the lesson :-)
I thought it was just me. Because I was never proud of my handwriting, I
took to using a computer perhaps earlier than many. As I also enjoyed
producing a reasonable looking document. Not just a chore. And my
handwriting has gone downhill ever since.
*And the cardiologist' s diet: - If it tastes good spit it out.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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