One of the most common complaints involves having the on/off switch placed in an awkward location — inconvenient or difficult to get to in the event of an emergency.
With saws, a common issue is that the blade is on the right hand side. This makes it difficult for lefties because it may leave them with only two options:
- hold it the wrong way and hope the cut ends up being straight
- face it the other way around with the blade coming at you and the materials coming at you.
Neither is a very effective option. Doh!
As a result, many left handed individuals feel like they have been cheated by the power tool industry… go figure!
This feeling of inequality prompted the formation of the Left Handers Club in 1990. Their efforts have been sparking the interest in many power tool manufacturers to address the situation.
There ARE now left handed variations available, so it is worthwhile doing some research to check availability and suitability.
Tink Note- when I went web hopping on this subject I found that the terminology I searched with made all of the difference.
For instance looking on Amazon and using the term left hand, elicited little. Changing my search term to left handed, as in *left handed power tool* was marginally more successful.
There are some common shop tools where this is not an issue, the table saw being a prime example because you can choose to cut on either the right side or the left side of the blade.
However, the table saw won’t be suitable for every task, since we all know how difficult it is to make a good cut while holding your table saw over your head…
(>>> that was a JOKE, guys! <<<)
Porter-Cable, has introduced a circular saw kit that features the blade on the left hand side.
As more and more tool manufacturers are stepping up to the plate, there are more options arriving on the market. There are power tools that can be used easily for left handed individuals including power screwdrivers, routers, nailers, drills, and sanders.
In many instances, the on/off switch has been placed in the middle of the power tool so it can be accessed from the right side or the left side.
Right handed power tools vs left handed power tools can be a big issue for the professional spending 8 or more hours a day using tools that aren’t quite right.
For weekend warriors, it can be an even bigger issue. I remember that when I would start a new summer job in tech theatre, after an 8-9 month hiatus doing other things, it would take me a couple of days to get my tool hands back.
When you are just getting to use your tools for weekend projects, it can seem like the first half of any task is justt getting comfortable with the tool… and by the time you feel confident, that task is complete and you move on to the next. Talk about frustration as a buzz kill!
One excellent development is that the power tool industry is making the majority of power tools accommodating for both left handed and right handed individuals. For example, in the past, left handed individuals had to reach in front of the power tool and that could be a potential risk for injury. Now most of the many power tools have the power switch in the center. What a concept! LOL
Since there are so many left handed people, there is a huge demand for power tools to work for them. Creating power tools that appeal to this market seems like a great opportunity for power tool manufacturers.
Let’s hope that they will continue with the development of designing tools that are neutral handed (I know… than isn’t a real phrase, but you know what I meant!) and when necessary, provide both right handed and left handed models.
When I dream…
All my shelves are level and my walls are plumb…
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