top of page

Tools for Left-handers

Calling all Left-handers and tool makers….. hello and I hope you can get to your Workshops in these extraordinarily disruptive times.

If you can I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially here with leather working tools in mind.

As far as I know there aren’t any leather working tools specifically made for left-handers, so if you know of any being made I’d love to know who you are and what you’re making and get the word out.

Also it would be great to hear of any tips on how Left-handed Leather workers are converting right handed tools to work for you.

So here I’m looking at entry level tools shown above and the ones that always prove a problem for Left-handers are;

The Strap Cutter,

The Stitch line groover

The Safety Beveler/Skiver.

Here’s a tip for the Strap Cutter for left-handers, though you do have to adjust it to the required width you want as a right-hander would do. Once you’ve got the width adjusted just turn it upside down and put it in your left hand, the flat wooden side and the blade are all in the correct place to cut your strip from the hide, it’s just that the measurement numbers are upside down.

But for the Stitch line groover and the Safety Beveler/Skiver I’ve not been able to figure out a work around and think will need to leave it for you tool makers.

For the Stitch line groover if you pull out the groover and put it back in from the other end it means the small barb is facing up and not down, so doesn’t work.

For the Safety Beveler/Skiver to work as it’s designed, all it needs is the metal side folds pressed in reverse.

A quick google search tells us Left-handers make up about 10 percent of the population, what else? Again looking at percentages left-handers score higher when it comes to creativity, rhythm, visualisation with a higher number of Nobel prize winners, artists, musicians and US Presidents (no, not Trump)

But if only 1 in 10 of us are Left-handed I can see why tool makers may see it as a small market to get into, but niche is good right.

Now to my own experiences, which are not in any way a medical study!

But they are based on my observations over the last couple of years having had hundreds and hundreds of people attending my Leather maker Workshops using our tools, most of whom are first time Makers.

My message to Tool Makers is the amount of Left-handers on my workshops reflects a very different number than the average 1 in 10 and are much closer to being 1 in 3.

Why is that? Left-Handers love my Workshops :)

…….Well hopefully, but it’d certainly endorse those studies that proportionately Left-Handers show a greater interest or are drawn to or fit creative disciplines and crafts.

So my message to Tool makers is don’t think of Left-handed Leather Working tools as a maximum 10% market, think of it as a potential 33% potential customer base, or more… a far healthier niche market.

Richard Williamson (author)

not left-handed

321 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Richard Williamson
Richard Williamson
Apr 10, 2020

Hi Martin, yes Nigel Armitage has some great videos, wasn't aware of the left handed one but must be really useful. I am really surprised current leatherwork tool makers aren't making left handed tools, but I was contacted on instagram by a person that had bought an old Plough Gauge made by J Dixon's but it turned out to be a left handed version, but she is right handed! Looks like the older tool makers were making left handed leather working tools.


As a lefty I've found Nigel Amitage videos to be invaluable particularly his demonstrations of left handed saddle stitch. I purchased my first pair of scissors from William Whiteley and sons Ltd for left handed use, and they were a revelation. I did have some problems initially as I was so used to using a right handed pair but they have a blog post explaining this It would be good to see other tools specifically made for left handed use.

bottom of page