Lefties are a mostly silent minority who have been maligned since the beginning of time. Since only approximately 10% of the population end up with left-hand dominance, most knife makers can forget they even exist, choosing instead to make knives that only appeal to the righties of the world. Some are kinder and offer an ambidextrous option, but rarely will a brand take the time and energy to cater to the southpaw contingent, letting that 10% struggle to find an EDC knife that is made to fit their needs.
We wanted to celebrate our right-minded brothers and sisters by showcasing the brands who know that everyone deserves a quality blade for their everyday carry, no matter which hand they prefer. We looked for manufacturers who made knives that were switchable and swappable from side to side, but also those who found ingenious new ways to turn a left-handed blade into an advantage, creating something that the other 90% can enjoy. For anyone who likes to shake with their smarter side, here’s the 10 best left-handed knives for EDC.
Prim and Proper: The Leek is an entire series of knives from Kershaw that includes offerings bearing combo blades, various handles, and a few other refinements for the more unusual knife fanatic. Ken Onion even has a model in the lineup, should you want a little more name recognition. What is similar about each Leek is the slim frame that begs to be snapped open time and again, with ambidextrous thumb-studs and SpeedSafe assisted opening for a quick lock and rapid snap no matter how you carry it, or which hand grabs it. This isn’t just a piece for lefties, but anyone addicted to fast.
Victorinox Swiss Army One Hand Trekker
Accidental Art: It’s debatable whether or not Victorinox actually set out to make a left-handed EDC knife, or if it happened accidentally when they were designing it. Whatever the genesis of the Trekker, we’re glad it’s around. The majority of knives that lean to the left are quick-action blades that are made more for off-hand use than true left-handed work. Lacking much in the way of combat skills, the Trekker deviates from this course. It’s made by the one true Swiss Army Knife maker, and with a nice sturdy blade, and plenty of tools that all deploy the wrong way for the right-handed, it’s good for any occasion.
CRKT M16-13SFGL – Kit Carson Design
To the Hilt: Using a double-ground tanto blade and dual carson assisted-opening flippers, Columbia River Knife & Tool has given us something that is almost never seen on a folding knife: A hilt. Safe as houses when opened due to the integrated AutoLAWKS system, you might not get a full fixed-blade feel from this model of the M16, but it’s going to come close enough not to matter. The blade is the slightly softer 8Cr14MoV, which is soft enough to simply field sharpen, but lands at 58-59 on the HRC scale, so it won’t be lying down and dying anytime soon.
Cold Steel 27TLT Recon
Stab-Happy: Could Steel’s Recon is out and proud with a full tanto on full display, declaring unequivocally: I am knife, see me jab. Out of the box you’ll have a couple of pocket clips that can go wherever you see fit to put them, allowing for left-handed adjustment that’s as easy as turning a screw. The handle’s scales are pure G-10 laminate, and the entire piece is heat-treated so it’s able to hold an edge for operation in the most extreme of conditions. Popular among deployed combatants due to its adjustability, it’s a big piece at more than 9-inches, but aggressive southpaws won’t find a dearer friend.
Simple Statement: We already had 10 thousand reasons to love the Griptilian, from it’s textured, no-slip handle, to the jimping that gives us spectacular manual control, it’s a knife with few flaws. Added to its list of accolades is the fact that the Griptilian has always been made for use with either hand. The Axis locking system and automatic assist opening looks precisely the same on one side as it does the other. 154CM stainless steel makes up the blade, with your choice of combination cutting surfaces, or a pure plain edge for less a less intensive life.
Spyderco ParaMilitary 2
Work & Warfare: The paramilitary more than lives up to its name as a knife used by warriors, rescuers, and those who act as the thin line between civilization and violent anarchy. G-10 handles give the handle a comforting solidity without packing on the ounces for easier pocket-carry EDC. You can get the CPM-S30V steel in classic silver, or the deep black option if you prefer a little more stealth. Fine for most users straight out of the packaging, you might need to do a little clip alteration to get it right for you, but it’s a 30-second fix for a lifetime of use.
DPx Gear HEST 2.0
Arrive Alive: The Hest is touted as a full survival tool, which it could very well be. For our purposes it is a titanium alloy frame surrounding a D2 steel knife with a nice big belly for doing whatever work we need, be that camping, carving, whittling, or escaping an North Korean work camp. Stronger and lighter than the 1.0, the improvements to the newest Hest model added, but did not detract from the original design. Able to lock hard for a greater fixed-blade sensibility, this upstart from the wrong side of the tracks has proven it’s a manful work knife for any leftie looking at a lifetime of hard labor.
Zero Tolerance 0450CF
Fast-Acting: Made by Dmitry Sinkevich to be a scaled-down version of the classic 0450 folding knife, the CF model is slightly smaller than its brother, and easier to flip out due to the KVT bearing system. The handle is titanium with a carbon fiber print that gives it a tactical look, while reducing bulk. A surprisingly strong framelock engages easily and holds on tight, letting the S35VN stainless blade with its diamond-like coating do the majority of the talking. Not specifically designed for lefties, ZT has made a solid flipper that goes with either hand, but you’ll find your draw speed loses nothing with the 0450CF, however you pull it.
Emerson Left-handed CQC-7BW
Close Enough: This is the flagship knife of Emerson released in a dedicated left-hand model. Not meant to be a work knife at all, you have an assisted opening paddle, an angular tanto tip, and a grippable wave format to the G-10 and glass handle. The lock is comprised of aerospace titanium that’s ready to be shot into the sun. Even the name implies it’s meant for more than opening letters, with CQC standing for Close-Quarters Combat. Emerson might not be a big name in knives, but leftie scrappers would be wise to pick this up.
Chris Reeve Sebenza – Left-handed Version
Made To Order: The Sebenza 21 is one of the most personalized knives in the world, with everything from intricate damascus steel designs to the stonewashed original. Though you can change many parts of the Sebenza, you can’t make the right-hand only knife work if you swing from the left side. That’s why it’s manufactured in a model made just for lefties, so that everyone can have their own; complete with CPM S35VN steel and titanium handle. Pulling out a 58-60 HRC rating, the knife holds an edge better than the 1987 original, but isn’t so hard you can’t hone it on the run should you need to.