The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Top 15 Left-Handed EDC Knives

Only about 10 percent of people are left-handed.

That means the vast majority of items and tools are made with right-handers in mind. Lefties have to put up with right-handed scissors, right-handed can openers, right-handed desks, etc. While the left-handed industry has grown over the years (they make left-handed everything nowadays like scissors and reverse spiral-bound notebooks), finding the same quality that right-handers are afforded is hard.

But it is not hopeless for left-handers. Right, Ned?

Fortunately, for all you lefties out there, some knifemakers are sensitive to your plight and have created truly ambidextrous knife designs. If you’re tired trying to adjusts to right-handed knives with their annoying liner locks, these 10 knives are great EDC options for left-handers.

1. Gerber Gator

Gerber gets much maligned by knife experts for a number of reasons, including some that are well-deserved, but when they do something right, they do it really right. The Gerber Gator is the perfect example. This knife is a staple of the Gerber line and is made in the United States with quality materials.

The clip point blade is 420HC stainless steel and the textured handle is glass-filled nylon. You can grab the drop point in 154CM steel if your heart desires. But the real left-handed feature on the knife is the lock back mechanism (which is more specifically a mid lock). This mechanism can be used effectively with either hand.

There’s also no thumb studs or nail nicks on either side which means you can open it up by pinching the blade with either hand. Finally, a lack of clip won’t give you anxiety about which direction it should face.

2. Benchmade Griptilian

If you want a truly ambidextrous knife, look no further than Benchmade. Essentially every knife in the lineup works seamlessly with the left hand thanks to the AXIS locking mechanism.

Here is the great Doug Ritter singing the AXIS lock’s praises on his site:

Operationally, the lock can be, and is in all the knives produced so far, completely ambidextrous since the locking bar extends through both side plates. While the lockback is also ambidextrous, the liner lock is not, and with few exceptions, southpaws have been left out in the cold when it comes to liner lock knives.

Because pretty much all Benchmade knives could be on this list, I narrowed it down to the two that are among the best EDC knives ever. The first to make the appearance is the Benchmade Griptilian.

There’s something about the design of the knife that makes it so darn functional and appealing. The originals featured an exceptionally grippy nylon handle with a 154CM blade. For those of us in regions with restrictions, the Mini Griptilian has a blade that comes in at less than 3 inches.

Then, of course, there’s the recently upgraded premium version of the knife with G10 handle scales, blue anodized titanium spacers, and premium CPM-20CV steel. Plus, the knife comes in all types of colors and black or satin blade coating.

There’s a Griptilian for every personality.

3. Al Mar Ultralight Eagle

Al Mar is a legend in the knife community and the brand’s bird of prey line (Eagle, Falcon, and Hawk) are among the best EDC knives around. They’re a bit on the pricey end, but the Ultralight versions weighing in at less than 3 ounces are worth the price.

The Eagle Ultralight is the perfect balance of all the elements. The blade is 4 inches and features the Al Mar front lock mechanism on the black Micarta handle. The lock acts as a back lock for all intents and purposes, which means either hand can close it.

Overall, the knife is smooth, sleek, and sexy. But if you want premium steel look elsewhere since this knife comes with an AUS-8 steel blade.

4. DPx Gear HEST/F 2.0 Lefthand

Love frame locks but can’t use them because they’re just too annoying with the left hand? Have I got the knife for you. DPx Gear answered the call of left-handers with dedicated left-handed knives.

The DPx Gear HEST/F 2.0 LH is hailed as one of the best left-handed knives around, mainly because it’s one of the rare knives made especially for left-handers. Unlike most frame locks, the lock is on the right side of the blade, making it easier for lefties to close. Plus, this model uses the RotoBlock system that prevents any slippage whatsoever.

On top of the reverse lock, the knife is a well-built, hard-use folder with a D2 steel blade and G-10 handle with titanium alloy frame. Made in Italy by LionSteel, this knife is as solid and reliable as they come.

5. Cold Steel Recon 1

Like Benchmade’s AXIS Lock, Cold Steel’s Tri-Ad Lock is perfect for left- or right-handers. The lock is essentially a modified lock back with a unique stop pin that absorbs some of the positive pressure on the blade. The lock is often touted as one of the most reliable out there and the fact that it’s ambidextrous is even more appealing to lefties.

While many Cold Steel knives boast the Tri-Ad lock, I went with the always dependable Cold Steel Recon 1 for this list. The knife comes in a few iterations and sizes, but one of my favorites is the standard drop point size with the 4-inch blade and CTS XHP steel.

The highly textured G-10 scales offer a strong grip while the ergonomics keep it firmly in the hand. It opens with ambidextrous thumb studs.

You can’t go wrong with this knife.

6. Spyderco Paramilitary 2

Ask any knife enthusiast for the best EDC knife ever made and the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 will make the list. It’s astounding just how popular and beloved this knife has become. You can find it in all types of steels and handle colors, but the classic with the black G-10 handles and 3.42-inch S30V steel blade can’t be beat. The size, shape, and ease of use are the mean reasons this knife is so beloved.

So how is this knife good for left-handers? It uses the Compression Lock that’s easy to use with either hand. It’s not quite to the level as a back lock, but using the thumb to pinch the knife shut is easy.

If you want even more left-handed love, Spyderco recently created a left-handed version of the knife. It’s not available at Knife Depot yet, but you can find it on Spyderco’s site. The only difference is the mirror image of the Compression Lock since the iconic Round Hole and four-position clip means operation with either hand is already possible.

7. Chris Reeve Sebenza

Speaking of highly coveted EDC knives, the Chris Reeve Sebenza is another on the list of best knives of all time. The Sebenza set an industry standard and earned a reputation as the best of the best. The knife pioneered the Integral Lock and made titanium handles and an S35VN steel blade accented with anodized blue hardware a thing.

Because these are often made to order, you can get the Sebenza in a dedicated left-handed version, which features the reverse Integral Lock, reverse anodized blue thumb stud, and tip-up left hand carry pocket clip.

The small Sebenza 21 left hand will cost you $350 while the large Sebenza 21 left hand will set you back $410.

8. Fallkniven U2

It’s hard to get more symmetrical than the Fallkniven U2. The only way to tell the difference between sides is the Fallkniven U2 stamp on the blade and the pivot screw. This is exactly what an ambidextrous knife should look like. The gentleman’s folder has a nail nick on both sides of the blade and a back lock mechanism.

You won’t reach for this knife if you want something you can flick open with one hand (left or right). Instead, you’ll have to open and close this knife with two hands, unless you can master it.

For looking like such an old knife that’s a throwback to the past, the U2 is surprisingly modern and high tech. The small 2.5-inch blade uses Super Gold Powder Steel (SGPS) with a core of SG-2, offering edge retention like few others. The Zytel handle does its job and does it well.

9. Benchmade 940

The next Benchmade to grace this list is the renowned Benchmade 940. This is equally regarded as one of the best EDC knives around but with a different profile. The 940 is slim and streamlined with a 3.4-inch blade made from S30V steel and green aluminum handles.

It comes in at less than three ounces. If you have the means, I highly recommend the 940-1 premium version with carbon fiber handles and an S90V steel blade.

There’s not much more you can say about this knife other than it’s the best of the best. Like most Benchmade knives, it has dual thumb studs, a reversible pocket clip, and the AXIS locking, making it functional for lefties everywhere.

10. Spyderco Delica 4

Spyderco uses more than just the Compression Lock as you’ll soon find out. It has a few knives that use the back lock mechanism, but one of the best for EDC is the Delica 4.

The Delica was released along with its slightly bigger brother in 1990 and is now in its fourth iteration that is near (or at) perfection. The knife has an efficient 2.875-inch blade made from VG-10 stainless steel and fiberglass reinforced nylon handles with Bi-Directional Texturing that stays in the hand no matter what direction you’re pulling or pushing it.

The four-position clip and the Round Hole means the knife is good for either hand. You can even use one hand to open and close it with a little practice.

If you want a bigger version, go for the nearly identical Endura 4.

11. SOG Tomcat 3.0

The Arc-Lock is another one of those locks that’s great for either hand. It looks similar to the AXIS Lock, but it works differently and has been tested at more than 1000 lbs of force. Like the Tri-Ad Lock it adjusts itself over time to prevent failure after frequent and tough use.

SOG has released an array of new models with the Arc-Lock, but I was torn between two for this list: the Tomcat and the Vulcan. I ultimately chose the Tomcat because it was SOG’s first folder and remains one of its best.

The Tomcat 3.0 is a heavy-duty folder with a beefy design that can withstand anything you throw at it. The curvy blade is VG-10 steel with a clip point profile and dual thumb studs. The handle is Kraton with a steel bolster that makes the whole design pop.

Of course, the real treat for lefties is the Arc-Lock, which is easy to close with the left hand. The knife is a little on the pricier side, but it’s well worth it.

12. Victorinox Soldier

Swiss Army Knives are among the best EDC knives ever made, but most of the designs and nail nicks are geared toward righties. So, you can imagine the shock of many when the new Victorinox Soldier used a liner lock perfect for lefties.

Few SAKs actually have locking blades, but the Soldier is one of those models. It uses a liner lock that you have to push to the right to close. This means lefties can comfortably open and close the knife with one hand. If you look on YouTube, you’ll find a bunch of frustrated righties trying to figure out how to close the knife (now they know how lefties feel with all liner locks).

I read somewhere that the design is done purposely so that soldiers cannot disengage the knife without two hands, though that sounds a little silly to me. I think the design of the tool just makes the right-closing liner lock more convenient.

Aside from the liner-locking blade, the knife has some of the standard fares of traditional SAKs like a saw blade, screwdrivers, awl, can and bottle openers and more.

13. Spyderco Manix 2

Spyderco’s third knife to make this list has the brand’s Ball Bearing Lock, which for all intents and purposes works like the AXIS Lock. The internal design is vastly different (a cage contains a ball that’s pushed onto a ramp on the blade), but you can close it seamlessly with either hand.

The Manix 2 itself is highly beloved. From its long 3.37-inch leaf-shaped blade with S30V steel to its ergonomically designed handle, the Manix 2 is just one of those great EDC knives.

It also comes in the affectionately deemed blurple coloration with S110V steel as well as FRN handle scales if you prefer the Bi-Directional Texture.

Spyderco gets a lot right with this model and lefties can rejoice with righties.

14. Kershaw Induction

The Kershaw Induction is by far the newest knife on this list, and I was a little hesitant to add it because the jury is still out on just how great of an EDC knife this is. However, early returns have been very positive and I have a fondness for the ingenuity of the Hawks, who created the Hawk Lock on this knife.

The Hawk Lock looks and functions similar to the AXIS lock and disengages by pulling back on a slider. Unlike the other mechanisms, the Hawk Lock is only on one side of the knife — the left side. This means righties can use the thumb to close, but lefties are not left out. As LeftyCutlery pointed out on YouTube, you can open and close the knife very effectively with just the left hand. Instead of using the thumb on the right, you use the index finger on the left hand. Watch the ease of the action in his Induction review.

On top of the Hawk Lock, this knife is just darn sexy with its two-tone blade and anodized aluminum handles with glass-filled nylon texture inserts. People often lament missing out on the discontinued but beloved Kershaw RAM, which was a take on the Hawk’s custom lock, (though that model wouldn’t have been ideal for lefties).

The Hawks make a few ambidextrous designs, including the Strap Lock (which can be found in the Buck Marksman as the Strong Lock System) and the Deadbolt Over Grabstep lock found in the rare CRKT DOG.

15. Spyderco UK Penknife

Finally, there’s the fourth Spyderco on this list with a fourth type of locking mechanism — well, it’s actually a lack of a locking mechanism that’s different. There are a number of slip joints out there that would make great EDC knives for righties (like the Case Sodbuster), but the configuration is not for lefties. Fortunately, Spyderco has something for everyone.

This model started out as a knife that conforms to the strict UK knife laws (hence the name UK Penknife) but has since become its own thing. You’d think a slip joint wouldn’t make a good EDC because of the dangers it may pose. The Spyderco UKPK is as reliable a slip joint as they come.

The blade is a reasonable sub 3 inches and made from CTS-BD1 while the black handle is FRN. You can get the blade profile in either the leaf-shape or drop point.

The knife opens up smoothly via the Round Hole while a notched joint at the knife’s pivot keeps it open during use. A finger choil also provides some extra security when wielding the knife. Its wire clip is ambidextrous as well.

2 Comments

  1. The Gerber Gator is one of my favorites. I consider it Gerber’s “Buck 110” because since it’s inception in the 90s a lot of other manufacturers have tried to copy it. As of recent they’re now offering a Gator Premium model that uses S30V, has a thumb hole in the blade, lanyard hole, and leather sheath. Well worth the money.

  2. I strongly suspect this article was written by someone that is not left handed. Being left handed has nothing to do with which hand we prefer to use so much as we have an entirely different perception. In typical smug, right handed fashion this article leaves out some details that are important to us southpaws. Not a single mention was made of where the pocket clips were located nor their orientation. Next time, get a Southpaw to provide you with some input prior to recommending to us what would work.

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