16 little ways that the world is designed for right-handed people

Jay Leno is left-handed.

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Jay Leno is left-handed.
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Amanda Edwards / Getty

Left-handed people make up just 10 percent of the world’s population – so it’s no surprise that their needs are often forgotten in the design of everyday tools and objects.

Here are 16 little obstacles that lefties face in a world designed for righties. If you’re right-handed, you’ve probably never noticed them before.


The pens at the bank are always attached on the right side.

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It’s tougher to write when the pen is on the wrong side.
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Shutterstock/PotatoTomato

When you have to pull the pen over to the left side, the cord always gets in the way of what you’re trying to write.


The flap covering the zippers on pants blocks easy access from the left side.

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Zippers can be a challenge.
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Flickr/Jeff Belmonte

It’s weird to reach around with the left hand and zip up from the other side.


If you hold a glass measuring cup in your left hand, you’re stuck with metric measurements.

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Measuring is tougher for lefties who don’t use the metric system.
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Shutterstock/POM POM

Diehard lefty bakers might want to invest in a left-handed version of the classic cup.


When you’re left-handed, writing in spiral notebooks and three-ring binders is a special kind of torture.

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Binder rings just get in the way.
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Flickr/Asish

The rings make it impossible for left-handed people to lay their hands flat on the page and write normally. The best solution is usually to wedge the left hand between the top two rings when writing on the top half of the page, then wedge it between the bottom two rings when writing on the bottom half.

Spoiler alert: It is not comfortable.


Every time you swipe a credit card, it’s on the right side of the machine.

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Luckily, the chip reader is in the middle.
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Flickr/Mike Mozart

Reaching over and swiping the card downward in your left hand feels weird. Of course, switching it to the right hand usually feels even weirder.


Old-school can openers only work well in the right hand. Lefties have to reach across the can and turn the crank at a really awkward angle.

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Manual can openers were designed for righties.
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Shutterstock/gresei

This hard to picture, so here’s a video that shows what happens when a lefty uses a right-handed can opener. Good thing there’s no shortage of lefty versions online.


Remember those desks with the chair attached? Definitely not made for lefties.

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These desks are infuriating for lefties.
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Flickr/Nayuki

In a classroom like these, lefties don’t get the luxury of resting their elbows on anything.


Car cup holders are almost never on the left.

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Lefties have to grab drinks with their right hand.
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Shutterstock/Pakpoom Phummee

Would you want to drink piping hot coffee with your non-dominant hand?


The number pad on keyboards? Of course it’s on the right.

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Left-handed people have to use their right hand to type on this part of the keyboard.
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Shutterstock/boyhey

Lefties plagued by this design can purchase left-handed keyboards with the number pad on the left.


This is what it looks like when a lefty tries to use right-handed scissors.

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Lefty scissors are hard to come by.
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Shutterstock/Mayuree Moonhirun

Yeah, not comfortable.


Lefties have to buy special guitars. (Or they can make like Jimi Hendrix and just play a righty guitar upside down.)

Source: Los Angeles Times


Vegetable peelers don’t work for lefties, either — but this one takes a bit of explaining.

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Peeling vegetables is tougher if you’re left-handed.
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Shutterstock/luciezr

Vegetable peelers only have one sharp side. They’re designed so that when they’re held in the right hand, the sharp side is on top and users can comfortably pull the tool toward themselves in a smooth, gentle motion, as seen in the photo above.

But when the peeler is held in the left hand, the sharp side of the blade is on the bottom. This means lefties have to awkwardly push the peeler away from themselves, resulting in short, jerky, uncomfortable peeling motions.

Luckily, lefties can purchase left-handed peelers that solve the problem.


Some entrance doors are built to be opened by right-handed people.

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Some doors are a struggle.
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Shutterstock/Paraksa

The natural way to open a door is to reach across your body to grab the knob, and the default is usually to have the knob on the left-hand side. That means they’re often built for righties to reach across their bodies with their dominant hand. Now, imagine reaching for a knob on the left side of the door with your left hand and pulling. Basically, you end up with the door in your face.

There’s a bright side, though, because lefties get the advantage when they go through that same doorway from the other direction. On the other side of the door, the knob will be on the right, so it’s meant to be grabbed with the left.


Ever notice that a camera’s most important buttons are always on the right?

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Lefty photographers often have to use their right finger to shoot photos.
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Flickr/Laineema

Even capturing moments is tougher for left-handed people.


When lefties draw a line along a ruler, their hands cover the numbers, so it’s hard to see when to stop.

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Rulers are just another product designed for right-handed writing.
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Shutterstock/Zheltobriukh Oleksandr

On left-handed rulers, the numbers move from right to left instead. That way, lefties can drag their pens from right to left and get a clear look at the numbers.


When you hold a tape measure in your left hand, the numbers are upside down.

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It’s still readable, but it’s a little more inconvenient.
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Shutterstock/Elizabeth A. Cummings

There’s a left-handed tape measure you can buy to fix this problem, too.