Our handedness is natural and instinctive.  We choose the dominant hand for a task without thinking based on the way our brain is wired.  And we don’t always use just one side as our preference.

The hand you write with is often used as the main determinant of handedness.  This is because it is a complex task using fine motor skills that involve many muscles and require a lot of practice.  Sadly, in years past, children were forced at school to write with their right hand only and this caused angst and poor handwriting for the rest of their lives as well as a false identification of being right-handed. 


We regularly receive comments from people who use a different hand for a particular task. We have combined and modified a few different tests to give you a good idea on how left-handed you are:

  1.  Which hand do you prefer to write with?
  2.  Which hand creates neater handwriting?
  3.  Fold your arms.  Which forearm is on top?
  4.  Clap hands in applause.  Which is on top?
  5.  Wink.  Which eye did you use?
  6.  Brush your teeth.  Which hand do you use?
  7.  Brush or comb your hair.  Which hand do you use?
  8.  Eating with a spoon.  Which hand do you use?
  9.  Compare your thumb nails.  Which one has the square and wider base?
  10.  Clasp hands so that the fingers alternate.  Which thumb is on top?
  11.  Compare your thumb nails.  Which one is wider and squarer than the other at the base?
  12.  Hold a cricket or baseball bat and be ready to receive.  Did you turn left or right?
  13.  Throw a ball.  Which hand did you use?
  14.  Use a large kitchen knife.  Which hand do you use?
  15.  Peel a potato or carrot.  Which hand holds the peeler?
  16.  Use a computer mouse.  Which hand do you use?
  17.  Turn a key to unlock the front door.  Which hand do you use?
  18.  You can’t quite hear someone speaking and you cup your hand against your ear.  Which ear?  That is your dominant ear.
  19.  Dial a number on your phone.  Which hand do you use?
  20.  Point at an object across the room with both eyes open.  Without moving your finger, close one eye and then the other. Which eye had you pointing correctly at the object?  That is your dominant eye.
  21.  Kick a ball.  Which foot is stronger and more accurate?
  22.  Make a cup of tea.  Which hand poured water from the kettle?
  23.  Flick through a book.  Which hand turned the page?
  24.  Play a guitar (or pretend).  Which hand are you strumming with?
  25.  Deal a hand of poker.  Which hand do you distribute the cards with?


If every question is answered as “Left”, then Congratulations!  You are a 100% Lefty!


However, most of us will have at least one of these questions answered as a right-hander.  This is described as “mixed laterality” and is often seen in the difference between one-handed tasks (such as writing) and two-handed tasks (such as batting or guitar).  And the more of those you have shows us that you are usually one of the more adaptable people to their right-handed environment.

And don’t worry about differences.  You may be left-handed but right eye dominant (quite common) or right-footed.  It makes you the unique person you are.

There may also be some who have no hand preference for a particular task or they can perform a task equally well with either hand.  Being ambidextrous (ambidexterity) means that you can do all tasks equally well with either hand.  Less than 1% of the population is truly ambidextrous.