I have been soldering for almost 40 years with the torch in the
right hand.... (I started with a foot bellows and benzine can, so it
was the right foot as well....). So I guess I just learned to use my
left hand for complicated, delicate operations over time. I figured
it was the preceding years of violin practice that gave me the
ability to do the hard work with the left hand, but I always wondered
how others managed. I always thought everyone held the torch in their
dominant hand. Don't know why.
Janet in Jerusalem
I'm left handed and I hold the torch in my right hand. I use the
dominant hand to manipulate small parts etc.
Torch in left hand, stick in right. Right-handed.
No Janet. I'm a righty too, and play cello and violin. But I hold my
torch in my left hand. I did this even before I started pick
soldering, as occasionally you need to make minute adjustments to the
work during soldering. It feels really awkward to hold it in my right
hand. I feel I have much less torch control that way.
While I am left handed, I usually hold the torch in my right hand,
as the flex shafts, and other power tools hang on the left side of
the bench. Depending on what I am doing I may switch the torch to my
left hand occasionally, but normally I use my right and keep the
left hand free to use the solder pick if needed.
I was taught (and teach my folks) to use your 'bad' hand for the
torch. (Left, in my case.) Saves your better hand for fine detail
It's not too bad if that's what you start out with. You don't know
anything else, so your bad hand doesn't know it's the 'bad' one.
It's a PITA to switch over later though.
I started using a torch left handed at about the age of 15 or so. I
strongly suspect that has a lot to do with me being more-or-less
I started with a foot bellows
I still use bellows and usually hold the torch in my right hand, I
am right handed.
For fiddly things I swap to my left and use tweezers/pick in my
I also often rest the torch hand on the soldering bench to keep it
still while placing solder.
Usually right, sometimes left, it depends. CIA
Since I don't know any better and am isolated from everyone who does:
I typically hold my butane torch and dental torch in both hands, in a
'lightsaber' grip, for extra safety and steadiness.
The Flux will be with you. always..
Hmmm, I had to stop and think about it. I suppose I use both hands
regularly for torch handling. Although I correspond on paper (i
write actual letters to 'pen-pals' around the world - still) with my
right hand, I learned to hold the torch with my left so I could
manipulate things when necessary into place (or out of where it
landed) with my "more precise" hand. I don't teach students to use
one hand or another, unless they come in with some degree of
habituation and are insistent on using stick solder. then I suggest
it may be easier to get used to hold the torch in their less dominant
hand. but had to think about that too as its a rare incidence when It
comes up at all... rer
Agree Charles depending on the job as to which hand I hold the torch
How about a show for those who don't hold the torch at all? I'm one!
I would also be interested in hearing what advantages and
disadvantages there are for holding the torch as opposed to having
it fixed to the bench.
In whichever hand seems right. Let's see.... I started righty with a
propane torch at about 12, then started welding righty at 14,
soldering with air/acetylene lefty at the same age. Better at
applying solder and using tweezers with the right hand, so I solder
with the welding torch lefty, but use the same welding torch to prep
dies righty. I've been in welding situations where the only way to go
is torch-left, rod-right, and that's almost like trying to write with
the wrong hand, but not quite as hard. I consider myself only
semi-ambidextrous, because switching doesn't really come naturally. I
need time to learn, likeages ago in sports, I learned to kick soccer
with my left foot too. Thiswas way back before anybody in U. S.
schools played soccer, and kids almostall just kicked righty. I also
learned to shoot a basketball lefty, and write a little lefty, but
those were hard, and I only did it because I had a bad right thumb