Helpful One-Handed Gadgets For Upper Limb Amputees

After losing an arm I was forced to research and test multiple tools in order to facilitate my needs and ultimately become as independent as possible in my everyday life. If you are an arm amputee finding it difficult to adapt, don’t get discouraged. Sooner or later you will find your own way of accomplishing your tasks.

Below is a list of the one-handed gadgets that I’ve found to be worth the time and investment.

Kitchen and Food Preparation

One-Handed Can Opener

While trying multiple electric can openers the EZ Squeeze Can Opener works the best by far. The price point isn’t super steep either. Simply squeeze and release, sort of like an ice cream scooper. The magnetic tip makes it simple to remove the cut top from the can when you’re done.

Rocker Knife

Losing an arm doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy steak!  With this knife, all you have to do is apply downward pressure and an easy rocking motion no protein is a match for the Deluxe Maddox Pro Helper Knife. As a bonus, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket or purse when going out for dinner.

Combination Cutting Board

This is one of my favourite one-handed gadget kitchen tools! It comes with several handy features.
The item featured below can be found here.

  • Four suction cups for safe surface mounting, this ensures the board doesn’t slip and slide from your workstation
  • Three stainless steel spikes, perfect for holding a fruit or vegetable for slicing and dicing
  • A raised corner for toast, making it simple to spread butter, peanut butter or jam
  • A hinged attached chef knife facilitating an easy chopping motion with the ability to swivel the knife from side to side

One-Handed Pairing Board

Although I don’t use this board as much as the one above I do find it amazing for baking. It does almost everything as the board above except it comes equipped with a vise that can hold bowls for mixing and stirring as well as gripping boxes or jars in order open or unscrew. This board includes the great four suction grip feet. The item featured below can be found here.

Dycem Non-Slip Pads

I never knew how much I relied on two hands until I lost one. Things are slippery! These no slip rubber-type pads are fantastic. You can use them for just about anything including, but not limited to
The item featured below can be found here.

  • Opening jars
  • Place a piece under your plate to prevent it from slipping while you eat
  • Use a piece under a large bowl while mixing dough or batter
  • Adding a piece to the bottom of your sink is very helpful for washing dishes

Left Handed Scissors (for former right-handed amputees)

This one is pretty specific, but suddenly becoming left hand dominant is tough. One of my biggest frustrations was trying to cut anything with right-handed scissors. Once I got myself a pair of left-handed scissors everything became so much easier. If I could make any recommendation on a brand I would say the Fiskars Cuts+More are my go-to scissors of choice now. They have a really comfortable grip. They also cut more than paper such as wire, twine, light rope, and heavy duty tape. There are also some hidden gems like a blade sharpener on the safety cover and even a bottle opener!

Dressing and Personal Grooming

Deluxe Pocket Dresser Button Aid

Suddenly that White Stripes song becomes so relevant, The hardest button to button is all of them! This Swiss Army looking tool is just as cool as the real thing and you’ll never travel anywhere without it. This multitool makes it simple to button all types of buttons big and small. As a man, I really rely on it for dress shirts. The zipper hook also works well, but I do find it difficult to pull the hook and hold the bottom one-handedly. While wearing a prosthesis the zipper hook is much more effective.
The item featured below can be found here.

No Tie Elastic Shoe Laces

These are my new favourite find. After trying some different brands Hickies are by a mile the best and easiest to lace. Although I can tie my laces while wearing my prosthesis it takes time and patience. These laces are so simple I applied them to my shoes one-handed. Now I can just slip my shoes on without compromising time. I also don’t have to worry about them coming undone in public. Due to nerve damage in my ankles my shoes always have to be laced tight. With these lace’s elasticity, I never have to worry about tightening my shoes, they’re always perfect tension.

Extended Handle Shower Loofa

Not being able to reach your armpit while showering is another disadvantage I never thought of when I became an amputee. Significate others or family members are always useful, but having complete independence is important. Buying a shower loofa with an extended handle can help reach that armpit with ease. It’s also great for back and legs! The item featured below can be found here.

One-Handed Nail Clipper

This is exactly as the title describes. It totally looks like a novelty item, but cutting your nails with one hand is no joke. This device makes it simple to apply pressure using your residual limb to facilitate clipping. The item featured below can be found here.

Other Cool Stuff

One-Handed Wallet

Easy access for up to 12 cards with the flick of two buttons at the base of the wallet. It also unfolds to reveal a money clip and additional pockets for other items. Certain brands make their wallets with RFID blocking materials. The item featured below can be found here.

Apple Pay

If you find managing your wallet and organizing money while standing at check out overwhelming. This technology can be a lifesaver. All you have to do is add your credit or debit card to your ApplePay app. When standing at checkout use your phone as you would when tapping your card at the POS terminal.

Steering Wheel Knob

I believe this requires a doctor’s prescription depending on your province or state. This took makes driving, parking and turning corners a breeze. I got mine installed by an accessible vehicle modification company. The item featured below can be found here.

Left-Handed Pens (for former right-handed amputees)

I still have not mastered writing with my left hand after being an amputee for two years. This can be super frustrating and challenging to learn. It may sound silly, but using these weird shaped left handed pens does help you learn how to grip the pen in a more ergonomic position.
The item featured below can be found here.

If you’re an upper limb amputee and have any suggestions on other one-handed gadgets that improve your life, please reach out to us in the comments. We’re always eager to try new things!

Amputee Coalition of Toronto welcomes all amputees in Toronto and the surrounding
GTA to join our support group for more information on monthly meetups, upcoming events, and a safe space to share your journey.
We’re in this together!

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