Cutlery for people with and without arthritis

Hey everyone. I am a Degree student in the UK studying product design and I am doing a project about designing products more inclusively. I have been thinking about Cutlery for people with and without Arthritis. Is there anyone one who has arthritis who struggles using normal/regular cutlery? If so why? (Examples: shape, length, thickness) I would be very great full for any feed back :)

7 Replies

  • Bloomin good idea! Narrowness of conventional handles are tricky to grip, a soft slightly squashy feel would be good to ease pressure on painful joints when holding them, grippy texture would be good. Also find that applying pressure with cutlery to hold and cut food is a problem but doubt they'll be a solution to that.

    Liane - rheumatoid arthritis

  • The first and second joints of my fingers are knack with arthritis rendering them unable to grip and steady a knife in my left hand to cut meat, nor can I grip the fork to assist in the operation. However, I can grip using a pair of pliers using my whole hand. Hope this helps. Glad to help with your design.

  • It's not just the issues raised in the other comments, all of which apply to me, but food prep in general. I can't open tins, peel or chop anything, open jars and bottles. I already have some aids but using a standard knife and fork just hurts. I agree a fatter handle could help but when you can't apply pressure downwards due to knuckle and finger pain you can't cut anything up. I resort to ordering food I can scoop with a fork in public to avoid embarrassment.

  • There are a lot of things you can buy on the market for people with arthritis you can also get in touch with occupational health and they will send you thing you don't have to pay for them from OH

  • For anyone suffering with pain or discomfort when using kitchen equipment, it's worth looking at OXO products. They do a fantastic job of creating desirable inclusive products for all, especially those with Arthritis. Can be bought from amazon, john lewis etc & not too expensive either.

  • I have had trouble both with arthritis at base of thumbs and tendonitis on the other side of my right wrist. Made slicing and chopping difficult & painful. I bought a weird-looking Swedish knife that has a handle bent at about 70 degrees from the blade. It allows me to slice and chop without torquing my wrist, keeping it in a neutral position. Works wonders. I have also tried some of the things others have suggested and always looking for more, both to relieve pain and keep the arthritis from spreading to my other finger joints. I also use foam tubing on the handles of my flatware, cutlery & tools.

  • As people have said - the thickness and "gripability" of the handles is important. One problem I find when out is the weight and size; yes, I am a petitie 5'2" but often I feel like a child in a giant's house when coming across huge heavy cutlery which is hard to lift. Well designed attractive cutlery easy to use for all will be a great achievement.

    Good luck and thanks for thinking of our problems!!

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