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I've recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and my grip is VERY poor. I can't even make a fist anymore. A few days ago I found that cutting up a left-over, cooked chicken breast was VERY difficult. Not only the knife grip, but using my left hand to hold the meat with a fork was probably worse than the knife int the right hand.

I've seen sites mention those rocking knives and tools with wide handle. I'm more interested in wide-handled tools as the rocking knives look like they would be unable to be honed.

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You should certainly look at the OXO Good Grips brand of tools, they all have fat grips that are easier to use.

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I've heard lots of recommendations for this. I'll have to check them out. – JustinP8 Aug 12 '10 at 23:13
Seconding the Good Grips line, at least 50% (pushing 75%) of my non-knife kitchen tools are OXO and I have nothing but good things to say about them. – stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 3:31

Agreed on the OXO Good Grips - I've purchased some for a relative with Parkinson's. Even for people without mobility issues, I think they exhibit well thought out design anyway.

The other thing I got was an electronic potato peeler, as they found peeling vegetables to be problematic with limited hand strength.

You might also want to look at electric carving knifes - I don't think they are as good as traditional knives, but my grandfather was able to carve a roast well into late 80s using an electric knife.

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Nice, thanks. I do have an electric knife, but I hardly use it...only at Thanksgiving. I should cook more roast/brisket! :) – JustinP8 Aug 12 '10 at 23:13

I imagine a Slap Chop would be useful.

"You're gonna love my nuts" - Vince

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Haha, "We're gonna make America skinny again, one slap at a time!" – JustinP8 Aug 13 '10 at 3:04
Real funny advertisement, and if it does what it says, definitaly something for someone with arthritis. +1 – martiert Aug 13 '10 at 8:14
  1. OXO Good grips, definitely
  2. Canned or pre-cut vegetables
  3. Electric can opener
  4. Really sharp knives
  5. Magic Bullet or Ninja modular food-processors. Gimmicky, but they might work for you.
  6. Some of the ingredients in your kitchen might help relieve symptoms
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Really sharp knife is an important suggestion. You will significantly reduce the amount of pressure you need to use just by upgrading your knife. Also, I have friends with the Magic Bullet who swear by it - never got the chance to try one myself yet, however. – stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 3:33
Great comment, Stephen. An answer on how Ocassi can sharpen knives might be even more helpful, if anyone has brainstorm on that. (I assume that using a sharpening steel is out.) – Neil Fein Aug 13 '10 at 4:37

An ulu can definitely be honed and is probably the ancestor of the rocking knives you have seen. As you control them mostly with your palm they can work very well. Wikipedia article on Ulus

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I was just going to say that! To anyone who might be interested in an ulu (I love mine) two caveats: They take some getting used to, go slow at first and save your fingers. Secondly, beware of cheap knock offs made in China for sale to gullible tourists. An ulu should be made in Alaska! an inexpensive genuine ulu – Jolenealaska Nov 18 '13 at 6:18

Try using a ceramic knife. The lighter weight won't require as tight or as firm of a grip.

As for making bigger handles on tools, you might try cutting pieces of pipe insulation (available at home improvement stores) and slitting them down the length to wrap around the handles of your current tools.

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