I got a model Type-2 phaser (The TNG one, not the DS9/VOY one).

Phaser held with the left hand

As you can see with this image, holding the phaser in my left hand has my fingers and palm resting on the grip.

Phaser held with the right hand

Holding the phaser with my right hand has my fingers and palm resting on the frame of the weapon.

Does the Technical Manual specify whether these weapons should be held left-handed by default? Is there any indication during a TNG episode that Starfleet trains people to use these left-handed? Are they used this way in the show?

I know they removed this with later versions that had the grip on the bottom only, but these didn't show up in TNG.

Basically, is the Type-2 Phaser a left-handed weapon?

3 Answers 3


The phaser you've pictured is a reversed version of the "Cobra-Head" Type-2 phasers used in Season 3 of TNG onwards.

As you can see from this authentic TV prop (previously owned by Rick Sternbach, Senior Illustrator for Star Trek: TNG; who created the design) which was auctioned for slightly over £3000, the hand-grip was originally configured for a right-handed user. enter image description here

enter image description here

Whereas his original design sketch has the phaser in "left-handed" configuration

enter image description here

As you can see from the pictures below, the standard type 2 phaser used from season 3 of TNG onwards could be used in either configuration; Left-handed or right-handed.

enter image description here Troi in TNG: "Power Play"

Young Picard in TNG "Rascals Young Picard in TNG "Rascals"

The two subsidiary buttons were evidently used to dial the power settings up or down (between 1 and 16) with the larger button used as the trigger. There also appear to be other buttons under the body of the phaser that may be used to control range and modulation.

enter image description here

In the TNG episode "Redemption" Guinan uses her left hand during a target practice session with Worf. Since she is normally right handed, it can be surmised that she deliberately switched hands to give him a fighting chance against her superior skills.

enter image description here

  • Your first image is gone, I would have replaced it with an appropriate one, but I'm short on time atm... and I'm feelin' too lazy. Jan 13, 2014 at 16:23
  • I almost couldn't be bothered myself. It's such a lovely (and well-researched) answer to languish at zero votes :-(
    – Valorum
    Jan 13, 2014 at 19:21
  • 1
    I don't need your pity vote :-P !
    – Valorum
    Jan 13, 2014 at 19:33
  • lol, yes you do! :) Jan 13, 2014 at 19:33
  • 5
    Rule of Acquisition 109 : Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack
    – Valorum
    Jan 13, 2014 at 19:36

enter image description here

Apparently not. As they are using their right hands in this scene here.

On the DS9 Phaser rifles, the black sections similar to these are actually the replaceable power packs (think of them as Ammo Magazines) But that may not be the case on the Type IIs

  • 1
    As pointed out in the now-deleted answer, the phaser in your picture is actually a different model (from the early seasons), so maybe this should be addressed.
    – bitmask
    Dec 21, 2013 at 12:21
  • 2
    @bitmask - I've addressed it in more detail in my answer. This answer is actually looking at the wrong phaser...
    – Valorum
    Feb 2, 2014 at 10:42

enter image description here

as you can see the phaser is designed for use with the Starfleet uniform which has the com badge on the left so when they were in a firefight they can access the combadge without having to strain or put down their weapon

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