Best way to get engine to TCD for cyl #1?

Just curious if any experienced mechanics want to share a little trick(s) here. What is the best way(s) to know when a cylinder (let's say #1) is at TDC? Next, is there a way to know whether it's TDC after the compression stroke or after the exhaust stroke? I ask because I'm getting ready to do a... show more Just curious if any experienced mechanics want to share a little trick(s) here. What is the best way(s) to know when a cylinder (let's say #1) is at TDC?

Next, is there a way to know whether it's TDC after the compression stroke or after the exhaust stroke?

I ask because I'm getting ready to do a couple timing belts on a couple different vehicles. One is very strait forward, but the other one seems a little more involved. I've had to get a cylinder at TDC before, but I had the valve cover off and could watch the valves opening and closing... I'd prefer not to take the valve cover off every time I need to get a cylinder to TDC though.

Thanks!!
Update: Appreciate the replies, minus the remarks... :-P

BTW, both the cars are mine, and they are both non-interference engines. I wouldn't be doing a timing belt on somebody else's car if I knew it were an interference engine.
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