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scalpel vs X-acto
Response To:
Just checking ()

John K Jordan

The scalpel handles are not as study or as strong as the X-acto, especially the larger round fluted handles. They break before flexing much which might say something about the hardness of the steel. The X-acto is probably better for heavier use. I do like the grip of the X-acto handle better.

The slot on a scalpel blade slides into a groove in a boss on the metal handles and are held by spring tension. On the disposable handles the plastic is melted in a couple of spots to hold the blade.

For me the scalpel blades excel for delicate use because of their sharpness. They are weaker due to the long slot in the blade. The X-acto blades are much stronger if you need force. I have sharpened and honed X-acto blades just like I would a carving tool but that is a lot of work and they don't seem to stay sharp long.

I have also tried holding scalpel blades in X-acto handles with limited success. The tang of the blade is not as wide so the blade can tilt in the slot. Also, I didn't measure but I think the scalpel blades are thinner and harder to grip in the X-acto handle.

One advantage to having a few scalpels is you can keep them handy by hanging them on a nail! The disposable plastic handles come with a hole in the end. The metal handles I have do not but I drill one. (Stainless - not easy to drill!)

Here is a cheap way to check out scalpels with #11 blades.

Or disposables:

I forgot to mention another use for sterile scalpels: cutting out splinters too deep under the skin to get out with tweezers!


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