The Ultimate Scalpel Guide for 2020

When it comes to finding a super precise tool for all kinds of detailed cuts, I personally look to my collection of scalpels. Contrary to what you may believe, these tiny blades aren’t just for surgery. They’re also great for woodworking, precise fruit and vegetable cuts, and much, much more. This scalpel guide will help you understand more about these tiny yet powerful blades.

My Top 3 Scalpels

Ultimate Scalpel Guide

Below, I’ve compiled some of my favorite scalpels on the market today. With a variety of different levels of blade sharpness, design, and overall function, you’re bound to find the perfect scalpel for your tastes.

I’ve also created a buying guide with common FAQs regarding scalpels themselves so that you have everything you need to get started with these flexible blades.

As you’ll soon find out, having a couple of scalpels on hand is key for any serious blade enthusiast.

The Ultimate Scalpel Guide for Blade Enthusiasts

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite scalpel blades currently available in 2020.


1. 120 Surgical STERILE Scalpel Handle Blades

120 Surgical STERILE Scalpel Handle Blades

Perhaps you don’t need a scalpel itself but replacement blades for scalpels you already have. In which case, this 120 pack of sterile scalpel blades is the perfect solution for your needs. With your purchase, you’ll get a selection of twenty #10, #11, #15, #20, #21, and #22 replacement blades. Each blade is individually wrapped ensuring that it stays as sterile as can be for safe, regular use.

As an added bonus, you’ll also get two stainless steel #3 and #4 handles so that you can start using the blades immediately after opening. I love how sturdy these blades are. With the stainless steel construction, you can use these scalpel blades on just about anything. Plus, most blades hit the included handles so you’ll be able to perform a variety of cuts just with the use of this kit.

Overall, this blade handle bundle kit is a total bang for your buck and is likely to serve you well on a variety of projects.

Pros:

  • Multiple blades for flexible cutting options
  • Included handles
  • 6 different blade types
  • Individually wrapped blades for sterilization

Cons:

  • Not the best pack for users who already have a favorite blade or handle type
$13.99 from Amazon

2. Medpride Disposable Scalpel Blades

Medpride Disposable Scalpel Blades

For a fully versatile sterilized scalpel solution, this pack has everything you need. With your purchase, you’ll get 10 individually wrapped scalpels. The blades are stainless steel making them incredibly durable and sturdy. I love that the pack comes with a plastic handle that can be reused with multiple blades over time. With this kit, you’ll be able to complete a variety of craft, woodworking, or precise cutting tasks with ease.

Each scalpel is fully sterilized and comes in its own packing. With an easy-grip plastic design, you’ll be able to hold onto these scalpel blades with no trouble at all. Plus, each blade is marked with a ruler design, allowing you to measure out your cuts with the tools right on the knife.

The tempered knives are fully disposable and can be used for dissecting fabric cutting, and more. You can also reuse these scalpel blades for use during your personal projects. These scalpels are sharp, dependable, and have the flexibility to be used on a variety of projects.

Pros:

  • Plastic blade handles make these scalpels well-suited for reuse
  • Sturdy stainless steel construction
  • Fully sterilized blades that are individually wrapped
  • Easy-grip plastic design with the embedded ruler

Cons:

  • Reusable blades do not come with individual blade caps, which may make storage difficult
$11.99 from Amazon

3. VIVOSUN Disposable Scalpels

VIVOSUN Disposable Scalpels


These medical-grade scalpels are well-suited for a variety of uses. Each scalpel is made with tempered stainless high-carbon blades making the knives great for slicing with precision and accuracy. The scalpels are wrapped in vacuum-packed seals for safe, clean use. Plus, with the embedded markings, the blades are easy to open on a moment’s notice.

The super sharp blades are ready to make quick cuts whenever you need them. You can depend on these scalpels being fully sterilized since Vivosun sterilizes their tools with thorough Gamma radiation.

The versatile scalpels can be used for dissections, clay modeling, arts crafts projects, woodworking, or even decorative fruit cutting. I love that these particular scalpel blades come with protective caps so that I can use each blade more than once if needed. The scalpel handle is fixed with a ruler as an added convenience.

Plus, the plastic handle is super easy to hold. With your purchase, you’ll get a box of 10 high-quality scalpels.

Pros:

  • Individually wrapped sterilized blades
  • Stainless steel high-carbon scalpels
  • Included protective caps for easy reuse
  • Embedded ruler on each scalpel for precise cuts

Cons:

  • Knives might not be as sharp after a couple uses
$9.98 from Amazon

4. Slice 10568 Ceramic Scalpel

Slice 10568 Ceramic Scalpel

Looking for a reusable scalpel blade that will last you years to come? In which case, this ceramic scalpel is an excellent choice. With ceramic construction, this blade is built to last up to 11 times longer than steel. I love how this cutter blade design is fully retractable. You’ll be able to carry around this reusable scalpel without having to worry about injuring yourself in the process. The finger-friendly blade is lightweight and compact making it perfect for regular use.

This slicer has a Mohs hardness rating of 8.2, second only to diamond cutting blades. The handle itself is compatible with 8 different blade types alone making it highly flexible. I love how these blades are rust-resistant and can cut through a variety of materials including craft felt, vinyl, thermal shrink wrap, freezer paper, and foam board.

The scalpel is great for hobbyists and anyone looking to complete home projects or crafts quickly and efficiently.

Pros:

  • Ceramic super hard construction
  • Reusable scalpel blade
  • Will last longer than steel
  • User-friendly lightweight design
  • Perfect for hobbyists

Cons:

  • Ceramic blades may be easier to crack if dropped
  • Not fully sterilized
$9.49 from Amazon

5. Dynarex 4110 Medi-Cut Sterile Disposable #10 Scalpels

Dynarex 4110 Medi-Cut Sterile Disposable #10 Scalpels


These reusable scalpels are perfect for both disposable and reusable applications. Each #10 scalpel comes with its own blade and handle so you can use the sterile blades even for medical uses. I love how each blade also comes with its own sheath making these scalpels easy to transport from one location to another.

Plus, with the micro-coated edge, each blade is made to reduce drag and glide seamlessly across any surface.

The thin blades are sharp yet flexible, making them great for use with crafts, woodworking, first aid, and more. With your purchase, you have everything you need to start cutting with the included blades and easy-grip plastic handles.

Overall, these knives offer a great bang for your buck.

Pros:

  • Included blade and reusable plastic handle
  • Sharp, flexible design
  • Perfect for a variety of applications
  • Reduced drag design
  • Each scalpel comes with its own sheath for resealing and protection purposes

Cons:

  • Blades naturally dull over time, so they may not be the best reusable option.
$6.99 from Amazon

6. 100 Scalpel Blades by Odontomed

100 Scalpel Blades by Odontomed

If you’re looking for a bulk case of scalpel blades, this pack is an excellent value for the price. Each high-quality scalpel pack comes with 100 different blades. The super sharp blades have a classy silver sheen that makes these knives well suited for surgical, crafting, or woodworking use. The free handle is easy to manipulate making the knives great for beginner scalpel users.

The #11 blades are easy to switch out so you can always re-calibrate your scalpel if need be. That way, your knife is always ready at a moment’s notice. I love how sharp these scalpels are, and that each blade is individually wrapped for sterilized use. These blades are great for hobbyists and will cut through craft materials, fruits, and vegetables, or even fondant with ease.

Overall, this is a great affordable scalpel blade selection for hobbyists looking for a light, regular scalpel use.

Pros:

  • Single handle with 100 separate blades
  • Individually wrapped blades for maximum sterilization
  • Affordable price
  • Great for bulk use

Cons:

  • May not be sharp enough for use outside of light hobbyists
$7.49 from Amazon

History of the Scalpel

The scalpel is certainly useful in modern times, but where exactly did this tool originate? As it turns out, the scalpel has been used for centuries as a surgical tool. The word scalpel itself originates from the Latin word “scallpellus”.

The “scallpellus” tools were usually flint and obsidian cutting implements during the Stone Age. These tools, though primitive, created the foundation for the scalpel we know today.

The first documented scalpel-like knife was created by the Greek physician Hippocrates. Just like the modern-day scalpel, the knife had a cutting blade at the end of the handle with a single straight edge.

Over time, the scalpel itself became more advanced and the materials used as the blade part of the tool continued to progress. The tools also became more compact and therefore easier to use. While the first surgical scalpel was eventually invented and trademarked by the Bard-Parker Company in 1915, it’s clear that these helpful tools have an impressive history with a reach that expands far beyond the past century.

What Is A Scalpel Used for?

There are many ways to use a scalpel, making them incredibly flexible, handy tools to have in your possession. Here are a couple of ways you or other people might utilize your scalpel.

  • Woodworking
  • Clay Cutting
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Decorative Fruit Cutting
  • Dissection
  • Surgical Operation
  • Plant Propagation
  • Dermaplaning

Woodworking

If you’re into woodworking like I am, you know how important it is to focus on one the fine details. Like any other great woodworking tool, scalpels are built for refining your carving pieces with ease. Scalpels can help lay the foundation of basic cuts or carvings. In addition, they can be used to add in minute details on their own.

Clay Cutting

Scalpels also make great pottery tools. You can use scalpels to cut clay while its soft and create intricate, beautiful designs on all of your creations. In addition, scalpels can be used to remove any bumps or tiny imperfections after your clay has been molded or baked.

Arts and Crafts

Scalpels are great for a wide variety of arts and crafts. They can be used in place of an exacto knife and make great precise cuts. Plus, many scalpels have embedded measurements on the handle making them easy to use while cutting certain lengths. If you’re into regular crafting, you’ll want to have some scalpels on your side.

Decorative Fruit Cutting

A scalpel can also be used for fruit carving

If you’re ever interested in making decorative fruit or vegetable platters to stun your friends or dinner party guests, scalpels can be the perfect tools for the task. Scalpels are well-suited to make sharp, detailed cuts on any food with thin skin.

Dissection

Scalpels are commonly used as dissection tools in schools and scientific laboratories around the world. Their super-sharp design makes the knives perfect for sturdy cuts.

Surgical Operation

Scalpels are so sharp that they’re commonly used in surgical procedures and operations.

Plant Propagation

If you have a compatible plant, you can use scalpels to clone or transplant from one plant to another. This makes scalpels a great tool for botanists or garden enthusiasts to have on hand.

Dermaplaning

Though scalpels in this manner should only be used by trained personnel, scalpels can also be used for a rejuvenating skin treatment called dermaplaning.

What Are Scalpels Made of?

Generally, a scalpel consists of two main parts: The handle and the blade. The handle of the scalpel depends on what the scalpel is going to be used for. If it’s a disposable knife, the handle is likely crafted out of plastic. However, you can find scalpel handles that are made of reinforced plastic or even metal.

Many scalpel handles are entirely reusable and easily pop out old blades for replacement of a new one. For this reason, it’s helpful to know what type of blades your scalpel handle is compatible with. Scalpels are usually distinguished by a number type based on their unique cutting edge and purpose.

The blade of scalpels is made out of a variety of metals, usually steering towards some sort of steel. However, it’s not unheard of to find a ceramic, obsidian, or even diamond scalpel blade. Generally though, any metal that is super sharp and can be cut thin is perfect for use in a scalpel.

How Sharp Is a Surgeon’s Scalpel?

It’s no secret that scalpels are sharp, but just how sharp does a scalpel have to be in order to be used for surgical purposes? As it turns out, it depends heavily on the scalpel itself.

How Sharp Is a Surgeon’s Scalpel?

Each blade material has its own sharpness limits. While every surgeon’s scalpel is crafted for optimum sharpness, it’s difficult to generalize a specific amount since the sharpness level varies from blade to blade.

The main thing that distinguishes scalpels from other knives is that the scalpels are able to hold an impressive edge. Their thin blade design makes scalpels flexible enough to perform precise cutting jobs with every use.

What Do Scalpel Blade Numbers Mean?

As you might have noticed, scalpel blades are numbered based on their design. So what does this number actually mean? Each blade has a different number based on size and shape. As you learn more about scalpels themselves, you’ll find that each blade type has a general-purpose. Here are some of the most common blade types along with their usual uses.

Scalpels and Blades
  • Blade #10: A large curved cutting blade used for cutting soft tissue and making incisions.

  • Blade #11: A long, triangular blade made for making precise short cuts and small incisions.

  • Blade #12: This is a small, pointed blade that’s somewhat crescent-shaped. The blade can help remove sutures.

  • Blade #15: This is another small curved blade that’s used for making incisions.

  • Blade #22: This blade has both a curved edge and a flat unsharpened back edge. The blade can create larger cuts in the skin.

Keep in mind that the above uses are mainly based on surgical practices. If you’re using your scalpel for crafts or anything else, you may find a particular blade type that speaks most to your needs. If you’re just starting out, it may be helpful to try out each blade type to find out what truly works best for you.

How Are Scalpels Sharpened?

Most knives need to be sharpened regularly in order for them to be used to their highest potential. However, this isn’t necessarily the case with scalpels. Since many scalpel blades are meant to be disposable, they aren’t designed to be sharpened and reused after being subject to initial wear and tear.

However, there are rare cases when a reusable scalpel can be sharpened to make it more efficient. If this is the case, you’ll want to use a simple hand-knife sharpener for the best results.

Are Scalpels Reusable?

When it comes to scalpels, generally the answer is no. This is because many scalpels are used for strictly medical purposes. In order to stay safe, it’s vital that medical personnel only use the blades once. That’s why you’ll often purchase a scalpel with an individually wrapped blade: Each blade must be properly sterilized before being used on a new patient.

The Ultimate Scalpel Guide: Are Scalpels Reusable?

Scalpels cannot be reused when used in a medical or cosmetic procedure of any kind. However, if you’re using a scalpel for arts and crafts or other purposes, reusing a scalpel is okay as long as the blade is not becoming noticeably dull.

Should you go this route, look for a scalpel that’s built for reusable purposes like the Ceramic Scalpel I presented lately. Oftentimes, you’ll find that even these knives come with a set of replacement blades.

Since scalpels have characteristically thin, flexible blades, they often wear out fairly quickly. While scalpels can offer precise cuts, they’re not really meant for long term use without the aid of blade replacement.

How Do Scalpels Work?

Scalpels are typically fully or somewhat disposable. When you get your scalpel, you’ll likely have to attach to the blade onto the handle itself. The scalpel user will need to select an appropriate blade based on their project. Each blade number has a separate design and style catered to a specific purpose.

The scalpel is then used at an angle for its desired purpose. Scalpels should be used with extreme care since the blades are known for being extremely sharp. Once the user is done with the scalpel, the whole instrument should be discarded accordingly. Or, if you have a reusable scalpel blade handle, detach the blade from the handle and discard as needed. The next time you need to use your scalpel, attach a brand new sterile blade to the handle.

How Do You Hold A Surgical Scalpel?

When it comes to handling a scalpel, you’ll want to make sure you do so with extreme care. The instruments are razor-sharp, so it’s easy to get injured with one of these tools if you’re not careful.

How Do You Hold A Surgical Scalpel?

A scalpel should be held in between the thumb and the middle finger of your dominant hand. Your index finger will support the axis of the blade, giving your tight control over the instrument as needed.

Factors to Consider When Picking Out Your Scalpel

Still unsure of which scalpel is the best for you? Here are a couple of factors to take into consideration when buying your scalpel or scalpel blades.

Blade Type

Scalpels can be fixed with a variety of different blade types each with different purposes. Make sure you pick the right blade for your planned purpose.

Added Handle Features

Are you looking for an ergonomic grip? A handle that has built-in measurements? Make sure you make this factor a priority while picking out your scalpel.

Sterilization

Not all scalpel blades or knives are fully sterilized. If you’re planning on using your scalpel for anything remotely medical, you’ll need to prioritize sterilization.

Scalpels Are Incredibly Useful

Scalpels are extremely useful for a variety of applications. Whether you’re using your scalpel for medical uses, arts and crafts projects, woodworking or otherwise, you’re bound to be satisfied with any of these stellar six scalpel picks.

Hopefully, this scalpel guide brought you one step closer to finding the best set of scalpels for your needs. Enjoy making use of these thin yet powerful tools.

Last update on 2020-10-20 at 23:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment