Supersharp

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by Triop, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

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    Swann-Morton Scalpel Blades

    Interesting, Tim,

    The SM65 and SM65a blades look really nice - I have to try them. The chisel-edge blade also looks very interesting - it must be very useful for minute wood cutting.

    Thanks!
    All the best,
    Bengt :D
  2. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    They are very sharp, but I prefer using a sharp blade to a dull one any day. Clean cuts, no drag, less effort, more control. They will hone up on a fine oilstone if you really must, but I tend to use fresh blades as soon as they start to drag.

    I dropped one off the work table once and it stuck in my ankle, in the bone too! Treat them with respect.....

    Tim
  3. Chthulhu

    Chthulhu Member

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    Yesterday I received a pack of ten Havel's (http://www.havels.com) #11 surgical blades bought from McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com) at US$3.63 for ten, individually-wrapped, non-sterile carbon steel blades.

    I put one in my X-Acto handle and started cutting (90 lb / 165 gsm index card. 0.078 inches thick). The thinner blade seemed a bit skittery ate first, even with a good cutting mat, but once I eased up on the pressure I had no further problems controlling the blade. You don't *need* much pressure with paper of this thickness and density, and the thinner blade doesn't leave nearly as much ridge along the edges of the cut.

    I found after awhile that, although it took very little effort to cut, my hand was starting to cramp from trying not to bear down. These will take a little getting-used-to. :)

    Havel's, in Cincinnati, Ohio, also carries the Swann-Morton blades, and offers a free sample pack with a catalog, but I didn't look to see what the requirements were to receive them. They offer a similar arrangement for their own blades.

    This is an interesting experiment, but at three times the cost of #11 craft blades, unless these things last several times as long I probably won't be buying many more, at least from this source.
  4. Chthulhu

    Chthulhu Member

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    After a couple of weeks of using these, I'm sold. Now that I'm accustomed to the lighter touch required to control these thinner blades, I find that I can freehand a lot of cuts that I never would have tried before without a straightedge. They stay sharp a *long* time, too; I cut out something like thirty pages of parts with the first one before swappin for a fresh one, and the difference wasn't that great; the first blade could probably have done another ten pages.

    It's crucial, though, to use a handle that won't turn in your fingers. I have one of these:

    http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/PROD/Fiskars-hand-tools/BDL44

    ... which I picked up at the local Wal-Mart last year for about US$5.00, and it accepts the scalpel blade shanks nicely. You can lock the blade at an angle to suit your own grip, and the handle won't turn in your fingers.
  5. Chthulhu

    Chthulhu Member

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    After a couple of weeks of using these, I'm sold. Now that I'm accustomed to the lighter touch required to control these thinner blades, I find that I can freehand a lot of cuts that I never would have tried before without a straightedge. They stay sharp a *long* time, too; I cut out something like thirty pages of parts with the first one before swappin for a fresh one, and the difference wasn't that great; the first blade could probably have done another ten pages.

    It's crucial, though, to use a handle that won't turn in your fingers. I have one of these:

    http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/PROD/Fiskars-hand-tools/BDL44

    ... which I picked up at the local Wal-Mart last year for about US$5.00, and it accepts the scalpel blade shanks nicely. You can lock the blade at an angle to suit your own grip, and the handle won't turn in your fingers.
  6. DrBill

    DrBill Member

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    I've been using scalpels for card modeling for 4-5 years, and after being directed to Swann-Morton blades (first post in this thread), I've got to say that these are the sharpest and most durable blades I've ever used, bar none. (These are the non-sterile carbon steel #11 scalpel blades.) I've had good luck buying them online from Cincinnati Surgical at $29 for a box of 100. About twice the cost of X-acto, but half the cost of ordinary scalpel blades in small lots from Micro-Mart, et al. An ergonomic handle really helps. The Swann-Morton 5A acrylic handle is the best I've used.

    Swann-Morton also makes #11 "craft blades" that substitute for X-acto and fit the X-acto (or equivalent S-M) handles. Much sharper than X-acto, however. Cincinnati Sugical wants $12.95 for a box of 50, which makes them about twice the cost of #11 X-acto blades.

    This is really for those in North America. The chaps in the U.K. and Europe can probably get them for a fraction of the U.S. cost....

    Usual disclaimer: no financial interest in Cincinnati Surgical....
  7. DrBill

    DrBill Member

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    I've been using scalpels for card modeling for 4-5 years, and after being directed to Swann-Morton blades (first post in this thread), I've got to say that these are the sharpest and most durable blades I've ever used, bar none. (These are the non-sterile carbon steel #11 scalpel blades.) I've had good luck buying them online from Cincinnati Surgical at $29 for a box of 100. About twice the cost of X-acto, but half the cost of ordinary scalpel blades in small lots from Micro-Mart, et al. An ergonomic handle really helps. The Swann-Morton 5A acrylic handle is the best I've used.

    Swann-Morton also makes #11 "craft blades" that substitute for X-acto and fit the X-acto (or equivalent S-M) handles. Much sharper than X-acto, however. Cincinnati Sugical wants $12.95 for a box of 50, which makes them about twice the cost of #11 X-acto blades.

    This is really for those in North America. The chaps in the U.K. and Europe can probably get them for a fraction of the U.S. cost....

    Usual disclaimer: no financial interest in Cincinnati Surgical....
  8. atamjeet

    atamjeet Member

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    ya i use the same, the universal number of ma blade is 11
  9. atamjeet

    atamjeet Member

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    ya i use the same, the universal number of ma blade is 11
  10. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

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    Mike, could you supply a link which goes to the exact blade that you are talking about?
    I would really like to give this one a try but I am not exactly sure which one it is.
    I was looking at McMaster-Carr and there are quite a few to choose from, I just want to make sure that I get the right one.

    Thanks,
    Russell
  11. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

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    Mike, could you supply a link which goes to the exact blade that you are talking about?
    I would really like to give this one a try but I am not exactly sure which one it is.
    I was looking at McMaster-Carr and there are quite a few to choose from, I just want to make sure that I get the right one.

    Thanks,
    Russell