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Scalpel Blades - How not to cut your fingers off


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This post was brought to you by me because of seeing a couple of craft websites where people were removing blades with their hands. Yikes! I don't want anyone to follow that advice.


Now, I'm not new to scalpels. I don't use them per se, but I do remove the occasional blade at work, usually with a one handed stationary blade remover which makes it quick, easy and safe. However, I have been taught how to remove blades with forceps.


I recently bought myself a scalpel for hobby use and was glad to see that inside the packaging there was a leaflet on how to mount and remove a blade. While scalpel injuries are less of a concern (but not necessarily less dangerous) outside the medical industry, I think its very important for everyone who may wish to use one, or who already is, to know the safest method to mount and remove blades. Not everyone will buy one that comes with instructions.


Scalpel blades can cut through flesh like a hot knife through butter. So here is a good video demonstrating the correct way to do this for anyone who isn't aware:



The main thing to remember is to have patience - they don't always come off that easily.

Oh, and keep your fingers far away. Far, far away.


If you don't invest in a sharps container (most people won't use enough blades to warrant it) make sure you have a thick-walled plastic container with a good lid. One that won't open if it falls from a good height, and a very safe place to put your scalpel.


If anyone has any other advice, please add!

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I recommend something like the razor blade safe that I use as a prime candidate for storing used blades of any sort. It's really cheap, and it holds quite a few blades. I've had mine for about 5 years now and it's still nowhere near full. Of course, I'm mainly throwing paper-thin safety razor blades in there, but it should last quite a while even with the primary use being xacto blades, scalpel blades, or any other generally thicker blade. Plus, the price is so cheap that it really doesn't matter much how quick you fill it.


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I use #11 straight scalpel blades fairly regularly. And kimbers is right, be very careful ~ they're sharp little boggers! I remove and mount 'em using a pair of needle nose pliers. Used blades go into a old school plastic 35 mm film canister , for re-use when I'm cleaning up figures.


The main thing is to take your time, go slow, and pay attention.

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