One of the most commonly asked questions for us is:
“What type of cutting blade should I use with my vibrating microtome or Compresstome®?”
We’re here to help you answer this question! There are numerous type of cutting blades on the market, and at Precisionary Instruments, we recommend the following types of blades with the Compresstome® vibrating microtome:
- We highly recommend stainless steel Personna double-edged blades, but only those that come in a red package. We actually tested out 8 different types/brands of stainless steel blades in our R&D labs, and the Personna blades out-performed all other types.
- Specifically, we sell the stainless steel cutting blades, and they are all conveniently located in our online e-Store. Here’s the link: https://precisionary.com/product/compresstome-cutting-stainless-steel-blades/
- For delicate tissue (especially live spinal cord slices), we do recommend ceramic blades as well. We get ours custom made by Cadence, and offer them on our e-Store here: https://precisionary.com/product/compresstome-cutting-ceramic-blades/
- Sapphire diamond blades: Yes, we do recommend these blades, but because of their extremely high cost, we don’t carry them in our e-Store. These are best used for cutting highly fibrous fresh tissues, such as samples from human brain or other tissues that are highly myelinated.
What’s the difference between stainless steel blades vs. ceramic blades?
The differences are mainly in 1) how long each blade can be used, and 2) expense. Steel blades are exchanged more frequently, and a single blade can last for about 3 tissue samples. Ceramic blades, in contrast, can last 3 weeks or more if you are careful. In terms of expense, steel blades are much cheaper, and ceramic blades are more expensive. So there are benefits and disadvantages to both types of blades.
Feel free to contact us, and we are happy to hear from you!
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