Choosing a Vibrating Microtome

Let us help you know when to use a vibratome and how to pick the right one!


A vibrating microtome is a tissue slicer that cuts through samples using a high-frequency oscillating blade. You may hear of vibrating microtomes being referred to as “vibratomes.” Typically, these types of microtomes are used to cut softer tissues, either fixed or live/acute. Here are some advantages of using a vibrating microtome:

    • Can help you make live tissue slices, such as acute mouse brain slices for patch-clamp electrophysiology
    • You don’t have to freeze your tissue or process it in paraffin-wax
    • No risk of lysing cell membranes because there is no freezing process
    • Quick setup for cutting and clean up

Some disadvantages of vibrating microtomes include:

    • Slower to cut than a cryostat or rotary microtome (this is because you need a slow cutting speed for making live tissue slices without damaging live cells)
    • Sections can’t be as thinner than typically 10 µm


Don’t worry, we are happy to help you choose the best microtome for your needs! Here are a few questions to consider:

    • Are you slicing live or fixed tissue?
    • What are you embedding your tissue in?
    • How thick or thin do you want your tissue slices?
    • What experiments do you plan to use your tissue slices for?

Based on your answers, you may find these points helpful:

We’re experts in tissue slicing, so don’t hesitate to ask us your questions!


Vibrating microtomes are a big purchase for a lab, so there are several important factors to think about:

Here is how Precisionary Instruments can help meet your vibrating microtome needs:

    • Price: Our price for microtomes are competitive. We also price match and beat competitor prices by 10%.
    • Tissue slice quality: We have experimentally demonstrated that our vibrating microtomes produces healthier live tissue slices for electrophysiology, and smoother, more consistent sections for immunohistochemistry.
    • Microtome quality: Our microtomes are made of the highest quality materials and are robust. They will support your experiments for many years.
    • Delivery time: Only takes about 1-2 weeks from receipt of your order for our in-stock microtomes to reach you.
    • Warranty: We offer a full 5-year warranty for Compresstomes®, which covers repairs, parts, labor, and shipping.
    • Annual service plan: At the end of your warranty, we offer annual service agreements to take care of your microtome for years to come.
    • Customer service & support: We are known for excellent customer service and product support. You can reach us quickly by e-mail, phone, WhatsApp, WeChat, and video. You’ll always talk to a real person.
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