X-acto vs Scalpel

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by ccheese, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I just recently converted from the #1 X-acto model knife handle, with a #11 blade to a scalpel ! That's right, a surgical scalpel.

    I bought a #3 scalpel handle (stainless steel) from Amazon.com for $2.04 and 100 #11 scalpel blades for $11.40. (Prices usd, of course) The advantages..... the scalpel handle is flat. It won't roll of the table. And, the blades are MUCH sharper and will retain their edge much longer. And, the initial cost for the setup is cheaper than the X-acto. I doubt that I will ever use all 100 blades. Terry (Airframes) put me onto the scalpel, I'm sure he will weigh in here, altho he prefers the #12a blade.

    I find they are more comfortable in my hand, and I feel I have greater control of what I'm doing.

    Here's mine with a #11 blade attached. A word of caution, if you decide to get one. These blade are very, very sharp. They will cut you three ways...... DEEP.... WIDE.... and OFTEN !! I always use a pair of needlenose pliers to change a blade.

    Charles
     

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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Got to agree with Charles here. I've been using a Swann Morton scalpel, with #10A blades, for fifty years. Mine is similar to the one Charles has posted, but a #3 handle, and my blades are a similar shape.
    I find there is more control for delicate work, and the blade gives a much cleaner, precision cut than the X-Acto type, or its clones.
    That said, I occasionally use a copy of an X-Acto, with a chisel blade, for heavy work, where the screwdriver-type handle gives good grip. But this is rare, and nothing compares to the scalpel.
    As Charles said though - be warned! These are surgical instruments, designed to cut into flesh - and they do it extremely well! They are so sharp that, if you cut yourself, you won't realise it until one of two things occurs - either you'll feel that cold, feint feeling, or see the blood !
     
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  3. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I have two handles.... the bigger plastic ones. One has #11 and the other #10.
    I just bought 100 #11 blades for $17.00 AU !
    I use the Exacto for cuts that don't really matter, only because I had it before the scalpel.....
     
  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Same boat here... Not an X-acto, but similar design was among my main cutting tools till I got given a scalpal at my last work... never looked back.
    Like Bill, tool of choice for heavier first cuts is still the craft knife, scalpal for the fine work and precision cuts.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I have been using a couple of such "sharp" tools for ages. These are very useful and I agree they need more of our attention when using because of the possibility of cutting of yourself. Anyway following the rule - " never cut towards yourself " will limit the problem.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Always use scalpels and have one with a No 10 and one with a No 11 blade at the ready all the time.
    Steve
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    That's me stuffed then....guess i will learn one day...
     
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  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ...or get them old armoured gloves that the Knights of old used! :lol:

    Sounds like it's time for an upgrade soon then... :lol:
     
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  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    As you wish...


    Always cut with a sharp tool as far as it possible from your body !!!



    ciecie1.jpg

    ciecie1a.jpg

    ciecie1b.jpg
     
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  10. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    While I would like a scalpel, I find that the X-acto occationally rolling off the desk towards the more tender parts of my anatomy keeps my reflexes "sharp", so to speak...
     
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  11. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Well ! I am surprised that so many of our model builders are already scalpel users. Paul, I have a couple that my doc gave me (disposable plastic handles). I will send you one with a few of the #11 blades. BTW, the old adage of never cutting toward your body is an old Boy Scout rule.

    Charles
     
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  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    It is indeed. Not all Boy Scouts heed the advice though. Just look what the Boy Scout typing this did whilst whittling forty odd years ago!

    [​IMG]

    Even now I distinctly remember that this one stung a bit :)

    Steve
     
  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    What is that? A thumb? :lol:
     
  14. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yep,a left thumb.....the right hand was holding the knife :)

    Steve
     
  15. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    You can cut towards yourself...... just use your Fingers to pull with instead of your Arm or Hand....... think about it!
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Whew! Thought is was something else!
     
  17. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Looked like Honey Boo-Boo's mom to me.
     
  18. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    These blade #'s have me puzzled. Is there a photo somewhere to see what shape corresponds to what #. I was looking at them on ebay and was confused #3 handle with #14 blade. What the hell does that tell me unless I am a Doctor
     
  19. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Dr. Gnomey?!
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Have a look at the Swann Morton web-site. The handles and blades are illustrated. Standard 'straight' blade for modelling is the Number 10 or 10A, in a Number 3 handle.
     
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