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Chapter 3: Table of contents


Reusable handles with detachable single use blades are mostly used in veterinary medicine but disposable units are also available. #3 and #4 (far right) scalpel handles are used most frequently with #3 being used more often than #4. The #4 handle is larger than the #3 and has a larger fitment for large blades such as #20.  The #7 handle (long and skinny) is used frequently for more delicate incisions.  At our institution, we use a #3 scalpel with a #10 blade to make the initial skin incision and then use the #7 scalpel with a #15 blade (sometimes a #11) for all other scalpel incisions. This may vary with surgeon preference.

Beaver (Miniature Blade Handle):

Beaver Scalpel Handle

Beaver scalpel handles are smaller than regular scalpel handles and will hold a variety of small blades.  These are often used for ophthalmic surgery and in restricted spaces such as joints.  The blades shown here are #64 (top) and #65 (bottom).


Various Blades

Various blade shapes and sizes are available to perform specific procedures based on surgeon preference. Blades #10, 11, 12, 12B, 15 and 15C fit the #3 scalpel handle, whereas blades #20, 21, 22, 23 fit the #4 scalpel handle. Beaver scalpel handles will hold a variety of small blades of various shapes (e.g. #64 and 65) [see Beaver scalpel handle section].  From left to right, the scalpel blades shown are: #10, #11, #12, #15, #20 and a stitch cutter blade. In veterinary medicine, #10 blades are most commonly used.

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