RE: the Results are in!

From:"McCormick, James"

To All,  I have been cutting sections with good and bad "permanent" steel
blades, and every manner of disposable blade since the A/O double edge
shaving blade adapter was made at the beginning of disposable blades. I have
honed wet,dry,oil,soap.  I have stropped with and without diamond abrasive
and finished on belt leather with oil and cotton cloth and then, finish
polished with aluminum oxide. And...after all that work, observed the edge
at 100X magnification to see the most perfect cutting edge and BEVEL.   Now
we're talking about the properties of a microtome tissue cutting edge and
the point of action.  Following are the most important : First,The most
perfect edge and bevel will produce poor sections if the cutting ANGLE does
not provide clearance on the way down and non compression of the cutting
face on return of the cutting cycle. Second, The hardness/softness
(durometer) of the embedding wax formula must be matched to the type of
tissue (animal vegetable, mineral )and Third,the block and room temperature
will all have important influences on ribbon quality and thinness of
sectioning. is the HISTOTECHNOLOGIST that considers and
deals with all of the DEVILS in the process.....Good sections are reliably
produced by most manufacturers disposable blade products (lemon batches
excluded) if the cutting angle is adjusted to the blade specifications and
properly processed (not over processed) tissues are cut at the optimum
temperature for the particular brand of embedding wax. Think about's
not rocket science...good blades of fine steel have been around since the
Samurai and Damascus sword edges were invented, and not for slicing
Parma-ham or Salmon lox !!!  Regards, J.B.McCormick M.D.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Gill []
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 3:47 PM
To: 'Cliff Berger'; 'Vinnie Della Speranza';
Cc: 'Donna McClellan'
Subject: RE: the Results are in!

Cliff's right: it's subjective versus objective; words versus action.
Unsubstantiated opinions are an insufficient basis on which to make
decisions -- though admittedly people do it all the time (e.g., get
married).  ;-)

Gary Gill

-----Original Message-----
From: Cliff Berger []
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 3:31 PM
To: 'Vinnie Della Speranza';
Cc: 'Donna McClellan'
Subject: RE: the Results are in!

Actually you can't even conclude that. This opinion poll was not
conducted in accordance with modern statistical theory. Polling can't
work without random sampling. Can you tell us what the margin of error
is for your findings? I only thought that as members of a scientific
community we all should understand that the results you claim are
reliable are completely unreliable.  

I only commented on this from a scientific point of view. I have no
interest in blades.  I don't make them. I don't sell them. I don't use

Furthermore, I never said that opinions are meaningless. I only said
that the manner in which you gathered, tallied and presented the
information is meaningless.  Your 4:1 margin claim has no basis in

Cliff Berger

-----Original Message-----
From: Vinnie Della Speranza [] 
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2003 12:47 PM
Cc: Donna McClellan
Subject: Re: the Results are in!

you are looking for science where there can be none. I asked the list
for the preferences (which are subjective opinions) of those who have
evaluated different blades. The most that can be concluded from this
poll is that more people buy AccuEdge (by a 4:1 margin) than other
brands. Since this blade costs more, I would presume that those using it
feel that the additional cost is worth it.

Is it really your  intention  to tell those who responded to my query
that their op;inions are meaningless? All I did was count up the replies
and convert to a percent based upon the total number of responses to the

>>> Cliff Berger  06/27/03 11:24AM >>>

In fairness to all the companies making blades, and to those who are
them as well,  everyone should be aware that your   <> has has
statistical merit whatsoever.   This has not been a science behind your
in completely skewed so the results are meaningless.

Best regards,

Cliff Berger

> From: Vinnie Della Speranza 
> Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 10:52:32 -0400
> To: 
> Cc: Donna McClellan 
> Subject: the Results are in!
> thank you to all who responded to my query re: best disposable
> blade
> here are the results:
> Accu-Edge   was recommeded by   55% of respondents. This blade was
> recommended more than four times more frequently than the next
> recommended blade.
> Richard Allen  was recommended by   12.5%  of respondents
> Sturkeywas recommended by   12.5%  of respondents
> Shandon was recommended by  10%  of respondents
> Surgipath was recommended by   5%   of respondents
> DuraEdge was recommended by   5%   of respondents
> Vinnie Della Speranza
> Manager for Anatomic Pathology Services
> Medical University of South Carolina
> 165 Ashley Avenue  Suite 309
> Charleston, SC 29425
> Ph: 843-792-6353
> fax: 843-792-8974

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