RE: [Histonet] Sliding vs. Sledge Microtome

From:"Alan Bright"

A sliding microtome has the knife moving over the specimen to section,
the sledge microtome has the specimen moving under the knife to section.
Not much difference  either way you would think, but there is, as with a
sliding microtome the knife is only held on one end, on a sledge
microtome the knife is mainly clamped on both ends, but can also be held
on one end too. Therefore the sledge is more conventional in its cutting
action and its knife clamping arrangement, and much more robust for a
wider range of specimens hard and soft. My last point is that I do not
think sliding microtomes have retraction. 

Best Regards

Alan Bright

Bright Instrument Co.Ltd.
St Margaret's Way
PE29 6EU

Tel No:+44 (0)1480 454528
Fax No:+44 (0)1480 456031
Web Site:

-----Original Message-----
From: [] 
Sent: 25 March 2005 23:20
Subject: [Histonet] Sliding vs. Sledge Microtome

Help me out here. 
What is the generally accepted distinction between a sliding and a
microtome?  It seems to me that the terms get used interchangeably.   In
book, a "sliding" microtome has a fixed specimen holder and the knife
slides back 
and forth on a slide way.  It is used for routine or frozen  sectioning
samples.  A "sledge" microtome has a fixed blade and the  specimen is
either manually or motorized.  The general application  is for hard
samples such 
as bone and in some material science  applications.  
Any comments can be sent to me directly if you would like. Thanks,
Dorothy Murphy Traczyk Hacker Instruments & Industries Inc. PO Box 1176
Winnsboro, SC 29180 
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