RE: Disposable Blades


What brand disposable blades are you using?
We use Shandon blades and had a bad batch about 6 months ago.  They wouldn't
cut at all.  Lucikly I had some samples around from different vendors to get
me through.  I called my sales rep and he was very good about getting me
replacements with a different lot# and the problem went away.  We haven't
had a problem since!!!

Dawn Schneider, HT(ASCP)
Howard Young Medical Center
Woodruff, WI

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Stapf [] 
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: Disposable Blades


First, if you truly suspect the blades try blades from a different company.
Most companies will send you samples to try. There are many good blades out
there.  I have had good results with Accu-Edge(feather) and Shandon's
blades, but everyone has their favorites.  We use disposable low profile
blades here as well.  Our microtomes are Jung (now Leica) 2030's.  Also
sometimes low profile disposable blades from different companies will work
best at different knife angle settings.

Are you certain that all of the microtomes are having this problem?  Having
techs make a different mark on the slides specific to each microtome or
using a different color of slide at each microtome for a few days will help
figure this out if you haven't already.

The big thing would be to figure out when the problem began and to look for
any changes that have happened.  Especially look for changes in procedure,
workload, personnel, equipment, and reagents.  You may have already done
this and this is how you started focusing on the blades.

I remember 7 or 8 years back when we got our second batch of 2030's.  There
were numerous problems with thick and thin sections.  The Rep must have been
out at least 2 or 3 times in the first month to set them up and adjust them.
I was a simple Histo Assistant at that time and wasn't usually in the same
room with the Techs so I have no idea what was done that finally solved the
problem, but suddenly the problem stopped.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but good luck.  I would also check with Leica
Tech support.  There is at least one guy there that I have spoken with who
is very good and has had good suggestions for me in the past.  I think he
may be on histonet, so he may respond to your posting.

Ross Stapf
Histology Supervisor
Washington Adventist Hospital
Takoma Park MD

>>> Anita Westbrook  05/09/03 12:17PM >>>
I don't know if this subject has been addressed before, but, here goes
Our lab is using disposable blades (low profile).  We currently have one
Leica 2135 microtome and four Leitz 1512 .  The Leica is used with
disposable blades and two of the Leitz are also used with the disposable
blades using 2 differant blade holders.  We are having a horrible problem
with uneven cut sections which in turn  causes the tissue to stain unevenly.
After pulling most of my hair out, I I really do not believe it is a
processing problem or a stain problem.  And, it is'nt all of the tissues
being affected this way.  Some are beautiful and some are terrible.  We have
tightened screws and bolts and we also just had all of our microtomes
Any suggestions?  I would appreciate your help.
Anita Westbrook

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