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Carbon Steel Blades vs Stainless Steel Blades

Surgical blades are made from either carbon or stainless steel.  But what is the difference between carbon steel blades vs stainless steel blades?  How do you know which one is right for you? This article explains the differences, but when it comes to knowing which one is best for you, sometimes it just comes down to a matter of preference.

Stainless Steel Blades

The stainless steel blade has better anti-corrosion properties when compared to the carbon blade.  This makes it a more suitable blade for a disposable scalpel or for procedures that use large amounts of saline solution.  The reaction between a carbon steel blade and a saline solution can cause an immediate rusting action.  This same rusting reaction does not occur when using a stainless steel blade.  Therefore the stainless steel blade is better suited for working in a wet environment, especially is numerous cuts are needed over and extended period of time.

Carbon Steel Blades

Carbon steel, because of its properties, offers what we believe is the best combination of initial sharpness and durability.  This opinion seems to be shared by many end users and is reflected in the volume of carbon blades consumed annually each year as compared to our stainless blades.

So, Which is Better?

Both types of blades are very high quality and will perform effectively. Whether carbon or stainless, the blades are manufactured to the same ISO standards.  Regardless of the blade type chosen, it is designed to provide a consistent feel from the first cut to the last.   The decision on what type of blade should be used usually comes down to personal preference that is developed over many years of use and the actual procedure being performed.

More information on our family of surgical blade brands is available here.  Or visit our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Did You Know?


The #15 blade is our most popular blade shape.

Nearly 500,000 #15 blades are manufactured each day in our facility.