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In the world of surgical instruments, precision, and control are paramount. One such tool that epitomizes these qualities is the scalpel handle.  The most prevalent variants are the No. 3 and 4 handles with standard, long, skinny, and ergonomic design options available. In this blog post, we will explore the uses and compatible scalpel blades for these handles, shedding light on their significance in various fields of medicine and beyond.

Uses of Handle No. 3:

The size 3 blade handle is a versatile tool used in various surgical procedures that require incisions, transecting, or dissecting. With multiple design options to choose from the surgeon ensures the right fit for their hand and ease of use.  Having the right blade with the correct fit for the handle guarantees precise control during delicate surgeries. The applications of handle No. 3 span several fields, making it an indispensable asset in medical practices.

Compatible Scalpel Blades for Handle No. 3:

The size 3 handle is designed to accommodate what is commonly referred to as 3 fitment scalpel blade sizes.  . The most popular size 3 fitment blades are #10, #11, and#15 scalpel blades because of their versatile uses. However, it doesn’t stop there – other scalpel blade sizes, such as No. 6, 9, 11P, 12, 12D, 13, 14, 16, and 40, can also be securely mounted on a size #3 scalpel handle.

Field Usages of Handle No. 3:

Dermaplaning: In the field of dermatology, handle No. 3 holds 10R and 10 blades that are used in the precise removal of dead skin cells and fine vellus hair, leaving the skin smooth and rejuvenated.

Taxidermy: Taxidermists rely on the accuracy of handle No. 3 to make clean incisions for mounting and preserving animal specimens when using small-sized blades for intricate details.

Veterinary: Veterinarians find this handle invaluable for various surgical procedures on mostly companion animals, as it ensures optimal precision and control.

Podiatry: The delicate nature of foot surgeries demands a tool like handle No. 3, which excels in providing the required finesse when using a size 11 or 15 blade.  The PD81 and PD82 require the use of a miniature handle.  

Skin Grafting: In plastic and reconstructive surgeries, this handle plays a crucial role in grafting procedures, ensuring the best possible outcomes when using SG3 and SGD blades.

Uses of Handle No. 4:

Handle No. 4 is similar to handle No. 3 only it has a larger bayonet in order to hold a larger-sized blade. It is designed to create incisions and perform delicate dissections with enhanced control and accuracy. Medical professionals in specific fields find this handle indispensable for their unique requirements.  It is widely used in areas of pathology and larger animal veterinary procedures.

Compatible Scalpel Blades for Handle No. 4:

Handle No. 4 is tailored to accommodate 4-fitment scalpel blade sizes, further contributing to its utility.  This handle is also available in a variety of designs including, standard, long, and ergonomic, allowing users to choose the best fit for the procedure.  Pathologists, in particular, often use size #22 blades, which seamlessly fit on a size 4 scalpel handle. Additionally, other compatible scalpel blade sizes include No. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 22A, 24, 25, 25A, 26, 27, and 36.

Field Usages of Handle No. 4:

Taxidermy: When dealing with larger animal specimens, such as big game, handle No. 4 is a go-to tool for skilled taxidermists.

Pathology: The size 22 blade fits perfectly on a No. 4 scalpel handle and is used in sectioning and grossing pathology procedures.  

Postmortem: In forensic and medical autopsy scenarios, handle No. 4 ensures meticulous incisions and dissections, aiding in the examination process.

How to get Cincinnati Surgical products:

The size 3 and 4 scalpel handles are essential tools, providing unmatched versatility and precision across a wide range of fields, from dermaplaning to veterinary surgeries, taxidermy to postmortem. For reliable brands, trust Cincinnati Surgical and our dedicated partner Swann Morton. With our diverse portfolio of blades and scalpels, you can be confident in our unwavering commitment to quality throughout the entire process. The quality of the handle will have an impact on how a blade fits and performs during use.

For our full line of Surgical Handles, visit or contact Cincinnati Surgical at:

1-800-544-3100 or