A large variety of knife holders and knives is available to ensure the ultimate cutting result. For different embedding materials or specimen properties, dedicated knives are required.
The higher the cutting forces, the more knife holder stability is needed to ensure a reproducible thin section.
Safety precaution: Please always wear safety gloves as microtome knives have very sharp edges.
Knife holder A is the most stable knife holder. It is recommended for all hard specimens, such as resin embedded undecalcified bones and teeth. The knife is clamped along its length preventing vibration during sectioning. Different cutting edge angles are available made of steel or tungsten carbide. The choice of knife depends on the hardness of the specimen.
Appropriate knife: knives with 40°, 50° or 60° wedge angle.
Knife holder B is recommended for paraffin embedded soft tissue. The holder accommodates all standard knife sizes up to a length of 22 cm with c and d profiles.
As an alternative, disposable blades can be clamped using the Leica disposable blade holder for low profile blades with central pressure plate.
Appropriate knife: standard knives with c or d profile or blade holder for low profile blades.
The knife holder C is designed primarily for biological specimens embedded in paraffin or celloidine. The knives are secured over their entire length, thus preventing vibration during cutting. The small angle of the knife pressure plate facilitates the removal of sections without tearing. The high stability of this knife holder combined with the special Cc and Cd profile knives ensure optimal sectioning results.
To reduce cutting forces an optional pair of special clamping blocks for permanent 45° knife declination can be used to take advantage of the pulling sections effect. This technique is specially recommended for the sectioning of wood specimens. The clamping blocks are suitable for all three knife holders.
Please also refer to our recommended specimen holders and plates, designed to meet specific user requirements.