Swann-Morton’s rich company history may have started with razor blades. However, it was with surgical implements that it established it’ reputation. We might sell cheap Swann Morton blades for a variety of uses, but as a company their core product was something where high quality and reliability, not price, were the most important factors.
Sheffield has a heritage for quality knives & blades but Swann-Morton’s reputation for surgical blades takes that reputation a stage further. High-quality Sheffield blades for a Sunday roast are one thing. The type of quality required for surgical use take quality to a whole new level. So, what are the surgical factors that mean we are selling exceptionally high quality, if cheap, Swann Morton blades.
Surgical blades provide a very clean cut
First, surgical blades need to be sterile. This might seem irrelevant to a craft use. While you might not be buying a sterile blade it does impact the manufacturing process. Although surgical blades are sterilised, the measures that are taken at every stage of manufacture and beyond benefit all the blades. Since they are all made in facilities dedicated to those high manufacturing standards.
Next, surgical blades have to be incredibly sharp, and there is no room for error. A surgical blade must always provide a clean cut, a dull blade that pulls and tears is unacceptable. At best it might result in scaring for the patient, but the consequences could be much, much worse than that. Again, the need for a sharp blade, every time, benefits those using cheap Swann Morton blades in any use.
Swann Morton blades providing surgical precision
Another quality required in surgery is precision. Medical uses are frequently in difficult or sensitive areas. Wherever a medical procedure is carried out it’s usually not far from another part of the body that most definitely won’t benefit from medical intervention! This means that surgical blades need to be precise to work on incredibly small areas with no margin for error. Again, you might not be using a cheap Swann Morton blade surgically, but you will benefit from that precision.
Finally, while surgical blades are intended to be disposable, everything is manufactured to be long-lasting and reliable. A surgeon must feel they are always working with the same instrument, and not have to adapt to a knife that feels different. And if they are re-using a handle a new blade must fit onto that precisely. Again, this means that whatever your use, your knife will feel familiar and the blade and handle will feel part of the same instrument, not a holder where your blade has a bit of wobble.
Together these mean that Swann Morton manufactures to the highest possible standard. With surgery becoming increasingly complex and delicate there is no margin for error. Blades are sometimes used for a single cut, so the manufacturing has to make sure every single one is of the same high quality. So, when you are working with a Swann Morton blade you might not be performing delicate surgery, but you will be using an instrument that had benefited from the high manufacturing standards a surgical use would require. It might be a cheap Swann Morton blade, but the attention to detail is priceless.