Is A Scalpel Sharper Than A Razor Blade?




Is A Scalpel Sharper Than A Razor Blade

A scalpel is a surgical blade commonly used by surgeons in cutting skin during surgeries. However, the comparison between the sharpness of scalpels and razors is a hot topic in the shaving world. Continue reading to see if a scalpel can be your next razor alternative due to its excellent sharpness or not.

Surgical scalpels are very sharp. A scalpel is much sharper than a straight razor and many of them are almost as sharp as many of the sharpest DE blades.

Who Is Sharper? Scalpel or Razor Blade

When it comes to sharpness, a surgical scalpel takes charge by being 500-1000 times sharper than a razor. As obvious as it sounds, a surgeon’s blade would definitely be more finely sharpened than a razor blade for shaving.

However, a scalpel blade should be replaced after each use while a razor lasts a bit longer. They can be used a few times unless marked as disposable.

What Is A Scalpel And What Is A Razor Blade?

If you don’t know what a scalpel is, it’s a long sharpened steel blade in a surgical kit that helps with all the skin incisions, tissue cutting, and other tasks where you have to be a little harsh with the cutting.


In contrast, a razor blade is a particular type of metallic blade that has a flat design and sharp edge. Although there are many types of razors available, none of them can beat the sharpness of a scalpel.

razor blade

Whether you want a slight trim of your bread or shave it all, a razor blade is all you need. Depending on the sharpness of the blade, you can choose the best type of razor blade for your shaving. 

What Is Sharper Than A Scalpel? 

Even though scalpels are very sharp, there’s still something that’s sharper and that is obsidian blades. These are also used for surgical purposes but do a better job of cutting. These blades also have a better-sharp edge which means you can have more fine, thin, and delicate cuttings with obsidian.

Can I Shave With A Scalpel? 

The answer is straight no. You can never shave with a scalpel for whatever reason. As said earlier, scalpels are many times sharper than a regular razor; shaving with a scalpel can leave your skin with harsh and painful nicks or skin cuts. 

Not only is a scalpel sharper than ordinary razor blades but also knives, as their edges are extremely thin and cut precisely on nearly every skin type.

Are Scalpels Hard? 

Most scalpels are made up of high-grade stainless steel, which makes them enough harder than traditional razor blades. This hardness also offers ease in using the scalpel during surgeries and retains the sharpness of the cutting edges of the blade.

What’s The Difference Between Cutting Through A Razor Blade Or A Scalpel?

Since a scalpel and razor blade are used for different purposes, there’s a different techniques to use both of them. Using a scalpel is quite a sensitive process as it involves cutting actual skin instead of removing hair from the skin, as done in shaving.

When cutting the skin with a scalpel, you point the sharp edge of the scalpel really close to the surface of the skin and gently start scraping the skin in a slant position. In contrast, shaving with a razor is quite simple where you only have to choose the right razor blade, take it close to the skin, press a little on the shaving area and move with slow strokes.

Can I Use A Scalpel Instead Of A Razor Blade?

Obviously, traditional scalpels are not a safe alternative to razor blades, but you can take a second thought when it comes to modern scalpels. Unlike the traditional ones, these scalpels show great resemblance to razor blades and are disposable too. Also, you can hone the scalpel like your regular shaving razor blades to maintain their sharpness for longer. 

Speaking of sharpness, modern scalpels have pretty much comparable sharpness to other razor blades. This makes these tools ideal for shaving on tough skin with overgrown hair that may take longer to cut with a regular razor blade.

How Sharp Is A Scalpel? 

For any surgical use, the sharpness of the tool being used matters the most. Scalpels are known for their cutting-edge sharpness that’s perfect for cutting and tearing skin without being harsh on the skin with a futile tool.

However, the sharpness of scalpels depends on a number of factors, including their length, width, cutting surface, Sharpe, manufacture, and others. The more will be sharpness of a blade, the better it will be for you to cut through different types of surfaces.

Are Razor Blades As Sharp As Scalpels?

If we look at the definitions of sharp and keen, it is clear that all blades have similar keenness. However, the sharpness you get from a razor blade is not anywhere closer to what a good scalpel can deliver. That is why we do not recommend shaving with a scalpel as it will definitely leave you with skin cuts.

How Much Sharper Is A Scalpel Than A Razor?

Generally, surgical scalpels are much sharper than straight razors. In addition, they are almost as sharp as most of the sharpest DE bladed. While scalpels can be as sharp as 30 angstroms, most household razors range between 300 to 600 angstroms. Isn’t that a huge difference?

Sharpest Scalpel In The World

At 30 angstroms, it is no doubt an obsidian scalpel rivals a diamond in the fineness of edge. The volcanic glass – obsidian, can therefore produce finer cutting edges that are many times better than even the best steel scalpels.

Obsidian is, therefore, the sharpest edge available and is majorly used in performing surgical incisions with minimal scarring.

How Are Scalpels Sharpened?

Like every steel-made tool, scalpels also require frequent sharpening to stay sharp and increase the lifespan of blades. 

However, not every scalpel is reusable and is recommended to be sharp. The scalpels used in surgeries are single-use, which means you dispose of them right after use. 

To sharpen a scalpel, take a hard ceramic stone, wet the sharp edges of the scalpel, and move it in a back-and-forth direction for a few seconds. Most scalpels have a curved blade, so make sure you go straight during sharpening and don’t disturb the shape.

What To Do If You Cut Yourself With A Scalpel? 

Scalpels is very sharp and definitely not suitable to use for home use. In an unfortunate situation, if you cut yourself with a scalpel- follow the guidelines mentioned below. 

  1. Place the wound area under running water for a few minutes. 
  2. Once the bleeding has stopped, cover the wound with a clean, fresh cotton swab. 
  3. Do regular dressing of the wound and keep it as clean as you can.

If it gets worse, reach for medical help and get the wound treated by a healthcare professional.


Long story short, razor blades are nowhere close to the sharpness of scalpels which are used for intense surgical skin cutting. Therefore, it’s not recommended to use a scalpel for shaving, or you may put yourself at risk of severe skin cuts and other problems.

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