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September 1958

A Method for Sharpening Biopsy Punches

Author Affiliations

Vallejo, Calif.

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, San Francisco.

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(3):393-394. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560090109023

Anyone with a modicum of mechanical skill can devise a method for sharpening a punch, but, unfortunately, many of us do not have this ability. Inquiry among dermatologists disclosed that many never sharpen their punches at all, or they have them sharpened occasionally by someone. A few affluent ones just discard their dull punches and purchase new ones.

With use, a sharp metal cutting edge becomes dull when the edge turns over to form a "burr" or "feather." The steel rod used for sharpening carving knives simply straightens up the turnedover edges and thus serves as a quick and efficient sharpener. Similarly, the biopsy punch, which is made of relatively soft stainless steel, is dulled with use when the edge curls inward to form burrs—usually at several places in its circumference. Much of the dulling occurs when the and polished as shown. It can be made on a

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