I found the term beaver blade used in veterinary article.

Could you please explain why the blade is called beaver blade: is it related to an animal, or something else? How does it related to the shape of the blade?


I am not sure it is brand related issue; look at this non medical picture—

image of a "Beaver Blade" for a circular saw

For those thinking it is branding/off-topic look at this link and picture of BEAVER KNIFE.

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    It’s a brand name. – tchrist Jul 2 '14 at 21:57
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    That saw blade is probably trying to make some analogy about how this blade chews through wood as eagerly as a beaver. – Jim Jul 2 '14 at 22:12
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    You won't find a more precise answer unless you go to the manufacturer directly and ask, "Why did you name your saw blade a 'beaver' blade." They're the only ones that can provide an authoritative answer to that kind of question. – Jim Jul 2 '14 at 22:18
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about guessing at the reason behind a company's product naming decision. – Jim Jul 2 '14 at 22:26
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    Please make up your mind what you're asking about. The original question asked about beaver blade in a veterinary context. It's hardly likely the trademark name of the buzz-saw blade you've now added is relevant to the original question. – FumbleFingers Jul 3 '14 at 1:18

I didn't know the term, but comparing this picture of something called a "beaver blade handle"...

Photo of a metallic rod labeled "beaver blade handle" from surgical-instrument-pictures.com

...and this picture of a beaver's tail...

Photo of the central size of an undissected beaver tail

...I'm tempted to think it refers to the knurling (a manufacturing process, typically conducted on a lathe, whereby a diamond-shaped (criss-cross) pattern is cut or rolled into metal).

But it's probably relevant to note that Beaver® has been manufacturing high-quality, trusted surgical blades since 1932.

EDIT: I'll leave the above for historical reasons, but since someone downvoted I spent a couple more minutes looking into this. Here's a relevant definition for OP's (original) context...

Some surgeons prefer to cut the ear canal skin flap sharply using a beaver blade or sickle knife
- see right picture.

...and here's the picture...

Photo of the beaver blade, a small, hooked metal tip

(And no - I've no idea why they call it a "beaver" blade, though "sickle knife" is obvious!)

EDIT2: Okay - I'll hazard a guess it's because beavers' teeth are curved, a bit like a sickle.

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  • nice answer, for now I am voting up. Later will probably accept it, but want to see other answers... – Ilan Jul 2 '14 at 22:04
  • what do you think about this drpower.com/power-equipment/trimmer-mowers/accessories/… – Ilan Jul 2 '14 at 22:05
  • can you find any connection to the teeth of the beaver? – Ilan Jul 2 '14 at 22:09
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    @Ilan: Your 12" circular saw "Beaver Blade®" looks like a trademarked single product (I can find any similar blades using that terminology). So I'd guess that's a reference to the teeth ripping through wood like a beaver's teeth. But actually, when I searched for circular saw Beaver Blade I saw more than one item referring to the fact that ideally you don't want a saw blade that makes such rough cuts they look like they've been chewed through by a beaver. – FumbleFingers Jul 2 '14 at 22:13
  • I have found a right answer - the beaver knife or blade is called after its sickle shape which is exact analogy to beaver teeth. – Ilan Jul 3 '14 at 5:27

American beavers are famous (in real life) for chewing through young trees on the banks of the streams where they live and constructing dams with the felled saplings and branches. So when people in the United States think of beavers, they think of the kind of exaggerated wood-cutting prowess shown at 5:59 of this 1931 Walt Disney "Silly Symphony" cartoon, "The Busy Beavers." (Cartoon termites and cartoon woodpeckers are capable of similar prodigies, but they are perceived as less benignant.) What company wouldn't want to name its saw blades after an animal capable (in cartoons) of that kind of performance?

I believe that the product name is based on precisely that level of familiarity with beavers and their incredible sawmill-like wood-cutting abilities.

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  • I should perhaps also note that beavers are renowned in American culture for their eagerness and their busyness. – Sven Yargs Jul 3 '14 at 3:26
  • Thanks for the answer. I have found a right one - the beaver knife or blade is called after its sickle shape which is exact analogy to beaver teeth. – Ilan Jul 3 '14 at 5:26
  • @Ilan: That's probably the reason - but it's not an exact analogy. The cutting edge of a beaver's tooth is the same as a human incisor - the flat edge at right angles to the length. A sickle (similar to scythe) has the cutting edge along the curved length. – FumbleFingers Jul 3 '14 at 11:24
  • @FumbleFingers :) I don't think we should overthink this question... at least, it is not off topic – Ilan Jul 3 '14 at 11:26

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