MIECO launches latest cross-section microtome

Posted December 2, 2021


WILMINGTON, Del. – MIECO’s new QCSMS – Quick Cross Section Microscope Slide – is a handheld microtome. These devices are both quick and practical to use but also durable and of high quality.




  • Allow for cross-sectioning different materials in no time with any sharp razor blade;

  • Are sized less than a microscope slide allow for direct microscope observation of cross-sections;

  • Are used properly one will have a lifetime of cross-sectioning;

  • Are made from high-quality stainless steel; and

  • Are made in the USA.


Presenting the new QCSMS


The new QCSMS Microtome M2020L is a high-quality stainless steel device 2.7’’ (68 mm) x 1.0’’ (25 mm). Therefore, it fits any sample holder of a microscope stage.


This device has a thickness of only 0.02” (or 0.5 mm)! It has the most narrow slot of all the QCSMS microtomes I’ve built so far. Therefore, the M2020L is also practical for observing cross-sections under transmitted light.


The cross-sectioning area of the M2020L is minimal. It has a very narrow slot width (only 0.5 mm) and a slot length of 3 mm, ideal when only a limited sample is available for cross-sectioning. Therefore the new QCSMS is very good for forensic applications.


The M2020L now replaces the M2524L, and the cross-sections prepared with the new M2020L is 20% thinner and the slot width is 16% less.


MIECO counts numerous customers in the textile industry and beyond as users of its product, according to owner Jay Mills.


What MIECO’s customers say:


Kris De Wael, forensic scientist and author of “Microscopy in Forensic Fiber Examinations. A Practical Photo Atlas and Training Tool:”

“I’m a forensic fiber examiner and have used MIECO’s QCSMS microtome to prepare cross-sections of reference fibers from clothing. This practical microtome allows me to check quickly which different fiber types are present in fiber yarn. I can highly recommend it for forensic fiber examinations.”


Former Microscopy lab manager Jeff Bowen:

“The MIECO microtomes that we purchased were of high quality and great craftsmanship. Due to the thin nature of the fixtures, it can be challenging to fabricate such devices. For fiber cross-sections it is best to have the slice as thin as possible for light transmission. We searched for a couple years to find one that was suitable. Many machine shops were willing to try, but none of them had much knowledge of the use of the final product. The fixtures they made were generally too thick and the slot too wide. They were rudimentary at best.


“When I talked to Jay at MIECO, he recommended one of his fixtures. I asked if he could make it thinner. He was reluctant but gave it a shot. He sent them both but warned that the thinner one was unlikely to hold up. It has been five years since the two fixtures were put in use at our central lab. Both still look and work great. It is a tribute to Jay's craftsmanship and knowledge of the end use. It is also worth noting that technicians that are skilled at doing cross-sections are a contributing factor in the longevity of the fixtures.”


Unifi Manufacturing user:

“Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. has used MIECO microtomes in our fabric analysis labs for more than 10 years. MIECO’s products continue to perform as well today as the day we received them. The microtomes hold fine denier multifilament yarns, securely guaranteeing clean cuts with clear images.  MIECO offers a wide range of microtome sizes so we can cross section from 10 denier up to 1000 denier.”


History of MIECO’s QCSMS microtomes


Mills has designed and manufactured handheld microtomes for decades. His microtomes are practical devices for cross-sectioning textile yarns, carpet fiber tufts, plastics and biological samples. Based in Wilmington, Del., MIECO initially manufactured and sold Quick Cross Section Plates, also known as Hardy Plates, until 2010. Then he improved the design and introduced the QCSMS in 2015.


Over the years, Mills has designed different types of microtomes useful for specific applications. He said his customers are pleased with his handy microtomes, but “do not spread the news enough.”


“At the beginning of 2021, I stopped selling my handheld microtome since my business wasn’t viable,” Mills said. “But then, some people wanted to buy the QCSMS, which gave me the boost to redesign the M2524L to the new QCSMS M2020L microtome. I would greatly appreciate it if QCSMS users would send me shareable photos, videos, posts, comments to my email or join my social media sites and share there.”


Source: MIECO

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