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Buying guide for Best suture practice kits

Are you pursuing medical education to become a physician, veterinarian, or medic? Early in your program, you’ll need to learn correct suture techniques to close up wounds to prevent infection and begin a patient’s healing process. Since you can’t jump into practicing on people, a suture practice kit is an ideal and lifelike alternative.

Suture practice kits come with silicone pads that have a consistency similar to that of human and animal skin. To make your practice more wound-driven, the pad is designed with a series of different cuts, all of which require different suture techniques. The kits also come with the tools and filaments you need to perform the entire procedure, from intake to discharge.

There’s no need to wait for lab or clinical time to practice your technique with these kits. You can practice at home with your very own instead. 

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If you need a suture practice kit, it’s better to buy a new one than to accept a hand-me-down. The silicone pads wear out, and you need the correct skin-like consistency to achieve a meaningful practice session.

Why do I need a suture practice kit?

Home practice

Despite the intensity of a medical program and the number of hours you’ll spend learning, you still need to practice outside of the lab and classroom. Suture practice kits let you practice at your own pace to hone your techniques and skills. Because there are different types of stitches based on the nature of the wound, you need to master each one.

Convenient and affordable

Suture practice kits are incredibly convenient and far less expensive than alternative materials. Prior to suture practice kits, medical students were expected to practice on meat. If you’re a broke student, you already know that’s a pretty expensive way to practice! Less-expensive options include banana peels and cloth, though they’re nowhere near as realistic.

The abovementioned alternatives only work for single-use practice sessions. A silicone practice pad, on the other hand, is reusable for at least a dozen suture sessions. When you consider the cost per use, you realize that a suture practice kit costs a fraction of what the alternatives cost. It’s also less expensive if you make a mistake, as you can simply start over. Without the stress of the cost of practice, you can really focus on perfecting your suture techniques.

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Expert Tip
Inspect all instruments to ensure none of them are bent or warped. Even the slightest change to a tool affects its precision, which could compromise stitch quality.

What’s in a suture practice kit?

Silicone pad

The silicone pad is the crown jewel of the suture practice kit. These are nearly identical between manufacturers, as they must include specific wound styles for you to practice common suture types. As a result, you’ll find a unique collection of “cuts” throughout the pad. For the most part, pads are approximately 5 x 7 inches.

The pad itself comprises a main layer of high-grade silicone that can withstand a reasonable amount of needle punctures and stitches. There are two additional silicone layers and built-in mesh to mimic fatty tissue and muscle. The purpose of these layers is to educate you on the importance and impact of suture depth, as they let you know if or when you penetrate them.


Kits come with the same six tools that are necessary for suturing procedures. They’re made from high-grade stainless steel, though they’re not usually as durable as surgical-quality tools.

Here are the six tools you’ll have in your suture practice kit.

  • Scalpel blades
  • Scalpel handle
  • Surgical scissors
  • Adson forceps
  • Curved mosquito forceps with aligned teeth
  • Needle driver with gap-free teeth

Suture threads

Suture threads, sometimes called filaments, are made of silk, nylon, polyester, or polypropylene. They come in various sizes — 2/0, 3/0, and 4/0 — though not all kits contain every size. As some wounds require different filaments or filament sizes, it’s important to learn how each one behaves during the stitching process; some are easier to manipulate than others.


A suture practice kit should come with a case to hold its tools. Premium cases are larger and have space to hold the silicone pad. There are often pockets to hold the filaments, though they’re sometimes held in transparent card slots for easy visibility and access.

"Contact the suture kit manufacturer to recommend improvements. These companies frequently solicit information from their customers and re-engineer their products to improve the practice and training experience."


Medical gloves: Medline FitGuard Tough Nitrile Latex-Free Gloves (100-Count)
For a full-immersion suture experience, you may wish to wear gloves during practice. We like these latex-free and powder-free gloves from Medline, a top name in medical equipment. They provide great tactile sensitivity, so it’s almost like working with bare hands. Available in sizes small to XL, this product comes with 100 gloves.

Extra practice pad: Your Design Medical Extra Large Suture Pad with 28 Cuts
Sometimes, you need a little more suture practice — especially when it comes to larger, more complex cuts. We like this ultra pad from Your Design Medical, which has longer cuts and new shapes for you to practice suturing styles. As the cuts are close together, you get a chance to practice precision by navigating more complicated wounds, which is ideal for future emergency medicine providers.

Extra suture thread: Dr. K Suture Thread 24-Pack Variety
Since you’re only given a limited amount of suture thread in your kit, you’ll need to buy more to continue your practice. We like this variety pack from Dr. K, which has four different thread types as well as three thread diameters. Considering the level of variety, it’s an incredible value with enough thread to last a while.

Suture practice kit prices

Suture practice kits cost between $25 and $50. Price depends on kit quality and organization.

For $25 to $30, expect a kit with only a couple of filament sizes. These rarely have space in the case for the silicone pad, which means you’d need to get a bag to carry them all together.

For $30 to $40, you can get a suture kit with a wider variety of filaments and better-quality silicone pads. Some of these pads even feature nonslip bottoms. About half of the kits at this price range can hold all accessories, including the pad, in the case.

Kits closer to $50 have the greatest number of filaments to maximize your practice sessions. Often, there are bonus accessories included: gloves, ebooks, and sometimes additional silicone training pads.

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Expert Tip
Get in the habit of washing your hands before every suture practice session. You’ll need to do it in real life, so it’s a good idea to develop the habit early in your medical training.


  • Move around the silicone pad. Since you can’t always move a patient to get in a better location for suturing, get used to moving around the silicone pad. You’ll acclimate yourself to performing in less-than-desirable situations to truly level your suture skills.
  • Time yourself. While you shouldn’t rush any medical procedure you perform, time is of the essence. Use a timer to track how long it takes to perform each type suture. If some continue taking longer than others, you may need to practice them more often to make sure you have equal mastery across the board.
  • Ask for help. Ask your instructors and experienced professionals to work with you on suture techniques. Have them observe you so they can give you hands-on guidance. They may perform a suture themselves, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions throughout the procedure. 
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Watch tutorial videos from a variety of practitioners to see their techniques and hear their feedback. Include surgeons, veterinarians, and medics to gain a well-rounded perspective on suturing.


Q. How should I clean and maintain my suture pad?

A. As suture pads are made of silicone, all you need to do is rinse it under water and allow it to air dry. If you’d like a deeper cleaning, add some gentle dish soap to your hands and rub the pad gently. Some consumers also use liquid makeup brush cleaner, as its formula is designed to clean silicone makeup tools.

Q. How can I prevent my suture pad from moving around while I practice?

A. If your suture pad doesn’t have a nonslip bottom, you can add the nonslip feature yourself. Affix self-stick gripping pads to the corners of the bottom. They’re usually 1” x 1” squares or circles. Another option is to affix a couple strips of rug grip on the bottom, which is a bit wider and could work better.

Q. How can I track my progress with stitches?

A. Take a picture after you’ve completed a suture, and maintain a progress diary detailing your techniques, improvements, and areas for improvement. You could also set up your smartphone to record a video during your suture practice. When you go back and watch yourself, you’ll be able to view your performance to check for correct technique. Using this method, you’ll often notice nuances in your suturing that you can’t catch from a still image.

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