The two most common manufacturers of autoclaves in the podiatry profession are Midmark/Ritter and Pelton Crane. There are several others like Tuttnauer, AMSCO, Castle and American Sterilizer. However, they represent a relative few in the used podiatry autoclave market. The Midmark/Ritter M7, M9 and M11 units are all fully automated and often referred to as "one-touch" autoclaves. The Pelton Crane Validator 10 and Validator Plus series are very analogous as they are also "one-touch" units. But, the most common of all of them is the Pelton Crane OCM and OCR units. One dealer referred to them as the Harley Davidson of autoclaves. They have been around for decades and a great number continue to provide dependable service. Parts are inexpensive and readily available from alternative sources and qualified repair services are readily available throughout the US.
When choosing an autoclave, the first thing to consider is the size that will be needed to meet the practice needs. If the intention is to autoclave only hand instruments, the Pelton Crane OCM or Midmark/Ritter M7 should be more than adequate. They will cycle faster than the larger units and use less electricity. If the practice includes office surgery that employs surgical power sets, a larger unit will be needed. The Pelton Crane Validator 10, Validator Plus, OCR, OCR+ and Midmark/Ritter M9 or M11 units will be required.
Generally, good used Midmark/Ritter
autoclaves will cost from $200 to $1000 more than comparable Pelton Crane
units although both of the manufacturers' products can be expected to
provide dependable service for many years if properly cared for. The costs
of repairing the Midmark/Ritter autoclaves can be significantly more
expensive than the corresponding Pelton Cranes because of the ready
availability of Pelton
parts from sources other than the manufacturer. In addition, autoclaves that
incorporate electronic control boards are always more expensive to repair
than those with more simplified circuitry. Recently, I had significant
difficulty locating an electronic control board for an M9. My tech told me
that Midmark/Ritter is no longer providing support for their older units.
This can be a real problem if you purchase a used autoclave without a
Intermed warrants all of our equipment for 1 year, 100% parts & labor or
replacement and supports it after that. We also provide support for all of
our doctors' equipment when and where we can regardless whether they
purchased it from GI or someone else. Feel free to call to let us know how
we can help. Ask for Mark or Sue.