"You give the scalpel to the doctors for a reason," said O'Mara.
The defense cuts would go through the orderly legislative process of putting together a budget, “using a scalpel and not an ax.”
Fiscal policy is more precise, less a meat cleaver than a scalpel.
1742, from Latin scalpellum "a surgical knife," diminutive of scalprum "knife, chisel, tool for scraping or cutting," from scalpere "to carve, cut," related to sculpere "to carve," from PIE root *(s)kel- "to cut, cleave" (see scale (n.1)).
scalpel scal·pel (skāl'pəl)
A small straight knife with a thin sharp blade used in surgery and dissection.