How To Get The Best Value When Purchasing General Laboratory Equipment

How To Get The Best Value When Purchasing General Laboratory Equipment

Whether building a new research lab or expanding an established laboratory it is necessary to purchase general laboratory equipment items to outfit the lab.

What qualifies as general laboratory equipment?

While the specific makeup will vary depending on the type of research being conducted, most life-science or molecular biology laboratories require the following pieces of general laboratory equipment:

Autoclave, Balance(s), Centrifuge(s), Dry Bath(s), Electrophoresis gear (like gel boxes and power supplies), Hotplates and Stirrers, Incubator(s), Orbital Shakers, Pipette(s), pH Meter and electrodes, Rockers, Vortex Mixer(s) and Water Baths.

Most of a laboratory budget is channeled towards salaries and the critical chemicals, reagents, cells, and solutions that form the backbone of the research.

The choice of which piece of general laboratory equipment to purchase can be determined by price, advantageous features, length of warranty or a combination of factors.

Who produces laboratory equipment and what do they make?

Some manufacturers of laboratory equipment, like Next Advance and VistaLab, focus on producing one or two product lines, while companies like Benchmark Scientific offer a catalog that covers dozens of general lab equipment items.

Ohaus built their reputation producing high-quality but affordable lab balances and pH meters.

Labnet, a division of Corning Life Sciences, is known for their outstanding BioPette Plus single and multi-channel pipettes, rockers and the ENDURO electrophoresis line of gel boxes, power supplies, and gel documentation systems.

What should I look for when purchasing general laboratory equipment?

The most important consideration is how well the item meets the technical specifications for your applications.

A benchtop micro centrifuge with a top speed of less than 15,000xg would be a poor choice for a lab performing RNA and DNA isolation, no matter how inexpensive it is or how many bells and whistles it has.

The second thing to consider is whether a particular model offers a unique feature which saves time and promotes more consistent outcomes.

A special feature will be more expensive upfront, but these devices pay for themselves over time by adding efficiencies.

Example: Benchmark Scientific’s laboratory orbital shakers which use a magnetic platform and magnetic clamps to secure vessels in place when shaking.

Compared to the old fashion method requiring each clamp to be screwed into place, this system is a radical improvement.

Example: VistaLab’s ali-Q 2 aliquoting pipette controller family.

Unlike traditional pipette aids which can simply aspirate and dispense liquid, the ali-Q 2 speeds up repetitive aliquoting actions using a revolutionary aliquot feature.

Will your purchase of general laboratory equipment be a success?

Look at the reputation of the manufacturer, product, and laboratory equipment distributor to complete the picture.

Search online for reviews to learn how the product performed and pay attention to responses from the manufacturer to gauge if the reviewer’s experience was possibly an outlier.

Purchase your general laboratory equipment items from a reputable company like Stellar Scientific with over 350 glowing service reviews

With a reliable dealer partner, you can rest assured any issues will be addressed promptly to make sure you get the maximum value from your purchase.