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2014-15 Product Resource Guide: Pipettes

Get fun facts about pipettes, a list of questions to ask when buying pipettes, the most recent pipette releases, and an updated pipette manufacturer's list in this section.

Top 4 Things You May Not Know About Pipettes

1. In the 1950s, larger-than-ideal volumes of liquid were transferred using a modified piece of graduated glass tube, which often went by the name of the Carlsberg pipette. Researchers constructed these in the lab by heating a piece of glass tube over a Bunsen burner while pulling at one end; then, by repeating this operation close to the tip of the tube, a capillary could be pulled. This would allow air flow, but enable users to stop the liquid at the desired volume for which they had constructed the pipette.

2. Also during the 1950s, Carlsberg pipettes were being used outside of the lab by milk inspectors who would mouth-pipette raw milk samples onto a microscope slide for analysis. One of these inspectors was G.S. Riggs, who was not fond of this practice for obvious safety and efficiency reasons. Riggs filed a patent for a mechanical device that would suck the milk up into the tube. Riggs’ patent was referenced in the filing of Warren Gilson’s patent for the modern-day mechanical pipette 24 years later.

3. While developing optical enzyme assays, lab researchers faced accuracy challenges while attempting to dispense microliter liquid volumes as well as handle the large volume of pipetting that was required for this task. One of these researchers was a German medical scientist by the name of Heinrich Schnitger. By adding a spring to the piston of a tuberculin syringe that would stop on cue at a set volume level and replacing the syringe’s needle with a plastic tip, Schnitger found he could speed up liquid handling in many of his experiments. This led to the development of the first improvised piston-stroke pipette in 1958, which became known as the Marburg pipette.

4. Lab researchers, although happy with the functionality of the pipette, were still concerned about cross-contamination between samples and bacteria being passed via the pipette. The pipette manufacturer Capp Denmark A/S responded by inventing the first autoclavable multichannel pipette in 1984. About 80 percent of the pipettes on the market today are now autoclavable.

For the Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Pipette, click here.

Need more help in finding the right pipettes for you? Check out our Pipettes Product Finder.

Recently Released Pipettes

E1-ClipTip Electronic Adjustable Tip Spacing Multichannel Equalizer Pipettes

  • Allows users to feel their pipette tips lock firmly in place and perform sample transfers between virtually any tube, rack, microplate or horizontal gel box quickly and efficiently
  • Adjustable tip spacing found in E1-ClipTip Equalizer models allows users to set the distance between tips by simply sliding the scale to expand or contract to the desired labware format

Thermo Fisher Scientific 

VIAFLO ASSIST Pipette Automation Device

  • In combination with a VIAFLO II electronic handheld pipette, enables the pipette’s protocols to be performed automatically
  • Reduces the need for traditional handheld pipetting to a minimum, relieving lab personnel from activities that may cause repetitive stress injuries
  • Ensures tip immersion depth and pipetting angle are always the same, resulting in increased reproducibility and thus better results


Repeater M4 Handheld Serial Pipette

  • Designed to minimize the time and effort required for precise and highly accurate repeat dispensing tasks
  • Works with nine sizes of Eppendorf Combitips advanced® and a built-in sensor detects the Combitips automatically, showing the tip volume
  • Can dispense volumes from 1 μL to 10 mL and completes as many as 100 operations without refill


Rainin RFID Tags for Air Displacement Pipettes

  • Helps labs establish advanced calibration schedules through heightened pipette tracking capabilities for significant time savings and lowered lab management costs
  • By combining Rainin pipettes with Rainin’s RFID reader and LabX™ Direct Pipette-Scan™ software, users can immediately determine an individual pipette’s complete profile including: serial number, manufacture date, calibration due date and any user-assigned attributes


Pipette Manufacturers




Drummond Scientific 




Globe Scientific 



INTEGRA Biosciences 

Jencons Scientific 

Labnet International 


Nichiryo America 

Oxford Instruments 



Thermo Fisher Scientific 

USA Scientific 

VistaLab Technologies 

Wheaton Science Products