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2016 Lab Ovens User Survey

Learn the most common applications and more from our latest lab oven survey results.

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Laboratory ovens are common instruments in most laboratories and are used across most scientific disciplines. Lab ovens are most commonly less than 12 cu.ft. in volume, although a great variety of sizes are available in benchtop, stackable, and floor-standing models. Over 25 percent of survey respondents reported using larger ovens in their labs. While lab ovens are most commonly used for heating and drying (77% of respondents), they find a variety of other uses including evaporating (49%), temperature-linked experimentation (47%), sterilization (14%) and baking (13%).

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Lab Oven

  1. What temperature range do you require? (Does the product have reserve temperature capacity?)
  2. What accuracy and uniformity does the product have? (Will my sample be damaged or will my experiment only function in one “sweet spot”?)
  3. Are interior chamber space / weight of my sample and floor space in the lab a match to application and lab?
  4. Do I need any computer interfaces, alarms or safety devices on my oven?
  5. Are accessories like data loggers, viewing windows and modifications like access ports available from the manufacturer to suit my specific needs?

Types of lab ovens used by survey respondents:

General Purpose Oven 78%
Mechanical Convection Oven 18%
Gravity Convection Oven 15%
Vacuum Oven 22%
Microwave Oven 19%
Other 5%

Main applications respondents use their lab ovens for:

Heating and drying 77%
Evaporating 49%
Temperature-linked experiments 47%
Sterilization 14%
Baking 13%
Annealing 6%
De-gassing samples 4%
Die-band curing 1%
Other 9%

Nearly 24% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new lab oven. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a lab oven:

Safety 80%
Ease of use 64%
Low maintenance/operating costs 61%
Price 50%
Temperature ranges ambient +40°C to 200°C / 250°C 45%
Controlled airflow to provide uniform temperature heat distribution 42%
Service and support 41%
Warranty 40%
Ease of installation 35%
Double wall for insulation 34%

For more information on lab ovens, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results here