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2015 Lab Oven Product Survey

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% of survey respondents reported using larger ovens in their labs. While lab ovens are most commonly used for heating and drying (75.6% of respondents), they find a variety of other uses including temperature-linked experimentation (41.7%), evaporating (37.0%), baking (16.5%) and sterilization (11.8%).

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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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 72%
Mechanical Convection Oven 33%
Microwave Oven 33%
Vacuum Oven 17%
Gravity Convection Oven 15%
Safety Oven 2%
Other 4%

Main applications respondents use their lab ovens for:

Heating and drying 76%
Temperature-linked experiments 42%
Evaporating 37%
Baking 17%
Sterilization 12%
Other 7%
Annealing 6%
De-gassing samples 5%
Distilling 2%

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
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

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

Safety 83%
Ease of use 75%
Low maintenance/operating costs 74%
Price 59%
Temperature ranges ambient +40°C to 200°C / 250°C 52%
Service and support 45%
Warranty 44%
Controlled airflow to provide uniform temperature 41%
Ease of installation 40%
Smallest footprint possible with a large interior 33%

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

See the most recent survey results here