Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

2014 Shaker Survey Results

The wide variety of lab-shaker designs on the market reflects the increasing diversity of scientific experimentation. Labs now use a greater range of sample sizes than ever before, from liters to microliters. And while replicate and combinatorial studies increase the number of samples, requirements for environmental control create yet a third dimension that shaker designers must consider.

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...

ViewFull Profile.
Learn about ourEditorial Policies.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an Laboratory Shaker

  1. What is the capacity of the unit (both for total weight and volume)?
  2. What accessories are available?
  3. What is the RPM range and what increments can it be controlled in?
  4. What are the temperature and humidity operating conditions for the unit?
  5. What programming functions, if any, does the unit have?

Type of laboratory shakers used by survey respondents:

Vortex shaker 24%
Orbital shaker 18%
Incubator shaker 17%
Rocking shaker 17%
Vibrating shaker 10%
Biological shaker 6%
Reciprocal shaker 5%
Nutating shaker 3%
Other 1%

Number of hours per day shaker is in operation:

Less than 1 hour 25%
1 - 3 hours 26%
3 - 5 hours 11%
5 - 7 hours 9%
> 7 hours 29%

Nearly 27% of respondents plan on purchasing a new laboratory shaker in the next year. The estimated budget ranges for these purchases are as follows:

Less than $500
$500 - $1,000
$1,500 - $3,000
$3,000 - $6,000
$6,000 +
Don't know

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a laboratory shaker:

Durability / Rugged design 67%
Low maintenance / Easy to clean 53%
Shaking speed 46%
Simple operation - Easy to program and monitor 41%
Compact design 33%
Low noise - Quiet 32%
Warranty 28%
Minimal vibration 26%
Heating/cooling capability 26%
Electronic speed controls 24%

For more information on laboratory shakers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results