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2015 Pipettes Survey Results

Pipettes can be found in almost every laboratory and, if you’re looking to buy one, there are many options— manual or electronic, single or multi-channel. Luckily, a few main considerations can help in deciding whether or not to buy the latest pipette technology.

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 Pipette

  1. What differentiates the pipette from others offered in terms of performance and ergonomics?
  2. Is the product compatible with other manufacturers’ consumables (tips)?
  3. What types of services are offered for this product? Calibration? Repair?
  4. Does the company offer application support and technical phone support before and after product purchase?
  5. What is the product life expectation? What is the product’s warranty period? If the company discontinues the product, for how many years do they provide accessories and parts for the instrument?

Types of pipettes used by survey respondents:

Manual: Single-channel 89%
Manual: Multi-channel 47%
Repeater 30%
Electronic: Single-channel 28%
Manual: Fixed-volume 28%
Electronic: Multi-channel 17%
Electronic: Fixed volume 4%
Other 2%

Main causes of pipetting errors as reported by survey respondents:

Human errors 57%
Liquids stick to tip 49%
Viscosity reduces accuracy 40%
Surface tension reduces accuracy 27%
Immersed tips carry over liquid 25%
Pipettes take up more liquid 18%
Liquids evaporate 8%
Liquid temperature 6%
Other 6%

Nearly 48% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new pipette. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging pipette
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
Need a more ergonomic pipette
Moving from a handheld pipette to an automatic pipette

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

Consistent performance and accuracy of product 91%
Durability of product 78%
Availability of tips and accessories 73%
Low maintenance / easy to clean 59%
Designed to permit recalibration 57%
Price 56%
Ergonomic operation 47%
Service and support 47%
Warranties 41%
Leak detection 39%

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

See the most recent survey results here