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2015 Stirrers and Mixers Survey Results

Mixing solutions is one of the most common laboratory tasks

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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Magnetic stirrers are a popular type of laboratory stirrer that use a rotating magnetic field to cause a stirrer bar to rotate within the solution. These stirrers are often combined with a hotplate and are ideal for small volumes of non-viscous liquids and for situations in which a reaction must take place in a closed vessel or system. The overhead stirrer, however, is more suitable for larger volumes and more viscous solutions, but can be less convenient and more time-consuming to set up.

Top 10 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Stirrer or Mixer

  1. What applications are you using the stirrer or mixer for? What result do you want to accomplish?
  2. What are the maximum volume and the maximum viscosity that you can use the stirrer for?
  3. Which stirring element is best suited to your application?
  4. What are the features and specs of the stirrers or mixers available?
  5. What level of accuracy does the digital speed indicator have?
  6. What type of motor is used in the stirrer or mixer?
  7. Can you determine the viscosity with the torque trend measurement?
  8. Have you purchased everything you need to start mixing? Sometimes stirrers and mixers are sold as kits, while sometimes all or some of the accessories must be purchased separately.
  9. Does the manufacturing company offer application and technical support over the phone?
  10. What warranty and delivery options are available? How quickly will the new purchase arrive?

Types of stirrer(s) used by survey respondents:

Magnetic Stirrer 91%
Hot Plate Stirrer 86%
Overhead Stirrer 20%
Other 3%

Stirrer problems reported by survey respondents:

Stirrer can't handle large volumes 42%
Stirrer can't handle high viscosity fluid 55%
Impeller frequently becomes jammed 17%
Stirrer doesn't maintain speed 24%
Drive motor overheats 13%

Nearly 51% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new stirrer or mixer. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of 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 Stirrer or Mixer:

Low Maintenance / Easy to Clean 79%
Performance of Product 78%
Value for Price Paid 65%
Low Operating Costs 63%
Service and Support 58%
Availability of Supplies and Accessories 55%
Total Cost of Ownership 54%
Warranties 53%
High Flow Rate 50%
Safety and Health Features 50%

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

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