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Purchasing Guides

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Purchasing Guide: Stirrers and Mixers

Stirrers and mixers are used for mixing a variety of samples in the lab, and there are numerous options available depending on what you’re mixing and the volume you’re working with

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As you’d expect, stirrers and mixers are used for mixing a variety of samples in the lab, and there are numerous options available depending on what you’re mixing and the volume you’re working with. Some applications are suited to a magnetic stirrer, which relies on a rotating magnetic field to rotate a stir bar within the liquid. Magnetic stirrers are available with heated or non-heated platforms. Overhead stirrers with a drive motor to power the impeller are better suited for more viscous liquids or larger volumes. For a list of stirrer and mixer manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/stirrer-mixer-manufacturers

6 Questions to Ask When Buying a Stirrer or Mixer:

  1. What sample volumes will you be working with?
  2. What is the intended application? Magnetic stirrers are best suited to applications that require low shear mixing.
  3. How viscous are the samples? Highly viscous samples may create too much resistance for a magnetic stirrer.
  4. What mixing speeds are required?
  5. Is a heated platform required?
  6. What vessels will you be working with? Overhead stirrers can be used with both flat-bottom vessels and closed reaction systems with round-bottom flasks.
  7. Does the device have a digital display for speed and torque, as well as a timer?
  8. What type of motor is used? Are the torque and speed specifications suited to your applications?

Purchasing Tip

Current-generation hotplate stirrers have features that can enhance your research confidence and reproducibility, such as digital controls and high-precision temperature setting. If your research is especially sensitive, look for stirrers that have such features to make your work easier.

Magnetic vs Overhead Stirrers

Can’t decide between a magnetic stirrer and an overhead stirrer? Magnetic stirrers are straightforward and affordable, while overhead stirrers can handle high-viscous liquids better. Learn more about which format best suits your needs at LabManager.com/magnetic-vs-overhead