How Laboratory Shakers Are Being Used and What To Look For When Buying

Learn how often our readers use their shakers in their labs and more from our latest results

By Shane Downie

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.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a 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. Do you require a temperature controlled shaker? Incubating or water-bath shaker? Cooling?
  5. What shaking method do you require? Orbital, vortex, or rocking?
  6. What programming functions, if any, does the unit have?

Shaker types used by survey respondents:

Vortex shaker 69%
Orbital shaker 51%
Rocking shaker 35%
Incubator shaker 31%
Biological shaker 23%
Vibrating shaker 16%
Reciprocal shaker 12%
Nutating shaker 5%
Other 3%

Number of hours per day shaker is in operation:

Less than 1 hour 28%
1 - 3 hours 27%
3 - 5 hours 15%
5 - 7 hours 13%
More than 7 hours 17%

Nearly 56% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new laboratory shaker. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab

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

Durability / rugged design 78%
Low maintenance — easy to clean 77%
Simple operation — easy to program and monitor 68%
Shaking speed 50%
Low noise — quiet 46%
Minimal vibration 46%
Warranty 45%
Compact design 36%
Orbital vs. reciprocating motion 34%
Electronic speed controls 34%

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

See previous survey results:

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Sustainability & Energy Magazine Issue Cover
Sustainability & Energy

Published: April 12, 2018

Cover Story

Featured Articles

We have updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.
Please read our Cookie Policy to learn how we use cookies to provide you with a better experience.