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2016 Pipette Survey Results

Learn which pipette types are most common and more from our latest pipette survey results.

Ryan Ackerman

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.

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 88%
Manual: Multi-channel 51%
Manual: Fixed-volume 41%
Electronic: Single-channel 38%
Repeater 35%
Electronic: Multi-channel 23%
Electronic: Fixed volume 5%
Other 4%

Main causes of pipetting errors as reported by survey respondents:

Human errors 57%
Viscosity reduces accuracy 35%
Liquids stick to tip 34%
Surface tension reduces accuracy 26%
Immersed tips carry over liquid 25%
Liquid temperature 12%
Pipettes take up more liquid 11%
Liquids evaporate 7%
Other 7%

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 96%
Durability of product 86%
Availability of tips and accessories 74%
Low maintenance / easy to clean 66%
Designed to permit recalibration 57%
Price 52%
Ergonomic operation 51%
Service and support 50%
Warranties 46%
Lightweight design 36%

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

See the most recent survey results here