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How Does Your Pipette Stack Up?

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

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD

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 87%
Manual: Multi-channel 43%
Repeater 41%
Manual: Fixed-volume 32%
Electronic: Single-channel 26%
Electronic: Multi-channel 18%
Electronic: Fixed volume 4%
Other 3%

Most common pipetting errors experienced by survey respondents:

Human errors 70%
Liquids stick to tip 45%
Viscosity reduces accuracy 43%
Surface tension reduces accuracy 34%
Pipettes take up more liquid 24%
Immersed tips carry over liquid 20%
Liquid temperature 16%
Liquids evaporate 11%
Other 7%

Nearly 62% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new pipette:

Reviewing available options
Plan to purchase in 12+ months
Plan to purchase in 6 to 12 months
Plan to purchase in the next 1 to 6 months

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

Consistent performance and accuracy of product 94%
Durability of product 82%
Availability of tips and accessories 70%
Low maintenance / easy to clean 67%
Price 63%
Designed to permit recalibration 62%
Ergonomic operation 46%
Service and support 41%
Warranties 37%
Ease of adjustment for various viscous liquids 35%

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

See survey results from previous years: