2017 Shakers Survey Results

Learn how often our readers use their lab shakers and much more in our 2017 survey results.

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD

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 5 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. What are the temperature and humidity operating conditions for the unit?
  5. What programming functions, if any, does the unit have?

Shaker types used by survey respondents:

Vortex shaker 55%
Orbital shaker 55%
Rocking shaker 46%
Incubator shaker 38%
Vibrating shaker 20%
Biological shaker 17%
Reciprocal shaker 15%
Nutating shaker 4%
Other 4%

Number of hours per day shaker is in operation:

Less than 1 hour 33%
1 - 3 hours 29%
3 - 5 hours 19%
5 - 7 hours 9%
More than 7 hours 4%

Nearly 42% 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
First time purchase
Setting up a new lab

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

Durability / rugged design 80%
Low maintenance — easy to clean 74%
Shaking speed 65%
Simple operation — easy to program and monitor 58%
Orbital vs. reciprocating motion 43%
Electronic speed controls 41%
Warranty 40%
Minimal vibration 38%
Compact design 36%
Low noise — quiet 33%

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

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