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2017 Lab Ovens User Survey

Find out readers’ ten preferred lab oven features and more from the results of our latest product survey

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD

Erica Tennenhouse, PhD, is the managing editor of Clinical Lab Manager.

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Laboratory ovens are common instruments in most laboratories and are used across most scientific disciplines. Lab ovens are most commonly less than 12 cu.ft. in volume, although a great variety of sizes are available in benchtop, stackable, and floor-standing models.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Lab Oven

  1. What temperature range do you require? (Does the product have reserve temperature capacity?)
  2. What accuracy and uniformity does the product have? (Will my sample be damaged or will my experiment only function in one “sweet spot”?)
  3. Are interior chamber space / weight of my sample and floor space in the lab a match to application and lab?
  4. Do I need any computer interfaces, alarms or safety devices on my oven?
  5. Are accessories like data loggers, viewing windows and modifications like access ports available from the manufacturer to suit my specific needs?

Types of lab ovens used by survey respondents:

General Purpose Oven 66%
Microwave Oven 34%
Mechanical Convection Oven 26%
Gravity Convection Oven 19%
Vacuum Oven 17%
Safety Oven 4%
Other 6%

Lab oven applications as reported by survey respondents:

Heating and drying 84%
Evaporating 43%
Temperature-linked experiments 36%
Baking 16%
Sterilization 11%
De-gassing samples 7%
Die-bond curing 4%
Annealing 3%
Other 7%

Nearly 34% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new lab oven. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Addition to existing systems
Replacement of an aging system
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

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

Safety 86%
Ease of use 69%
Low maintenance/operating costs 69%
Price 59%
Controlled airflow to provide uniform temperature heat distribution 52%
Temperature ranges ambient +40°C to 200°C / 250°C 51%
Ease of installation 50%
Warranty 48%
Service and support 47%
Energy efficient 39%

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

See the most recent survey results here