Selecting a Laboratory Shaker
Laboratory shakers are important lab components. These devices let you mix and agitate samples in different containers, breaking up materials and making it easier to inspect or apply them later. Which type of laboratory shaker equipment is right for your operation depends on your lab's needs and applications. Learn more about laboratory shakers and how to select the right one for your purposes.
What Are Laboratory Shakers?
Laboratory shakers are tools used for mixing or agitating samples contained in flasks, tubes, beakers and vials. Shakers work vigorously to mix separate samples together and leave materials mostly intact. A laboratory shaker consists of a specially designed platform that holds the glassware or plasticware, plus a motor and control panels. Some shakers also have grooves or holders that keep the glassware or plasticware in place.
Laboratory professionals use laboratory shakers to alter their samples in a controlled manner. Depending on your project needs, you could homogenize, suspend, dissolve or change the sample in other ways. The platforms agitate in a reciprocating or circular motion, dispersing the samples according to your chosen setting. Common applications include:
- General mixing
- Solubility tests
- Cell cultures
- Extraction procedures
Laboratory shakers are available in several types, including:
- Orbital shakers: These shakers use a circular motion to move the samples. They generate no vibrations and only small amounts of heat during use, making them ideal for culturing microbes.
- Rotating shakers: Rotating shakers turn on an axis and work similarly to centrifuges.
- Incubated shakers: A heated laboratory shaker incubates samples at a particular temperature while shaking them for agitation. These are often programmable with multiple heating and shaking steps. You can use a shaking water bath for superior uniformity and little heat dissipation.
Benefits of Using Laboratory Shakers
Using a laboratory shaker has multiple benefits for laboratory workers, including:
- Versatility: Laboratory shakers can support many container types, including test tubes, flasks, beakers and bottles. Their versatility lets users employ the platform no matter their chosen laboratory equipment. In addition, different shaker settings and functions work for many applications, from general mixing to sample suspension. Shakers are highly useful for many project stages, making them worthwhile investments.
- Compact design: Laboratory shakers also have a compact design that takes up minimal counter or laboratory space. This trait benefits labs with limited room on counters or in storage. You can set up the shaker quickly and use it without rearranging other laboratory tools. The quicker you can set up and use the shaker, the more efficient your team becomes.
- Minimal distractions: Shakers also operate quietly and contribute to a calmer environment in the lab, offering soft startup procedures that don't make loud noises. Unlike some other types of lab equipment, they are unlikely to disrupt or distract other technicians working in the vicinity.
How to Select a Laboratory Shaker
Different shaker models and functions are available for laboratories. Choosing the right lab shaker for your needs will ensure you can make the most of your purchase. The following are important steps for selecting the optimal laboratory shaker:
1. Determine Your Application
The best way to start the selection process is by considering how your lab will use the shaker unit. You might need it for general-purpose use or to mix a certain substance or sample type that you frequently interact with in your laboratory. Depending on the typical sample type, certain shakers might suit you better than others. Consider these factors:
- Type of motion: Think about the type of motion you need for your application. Every shaker has different drive systems and speeds that can manage various motion types. For instance, an orbital shaker moves samples in a circular motion, while others reciprocate back and forth or nutate around an axis.
- Load capacity: You should also consider the load capacity you need for your shaker. Think about the expected sample sizes and weights you will use.
- Speed: You might need a specific speed to complete your application. Most shakers have adjustable speeds you can change to meet different project requirements. You can look for particular ranges that match your parameters.
- Laboratory conditions: Consider whether you need heat or if your samples must maintain a specific temperature. Certain models provide low heat or temperature control during use. For instance, a shaker incubator might be best for these needs.
2. Narrow Down Models
After you identify your necessary factors, you can narrow down available models to find the best fit. As you browse models, ask questions like these to narrow down your options:
- What is this model's speed range?
- How much load capacity can the shaker take on?
- How many containers can the shaker hold?
- What is the model's temperature range?
- Do any accessories come with the unit?
- How user-friendly is the design?
- What safety features does the shaker have?
3. Find the Right Provider
Once you have a particular model in mind, seek out laboratory shaker providers to make your purchase. It's essential to find a trusted provider that offers high-quality products and after-purchase support. You want to find a shaker that meets your laboratory's needs and provides reliable performance to receive an optimal return on your investment.
When considering various providers, you can identify trusted options by features like:
- Warranties: Warranties protect your purchase if you receive a defective shaker. Extended warranties protect your expenses for longer periods of time, furthering the benefit. Look for the provider's warranty policy and read it carefully before making your selection.
- Testimonials: You can also reference online testimonials and reviews to understand a provider's quality. Reviewers typically leave their thoughts about the product quality, shipping experience and customer service. For a more personal view, you can ask your peers or co-workers if they have experience with a particular brand and whether they would recommend them.
- Customer service: As you browse a provider's website, look for their customer support offerings. High-quality providers offer support throughout your purchase, from deciding on a model to answering questions about performance. Be sure to examine aspects like their return policies, contact availability and other customer support resources.
Browse Laboratory Shakers From Boekel Scientific
Laboratory shakers are an essential tool for many projects and experiments. If you need a laboratory shaker for your facility, browse Boekel Scientific's offerings today.
We carry a wide range of laboratory shakers that meet different speed and capacity requirements. As one of the leading medical and laboratory equipment providers in the world, we are committed to the highest-quality manufacturing techniques possible. Our best-in-class equipment can suit many medical and scientific laboratory needs, providing reliable and precise performance.