Blog - Accuracy Matters

5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying Pipettes for your Lab

Getting a lab up and running is often a complex project with short deadlines. If you aren't careful, equipment purchases can quickly spiral out of control.

Since most of the budget and the attention is on procuring large ticket items, so pipette purchases can go largely unchecked in many labs, resulting in a larger than necessary inventory or quick spending decisions.

Often pipette purchases are made due to familiarity with a brand name, special deals from a distributor, or a belief that only one brand of pipette is trustworthy.

Pipettes will become the largest asset pool in your laboratory. Before you buy, you should ask yourself the following questions:


1. Am I going to be locked in to the manufacturer pipette tip?

New labs simply need high quality products that are easy to keep in stock. Pipette manufacturers are one of many vendors who are motivated to sell their equipment in order for you to purchase their consumable tips, creating their residual sales and building your dependency upon their products.


Transcat Buyer Tip:

Using an OEM tip is a best practice, but validated alternatives are almost always available. Consider a premium pipette brand that allows you the freedom to choose from a few high quality but validated pipette tips from different manufacturers. Trusting only one source for vital consumable supply can result in issues when there are back orders or quality problems. Transcat product experts can advise you a sustainable supply of consumables, even if you don’t buy from us.



Learn more about what pipette/tip packages Transcat would recommend

2. If I invest in a pipette brand, will I have the freedom to choose my own qualified and accredited service provider?

Not necessarily. One leading pipette manufacturer, abruptly decided to deny the direct purchase of their OEM parts to third party service providers, even after 20+ years of providing these parts. Even though qualified laboratories have successfully serviced their instruments for over 20 years, they claim that they alone have the expertise to service their instruments. This is simply untrue.

By doing so, they seek to determine the choice of service provider for you, leading to the ability to command price and service logistics. Lets face it, pipettes are not highly complicated and complex instruments, but need proper care and preventative maintenance. All other pipette manufacturers have chosen to make their parts available to certified pipette calibration providers, which in our view, is acting on the best interest of every client.



Transcat Buyer Tip:

Now, your choice of pipette could also be your choice of service provider. Be sure your provider meets your demands for turnaround, cost control, asset management, expertise, and dependable, brand neutral advice.


Schedule a 15 minute call with us for additional information about this.

3. How can I be sure that I am purchasing a high quality product that will provide uninterrupted service to our lab?

Just as Consumer Reports can be a trusted unbiased source for cars and appliances, independent service providers can help you select the best pipettes. Ask a brand neutral pipette service company with a long track record of service across all makes and models of pipette. While everyone has their agendas, a company like Transcat can help. We are not a manufacturer, but service thousands of pipettes each year for a variety of clients.


Transcat Buyer Tip:

We live in the world of pipettes every day, and we’ve seen it all. We know what pipettes last, which brands are susceptible to repair costs, and can advise you on several good brands to choose from. Our GMP Select Label is our "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval we apply to every product that meets this standard.

Check out our selection of pipettes at Transcat


4. How much should I expect to pay for good quality pipettes?

Don’t buy pipettes on price alone. The cost of pipettes is in the ownership, which should last for up to 10 years with a great service provider. Other costs are the ongoing tip costs, possible ergonomic impacts upon scientists, and required preventative maintenance and calibration. The few brands we consistently recommend are priced between $200 and $400 for individual single channels, but our pipette manufacturers have constructed excellent deals for bulk sales in packs or batches. Let us help you find the best deals!

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5. What other pitfalls can I avoid?

  1. Over the course of time, its easy to end up purchasing too many pipettes, or pipettes that are too expensive for the application. Since pipettes are seen as a small dollar spend, some labs have twice the number of pipettes they actually need, adding to the cost of their regular calibration service budget. Managers would do well to limit scientist spending, or create a pool of extra pipettes ready for new hires to use. Transcat can help manage the inventory with our Echo Program.
  2. Air Displacement pipettes are often used for every application. They are not the best choice for viscous or sticky fluids. Allow pipette experts to recommend the most appropriate tools for your lab.
  3. Buying on price or brand name alone can lead to problems down the road. Choose quality tools, and let us provide you with the lowest possible pricing!

or give us a call at 1-800-242-6022 for additional information.