Most research labs only use pipettes with a digital volume adjusting mechanism. These pipettes are easy to set over a volume range and provide a lot of flexibility. So why would you ever use a pipette set for only one single volume? Here are some reasons why fixed volume pipettes may have a place in your lab:
- Better Accuracy. Digital pipettes have to cover a range of volumes but can only be calibrated at one volume. Therefore the calibration is a compromise that tries to keep within specification at the maximum, minimum, and all volumes in between. This necessarily compromises performance throughout the range of volumes. On the other hand, a fixed volume pipette is calibrated and tested at exactly the given volume. So you know you are getting the maximum performance possible at the specified volume.
- Faster and Foolproof Pipetting. Let’s face it, it takes time to set the pipette volume – and there is always a chance of error. So if you pipette 100 uL frequently, grabbing a colorful, fixed volume 100 uL pipette is faster and there is no risk of error.
- More Durable. There is no adjustment mechanism in a fixed volume pipette. So there is less to go wrong, less to service, and no adjustment mechanism to get gummed up. They are also much simpler to repair and re-calibrate.
- Less Expensive. Fixed volume pipettes are typically 35 – 50% less expensive than digital pipettes.
So before you purchase your next digital pipette, it might be worth a pause to consider the above. Some fixed volume pipettes of your commonly used volumes might actually be a good addition to your lab for more reliable performance, durability, and lower cost.
Learn more about MLA fixed volume pipettes here.