Do You Need a Mixer or Stirrer for Your Lab?


The action of combining liquids or other ingredients brings up the question ‘do you need a mixer, stirrer, or a shaker? The choice of mixing, stirring, or shaking produces varied impacts, and results within scientific experimentation. OHAUS offers products designed to meet your specific laboratory needs.

Mixing, stirring, and shaking laboratory equipment is specialized due to the complexity of mixing; there are different types to choose from. Let’s discuss the differences, and their uses. The hotplate lab stirrers by OHAUS are designed to mix volumes up to 20 liters of lower viscosity fluids, while a vortex mixer is commonly used in bioscience labs; and with “cell culture and microbiology laboratories, used to suspend cells.” In biochemical or analytical labs, they are used to “mix the reagents of an assay or to mix an experimental sample, and a dilutant.” Lab shakers provide a wide variety of agitation used to homogenize samples before testing.


Vortex Mixers

Whatever your task requires, there are Vortex Mixers available in various configurations to handle the range of needs, from Mini Vortex Mixers used for intermittent, gentle to high-speed reliable mixing of low number of samples; to Heavy-Duty Vortex Mixers designed to increase productivity with continuous-duty mixing of multiple samples. Accessories including, microtubes, microplates and a variety of tube sizes from 0.5 to 50 ml; allow the unit to be adapted to lab-specific needs. When choosing a mixer, the quality of the motor is an important consideration as well as the design that ensures that even with maximum speed the unit stays in place and do not move around the bench. OHAUS uses motors that allow for continuous duty operations at increased capacities up to 1.1 kg.



Simplest stirrer you will use is a glass stirring rod, used to mix small amounts of chemicals; used in your earliest lab experiences. Fortunately, the professional lab has Overhead Stirrers, as well as Hotplate and Stirrers. For reliable performance, and everyday use with powerful mixing at constant speed, the OHAUS Achiever 5000 is the choice for delivering accurate, controlled stirring of large samples and viscous liquids at a quiet operational volume.

Hotplate Stirrers have been designed to protect the lab, the samples, and the user, with critically important features such as automatic shut-off; two independent safety controls for temperature management: hot top indicator symbol that appears when the plate temperature reaches 40oC and stays illuminated even when the unit is switched off and precise stirring from 60 to 1600 rpm of samples up to 20l.. For high viscosity samples a combination of a hotplate and an overhead stirrer will ensure reliable stirring with accurate temperature control.



It is not just the action of shaking but rather the exact methods of shaking that provide optimal results. The wide variety of lab shaker types reflects the increasing diversity of needs within scientific experimentation. A shaker has the ability to shake while maintaining optimal conditions for incubating microbes. Labs generally utilize a variety of models with varied applications. OHAUS Open Air Shakers are made for everything from light duty orbital; to heavy duty orbital; onto Extreme Environment, Reciprocating, and Rocking & Waving shakers. Incubating and Incubating Cooling Shakers are used in cell cultures, fermentation, hybridization, biochemistry, and research of enzymes, and cell tissues which require high-quality temperature and shaking-speed control. Thermal Shakers are designed for most demanding applications that require programming multiple steps in the protocol.

What is the right choice for my lab?

As with all lab equipment, the most important factor in choosing is to determine the performance specifications and needs of the experiment. Consider container capacity, number of samples, speed and movement range, viscosity range, and operating temperature.

  • Simply, in choosing your equipment consider the following:
  • What volume and viscosity are your samples?
  • How many samples to you process every day?
  • Do your samples require specific temperature?
  • What speed is required to mix your sample properly?