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 you may want a fixed volume pipette:
- Better Accuracy. Digital pipettes cover a range of volumes but can only be calibrated at one volume, the highest volume in the range, e.g. at 1000 uL for a 100 – 1000 uL pipette. The rest of the volume range is calibrated based on that value and that naturally compromises the individual accuracy at each of the other specific 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 accuracy and 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.