Tips for Accurate Pipette Use, Maintenance, and Where to Buy

Tips for Accurate Pipette Use, Maintenance, and Where to Buy

Pipettes, the silent heroes of the lab, meticulously transfer minute volumes of liquids with remarkable accuracy and precision. Whether you're a seasoned scientist or a curious student, mastering the art of pipetting is essential for successful experimentation in any scientific field. 

This comprehensive guide delves into pipettes, offering practical tips and tricks alongside a directory of leading laboratory suppliers in Australia.

Understanding Your Pipette

There are two main types of pipettes used in laboratories:

  • Air displacement pipettes: These work by utilising a rubber bulb to draw up and dispense liquids. They are the most common type, known for their affordability and ease of use.

Gilson Pipetteman Style Pipette

  • Positive displacement pipettes: These employ a plunger to displace liquid through a disposable tip directly, minimising the risk of contamination and ensuring accuracy, particularly for small volumes.

These are just some of the commonly used types of pipettes. As lab technology evolves, it’s important to be updated about other tips for accurate pipette use, depending on what you have in your laboratory.

positive displacement pipette

Pipetting Pointers for Flawless Accuracy

  • Tip selection is crucial: Always choose tips compatible with your pipette model and volume range. Using the wrong tips can compromise both accuracy and precision.
  • Regular calibration is key: Ensure optimal performance by calibrating your pipette according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most reputable stores in Australia offer pipette calibration services.
  • Practice makes perfect: Hone your technique by maintaining a light grip, and gently aspirating and dispensing liquids without applying excessive force. Consistency in angle and dispensing speed is key for improved accuracy.
  • Maintenance matters: Regularly clean your pipette per the manufacturer's guidelines. Wipe down the exterior with a disinfectant and replace the O-rings periodically to prevent leaks and maintain smooth operation.

Pipetting Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand the different types of pipettes and the importance of using the right equipment, let's delve into the actual tips for accurate pipette use. Remember, consistent practice is key to perfecting your skills and ensuring accurate results.

  1. Setting the Volume
  • Locate the volume adjustment dial on your pipette. It's usually a small dial or wheel with markings indicating the volume range.
  • Tip: For air displacement pipettes, turn the dial clockwise to decrease the volume and counterclockwise to increase it.

pipette volume adjustment dial

  1. Attaching the Tip
  • Choose the correct tip size for your desired volume and pipette model. The tip box will usually have colour-coded markings to help you match the right tip.
  • Gently push the tip onto the pipette barrel until it clicks securely into place. Avoid applying excessive force or twisting the tip, which can damage the seal.
  1. Pre-wetting the Tip (Optional)
  • This step is recommended for accurate dispensing, especially with small volumes.
  • Depress the plunger to the first stop, immerse the tip slightly in your liquid, and slowly release the plunger. Repeat this two to three times to pre-wet the tip and remove any air bubbles.
  1. Aspirating the Liquid
  • Hold the pipette upright with the tip just below the surface of your liquid.
  • Depress the plunger smoothly and completely to the first stop. Don't release the plunger until the tip is fully submerged.
  • Wait for a second to allow the liquid to reach the desired volume.
  1. Dispensing the Liquid
  • Gently touch the tip against the wall of your receiving vessel at an angle of 45 degrees.
  • Depress the plunger slowly and steadily to the first stop, dispensing the liquid.
  • Maintain contact with the vessel wall until the dispensing is complete.
  • To dispense any remaining liquid in the tip, depress the plunger to the second stop. This "blow-out" step ensures accurate delivery, especially for viscous liquids.
  1. Ejecting the Tip
  • Press the tip ejector button to release the used tip.
  • Dispose of the tip properly in a designated waste container.


  • Always handle your pipette with care to avoid accidental drops or damage.
  • Never pipette directly into solutions containing hazardous materials.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your pipette according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Bonus Tip: For added accuracy, consider practicing with coloured water before working with sensitive samples.

By following these tips for accurate pipette use, and practicing regularly, you'll be pipetting like a pro in no time! Remember, using the right techniques and sourcing reliable laboratory tools are essential for accurate and successful scientific research. With the right tools and knowledge, you can unlock the potential of your experiments and contribute meaningfully to your chosen field.

unlock the potential of your experiments

Finding the Right Laboratory Suppliers

So aside from learning about the tips for accurate pipette use, the question in your mind probably is where can I get the topmost quality pipette in Victoria? Sourcing top-quality lab apparatus is crucial for equipping your lab with reliable tools. Here are some of the leading stores in Victoria offering a comprehensive selection of pipettes, tips, and other essential equipment:

  1. Science Equip Australia

Science Equip Australia, located in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, is a renowned supplier of laboratory equipment for various levels, from schools and universities to research facilities and industries. We boast a vast inventory of essential lab supplies like lab coats, goggles, microscopes, test tubes, beakers, chemicals, and more. If you’re looking to shop within your budget, we offer an extensive quotation process, making sure you get the highest quality lab supplies that Victoria has to offer. 

  1. Ansell Healthcare 

While not exclusively focused on lab supplies, Ansell Healthcare, headquartered in Clayton, Victoria, is a trusted source for high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) crucial in laboratory settings. They offer a wide range of gloves, face masks, safety glasses, and other protective gear to ensure the safety and well-being of lab personnel.

  1. Thermo Fisher Scientific 

A global leader in life sciences, Thermo Fisher Scientific has a strong presence in Australia, including a distribution center in Melbourne, Victoria. They cater to diverse laboratory needs by providing a comprehensive range of cutting-edge equipment, chemicals, and reagents for various scientific disciplines. Their online platform facilitates easy access to their extensive product portfolio.

  1. LabQuip

LabQuip is a leading laboratory equipment supplier in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. They offer a wide range of products, including chemicals, glassware, and equipment, to suit the needs of educational institutions, research laboratories, and industrial customers. They also have an online store where you can browse their products and make purchases.

These are the Victoria’s industry standards when it comes to your laboratory needs. They have been in the industry for a long time and has been a helping hand to Australia’s research scene. 

Struggling to find the right lab equipment? Let Science Equip tailor a quote for you.

FAQ: Pipetting 101

Q: How do I choose the right pipette tip?

  • Match the tip volume to the pipette: Using the wrong tip size can lead to inaccurate dispensing.
  • Consider the liquid properties: For viscous liquids, use low-retention tips to minimise liquid sticking. For volatile liquids, use pre-wetted tips to prevent evaporation
  • Filter tips (optional): These tips contain a small filter to prevent aerosols from contaminating the pipette

Q: How can I ensure accurate pipetting?

  • Calibrate your pipette regularly: This ensures the accuracy of your measurements.
  • Use proper technique: Avoid touching the liquid with the tip and dispense slowly and steadily.
  • Wipe the pipette and tips regularly: This prevents contamination and cross-contamination.
  • Practice makes perfect: The more you pipette, the more comfortable and accurate you will become.

Q: What are some common pipetting mistakes?

  • Using the wrong tip size: This can lead to inaccurate dispensing.
  • Overfilling the tip: This can cause liquid to overflow and contaminate the pipette.
  • Pipetting too quickly: This can lead to inaccurate dispensing and air bubbles.
  • Not pre-wetting the tip for volatile liquids: This can lead to evaporation and inaccurate dispensing.

Related aticles
Contact us for any queries

+61 410 185 743
Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 18:00