In the laboratory setting, effectively and efficiently stirring liquids is essential to the outcome of a variety of types of research. If researchers employ the wrong stirring and agitation processes, the results of a particular experiment could be compromised.
Researchers therefore must select the appropriate agitation device for each intended application. Among the agitation devices available to researchers in many settings are overhead stirrers or magnetic stirrers.
Magnetic Stirrers vs. Overhead Stirrers
Magnetic stirrers are considered far more versatile than overhead, motor-powered stirrers. Specifically, magnetic stirrers are quieter and create virtually no mess when used to mix solutions or agitate liquids. Furthermore, magnetic stirrers are often smaller, which makes them a convenient choice when space is at a premium.
Unlike overhead stirrers that may be prone to overheating when mixing viscous liquids, magnetic stirrers can effectively function when used with thicker substances. Considering these facts, magnetic stirrers tend to be the more pragmatic option for many laboratory applications.
5 Ways to Use Magnetic Laboratory Stirrers
Magnetic stirrers can be utilized for a wide range of applications, which is why they are a staple of many laboratories. When exploring new ways to incorporate magnetic stirrers into your research, consider using them for:
1. Mixing Low-Viscosity Liquids
If your research requires you to mix or agitate a low-viscosity liquid, magnetic stirrers provide an ideal solution. Within moments, you can place your beaker on the magnetic platform, put the stirrer into the solution, and activate your equipment.
A powerful magnetic stirrer is capable of mixing several hundred liters of fluid, making them well suited for both small and large-scale projects.
2. Mixing Viscous Liquids
Contrary to some misconceptions, magnetic stirrers are incredibly effective at agitating highly viscous media, provided that you have the right equipment, of course.
Top-of-the-line magnetic stirrers can agitate or stir thick solutions that may cause overhead stirrers to shut down or overheat. As an added benefit, magnetic stirrers typically exhibit better longevity when being frequently used with viscous substances.
3. Efficiently Agitating Small Samples
Setting up a cumbersome overhead stirrer to agitate or mix a small sample is not only time-consuming, but it can also be downright frustrating, especially when you’re on a tight deadline. Magnetic stirrers offer an efficient and effective way of agitating small samples. Magnetic stirrers can also be quickly cleaned and stored, which allows you to spend more time focusing on your research.
4. Stirring Multiple Solutions Simultaneously
Overhead multi-stirrers consume massive amounts of countertop space and can be challenging to set up. Conversely, multiple point magnetic stirrers have a small footprint and allow you to effortlessly agitate multiple media simultaneously. These devices offer a rapid setup, are user-friendly, and have a long service life.
5. Mixing Cell Suspensions
Magnetic stirrers are also an excellent option for the careful mixing of culture broths and cell suspensions. As you know, mixing these media must be performed with perfect precision in order to preserve the integrity of an experiment.
That concludes our list of 5 uses of magnetic laboratory stirrers. Next time you need to agitate a media or mix a solution, reach for your magnetic stirrer instead of that clunky, overhead motor-powered device.