A lab stirrer (or lab mixer) is used for mixing fluids. There are two distinct types of stirrer – the magnetic stirrer and the overhead stirrer. The magnetic stirrer produces a magnetic field to rotate a stir bar that stirs the fluid in the container on the plate. The overhead stirrer is dropped into the liquid container as an agitator – similar to the way a food mixer works. A magnetic stirrer is quieter and more efficient than a motorized stirrer as it has no moving parts to break or wear out. The stir bar is also small and easy to clean and because it has no lubricants there is no chance of contamination.

Used in scientific and manufacturing applications, there are almost endless applications for these pieces of kit: from making yeast starters for home brewery to biodiesel production, food and drink to stirring cultures.

Here are the best 5 stirrers and mixers you can buy on Amazon right now, starting with number 5…

#5 Scilogex 86152003 Model MS-PB BlueSpin Classic Analog Magnetic Stirrer with Plastic Plate, 100/240V

BlueSpin Classic Analog Magnetic Stirrer

Our first choice is the Scilogex 86152003 analog magnetic stirrer, it’s a simple, basic stirrer for higher volume use as it has a 3 liter capacity. A stir bar is immersed in the liquid and a rotating magnetic field causes the stir bar to spin and stir the liquid. The speed is adjustable using the knob on the front and the built-in electronic speed control ensures that a constant speed is maintained, even when the load changes. The high magnetic adhesion keeps the load firmly fixed to the plate during use. Requires a 100/240V power supply.

 

#4 Overhead Mixer Stirrer 100w by CB

Overhead Mixer Stirrer

Secondly we have the Variable Speed Overhead Mixer Stirrer from CB. This is different from the magnetic type of stirrer in that it has a conventional motor powering a mixing shaft which is lowered into the substance that is being stirred. This type of stirrer is perfectly suited to the classroom or small lab for mixings samples, buffers and solutions, in formulation, research and development, and clinical research. Easily moved between locations due to its small dimensions, even with the stand the whole unit only weighs 17 lbs. Power supply: 110V. Speed: 0-2000 rpm. Timer range: 0-120 minutes.

 

#3 Hanna-Instruments HI310N-1 Speedsafe Heavy Duty Magnetic Stirrer, 7-3/32″ Length x 7-3/32″ Width x 2-51/64″ Height, 800 to 1000 rpm, 115 VAC, 32 to 122 Degree FHanna-Instruments-HI310N-1Our next selection is the Hanna-Instruments HI310N-1, an excellent heavy duty stirrer with a capacity of 5 liters. It’s a bit more expensive than the smaller capacity models but if you need production-level power then this is the right choice for you. This machine is ideal for use in a laboratory as well as in a production environment. Speed range is from 100 rpm to 1000 rpm and the speed can be regulated from an electronic control panel on the machine. Control of speed is important on higher capacity stirrers like this one so there is a high-speed limiter (Speedsafe) and a VCO cut out device to prevent acceleration if the load is removed from the plate. Not only that but anautomatic feedback maintains the selected speed electronically when the load or viscosity of the fluid changes. The unit is supplied with magnetic stir bar, 115 VAC power supply, 316 stainless steel cover. (Also available, the cheaper HI300N-1 which can stir up to 2.5 liters).

#2 HJ-1 Magnetic Stirrer for use with Magnetic Stir Bars 2400 rpm

HJ-1 Magnetic Stirrer

Runner up in the stirrers section is the HJ-1 Magnetic Stirrer for use with Magnetic Stir Bars 2400 rpm, this solid, sturdy unit that runs very quietly. Manufactured to industrial standard, this is a very high quality stir plate. Equally at home for use in making yeast starters for home brewery or in universities, or for scientific research – disease control, environmental protection and medical treatment. The manufacturer states that capacity is 1 liter but that is somewhat underrated as users have reported up to 2 liter flasks stirring perfectly and still having power in reserve. It is supplied with a magnetic stir rod so no need to buy one separately. This is a very powerful magnetic stirrer, this is a quality mixer for the price. Input Power 110v – 120v AC, rotating Speed 0-2400 rpm (stepless).

 

#1 Hanna Instruments HI 190M-1 Magnetic Mini-Stirrer with Speedsafe, 110/115 V Power Supply

Hanna-Instruments-HI 190M-1Our top pick is the Hanna Instruments HI 190M-1, a real value for money piece of kit, sturdy and well built. It is used in a variety of light duty industrial, laboratory and home applications by professionals, students, researchers and hobbyists for stirring liquids and solutions in food and beverage, chemistry and pulp and paper to name a few. The magnetic mini stirrer has a speed range of 100 – 1000 rpm and is supplied complete with magnetic mini-stir bar. The unit can handle up to 1 liter (0.26 gal) and is powered from a 110/115V power supply. Safety features include a built-in mechanism to limit speed to 1000 prm, this works whether or not the sample cotainer is there. The stirrer comes with an ABS plastic cover and has a one-year warranty.