Hazardous gases can be a real danger in the home and workplace but there are various different gas detectors covering all the dangerous gases you may find. As well as gases that can cause explosions or fires, there are other deadly dangers from poisonous gases in the home. Carbon monoxide and radon are both referred to as “silent killers” as they are impossible to detect without a gas sensor, below are some great recommendations as to gas detection kit that you can buy today to keep your home, office or school safe from these killers.

The hazardous gas detectors shown below are calibrated under laboratory conditions to ensure that they are accurate and reliable.

#5 Kidde KN-COPP-3 Carbon Monoxide Alarm


Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the main causes of domestic accidental death by poisoning in America but it can easily be prevented in your home by installing this Kidde KN-COPP-3 Carbon Monoxide Detector. CO gas levels can reach deadly levels without you realising it as it is an odorless, colorless gas which can be released by domestic appliances and office equipment. CO poisoning symptoms are difficult to spot and can often go undetected, being similar in nature to common illnesses like the flu. It is therefore essential to have at least one CO monitor/alarm system in place in your home – and indeed it is now compulsory in some areas. This unit plugs directly into your AC power outlet and has a battery back up which takes over automatically in the event of a power failure. Carbon monoxide levels are monitored continuously and you can see in an instant what they are on the digital display, a loud beeping alarm will sound if a dangerous level of gas is reached.


#4 UEi Test Instruments CD100A Combustible Gas Leak Detector


The UEi Test Instruments CD100A Combustible Gas Leak Detector is a professional standard instrument designed for service engineers to enable them to detect combustible gas leaks in the home and commercial premises. But at an average cost of $100 to call out a plumber or furnace repair man, the unit pays for itself in one use. This gas detecting device will pinpoint even the smallest leak, right down to which side of a joint the leak is on – even when the use of more traditional methods prove ineffective. If you use any of acetone, benzene, butane, propane, toluene, methane, ethylene, gasoline, halon, hydrogen sulfide, solvents, thinners, or refrigerants remember that there are no safety circuit breakers to trip like you would get in an electrical system. The detector is simplicity itself to use, there’s nothing complicated to try and work out, just switch it on and listen for an increase in tick rate.


#3 TIF Instruments TIFXL-1A Refrigerant Leak Detector



Refrigerant Leakage is a very serious hazard in commercial and industrial premises where refrigerators are used and to a lesser extent in the home. Indeed because of the dangers of refrigerant gases getting into the atmosphere, all refrigeration equipment needs to be properly disposed of. The TIF Instruments TIFXL-1A refrigerant leak detector can detect all halogenated refrigerants, including fluorine and is part of the new range of gas leakage equipment with the brand “Generation X”. The company says that they have completely redesigned the instrument both aesthetically on the outside and internally with a new microprocessor based operating system. The redesigned sensor tip gives increased sensitivity and reliability and sends 2000 signals per second back to the internal computer. This machine has had some very positive reports from customers and is our top rated refrigerant detector.


#2 Bacharach Leakator Jr 0019-7075 ABS Plastic Combustible Gas Leak Detector

Our runner-up selection in the gas monitoring section is the Bacharach Leakator Jr. Combustible gases such as butane, methane, acetylene and those given off by gasoline, paint thinners, solvents etc are any gas that can cause fire or explosion and can obviously be deadly in the home or workplace. This is a very compact and portable combustible gas meter at only 6 inches long, but coming complete with a 12″ extension hose for extended reach to check for small pockets of gas in awkward, hard to reach spots. Featuring dual sensitivity for detecting gas in the wider area then pinpointing a leak in a pipe for example. A fully portable unit, the Leakator gas indicator is simplicity itself to use and can pinpoint large or small leaks whilst needing no calibration whatsoever.


#1 Corentium Home Radon Detector by Airthings 223Corentium Home Radon Detector by Airthings 223 


Radon gas is known as the silent killer and the Corentium Radon Gas Detector will help to protect you, your family and your workplace from its dangers. Radon is a radioactive gas that is given off naturally from rock and gets into houses at the lowest points – for example foundations, water pipes, cracks in walls at low level and cavity wall insulation. One of the problems of modern very highly energy-efficient houses is the lack of ventilation, this can lead to a build-up of radon as the gas lies at low level and once it is in the house does not have a means of escape. Good radon gas testing kit is essential to detect dangerous levels of the gas and allow you to keep your family safe. This instrument is the most advanced electronic radon gas detector available as a handheld unit at an affordable price. Don’t take a chance with potentially dangerously high levels of radon in your home, in your school or in your workplace when the Corentium lets you monitor average radon levels over 1 day, 7 days and a year – all at the same time. This is a very accurate machine with only a 5% error band and is extremely energy efficient – it will run for up to 3 years on one set of batteries. Recalibration isn’t a problem either as it is not required for the whole lifetime of the meter. Another big plus point is the simplicity of use, you literally don’t need to do anything other than insert the batteries and press the reset button for the monitor to display all the information you need. Other radon testing equipment is single use but with this kit you can reset it and reuse, saving a lot of money against the cost of expensive professional radon testing services.



The purpose of stereo microscopes in general is to enhance resolution, this can apply to an object or image under the scope. A stereo microscope (also known as a dissecting microscope) uses two separate optical paths to give different viewing angles to the left and right eye, resulting in a 3D image of the sample. This type of image is essential for a wide range of industries including watch-making, electronic circuit boards, dissection and microsurgery, the medical industry. Stereo microscopes are also widely used in engineering, biology, forensics, and scientific labs
Other types of microscope available are digital, which use a monitor to display the image rather than looking through a lens and the compound microscope, which use a “compound” optical system consisting of an eyepiece and objective lens.

There are a wide range and variety of features and specifications across our choices, so you are sure to find something that suits you. The following are our top 5 currently available on Amazon.

Let’s start with #5…

#5 AmScope SM-3BZ-80S 3.5X-90X Boom Stand Binocular Zoom Stereo Microscope on Boom + 80 LED Light


Our first choice is the AmScope SM-3BZ-80S Binocular Zoom Stereo Microscope with 3.5X-90X Boom Stand and is priced towards the middle end of the price spectrum. It represents excellent value for money, being heavily discounted at less than a third of its retail value of $1600. This microscope has some great features and its 3.5X-90X continuous zoom power is more than most instruments in the same price range. It has a super wide field of view (2-1/2″ 65mm) and high resolution, with sharp, clear images and a large 26:1 zoom range. Illumination is provided by 60 LEDs and is bright and even as well as being surprisingly cool. This microscope is perfect for use in the electronics and semiconductor industries as well as engravers, scientists and researchers.


#4  AmScope SE306R-AZ-E2 Digital Forward-Mounted Binocular Stereo Microscope, WF10x and WF20x Eyepieces, 20X/40X/80X Magnification, 2X and 4X Objectives, Upper and Lower Halogen Lighting, Reversible Black/White Stage Plate, Arm Stand, 120V, Includes 2MP Camera and Software

Our next pick is the AmScope SE306R-AZ-E2 20X-40X-80X Digital Binocular Stereo Microscope. It offers a broad field of view with high resolution and good depth and has a special feature in that it comes complete with a 2 Megapixel digital camera (USB). As well as taking still images, the camera can stream video onto a computer (Mac/Windows). Magnification power setting is adjustable between three settings, 20X, 40X and 80X and there is a choice of illuminating the object from the top (incident) for three-dimensional objects or bottom (transmitted) for viewing slides. This is a highly versatile stereo microscope which is great for examining any 3D object, from electronic components, plants, rocks and insects to jewelry and coins and stamps. Whilst being perfect for use in the geology, archaeology, forestry and biology industries it is also highly suilable for use in schools and hospitals.


#3 Celestron 44202 Advanced Stereo Microscope


Next up is the Celestron Advanced Stereo Microscope which has the power to create incredibly realistic three dimensional images. This awesome piece of equipment uses two distinct light paths and two eyepieces to achieve amazing images in life-like 3D. This machine is for the advanced low power user but at a price that will suit most budgets and comes complete with two 10x wide field eyepieces giving 20mm field of view, as well as both 2X and 4X object lenses. Magnification options are 20X and 40X power and there is both top and bottom illumination from the halogen lights. The viewing head lets you view in any position thanks to its 360 degree rotation and the binocular head is inclined for maximum comfort. Again this scope has a wide variety of uses, including being excellent for die making, watchmaking, engraving, jewelry making/repairing, stamps and coin collectors/dealers, students and scientists.

#2 AmScope SE400-Z 10X-20X Widefield Binocular Inspection Stereo Microscope on Boom Arm Stand


The AmScope SE400-Z has proved to be one of the most popular stereo microscopes on the market and ranks very highly in terms of customer satisfaction. Although a more basic instrument than some others in the review, this scope is ideal for use in industries like soldering, dental services and circuit board repair. Magnification levels of 10X and 20X are achieved through two sets of widefield eyepieces and one objective lens and the instrument can be adjusted to suit veariations in the eye. The user will have a comfortable experience in using the SE400-Z as it is set at the optimum 45 degree angle and has rubber eye guards to help prevent any eye strain. X- and Z-axis adjustment is provided by the head, mounted on a 12″ boom-arm stand and there is a 9″ working distance.


#1 AmScope SE306R-PZ 20x 40x 80x Home School Student Dissecting Binocular Stereo Microscope with Incident and Transmitted Dual Light Illumination System


Our number one selection is another AmScope model, the binocular pillar-stand SE306R-PZ. This dissecting binocular stereo microscope has three levels of magnification power – 20X, 40X and 80X and has both top and bottom illumination. The top (incident) lighting is used when you need the light to be shining down on a three dimensional object being viewed and the bottom ( transmitted) light is used for viewing slides on the stage plate. It is equally perfect for home school student use as it is in the many industrial and eductional environments it is used in. Its ability to examine the surface details of a wide range of materials such as metal, solder, semiconductor, wood and stone makes it an unbeatable choice for jewelers, watchmakers, engravers as well as schools, colleges and hospitals. This is a high quality microscope at a very affordable price and comes brand new and factory sealed in the box.


Some of the terms used in the above reviews are:
Binocular – two eyepieces
Magnification – Size of an image
Resolution – Image clarity (determined by field of view / numerical aperture / working distance)
Fixed focus – Fixed distance between lens and image
LED / Fluorescent / Mirror / Halogen – Light sources for control of image viewing


Gas detectors are safety instruments which are used to detect and monitor levels of gas in the atmosphere. Various different gases can be checked, typically they are either toxic, combustible, or flammable and present a threat to human safety or life. Detectors can be portable or fixed in one position (stationary). A portable gas detector is for protection of personnel and monitors the air in the surrounding atmosphere, a stationary detector is normally fixed to a wall or in a panel and is electrically powered. Applications include construction, fire and rescue, petroleum refineries, sewage treatment, mining, paper mills and tanneries.

Gas detectors are calibrated and set up in scientific labs to make sure that they are accurate and reliable.

The following are the top 5 gas detectors currently available on

Starting with #5…


#5 BW Clip BWC2-M Single Gas CO Monitor


The BWC2-M BW clip is a monitor for the detection of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer particularly in the home and industrial environments and the BWC2-M BW clip is a single gas detectector specifically designed to monitor CO.

This device will monitor and log the last 35 gas detection events and can be used in conjunction with the intelidox instrument management systems and MicroDose III as well as being compatible with fleet manager II software and microdock II docking station.

It is accurate and keeps a record without anything more than switching it on and letting it do its stuff, automatic self-testing ensures that safety is always maintained at the highest level.

The detector provides cover for two years completely maintenance and service-free to keep hazardous environments safe and protect personnel.

This is a small, compact meter measuring only 5 inches x 3 inches (125 x 25mm approx) and weighing under 5 ounces (136 grams).

Honeywell is an internationally trusted and respected brand and you can be 100% sure that this product will meet or exceed its specification.


#5 = BW Technologies GAXT-X-DL-2 GasAlert Extreme Oxygen (O2) Single Gas Detector – NOW OBSOLETE

First up we recommend the GasAlert Extreme oxygen detector, a single gas detector for measuring oxygen levels. There’s a low level alarm set at 19.5% by volume of oxygen and high level at 22.5% but these levels can be adjusted. BW Technologies are renowned for some of the best safety instruments on the market – high in durability, reliability and accuracy. Perfect for use in the mining and construction industries as well as for the emergency services and other potentially dangerous settings such as confined spaces. The strong and robust casing is water resistant and will stand up to the most taxing of circumstances. The meter’s reliabilty is maintained by regular self-testing and it is designed to give effective and reliable performance even in extremely harsh environments. Data logging and management facilities are available – as well as a loud 95 decibel alarm, visual and vibration alerts – the meter records alarm events and can transmit them via a USB datalink.

Note: Although this product has been discontinued, BW Technologies are still making excellent gas detection equipment and you can check out some of them currently on sale using the link below

#4 – MSA (Mine Safety Appliances Co) 10107602 Altair 4X Portable Multi-Gas Analyzer


Nobody can put a price on safety so if that is your priority then you should consider the MSA (Mine Safety Appliances Co) 10107602 Altair 4X Portable Multi-Gas Analyzer. This detector is a bit more expensive but if you are looking for a high-end meter at a reasonable cost this is the one for you. The MSA 10107602 Altair 4X can display the readings for up to four different gases with a wide range of XCell(R) sensors including Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Flammable gas (LEL), Carbon Monoxide (CO) Sulphur Dioxide (S02) and Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) with Motion Alert system. The unit is protected from RF interference by its digital sensor output.

The MSA Altair 4X can be used in the harshest of environments and is suitable for many industries such as petrochemical, marine, nuclear pulp and paper, fire fighting, refining, steel, chemical, construction, defence, electricity, welding, brewing and food. It is engineered to be extremely rugged and hard to break and can survive being dropped fron heights of up to 20 ft (6m).

Comparison with Industry averages:
Altair 4X has a four-year sensor life which is 60% longer than the industry average
Run time is 24 hours – exceeding the industry average by 71%.
The Altair 4X uses less than half the amount of calibration gas than the industry average.
Exclusive MotionAlert™ feature to alert that the user is immobile
Exclusive InstantAlert™ – manual alarm that warns of danger.

These monitors are very portable and lightweight, weighing in at only 1 pound and measuring just 14 x 6 x 3 inches (350 x 150 x 75mm)
Lithium Polymer battery included


#3 – Fixed Gas Detector, C3H8, CH4


Next we have selected the Safe T Alert fixed propane gas and natural gas detector, a must-have appliance if you cook or heat your home using propane gas or natural gas. Both Propane gas and natural gas can result in fires or explosions if they leak and are exposed to a source of ignition. The 40-411-P can be mounted in most locations and is fixed near the floor – where heavier propane gas will gather in the event of a leak – using either screws or velcro. An alarm should be fitted near to every appliance that uses gas, also consideration should be given if you live near a waste disposal area or pit as these produce natural gas which can find their way into your house. The unit comes with a decent length of electrical cord and plugs right into a 120V AC mains supply outlet.


#2 – Bacharach Leakator Jr 0019-7075 ABS Plastic Combustible Gas Leak Detector


Runner-up in this section is the Bacharach Leakator Jr, a combustible gas leak detector. This tool is brilliant if you are working in the plumbing industry or other related jobs like HVAC installation or maintenance but is also perfect for the gas industry – inspecting valves, meters and regulators and surveying pipelines, as well as the general building trade and construction industries. The detector easily pinpoints even small gas leaks without any calibration being required so it is very low maintenance. The unit itself is only 6 inches long and has a flexible probe which extends a further 12 inches. It has a loud warning sound on gas detection and two levels of sensitivity, for finding the approximate area then spotting the exact location of the leak. Not only can this product protect you from a costly insurance claim, it can save the lives of you and your customers.

#1 Y201 Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector; Portable Gas Sniffer to Locate Gas Leaks of Combustible Gases


Our top pick in the Gas Detectors category is the Yeezou Y201 which is an essential piece of kit for locating any kind of dangerous explosive gas. Some of the gases that the Y201 can locate include propane, butane, kerosene gasoline, ethane, coal gas and sewer gas. This is a serious piece of kit that can save lives as well as save money by finding the source of leaks so that they can be fixed.

It can cost into the hundreds of dollars to call out a technician to find your leak, save yourself the money –  use this kit just once and it will more than pay for itself. Easy to use by just running the sniffer along pipework, tanks or your car to detect the leak. You cas also lose hundreds of dollars worth of gas if you have a leak, not to mention that it could be lethal for you and your family. Th Y201 sniffer will find the gas, save you money and potentially save your life.

Another point that you should consider is that gas does not always have an odour so you could have a leak without knowing it. If your gas bill has risen unexpectedly without you using more gas you may have a leak and you should get it checked. It will be cheaper for you to buy one of these detectors and check it out yourself than pay for somebody else to do it. You can also check out your friends, family and neighbors properties while you’re at it!

The Y201 detector is extremely light and portable and can be taken anywhere both indoors or outdoors to detect leaks. The sniffer is highly flexible as it has a 12 inch head that can be bent into any confined space; hole, pipe tank or under floorboards, anywhere that gas can be found to have leaked. Sensitivity of the sniffer can be varied to filter out false alarms from very small quantities of gas that could trigger a false alarm. Conversely the sensitivity can be increased to detect small quantities of leakes gases.

The alarm is both audio (variable tone alarm, maximum volume of 85dB) and visual with 6 LEDs. On detection of flammable gas an alarm sounds and the LED display indicates gas is present.

Also detects relative concentrations of the following combustible gases: methane, LPG, LNG and toluene as well as other flammable explosive gases.

This product has a big thumbs up in Amazon with nearly 3000 ratings and a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars

Power Source Battery
Alarm type: Audible & Visual
Alarm Range: 0.1%-40% LEL
Maximum Sensitivity: 50 ppm
Item Dimensions: 5.9 x 2.7 x 1 inches

The package comes with an exceptional lifetime guarantee – if the sniffer breaks at any time, the supplier will replace it free of charge. Support is also available through their chemist who is retained on-staff.

The full contents of the package are: Gas Leak Sniffer in a quality protective nylon bag and 20 page instruction manual with important advice on gas & air quality hazards.



#1 – BW Technologies GA24XT-H GasAlertClip Extreme 2-Year Detector – NOW OBSOLETE


Our top performing Gas detector, the BW Technologies GA24XT-H GasAlertClip is now obsolete. As with all products in the industry, technology is constantly improving and evolving and the GA24XT-H has now been withdrawn from the market. On the positive side BW Technologies provide a full range of products and you will be able to find a suitable replacement easily using the link below:

Find Gas Detectors by BW Industries

Review of BW Technologies GA24XT-H GasAlertClip Extreme 2-Year Detector:
The best gas detector we found for all round performance and value was the BW Technologies GA24XT-H GasAlertClip Extreme 2-Year Detector. It is a handheld detector used to monitor levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the atmosphere and can operate continuously without recharging, battery replacement or recalibration for up to two years. There is a triple layer of warning alert with audio, visual and vibration alarms all operating on high (or low) gas level. The user-adjustable LCD screen clearly shows all the information you need; alarm set-points, alarm level, detector life remaining and maximum exposure among others. This meter is an essential piece of safety kit in a wide range of applications – petroleum refineries, sewage treatment plants, paper mills and tanneries to name a few. The detector can output its results to a printer or computer and has a belt clip on the back for hands-free operation.



Vacuum chambers are devices for removing gases including air from an enclosed space. The air is sucked out of the enclosure using high performance vacuum pump and the chamber has to be sealed to a high degree to prevent ingress of air using silicon gaskets which do not degrade and are resistant to chemicals. The chambers are used in industrial as well as scientific applications and are capable of maintaining their vacuum seal for days at a time.

Here are the best 5 vacuum pumps and heaters on Amazon, starting with number 5…

#5 BACOENG 5 Gallon Tempered Glass Lid Stainless Steel Vacuum Chamber 


The BACOENG 5 Gallon Tempered Glass Lid Stainless Steel Vacuum Chamber is ideal for use in stabilizing wood and degassing silicones, resins, epoxies and essential oils. The chamber provides exceptional stability and will hold its pressure at a steady 30″hg (inches of mercury – approximately 14.5 psi) for as long as you need it.

The BACOENG is well designed and engineered to make it as easy as possible for the user. The chamber is made from quality stainless steel with a chromium layer to prevent any oxygen whatsoever getting in that could damage the chamber or your contents. Stainless steel is the perfect material due to its high resistance to temperature and corrosion and the BACOENG brand ensures that the chamber is built to the highest possible industry standards.

The lid is made from tempered glass which has much stronger resistance against cracking than the standard acrylic lids on other chambers. It also allows for visibility of the contents of the chamber at all times and allows work with more volatile compounds that could damage an acrylic lid. Other design features include the inlet valve being mounted on the side rather than the top, beneficial when releasing pressure and also when introducing material into the chamber, preventing direct spraying onto the contents and an observation window on the side. Th.e design of the chamber has been verified in labs and is proven to be reliable and safe

High quality accessories supplied with the BACOENG 5 Gallon Stainless Steel Vacuum Chamber:
Glass lid, 3-Way valve (with particle filter), oil filled pressure gauge, 5ft vacuum hose, reversable rubber gasket (can be flipped if damaged), non-stick silicone mat (food-grade)

Negative points to consider
As with any product there are always some slight downsides and for full disclosure here’s what we have found that you might want to consider:
– The inlet being on the side instead of the top slightly limits the depth of liquids that you can fill to
– The unit needs very minor assembly that can be done in 5 minutes using an adjustable wrench
– Reports that some of the minor hardware accessories are not of the same very high quality as the chamber itself, although this in no way detracts from the operation or reliability of the unit

The BACOENG has high ratings for Sturdiness, Value for money and Ease of use
This product has 94% positive customer feedback rating on Amazon and is the number one best-selling item in the Lab Vacuum category

Product Size 11.6″(ID)× 11.6″(H)
Gauge Height 8.8“ H


#4 Hand Vacuum Pump by MHB


Next up we have the MHB Hand Vacuum Pump, a great little pump at a terrific price. This pump is one of the most popular and best selling around, and it’s easy to see why. Perfect for both laboritory and school / college as well as on the shop floor. The vacuum gauge is caibrated in both inches and millimeters, the range being 0-30 inches mercury and 0-760mm mercury and it can delvelop a vacuum of 25in Hg / 620mm Hg (and hold it). As you would expect with a quality product like this it comes with a trigger for quick vacuum release. It can also be used for siphoning by attaching a 1/4in tube in place of the outlet cap, allowing you to transfer 1 cubic inch per stroke.

#3 PBAUTOS 3 Gallon Vacuum Chamber with Pump, Stainless Steel Vacuum Degassing Chamber Kit


This is a highly efficient vacuum chamber and pump kit supplied by PBAUTOS that is suitable for a wide range of domestic and light industrial applications. It can be used for vacuum packaging, air conditioning, degassing casting epoxy, refrigerator vacuum, automobile maintenance, removing air bubbles from resin,

The container is made from high-strength hydro-tested stainless steel, meaning that it can withstand high temperatures of up to 160ºF and is highly durable for long life and reliable service. The lid is made from heavy duty thick acrylic crystal making it shatterproof and even bulletproof! The lid is clear so you can see what is going on inside the container.

The vacuum pump is direct driven from a motor for efficient starting every time, specification is single stage 4CFM 1/3HP with a built-in silencer for quiet running and a sight glass to check the oil level.

There are several protection devices on the kit, overheating is protected by an intelligent radiator and a thermal cut out device which stop the unit on high temperature. Physical shock is absorbed by anti-skid rubber mats.

Accessories are good quality and include brass fittings on the pump ports, air filter (50 micron to prevent the ingress of dust and debris into the main chamber), non-stick silicon gasket.

Product Specifications:
Pump capacity: 4CFM
Volume: 3 Gallon
Dimensions: 275x115x240mm
Weight: 7.5KG
Rotating Speed: 1720 RPM
Power: 1/3 horsepower
Max Operation Temperature: 160ºF
Vacuum: 30 inches HG
Package Dimensions : 17.4 x 14.8 x 11.1 inches; 17.7 Pounds


#2 HeatVacXL w/ 5cfm Pump – Heated Vacuum Chamber Extraction Degassing Solvents


Runner-up is the HeatVacXL w/ 5cfm Pump – Heated Vacuum Chamber. It is often quicker and easier to degass many types of material by applying heat to them but traditional chambers are either difficult to heat or it is impossible to regulate the temperature accurately. This heated vacuum chamber is out best recommendation for accelerated degassing. Supplied as a complete kit, everything is there for you to get started – including all the accessories you’ll need and is guaranteed to be easy to set up and operate. It is a bit more expensive than a standard vacuum chamber but if you need top performance and controllable, accurate levels of heat then this product is the one for you. The HeatVacXL will hold a full vacuum, ie 29.9″ Hg, for a full 24 hours at room temperature. Ideal for extracting essential oils and aromatherapy as well as crafts and small batching.


#1 XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4HP Air Vacuum Pump


Our top pick in the Vacuum Pumps and Heaters category is the XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4HP Air Vacuum Pump.

XtremepowerUS 3CFM 1/4HP Air Vacuum Pump HVAC R134a R12 R22 R410a A/C Refrigeration Kit AC Manifold Gauge Carrying Tote

[Add video from page/youtube (This product was demonstrated by the YouTube channel “ChrisFix)]

The XtremepowerUS A/C Refrigeration Kit is a simple yet very powerful home system that is excellent for use in recharging auto air conditioning systems and home refrigeration systems. This highly versatile kit has thousands of rave reviews from delighted customers who have found all sorts of uses for it but the main applications are A/C systems for vehicles and domestic A/C systems. Other more offbeat applications include wine degassing, automatic milking and even some uses in the medical industry.

The XtremepowerUS kit is a high-quality all-round maintenance and testing apparatus for air conditioning systems, it can be used to diagnose and test the A/C system, evacuate it and recharge it with new refrigerant. Easy for DIYers to recharge car air conditioning. The vacuum pump is highly efficient and is designed to quickly and noiselessly remove any moisture. The gauge set supplied will allow you to test and accurately monitor the pressures at various stages without any leaks or losses. Also includes durable hoses and manifolds.

The kit is supplied with a tote carrier and nylon dust bag which is an essential accessory to keep it all together. You won’t be using this every day so the bag is perfect for storing your kit away and keeping it clean and free from dust and all in one place until you need it.

The pump can be used with any type of refrigerant although you may need an adaptor depending on the fitting that’s on the can. Vacuum range is down to 30 inches Hg and the pump will reach this in a few minutes and hold the vacuum with no losses through the fittings.

The XtremepowerUS is efficient with quality fittings that you might find on a much more expensive kit and it will pay for itself easily within a couple of times of using it.

This product is #1 in the Amazon store and is highly rated with 92% customer satisfaction from nearly 2500 ratings.

Contents as supplied with this package are as follows:
Vacuum Pump, Manifold Gauge Kit, R134 Can Tap, Vacuum Oil, Carrying Tote (Storage Dust Bag)

Item Weight: 10 pounds
Package Dimensions: 14.25 x 12.4 x 10.63 inches
Voltage: 115 Volts

Negative points to consider:
There are very few minor negatives but people have reported that the scale on the gauge can be difficult to read at certain pressures. This in no way detracts from the quality or accuracy of the actual gauge itself.
The other main bugbear for some is that the kit does not come with an R134A adaptor for a 12oz can and this has to be bought separately, a very minor expense if you need one at around $6.99.



Discontinued Items from previous ratings:

1 Gallon Flat Vacuum Chamber Kit to Degass Urethanes, Silicones, Epoxies and Burlwood by BestValueVacs



Our number one pick in this category is the 1 Gallon Flat Vacuum Chamber Kit by BestValueVacs. This apparatus has proven to be the best and most reliable available for the money, due to the aluminum one gallon high-strength container, the Unique leak-free bulkhead design and best gasket on the market. It comes ready to use and is the one most people depend on when they want to ensure that their vacuum is maintained. The product is supplied with a 50 micron air filter for the lid and 8×8 silicone slick pad.

1.6 Gallon Flat Vacuum Chamber to Degass Urethanes, Silicones, Epoxies and Burlwood by BestValueVacs



Our number three selection is the slightly larger version of our first choice, the BestValueVacs 1.6 Gallon Flat Vacuum Chamber. Like the 1 gallon version, it is also used in a wide variety of applications, vacuum drying, vacuum coating and to remove air from product – essential oils, urethanes, epoxies, burlwood and silicon for example – often as a preparation for molding. These are the best vacuum chambers on the market and can hold their vacuum for days. Construction is simple, being a high strength aluminum container with a clear plastic lid, sealed by a top of the range reversible silicon gasket from which the air is taken out using a vacuum pump.

Dab Non-stick Silicone Oil Concentrate Round Mat for 10″ Vacuum Degassing Chambers by Busy Bee Distributors


To begin with in this category we have chosen the Dab Wizard Non-stick Silicone Oil Concentrate Round Mat. This is the ideal accessory for your 10″ Vacuum Degassing Chamber and will fill the entire surface area of the floor of your chamber – allowing you to produce much more in every batch. Forget messing around trying to fit smaller, rectangular pads into the vacuum chamber, use this non-stick silicon mat that is specifically designed for the job. Note that this mat is microwave safe as well as being heat resistant.


There is a great range of electronic kitchen scales available nowadays. The design is modern and sleek and ergonomic in cool technical colors like silver and black. Accuracy has improved enormously over the years and in general modern day kitchen scales are very precise and the measurements can be relied upon. Although the scales are only intended for use in the kitchen, the design models are calibrated in a science lab to ensure that they are as accurate as possible.

The following are some recommendations of what we consider to be the best electronic kitchen scales on the market at the moment…

#5 Ozeri Pro Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Silver Finish


These are traditional round shaped kitchen scales and look great in a range of exciting colors to match any kitchen decor. They look both taditional and modern at the same time and will look perfect in any kitchen.

The main things that distinguish the Ozeri Pro kitchen scales is its accuracy for weights up to 12 lbs, the immediate response time and the simplicity of use. The scales have a degree of precision that you don’t find in many similarly priced models with 0.05 ounce graduations – equivalent to just one gram. The Pro has been favorably compared to much more expensive models by users who say the accuracy is spot-on.

Elegant and easy to use, with all the operations able to be carried out via two large buttons that give off a satisfying click to let you know they have been pressed correctly.

A must-have for all kitchen scales nowadays is the tare net weight feature, this feature calculates the weight of the ingredients without including the weight of the measuring bowl so you can be confident your recipes will be accurate and your dishes will turn out spot on. The other button instantly convert your units from ounces to grams or kilograms to pounds and vice versa with the large display screen showing the results. The Pronto runs off batteries which are supplied and last for ages, it uses very little power and you will get a long time of use out of your batteries.

The item ships internationally so if you’re outside the USA you can still get it sent to you with Amazon’s legendary speedy delivery.


#4 Kinzi Digital Touch Kitchen Scale (12 lbs Edition), Tempered Glass in Clean White


With a 12 lbs measuring ability, the Kinzi has a bit more measuring capacity than most of the other scales in the same price range so if you need that little bit extra for what you’re weighing this would be the choice for you. Built with typical German efficiency, the high precision sensors ensure that these scales are highly accurate in increments of 1 gram (0.05 oz).

Like the others in this section the Kinzi has a zero tare function to allow automatic subtracting of the eight of the bowl, this speeds up the cooking process as you can just reset the reading and add the weight of the next ingredient rather than having to stop and fiddle around with calculations. The large bright display is stable and the reading stays on for 2-3 minutes, some rival scales will switch off a lot quicker than that causing frustration if you need to start over again. Another great thing about these scales is that they are so easy to clean, there are no unnecessary grooves or tricky corners to get into, everything is on the same surface so cleaning is a breeze.

Featuring a superior build quality than most of the competition with tempered glass surfaces rather than the plastic finish available elsewhere, this unit looks and feels good quality. As a measure of the confidence of the manufacturer, they guarantee to respond to any questions about your purchase within 24 hours, giving you tremendous peace of mind. As another small bonus, the instruction manual is clear and well written in good English, how often have you picked up instructions and not been able to fathom them out!


#3 Etekcity 11lb 5kg Digital Multifunction Food Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl 2.15L Liquid Volume Room Temperature and Timer, Backlight LCD Display


Our number three selection is this great set of scales from Etekcity and they come highly recommended. Measuring power is delivered by means of the built-in high precision strain gauge sensors which provide tremendous accuracy even at very low quantities and the display is clarity itself, backlit in bright blue.

An unusual thing about this set of scales is that in addition to the obvious function of weighing, the scales also have an alarm timer and temperature sensor! A bit quirky maybe but if you are getting this extra functionality at the same price as other scales that don’t have it – why not? At least Etekcity have gone out of their way to try and distinguish their product from the masses.

Sleek and clean looking lines are the order of the day here with an expensive looking stainless steel finish that will outlast most things in your kitchen and it even comes with its own mixing bowl, again quite unusual for a product in this price range. There are warning lights for low battery power and overload.

You will never need measuring cups and spoons again, these scales replace them, with the tare reset feature which allows you to measure as you’re going along – in any units. You just put your bowl on the scale and add your first ingredient for your recipe, then zero the scale and you can add your next ingredient. No need to measure anything any longer!

There are a host of uses for these scales, some of the most common are baking bread and cakes but there are many more such as home brewing, weighing postage and kids science projects.

#2 ZERLA Digital Kitchen Scale


Runner up in the kitchen scales section is the Zerla. In the sales blurb it says the scales are designed to help you eat healthier meals. To be honest that just isn’t the case, knowing the weight of your food is essential in knowing what you are eating but you will only eat more healthy meals if you buy more healthy ingredients and cook them in a more healthy way. But nonetheless, if your portions are being measured properly then there is less chance that you will be overeating as long as you have the willpower to stick to a weight-loss program.

The design is compact and lightweight making these extremely portable and versatile, use these anywhere – at home or even bring them into work with you to check your portions. The large screen is very easy to read and isn’t obstructed even when using larger bowls. The buttons are intuitive and very simple to understand, one for power / tare and the other to switch between units. Another positive is that the top slides off for easy cleaning. These digital kitchen scales measure very accurately and precisely, right up to 11 lbs and right down to one gram (0.05 oz).

Like all of the other scales in this review, the Zerla has a tare button to automatically deduct the weight of the container and reset to zero after each ingredient is added so that you don’t need to mess about with cups and measuring jugs. Unlike some of the other models however, the Zerla is very accurate at measuring right down to the lowest weight. If you are going to be weighing very small quantities and you want reliable accuracy, then this should probably be your first choice.

The scales are supplied with batteries and comes with a full 30 day money back guarantee backed by the manufacturer and you can return them for any reason if you are not 100% satisfied.


#1 Etekcity EK6314 Digital Multifunction Food Kitchen Scale,11lb 5kg, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included)



Our top pick in the kitchen scales category offer a high degree of accuracy combined with a sleek, modern design at a price that you might not believe for such a great piece of kitchen equipment. You will be happy to leave these scales out on the counter such are their great looks. The sleek design makes it a breeze to clean these scales, they offer all you could ask for your kitchen weighing needs – perfect for cooking and baking as well as measuring out exact portion sizes for meal preparation if you are on a diet program.

Another growing use for the Etekcity EK6314 kitchen scales is for weighing parcels for shipping and sending out. If you are going Amazon or eBay or any other home based business. These scale measure precisely, down to 1g or 0.1oz for extremely accurate measurement and this can be important for saving you money. Make sure you are not paying shipping fees for a higher weight category than you need to! These kitchen scales feature precision one gram resolution strain gauge weight measurement. This measuring system uses four highly accurate sensors, a level of technology that you wouldn’t expect to find in such an inexpensive item.

Constructed from glass and finished in attractive brushed stainless steel, the scales are easy to clean and maintain thanks to the anti-fingerprint technology.

Another benefit of the EK6314 is the Easy-tare function. You can use this button to subtract the weight of your container so that you only measure the weight of the contents. this is invaluable when weighing loose or small ingredients or items like rice or flour or small loose items like nuts or candy as well as liquids or chemicals and drugs. Also, zero reset via the easy tare function to save you preparation time by allowing you to mix ingredients in the bowl without doing any calculations, easy unit conversion for swapping between grams, milliliters, pounds and ounces, ability to measure volume as well as weight and low battery warning light, auto turn-off if the scales are left unused, overload indication, backlit display for easy reading of scale.

There is great customer feedback on Amazon for these scales, nearly 1000 buyers have left an impressive score 4.4 out of 5

Negative points to consider
Nothing much to report here, there’s a suggestion that the unit can be a bit heavy on batteries if you use it a lot but that’s not exactly a big problem really, you would expect the batteries not to last as long if you were using them more. And there’s a low power indicator so you should never get caught unaware.

Colour: White
Material: Tempered glass
Weight: 17oz
Display: 40mm diameter LCD
Size: 239 x 153 x 18.8mm (9.6 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches)
Maximum weight capacity: 11 pounds / 5000g / 176fl.oz / 5000ml
Measurement Unit: grams, fluid ounces, pounds, kilograms, millilitres

Package Contents:
Etekcity EK6314-T Digital Kitchen Scale
Batteries 2x lithium ion (CR2032)
User Manual


There are many uses for glass bottles in scientific laboratories, the type of glass used being dependent on the particular requirements of the application. The use of glass as a material for lab bottles is becoming less common due to the range of plastic substitutes available – which are virtually unbreakable and cost far less – but sometimes only a glass bottle will do for the job.

Glass has the advantage of being more non-reactive as well as having good heat resistant properties and being transparent. In laboratories bottles are usually used for storing samples and reagents but the items below also have more general uses that they can be put to. There is a wide range of glass bottles available in all of the popular sizes from half an ounce up to 16 ounces to cater for most needs, let’s take a look at what we think are some of the best buys around with our review of the top 5 picks…

#5 1oz Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle with Fine Mist Sprayer


The highly rated 1oz Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle with Fine Mist Sprayer comes in a box of 12 (boxes of 6 also available) and is equally at home in the scientific lab as it is in its alternative use in the home, kitchen and garden. This is a sturdy bottle that can withstand some robust treatment due to the good quality thick glass it is made from and is great for transporting small quantities of liquid when travelling as it will fit easily into any purse or bag. The amber color protects the bottle’s contents from the light. The tight fitting lid gives a great secure fit and will not leak or loosen in normal use.

The sprayer is longer than the bottle and can either be cut to the desired length or even better be left a bit longer than the bottle to make sure it sucks up every last bit of the liquid. The sprayer produces a very fine mist due to the small spray hole and if it is to be used domestically for spraying oil for example (it actually comes with a sample of oil), the hole can easily be enlarged with a needle to produce a better spray. Other uses are facial oils, face toner sprays, hair treatments, aromatherapy, essential oils, homemade hand sanitizer, air fresheners, throat sprays, perfumes, peppermint oil, disinfectant spray, insect repellents, after sun spray and cosmetics.

The bottle is available with a choice of either a black or white screw top lid and sprayer and as well as this 1oz size it is available in a bigger 2oz version.


#4 16oz Amber Glass Bottle with Trigger Spray for Essential Oils


The 16oz Amber Glass Bottle with Trigger Spray for Essential Oils comes in a pack of 6 bottles and is made from actinic glass which is amber (darkened brown) in color. This is the most popular color for dark storage bottles as it will block ultraviolet light and infrared radiation which makes it perfect for protecting light-sensitive contents in scientific labs but also ideal for a whole range of other uses.

The inert nature of the glass means that there will be no reaction between the material of the bottle and its contents which means that the essential oils won’t be harmed by long term storage and also the bottle won’t break down through time. As well as essential oils these handily sized bottles are great for chemicals, health and beauty care such as facial lotions, perfumes, hair treatments or aromatherapy as well as for many other oils that you want to spray or mist over a specific area.

Many buyers of these bottles also use the to spray atomized cooking ingredients in for example cake decoration or around the home and garden for use in insect and pest control or cleaning using natural and home-sourced products. Remember if you are going to be using these bottles in multiple applications to get some self-adhesive labels to mark them with.


#3 1/4 Dram AMBER Glass Vial – Screw Cap w/ Orifice Reducer


The 1/4 Dram AMBER Glass Vial – Screw Cap w/ Orifice Reducer – Pack of 24 is made from borosilicate glass which is less prone to thermal stress and is therefore ideal for reagent bottles. Other uses for these versatile little bottles include storage of pills and other dry goods, pharmaceuticals and essential oils and perfumes.

These small vials are sold in packages of 24, each bottle having a capacity of 1.5 millilitres (a quarter of a dram) and are therefore perfect for travel and flying. The bottles come with a foam-lined screw cap and an orifice reducer. This is a highly recommended buy for storage of small quantities of lavender oils, essential oils, perfumes and the sturdy thick glass construction will protect the contents in most cases even if the glass is dropped. It is recommended that you also buy some labels along with these vials if you are going to use them for different things to avoid mixing the bottles up.


#2 2oz Amber Glass Bottles for Essential Oils with Glass Eye Dropper


These 2oz Amber Glass Bottles for Essential Oils with Glass Eye Dropper allow precision mixing of liquid ingredients using the eye dropper, the dropper itself reaches the bottom of the bottle so it lets all of the contents be used successfully without any wastage.

A separate dropper is included with each bottle and the amber glass construction protects any liquids that are sensitive to light and which might degrade if exposed to it. This makes these bottles a good choice for eye drops, essential oils, herbal tinctures, home crafts, home-made beauty products such as shampoo, massage oil, scents, jojoba oil, tea tree oil and various cooking ingredients such as colorings and essences.


#1 1oz Cobalt Blue Glass Bottles


Our top pick is the 1oz Cobalt Blue Glass Bottles which combines the aesthetics of a really nice looking bottle which won’t look out of place in any circumstances with the practicality of a useful, versatile and sturdy container. Perfect for use in any kind of application that lends itself to a glass bottle such as laboratory chemicals as well as domestic home and garden applications such as essential oils, cooking, cleaning, insect control, beauty products, cake making, home concoctions etc. The tightly fitting screw top houses the precision dropper which allows the user to dispense the contents accurately a drop at a time. The capacity of the bottles is 29.5 milliliters.

As well as our top recommendations above, there are various other sizes and quantities available so if you don’t see exactly what you want here just do a search and you should find what you’re looking for.

Click here to search for glass bottles on Amazon



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


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 Seesii Mini Magnetic Stirrer Mixer with Stir Bar

Magnetic Lab Stirrer,2000ml 4000RPM, Fast Stirring, Anti-Slip, Powerful Lab Mixer for Laboratory, Classroom, Scientific Research, Home DIY

If you want a fast, efficient magnetic stirrer that has a wide speed range but comes in a small, efficient package, look no further than the The Seesii. This impressive stirrer is perfect for use in a multitude of applications and locations. The sleek, ergonomic design lines make the Seesii perfect for the kitchen or for making homebrew beer and wine or for use in your DIY projects. It is equally at home in a science laboratory or workshop or in educational settings like classrooms and school labs. Despite the small compact design, the Seesii magnetic stirrer is powerful enough to easily handle light industrial applications and can be used in health and medicine, scientific research and even in certain agricultural applications.

The stirrer plate is large and can accommodate a wide range of vessels and glassware with a capacity of up to 2 litres. Quality of construction is extremely high and materials are of lab quality which makes the instrument sturdy, durable and gives it a long life. The controls are easy to understand and offer the owner fast, intuitive adjustment. The unit is anchored by foot pads that are designed to be non-slip and prevent movement whilst the stirring is in operation.

Another use for the stirrer which is not widely known is for decanting wine. At low speed the Seesii creates a whirlpool that gently agitates the wine allowing air to permeate it and bring out the flavors to the best effect.


#3 Anzeser Magnetic Stirrer Magnetic Mixer

The Anzeser magnetic stirrer has proved to be a very popular buy and has an 88% customer approval rating on Amazon from 450 ratings. The stir plate has a larger capacity than some comparable units at a full 3 liters capacity when mixing water based solutions and is the number one rated stirrer on the site.

The Anzeser is suitable for use in home, school, industrial and educational environments. At home use it for food preparation, home brewing, mixing paint, wine making and a host of other applications. School applications include for example experiments in a science class or laboratory. The Anzeser magnetic stirrer is also highly suitable for light stirring operations in agriculture and industry.

Buyers have generally found the Anzeser stirrer to be a good buy for the money and a very positive feature is that the unit will not slip, even at the highest speeds which to be honest can’t be said for all magnetic stirrers and especially in this price bracket.

Negative points to consider
There have been a few isolated complaints from users that the mixing capacity quoted isn’t quite the 3 litres that is quoted by the manufacturer. However this might well be due to buyers using the stirrer on liquids that are too viscous and not suited to the stirrer. Obviously if the liquid is too thick, more energy will be required to achieve the correct mixing and if the liquid is too viscous the stirrer cannot mix the full 3000ml capacity. Overall impression is that this unit is cheap and works but if you need more power, buy a more powerful machine!


#2 Duda Energy mags Aluminum HJ-1 Magnetic Stirrer for Use with Magnetic Stir Bars, 2400 RPM


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


Our 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.


Discontinued Items that may still be of interest

Overhead Mixer Stirrer 100w by CB – NOW DISCONTINUED


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.

Hanna-Instruments HI310N-1 Speedsafe Heavy Duty Magnetic Stirrer- NOW DISCONTINUED


Our 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).


The function of a laboratory water bath is to heat containers used in biomedical or pharmaceutical tests at relatively low temperatures. The heating bath works on the principle of electrical resistors raising the temperature of the liquid (water or oil) used in turn to heat the specimens. Maintenance of water baths is important and when considering buying, you should take into account the following specifications:

Material – Generally stainless steel for cleanliness and prevention of rust Coating – A high quality epoxy powder coat finish will guard against chipping to the container and is easy to clean Heating elements – Recessed and out of the way so you don’t have to come into contact with them

Most importantly, water baths need to be low-maintenance and reliable to ensure trouble-free operation.

There is a great range of laboratory baths on Amazon right now and the following guide will help you decide what one is best for you.

(If  you fancy having a go at making a DIY water bath, full instructions can be found here)

#5 JULABO SW22 digital Shaking Water Bath


Julabo is one of the leading digital water bath manufacturers and the SW22 shaking water bath is right up near the top of the range of this category. If you are looking for the best available and are prepared to pay a bit extra, then this is definitely the choice for you. Whether you need a high quality water bath for the laboratory, dental practise or in an industrial material testing application or a full range of other uses you will find that this kit will carry out the job efficiently and accurately. Temperature is is controlled by the latest microprocessor technology and the LED display shows up to four values. Keyboard selected PID temperature control to within 0.2°C ensures stable heat across the range of applications.


#4 Thomas WA2SG11B Analog Water Bath


With the emphasis on economy and reliabilty, the Thomas water bath uses analog controls rather than digital but still produce the versatile control required for all general applications and are more than adequate for most general laboratory purposes. Temperature control is stable and consistent over a range from 5 to 100 degrees C and the analog controller gives better stability and precision than most of their digital counterparts at +-0.25 degrees C. Safety is provided by a protective thermostat which cuts out the bath on over-temperature or in the event of low water in the reservoir. Capacity of the unit is 2 liter and a raised lid design allows a variety of sample bottles to be accommodated with ease.


#3 Benchmark Scientific BSH1004, Digital Dry Bath


Although this section of our reviews is mainly concerned with digital water baths, there are other alternatives that might be worth you considering. For example the Benchmark Scientific BSH-1004 4-Position Block Digital Dry Bath is a very compact unit for the precise and even heating of tubes. The BSH-1004 uses Benchmark dry blocks which can take up to 96 tubes at a time in a footprint area of less than a square foot. The precision machined blocks are designed to fit exactly round the tubes for maximum efficiency and highly accurate digital temperature control. Supplied with a special block remover tool for ease of block removal and exchange, even under full heating conditions. Tube sizes accommodated are 0.5, 1.5, 2.0, 15 and 50 ml.


#2 Premiere HH-4 Digital Water Bath, 4 Wells Capacity


The Premiere HH-4 Digital Water Bath might not be the most sophisticated piece of equipment on the market but there is no doubt that represents terrific value for money and is perfect for most general use. Temperature is controlled digitally and a good level of precision is achieved from the controls so you can be confident that your work is always carried out in a consistent temperature environment. Ideal for working with drugs, chemicals and biological products the Premiere HH-4 can be used for drying, distilling, drying, soaking and condensing of the specimens. Construction of the waterbath is stainless steel – the best available for rust prevention and cleaning.


#1 Edvotek 539 Stainless Steel Digital Waterbath, 1.8L Capacity, Ambient to 95 Degree C


For great performance at a price that is excellent value, the Edvotek 539 Stainless Steel Digital Waterbath is a great piece of kit to consider and is our No.1 choice. This digital water bath has been improved and enhanced in a new design to bring better performance but still at an affordable price. Main upgrades include digital temperature control to maintain the chamber, accurate to within +/- 0.5 degrees C and a redesigned deeper chamber to give more capacity and hold more flasks and bottles. Also added is a low water level sensor which will cut off power and prevent the unit burning out in the event of loss of water. The stainless steel chamber provides easy cleaning as well as good corrosion resistance.


Scales are instruments used for measuring weight, whilst balances are used to measure an object’s mass. The main difference is in accuracy, balances are more precise than scales and analytical balances can measure highly accurately to 0.0001g in lab conditions. There are many different uses for scales and balances and each application has a type of scales best suited to it, this review concentrates on use in labs and small industrial premises. They range from very cheap handheld models right up to highly accurate state of the art machines with outputs to computer software. The measurement technique also varies widely depending on the use, from balance beams and springs to highly sophisticated electronics.

The following are the top 5 best scales and balances available to buy on Amazon in 2014:

Starting with #5…

#5 Adam Equipment HCB Highland Portable Precision Balance


First up we feature the Highland HCB range of precision balances from Adam Equipment which offers high precision without a premium price to match it. These are available in a wide range of sizes, from the HCB 123 with its 120g capacity and a readability of 0.001g, up to the HCB 3001 which has a capacity of 3000g and 0.1g readability. This conventional balance has a two second settling time giving less unproductive time and an automatic internal calibration system. Backlit digital LCD display makes it readable in all conditions. A hook is suspended below the HCB to suspend items that are too bulky for the 120mm stainless steel plate. To prevent accidental damage to the weighing cell and balance from over weight samples, an overload protection is also built in. Data can be transferred easily to printers and computers though the RS232 and USB slots. Mains AC or battery powered through an integrated rechargeable battery (up to 24 hour use). ABS plastic housing. Built-in security slot. Accessories available include: ATP Thermal Printer, Adam Data Collection Program, RS-232 to PC cable, USB cable.


#4 Ohaus 8004-PN Pull Type Spring Scale, 4.5lb/20N Capacity, 1lb/0.5N Readability


Our next choice is the Ohaus 8004-PN pull-type spring scale, which If you are looking for ease of use at a rock-bottom price, combined with excellence in manufacture from one of the world’s leading brands, is definitely the one for you. Ideal for use in a range of applications from science projects to measuring torque in-situ where the component can’t be easily moved and put on a fixed set of scales. Also great for any other hand-held application. Reading in pounds (lb) / grams (g) /ounces (oz) or Newtons (N) force. Capacity up to 4.5 pounds (2000 grams). The product is of sturdy construction with ABS plastic housing and metal face plate, spring and hook and pointer action.


#3 Intel-Lab Lab Balance 320 g X 0.001 g, RS232, Rear display


The Intell-Lab PMW-320 range of balances have been developed for simple weighing applications and their design is hard to fault. They are designed with simplicity and ease of use as a main priority with the large backlit LCD display a stand-out feature, providing a impressive easy to read screen which is visible in all lighting conditions including bright sunlight. Ideal for use throughout a wide range of industries with flexible weighing suited to many disciplines. Along with the display the ease of use is carried through to the large user-friendly menu. Communication with peripheral devices is easy via the configurable RS232 port which allows the user to interface with printers, hanheld readers or laptops/PCs. 320 gram maximum weighing capacity and readout is to 0.001 gram making this a highly accurate device.


#2 Duda Energy DE-938 Pocket Scale 500g Max Weight / 0.01g Accuracy Auto Shut off LCD Backlit Screen g oz T gn ozt dwt ct


Our second top selection is the Duda DE-938, these pocket scales are lightweight and extremely portable at only 5 ounces, making them ideal for any application where you need to have scales ready all the time and you want to have a set handy in your pocket. Weighing capacity is up to 500g (half a kilogram) and accuracy of the instrument is very impressive, within 0.1 gram. The LCD Backlit Screen runs off 2 x AAA batteries which come supplied and has an auto-shut off feature. You can set the scales to choose from various measurement units including grams, ounces, carat, grain, pennyweight and troy ounces. This is a great pick if you are looking for very inexpensive pocket scales.


#1 Ohaus 750-S0 Triple Beam Mechanical Balance with Stainless Steel Plate, 610g Capacity, 0.1g Readability


Our top pick is the Ohaus 750-S0 Triple Beam Mechanical Balance, an excellent choice for all small scale counter-top applications like weighing ingredients and powder, science labs or for eductional departments. The triple beam design gives unparalleled accuracy in measurement and the simple technology of these balance scales means that they will last a lifetime and never break down. The beams are notched and tiered and have a centre reading and the balance is magnetically dampened so that weighing is quick and the zero adjust compensator is spring loaded. Ohaus is just about the most respected name in weighing aparatus so you can be sure that this product delivers on precision, accuracy and durability.


Autoclaves and Sterilizers are used by dentists and doctors in the dental and medicinal industries as well as laboratories to sterilize glassware, utensils and even some clothing like lab coats etc. Another application that is using autoclaves more and more is tattooing, tattoo artists need to get their needles scrupulously clean to prevent infection and this is the perfect equipment for them. There are two main principles of cleaning used, steam or ultraviolet light depending on what it is that needs to be cleaned.

The following are what we have found to be the best buys available right now on

#5 Tuttnauer 1730 Value Clave


First up we are recommending the Tuttnauer 1730 Value Clave, like all products from this manufacturer it is pure quality. This is the entry level machine in the range but it perfect for many smaller practices and businesses with its compact 7″ chamber. Another option could be to get one of these units as a second autoclave for your operation for more cleaning capacity or for use as a standby in case your main autoclave is out of action. Simplicity and ease of use is at the heart of the 1730 with easy to use controls and the cleaning cycle is fast and efficient.


#4 SBSC-23L Autoclave Sterilizer by SMTmax


Next up for review is the SBSC-23L Autoclave Sterilizer, a very nice machine that sterilizes and sanitizes your medical instruments – whether they are packed or unpacked. It is fully compliant with EN13060 standards for convenient cleaning and European B standard vacuum pre-drying, whilst residual humidity gets down to as low as just 0.2%. This model has a top-opening water tank for ease of accessibility and the machine is designed so that the steam reaches every corner of every instrument for perfect cleaning each time. Fully computerized control with a nice easy to read panel makes this a breeze to use.


#3 12L Liter Portable Autoclave Steam Sterilizer for Medical Dental Tattoo Professionals


Number three is this Autoclave Steam Sterilizer, which is fully portable and with its 12 liter capacity is ideal for medical, dental and tattoo professionals alike. It uses saturated steam for rapid and efficient sterilization and it suitable for use in hospitals, health centers, tattoo parlours, clinics, science centres and research institutes. Many various items can be sterilized – from glass utensils, medical equipment, surgical dressings and needles among others. The unit has very low power consumption, about 50% less than using a conventional stove and has rapid heating and cooling. Very versatile with dozens of uses, some of the interesting other uses for this machine include making high quality drinking water and even use as a pressure cooker. Acid and alkili proof in 100% stainless steel with the emphasis on safety, the lid is equipped with a safety valve and air releasing valve and features 6 point locking.


#2 Tuttnauer 2340M Manual Autoclave Sterilizer


Runner-up is the Tuttnauer 2340M Autoclave Sterilizer, a great piece of kit from one of the market leaders. Tuttnauer is an American company that has been making and servicing sterilizing equipment for over 20 years now and deserve their place as one of the most trusted brands in the industry. Available in a wide range of sizes and capacities all built to the same exacting standards, this autoclave is ideal for use in dental practices, hospitals, labs and infectious waste disposal units. Featuring an electronic fast closed door system, the unit is fully automatic.

Tuttnauer is a leading manufacturer of autoclaves and offer a wide range, for more detailsk click here


#1 WAF Electric 27.3 Quart 650 Watts/6.88 amps Sterilizer


Our most highly rated machine is the All-American Electric 27.3 Quart which comes highly recommended by users on Amazon. The operation is dead simple, just pour some distilled water into the bottom of the unit and place your items to be cleaned on the rack above. Featuring a metal to metal seal on the lid, this is perfect as it creates a better seal while at the same time means that you won’t have to spend money on replacing gaskets, an expense that can be quite costly over time. Available in both 120V and 220V models (make sure you order the right one for your electrical supply) and there is a knob for adjusting the temperature in a range (from 1-10, 100 degrees F being the lowest)

Note that as well as being available in different voltages, there is also a less expensive 14.5 Quart model available that we would recommend if you have smaller stuff to clean.