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).