Finnpipette F1-ClipTip Review

In our recent article, "How the right pipet tip can reduce your risk of repetitive stress disorder" we discussed the seriousness of ergonomically related injuries and reviewed the new FlexFit™ tip from Biotix. There are two factors that lead to stress. The force required pushing the pipet plunger and the force required to eject the tip. Since this article was published, Thermo Scientific’s Labsystems division has released a new line of pipettors and tips which they call "F1-ClipTip." They have a full line of single- and multi-channel models available with a variety of tips and packaging. All of these products are now listed in PipetTipFinder. In this article, we will take a look at this new technology and evaluate the pros and cons of this new approach.


Figure 1: How the ClipTip system compares with traditional pipet tips

What’s New?

Actually this is a variation on the Rainin LTS approach. The goal is to reduce the force required to eject the tip. Incidentally, it is easier to mount the tips and to reduce the need to "hammer" the tips in place which is common practice in many labs although this is not really a contributor to repetitive distress, it really does make it easier to get tips loaded properly on multi-channel pipets and that will reduce your mental stress, not to mention wear-and-tear on the pipettor!

The Rainin LTS tips as well as many of the robotic tips introduce a "shoulder" into the tip hub design which prevents the tip from going any further than the shoulder. This is shown in the second pipettor/tip from the left in Figure 1. By eliminating the wedge approach used in most universal tips, shown in the image at the left in Figure 1, the amount of force required to eject the tip can be controlled and therefore minimized.

What Thermo has cleverly done is to add a "latch" or barb at the top of the tip that locks into place rather than rely on friction to hold the tip in place. In addition, they have added an O-ring at the level of the shoulder to ensure a good seal.


Figure 2: 8-Channel F1-ClipTip illustrating the tip latching feature

The Pros

We see this system as being most beneficial in multi-channel pipetting. Not because of the ergonomics, but because of the latching of the tip (see Figure 2.) It’s easy to "pound" a single-channel pipet tip on but it’s not really practical to hammer on 8 or 12 tips and everyone who has ever used one of these pipettors has had one of them fall off at the worst possible moment. And buying a proprietary tip to eliminate this problem in multi-channel pipetting may be worth it.

Would this approach improve the ergonomics? By reducing ejection force required, absolutely. Enough to displace the big lead the Rainin LTS has in this market? That remains to be seen.

The Cons

If this approach had been invented by Rainin instead of Thermo, it would be an instant best seller. They could have called it LTS2 or LTS Next Generation. And they would have sold a lot of them because they already have a system that uses a proprietary tip which users have (sometimes grudgingly) accepted However it’s a Finnpipette F1 which is a household name to most Finnpipette loyalists but one that uses a unique, proprietary tip and this is just not something we think Finnpipette customers are going to be comfortable with.

About the only existing Finnpipette customers who will buy this system are either new lab startups or major companies with the funds to discard a whole lot of functioning pipettors and replace them with the F1-ClipTip in order to reduce repetitive stress to meet executive mandates. With all of the other options out there to reduce repetitive stress, people are unlikely to introduce a new pipettor into a lab where all of the pipet tips already in use – and on the shelves – use universal fit tips.

Although this pipettor addresses the ergonomics of tip ejection, the plunger force will be the same as in a traditional F1. There are many competitors who have very low force pipettors on the market. It would have been much better if Thermo had released a pipettor that also reduced the plunger force to make this a fully ergonomic pipetting system.

Keep in mind that while these tips are under patent, your only source of supply will be Thermo Labsystems. As has been the case with Rainin, expect to pay a lot more for these tips.


If you are O.K. with the idea of buying a pipettor that takes a proprietary tip that will cost you a lot more than what you currently are paying and you are concerned about ergonomics regardless of cost, then you should give the ClipTip a try! If you are looking for a pipettor to add to a fleet of Finnpipette pipettors that you already own, then you may wish to consider other alternatives form reduction of repetitive stress. However this may be worth evaluating if you are going to use it exclusively for multi-channel pipetting.

If your goal is to reduce repetitive stress and you have budgetary constraints or fears of being locked in to a single supplier, then we recommend looking at other alternatives.