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How We Determine What Tip Fits On Your Pipettor

So how do we determine what tips will fit your pipettor? We have and continue to collect data published by pipettor and pipet tip manufacturers all over the world. We conduct testing in our own labs too. We have compiled this data into a searchable database to provide you with a single resource that is unbiased and not marketing driven. This section describes the methodology we use.


Here, the tip manufacturer states which make, model and volume range a specific tip they manufacture will fit on. See example in Figure 1.

You will notice that this vendor (Phenix) has grouped pipettors by brand: Gilson, Biohit, Eppendorf, Labsystems and Oxford/Nichiryo. The brand, model and size of each pipettor is matched to a specific tip that the manufacturer produces. In speaking with manufacturers, we have learned that these charts are most often produced by actual testing of pipets with the tips for their ability to stay on, eject and not leak out. Typically, this is the extent of the testing.

A typical manufacturer pipet tip fit matrix

Figure 1: A typical manufacturer pipet tip fit matrix.


Some tip makers will make statements such as this statement taken from the Thermo Fisher 2011-2012 catalog: [Fits on] Oxford BenchMate™, Pipetman™, Finnpipette™, Rainin Classic™, Eppendorf Research™.

This method gives some assurance to people who have one of the pipet brand/models mentioned, but it doesn’t specify the capacity, whether it will or will not work on multi-channel models and in many cases, the manufacturer will go on to say "…and other Research Grade Pipettors."

We identify all pipettors that fall into the stated category. For example, all sizes of Oxford BenchMate pipettors. If the volume for the pipettor and tip are correct, then this tip is displayed as a match.


Another way to state this is "You try this on your pipettor. If it works, great!" The user has to only decide what volume of tip to use. The maximum volume that the pipettor can dispense cannot be larger than the maximum volume the tip will hold –AND- the minimum volume of the pipettor cannot be larger than the maximum volume of the pipet tip.

In the last few years, some pipet tip makers have begun to manufacture tips that use a different, flexible material for the part of the tip that comes in contact with the nose cone of a pipettor. We refer to these tips as "Flex Fit." The radius and the taper of the nose cone of a pipettor are critical to achieve a good fit. Further, if a hard plastic is used and the tip is jammed on the pipettor, it will take more force to eject the tip. Flex Fit tips require far less pressure to eject the tip. So a Flex Fit style tip should be able to adapt itself to pipettors such as the Rainin Light Touch (LTS) series. However we do not indicate that these tips fit on pipettors that use a non-universal type standard tip. Until we are able to actually conduct testing and confirm that a pipet tip actually does fit, we will not indicate a fit even in the Universal Fit category.


Some pipettors use a highly specific type of tip. For example, the Clay-Adams Selectapette™. This tip will fit on no other pipettor. We identify pipettors that fall into this category in our database. In the past, pipette manufacturers used proprietary tips far more than today. Some older models of pipettors, such as the Vista Labs Ovation™ pipettors and have changed their barrel / nose cone design so that Universal Fit tips will now work on their current models. Since we have no way of knowing either the age of your pipettor or exactly when a manufacturer made the design change, it is strongly recommended that if you have pipettors that are 10 years or older in age, that you use caution before making a tip purchase based on our results. You may have a pipettor that still requires a proprietary tip. If so, we would like to get this feedback so that we can add this information to our database.