Dec '22

A scientist looks through a microscope while laboratory glass sits in front of him.

Common Examples of Laboratory Apparatuses and Their Uses

A wide range of tools and types of equipment are regularly used in laboratories. While many individuals may be familiar with some of the more common pieces of lab equipment, their applications and importance aren’t as well-known in some cases. To learn more about laboratory equipment and its uses, let’s review five apparatuses that are commonly found in lab settings.

Test Tubes

One of the most well-known lab apparatuses is test tubes. They’re cylindrical glass tubes measuring between 3 to 6 inches long and are open at the top to allow substances to enter. Test tubes also have a closed and rounded bottom end.

Although test tubes can be used for measuring liquids, this is not always the case — some are not marked at all. Test tubes are used in a range of applications, such as transporting liquids from one location to the next or comparing them with other liquids. Additionally, test tubes are also used for mixing reagents during chemical reactions, making them very useful when many samples need to be tested.


Beakers are another incredibly common lab apparatus. Coming in several different sizes, they’re made with borosilicate glass that resists thermal expansion and is less likely to crack from exposure to high temperatures. Beakers have a flat bottom and a spout on their rim, which makes it easier to correctly pour liquids and substances. While no lids exist for beakers, spills can be prevented by covering them with a watch glass.

Chemists and scientists have numerous uses for beakers, as they are excellent tools for holding, heating, and stirring liquids — however, they can hold solid samples as well. While many beakers do come with measurement markings, there are other lab apparatuses more appropriate for measuring substances.

Volumetric Flasks

A lab apparatus better suited for measuring liquids would be a volumetric flask. They are capable of providing accurate measurements because they are specially designed to contain a precise volume of liquids, unlike beakers and other glassware. Volumetric flasks can be identified by their long necks, round shape, and flat bottom.

Graduated Cylinders

Another lab apparatus useful for measuring substances is the graduated cylinder. This cylindrical-shaped tube has several markings that measure particular volumes of liquid. Graduated cylinders are made in different sizes, and the smaller their diameter is, the more specified their markings will be.


One piece of lab equipment you might already be familiar with is the funnel — although these funnels have been designed with laboratory usage in mind. Their primary purpose is to help lab personnel safely funnel solutions from one container into a narrower one, such as a test tube, without spilling. Several kinds of funnels exist, including filter or dropping varieties, and they can be made in different sizes and materials.

Contact At-Mar Glass for High-Quality Laboratory Equipment

To learn more about laboratory equipment and its uses, contact At-Mar Glass. We offer a wide range of professional products for laboratory settings, including jacketed condensers, glass chromatography columns, and many others. For further information on the lab apparatuses we have available and to schedule an order, reach out to us today.