The main types of pipette in use and the ones we are concerned with are those which transfer precise amounts of fluid on a regular basis in a laboratory environment.  These pipettes which can also be called pipets, micropipettes, micro-pipettes or pipettors are predominantly hand held devices, the vast majority of which are of the “air-displacement” variety.

With many advances over the last 50 years (see history of pipettes) in use of materials, laboratory protocols, health & safety requirements and electronics we have seen an evolution in pipettes from many manufacturers.
The most common pipettes that require calibration, servicing and maintenance on a regular basis are shown below:

  • Manual Single Channel Fixed Volumes Pipettes
  • Manual Single Channel Variable Volume Pipettes (also known as  mechanical, adjustable or digital)
  • Manual Multichannel Variable Volume Pipettes
  • Manual Single Channel Positive Displacement Pipettes
  • Electronic  Single Channel Variable Volume Pipettes
  • Electronic  Multichannel Variable Volume Pipettes
  • Pipetting Aids (cell culture pipettes)

The top five and most well know manufacturers or brands (and some of their better known trademarks) are:

  • Biohit (Proline ™ , mLINE ™ , eLINE ™ )
  • Gilson (Pipetman ™ )
  • Eppendorf (Reference ™ & Research ™ )
  • Thermo (Finnpipette ™ )
  • Rainin (EDP ™ and LiteTouch (LTS ™ )


Proline Electronic Calibration

After this there are many smaller companies or brands involved in manufacture and distribution.

  • Socorex
  • Capp
  • Starlab (Eppendorf company)
  • Vistalab
  • Hamilton
  • Matrix
  • HTL (Axygen)



More recently there have been models "copied" either identically or closely “emulated” from China and India

  • Fine Care Corporation
  • Dragonmed
  • Tomos
  • Microlit


These pipettes are invariably based on Biohit or Gilson designs, due their market successes. Care should be taken however with these products to avoid confusion, as spares are not interchangeable and all products should be compliant with local regulations (eg. CE, IVD marks).




A "Private Label" is the relabeling of standard product. An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) is a product that has been adapted in some way, generally for use with an application or with technical differences to the product. For example Biohit originally produced the Eppendorf "Response" electronic pipette.

There are many hundreds of distributors of pipettes and many companies put their own label on a manufacturers product to increase their own brand awareness. For example the larger distribution companies such as VWR or Thermo Fisher will typically brand a popular product if and promote this as their No.1 item. As with many consumer businesses, such as supermarkets this increases brand awareness and builds goodwill into their respective businesses.