A List of Chemistry Laboratory Apparatus and Their Uses

Updated on September 13, 2016
Jonny-Ringo profile image

Jonny-Ringo, first and foremost, loves to read and write. One of his specialities is writing on chemistry.

A List of Basic Chemistry Apparatus

In most labs, you'll encounter the same basic apparatus. Here, you will find a picture and an explanation for how to use each piece of equipment. You will learn about:

  • Safety goggles and safety equipment
  • Beakers
  • Erlenmeyer flasks, AKA conical flasks
  • Florence flasks, AKA boiling flasks
  • Test tubes, tongs, and racks
  • Watch glasses
  • Crucibles
  • Funnels
  • Graduated cylinders
  • Volumetric flasks
  • Droppers
  • Pipettes
  • Burets
  • Ring stands, rings, and clamps
  • Tongs and forceps
  • Spatulas and scoopulas
  • Thermometers
  • Bunsen Burners
  • Balances

The Equipment You Will Encounter and Their Functions

Safety goggles and safety equipment
Safety goggles and safety equipment

The first and foremost rule of any laboratory is to be safe! This may seem obvious, but people often disregard safety protocols for one reason or another, putting themselves and those around them in danger. The best thing you can do is to make sure you follow all safety protocols at all times.

Safety goggles are required wear in all chemistry labs. Not wearing them puts you in danger of eye irritation and possibly blindness in the case of an accident. A small droplet of acid could splash out of the container at any time. Better safe than permanently blinded!

Latex gloves should be used when there is a possibility of corrosive chemicals spilling onto your hands.

A lab apron or coat can also prevent injury in case of spills or splashes.

Never wear open-toed shoes or sandals in a lab.

Beakers
Beakers

A beaker is a common container in most labs. It is used for mixing, stirring, and heating chemicals. Most beakers have spouts on their rims to aid in pouring. They also commonly have lips around their rims and markings to measure the volume they contain, although they are not a precise way to measure liquids. Beakers come in a wide range of sizes.

Because of the lip that runs around the rim, a lid for a beaker does not exist. However, a watch glass (discussed below) can be used to cover the opening to prevent contamination or splashing.

Erlenmeyer flasks, AKA conical flasks
Erlenmeyer flasks, AKA conical flasks

Also known as a conical flask, the Erlenmeyer flask was named after its inventor in 1861. It has a narrow neck and expands toward its base. This allows easy mixing and swirling of the flask without too much risk of spilling. The narrow opening also allows for the use of a rubber or glass stopper. It can easily be clamped to a ring stand (discussed below) as well as heated or shaken mechanically.

Once again, the marks on the side are meant primarily for estimation rather than precision.

An important safety tip here is to never heat this flask while it is capped. This could cause a pressure build-up that could result in explosion.

Florence flasks, AKA boiling flasks
Florence flasks, AKA boiling flasks

Also known as a boiling flask, the Florence flask has a round bottom and a long neck. It is used to hold liquids and can be easily swirled and heated. It can also easily be capped by rubber or glass stoppers.

Once again, safety dictates that this flask never be heated when capped. Pressure build-up and explosions can and do occur.

Test tubes being lifted with tongs from a rack
Test tubes being lifted with tongs from a rack

A test tube is a glass tube with one end open and the other end closed. The closed end is rounded. Test tubes are used to hold small samples. They are primarily used for qualitative assessment and comparison. A common place to see these is the biochemistry lab. When a large number of samples need to be tested and compared, test tubes are used to make this easier. They are also easily capped with a rubber or glass stopper.

They are generally held in a test tube rack specifically designed for the purpose. If the test tubes become unsafe to touch with bare hands (whether due to heat or another reason), test-tube tongs can be used to move them.

Never heat a capped test tube.

Watch glasses
Watch glasses

A watch glass is just a round piece of glass that is slightly concave/convex (think of a lens). It can hold a small amount of liquid or solid. They can be used for evaporation purposes and also can function as a lid for a beaker.

Crucibles
Crucibles

A crucible is a small clay cup made of a material that can withstand extreme temperatures. They are used for heating substances and come with lids.

Funnels
Funnels

A lab funnel is just like any other funnel except that it was designed to be used in a laboratory setting. They can be made of plastic or glass and can have either a short stem or a long stem, depending on what they are needed for. There are several sizes that can be chosen from based on the amount of liquid that needs to go through them quickly.

Graduated cylinders
Graduated cylinders

This is a primary measuring tool for the volume of a liquid. There are several markings up and down the length of the container with specific increments. Graduated cylinders come in many sizes. The smaller they are in diameter, the more specific the volume measurements will be.

When reading the volume from a graduated cylinder, you will notice that the liquid seems to have an indentation. The liquid around the edges will be higher than the liquid in the center, sloping down like the sides of a trampoline when someone is standing in the middle. This is called the meniscus. Line the lowest point of the meniscus up with the nearest marking, keeping the cylinder level to properly read the volume.

Volumetric flasks
Volumetric flasks

A volumetric flask is a round flask with a long neck and flat bottom. It is used to measure an exact volume of liquid. There is a small line on the neck that indicates how far to fill the bottle (use the bottom of the meniscus). They come with special caps that will not let anything in or out.

Remember that temperature affects volume; therefore avoid using liquids that will fluctuate in temperature (hot water that will cool, for example).

Droppers
Droppers

These are small glass tubes with narrow tips on one end and a rubber bulb on the other. They suck up liquid that can then be squeezed out in small drops. These can be used to add an indicator to a solution about to be titrated.

Pipettes
Pipettes

There are a large variety of pipettes designed to accomplish specific goals. However, they are all for measuring an exact volume of liquid and placing it into another container.

A buret. These are usually attached with a clamp to a ring stand, as shown in the picture below.
A buret. These are usually attached with a clamp to a ring stand, as shown in the picture below.

A buret is a glass tube that is open at the top and comes to a narrow pointed opening at the bottom. Right above the bottom opening is a stopcock that can be turned to control the amount of liquid being released. There are markings along the length of the tube that indicate the volume of liquid present.

A buret is used for extremely accurate addition of liquid. By adjusting the stopcock, the amount of liquid that is released can be slowed to a drop every few seconds. Burets are one of the most accurate tools in the lab.

Burets are set up by using a buret clamp in combination with a ring stand, discussed below.

To determine how much liquid is added, write down how much is initially in the buret. Then when you're finished adding, write down how much is left. Subtract the final amount from the initial amount and you have the volume of liquid added.

Again, remember to measure from the bottom of the meniscus!

Attaching a buret to a ring stand
Attaching a buret to a ring stand

Ring Stands, Rings, and Clamps

Ring stands with rings attached
Ring stands with rings attached

The ring stand is used to suspend burets, beakers, flasks, crucibles, etc. above other containers or, in some cases, a heat source (such as a Bunsen burner, discussed below).

Always make sure everything is clamped to the stand tightly. When clamping glass, be careful not to shatter the glass. Only tighten until snug.

When using a ring on the stand, there are usually other pieces necessary to accomplish the goal. Wire mesh is laid across the ring to distribute evenly heat and support the beaker. A clay triangle with an open center is used to suspend crucibles.

Make sure everything is balanced! Do not let the whole setup tip over.

Two tongs above and a pair of forceps below
Two tongs above and a pair of forceps below

Tongs and forceps are for grabbing things that should not be touched by hand. Some tongs are specially made to hold beakers, others to hold test tubes, and so on. There are also general tongs.

Forceps are used to grab small things like solid chemicals that are broken into chunks, so they can be safely handled and added to containers.

Three scoopulas on the left and a number of spatulas to the right.
Three scoopulas on the left and a number of spatulas to the right.

Spatulas and scoopulas are for scooping solid chemicals. They are typically used to scoop a chemical out of its original container onto a weigh boat so that it can be weighed on a balance.

Thermometers
Thermometers

A laboratory thermometer is used for measuring the temperature of liquids. It can be made of glass or it can be a thermocouple made of different metals.

An unlit bunsen burner connected to a gas source
An unlit bunsen burner connected to a gas source

A Bunsen burner is a mechanical apparatus that is connected to a flammable gas source. There is a knob to adjust the amount of gas flow and a rotating collar that controls airflow. These both must be adjusted to get an ideal flame for heating purposes. The burner is lit with a striker.

Utmost safety is required when using a Bunsen burner.

Balances
Balances

A balance is used to weigh chemicals. The chemicals are always in some form of container and never placed directly on the balance. It is important not to move a balance because they have been calibrated for the exact position they are in. Some balances have plastic housing with small doors to keep air currents from affecting the measurement. Close these doors whenever the balance is in use.

To use a balance to determine the weight of a chemical, first put the empty container that the chemical will be in on the balance. Once you have a reading, press the "tare" or "zero" button on the balance. Remove the container from the balance and add the chemical (never add chemicals to a container while it is on the balance). Reweigh after adding the chemical to find the weight of only the chemical.

It is important to keep the balance clean.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Boi 

      4 hours ago

      Salamat po sainyong natutulungan ako sa mga assignment ko sa iskuwela haaaa na aking ipapasa ngayung lingo

    • profile image

      Azoresecret 

      5 hours ago

      Thank you it really helps a lot....

    • profile image

      ScienceSon909 

      9 hours ago

      gracias amigo

    • profile image

      FloresDan 

      32 hours ago

      Thank you, you really helped me on our science assignment.

    • profile image

      panda223 

      32 hours ago

      nice ya ..

    • profile image

      becky 

      2 days ago

      I love this

    • profile image

      Exodus 

      2 days ago

      Salamat

    • profile image

      hannah 

      3 days ago

      i love you

    • profile image

      Fortune-Chan 

      3 days ago

      Thx this really helped me on my Assignment

    • profile image

      Godfredo Tul-o Jr. 

      4 days ago

      What is thethe meaning of cork or stopper

    • profile image

      amber lao 

      4 days ago

      i love this

    • profile image

      jhasmin faderagao 

      4 days ago

      Its useful

    • profile image

      jasmine catalan 

      4 days ago

      thanks po

    • profile image

      MhizB 

      4 days ago

      Wow I so much love this.

    • profile image

      Egbare 

      5 days ago

      Well I just want to thank you guys for the site now I have done my assignment

    • profile image

      Dang tdm 

      6 days ago

      THX REALLY(x75) helpful

    • profile image

      Waimon 

      6 days ago

      Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      Itz chesco 

      6 days ago

      Thanks it has been a great help

    • profile image

      Layla 

      8 days ago

      Thank you for this now my assignment is answerd

    • profile image

      James 

      8 days ago

      Thanks it really helped me a lot!

    • profile image

      james westimmer 

      10 days ago

      thanx better than what i was looking for

    • profile image

      Tnx for helping now I got my project now 

      12 days ago

      It is very helpful

    • profile image

      xandra 

      12 days ago

      thank you for everything....

    • profile image

      sylmer 

      12 days ago

      tahnkyou for imformation

    • profile image

      Tata 

      12 days ago

      Thakn you for this

    • profile image

      Jm 

      13 days ago

      Thank u po

    • profile image

      alexa 

      2 weeks ago

      thankyahhh

    • profile image

      reign jasmine 

      2 weeks ago

      thank you so much

    • profile image

      Chandan Das 

      2 weeks ago

      Really helpful.

    • profile image

      Jennylyn 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you so much,so heplfull

    • profile image

      Wala 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks by reonjiru

    • profile image

      DXAzura 

      2 weeks ago

      Its really helpful

    • profile image

      Kris Lee Carrillo 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      bashiir maal 

      2 weeks ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      Drishti 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks it really help me a lot

    • profile image

      Rence 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi Guys who can help me To translate it

    • profile image

      francine apostol 

      2 weeks ago

      thank you it really help me..

    • profile image

      Kimberly cruz 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks its really help me

    • profile image

      Raelebz 

      2 weeks ago

      It helped me in my assignment in chemistry class! Thanks!

    • profile image

      lance.andrey 

      2 weeks ago

      thank you very much.. its very needed for me

    • profile image

      ndichu 

      2 weeks ago

      thanks for your explanations

    • profile image

      Wrapper 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you from sepung ilog

    • profile image

      Zainu lawal 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Lukas 

      2 weeks ago

      thanks it helped to my assignment

    • profile image

      poof_ 

      3 weeks ago

      ty for the help

      Student from CDSL!

    • profile image

      Alex 

      3 weeks ago

      About laboratory tools reply asap

    • profile image

      Ganda ko 

      3 weeks ago

      Thank you for the information!!!✌✌✌

    • profile image

      ace 

      3 weeks ago

      what is the difference between laboratory equipment and laboratory instrument my teacher gave an assingnment about this

    • profile image

      nicko olandria 

      3 weeks ago

      thank you from uc-lm.

    • profile image

      Ayan Bhaumik 

      3 weeks ago

      It help me lot for preparing my exam

      In my school.

      Thank You OWLCATION.

    • profile image

      M h hafsa 

      3 weeks ago

      Very useful for studying

    • profile image

      M h hafsa 

      3 weeks ago

      It was very useful . It helped me a lot in my work . Thanks a lot

    • profile image

      future doktora 

      3 weeks ago

      thank you from NDMU

    • profile image

      rycenthony 

      3 weeks ago

      thanks... student from UDM

    • profile image

      Ysa 

      3 weeks ago

      thank you very much po...

    • profile image

      adan syed 

      3 weeks ago

      it helped me a lot in preparation of my exams

    • profile image

      Jan Charlize 

      3 weeks ago

      thanks for helping us students on our assignment

    • profile image

      Mikky 

      3 weeks ago

      Thanksss it is verry help full

      Now I can do my homework

    • profile image

      Marielle B 

      3 weeks ago

      My teacher actually said that the watch glass was an evaporating dish,LOL! Time to correct my teacher

    • profile image

      Shreya 

      3 weeks ago

      Thanks a lot. It is very helpful to me

    • profile image

      Shamaiah 

      3 weeks ago

      This is amazing I learn the Science Laboratory Apparatus and thier uses

    • profile image

      Levy Pardo 

      4 weeks ago

      It has lessons that are assessible

    • profile image

      Rolito Salazar 

      4 weeks ago

      I also learned from this equipment and trained me a lot in experimitation such things need to

    • profile image

      Ankush 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks you

    • profile image

      Amit kumar narayan 

      4 weeks ago

      It was very important for me and thanks for them

    • profile image

      Heinrich 

      4 weeks ago

      this has been very helpful for those are studying chemistry anf for those who are curious about this topic

    • profile image

      Gisselle 

      4 weeks ago

      thanks helps a lot

    • profile image

      fracis 

      4 weeks ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      Anjali 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      vaxhibi 

      5 weeks ago

      amazing

    • profile image

      love 

      5 weeks ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      unknown 

      5 weeks ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      ,studentfromCHS  

      5 weeks ago

      It's really helpful for us students

    • profile image

      Alia 

      5 weeks ago

      The items are correct and their correspondent meanings and uses

      I would have like to see the items clearly....

      But overall this article is helpful

    • profile image

      yolo 

      5 weeks ago

      This is very helpful for a student and teacher thanks for this

    • profile image

      :) 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks for help

    • profile image

      GALAXY 

      5 weeks ago

      HelpFUL

    • profile image

      Nerd 

      5 weeks ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      anna 

      5 weeks ago

      amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!

      really helpful.

    • profile image

      AwM 

      5 weeks ago

      Very helpful to my project work.

    • profile image

      Mr.handsome 

      5 weeks ago

      It's amazing thank you

    • profile image

      Kudirat 

      6 weeks ago

      Thanks, This Is Really Helpful.

    • profile image

      Puskar 

      6 weeks ago

      It is nice

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      6 weeks ago

      Good work well keep it up

    • profile image

      Hina 

      6 weeks ago

      Wow.Its amazing

    • profile image

      Jelly singh 

      6 weeks ago

      Good

      Keep

      it

      up

      I am professor of

      Girls'high school

    • profile image

      Anushka 

      6 weeks ago

      It is very helpful for my chem project.

      So,very much thanks

    • profile image

      Barakat V Alhinai 

      7 weeks ago

      this was so useless i hope you rot in hell :)

    • profile image

      Lukman Umar Ahmad 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you so much

    • profile image

      Shivani 

      7 weeks ago

      Nice.

    • profile image

      sani muhammad abubakar 

      7 weeks ago

      I LIKE THIS THING

    • profile image

      Elizabeth 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks, it really helped

    • profile image

      aliya 

      7 weeks ago

      Thanks it was very useful to my science project

    • profile image

      Sneha 

      8 weeks ago

      Thanks it was very useful to my chemistry

    • profile image

      neha kakkar 

      8 weeks ago

      need more definitions

    • profile image

      MUSA USMAN HARUNA 

      8 weeks ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      pooja 

      2 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Albarka joe 

      2 months ago

      Am happy 4 Dis exposure

    • profile image

      Sonali 

      2 months ago

      Thanks it was very useful for my chemistry project thanks

    • profile image

      tanveerhussalvi 

      2 months ago

      excellent collection! really appreciated you may also check for http://guidancecorner.com/laboratory-apparatus/

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)