Equipment Leasing Solutions
General Lab Equipment
Lab Shakers

How Lab Shakers Work & How We Save You Time & Money

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Lab shaker with glassware shaking

Laboratory shakers are a critical piece of equipment found in almost every lab designed to agitate, mix, or blend samples and solutions in test tubes, Erlenmeyer flasks, beakers, and other various glassware.

General lab equipment

Shaker devices are also referred to as rockers, rotators, vortexers, or vortex mixers. However, they differ somewhat from mixers. Rather than mix, shakers apply different styles of motion, such as rotating, rocking, reciprocating, and orbiting to homogenize ingredients and achieve results.

Shakers are an ideal device for many fields of study and development, including chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, clinical diagnostics, and cell culture and analysis. They are designed to deliver quality performance and accuracy, provide reliable sample preparation of liquids and suspensions, and ensure reproducible results.

These machines have been a necessary part of experimentation, cell growth, and sample preparation for as long as scientists have understood the impact of motion on a substance. While choosing the right shaker can be a daunting task, there are a number of ways to help narrow the field. Without the proper instrumentation, your laboratory’s research can suffer.

Shaker Types, Applications, & Price

A hand with an extended index finger balancing a nut and bolt

Each type of shaker has different capabilities and configurations, and comes in a range of sizes, including benchtop, stackable, and floor models.

It is important to consider what experiments you wish to perform and which style of motion those experiments require.

Some other factors to consider include speed range, accuracy, temperature, and load capacity of the vessel used. A few of the many lab shaker styles include:


Benchtop orbital shakers move at varying speeds in a circular orbit, making them ideal for tasks like bacterial cell growth, studies of dissolution, washing blots, and staining electrophoresis gels. Their design allows for minimal vibration on benchtops, and generates less heat than other types of motion.

Digital orbital shakers have many applications in the field of molecular biology, but are also suitable for simple preparations like washing blots and general mixing.


Reciprocal shakers produce two different types of motion: side-to-side or back-and-forth. They are most commonly used for mixing samples inside of Erlenmeyer flasks, separation funnels, and other glassware for many different applications. The level of mixing can range from gentle to intense. nnThese shakers can be used for many different applications: gentle swirling, intense mixing or homogenizing, and even dry sieving or sifting.

There are various types of reciprocal shakers available, which are used to achieve different results. Some of the models include linear reciprocal shakers, rocker arm shakers, long stroke reciprocal shakers, and short stroke reciprocal shakers. nnDepending on the model and manufacturer, you’ll have a number of configuration options available, including volume capacity, speed, temperature control, and more.


An incubator shaker, as the name implies, is a mix between two devices. This device will incubate a sample while simultaneously shaking it. Much like an orbital shaker, the shaking incubator can employ orbital motion to a sample while also promoting cell growth and cell aeration through temperature control and motion.

Shakers that are capable of controlling environmental factors are often referred to as refrigerated incubator shakers, and have a range of 20°C below ambient temperature to around 80°C above ambient temperature.

The shaking motion provided by refrigerated incubator shakers introduces oxygen and nutrients evenly around the culture, and the temperature control prevents any fluctuations that may damage the sample. They are ideal for the growth of cells in tissue cultures and bacterial cultures.


A platform shaker can be considered a type of catchall term for laboratory shakers, because they are capable of different styles of agitating that include orbital, rocking, and rotating.

Equipped with a table board that moves horizontally, these shakers are quite versatile, since they can easily be moved around the laboratory. This allows you to treat the shaker like an open-air shaker or an incubator shaker.

The speed control, load capacity, and size of the platform of the shaker varies, as does the shape and texture. The style of agitation can also change from model to model, so it is important to know exactly what your requirements are. Platform shakers are the most common type of shaker.


The vortex shaker was the invention of the Kraft brothers, while working for Scientific Industries. Also known as a vortex mixer or vortexer, it works by oscillating a sample in a circular motion, creating a turbulent flow much like a vortex. This works similar to magnetic stirrers, but without the aid of a stirring rod, and at much faster speeds.

In order to mix reagents used in an assay or diluents in an experimental sample, high speeds are required. The use of high-speed mixing can also suspend cells. However, it is different from a centrifuge.

On a vortex mixer, the liquid is swirling inside a test tube, while in a centrifuge, the test tubes containing the liquid are held in a fixed position inside of the centrifuge’s rotor, and the rotor spins inside of the device, producing centrifugal force perpendicular to fixed axis of spin.

Shaker Leases to Fit Every Lab’s Need

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Founder-Friendly Leases

Our lease agreements are founder-friendly and flexible, helping you preserve working capital, strengthen the cash flow of your business, and keep business credit lines open for expansions, staffing, and other crucial operational expenses and business development opportunities.

2-5 Year Lease Lengths

Leases range from 2 to 5 years. Length will depend on several factors, including how long you want to use the equipment, equipment type, and your company’s financial position. These are standard factors leasing companies consider and help us tailor a lease agreement to fit your needs.

Your Choice of Manufacturer

We don’t carry an inventory. This means you’re not limited to a specific set of manufacturers. Instead, you can pick the equipment that aligns with your business goals and preferences. We’ll work with the manufacturer of your choice to get the equipment in your facility as quickly as possible.

Maintenance & Repair Coverage

Bundle preventive maintenance and repair coverage with your lease agreement. You can spread those payments over time. Easily maintain your equipment, minimize the chances something will break down, repair instrumentation quickly, and simplify your payment processes.

End-of-Lease Options

At the end of your lease, you have multiple options. You can either renew the lease at a significantly lower price, purchase the machine outright based on the fair market value of the original pricing, or call it a day and we’ll come the pick up the equipment for you free of charge.

No Loan-Like Terms

Our leases do not include loan-like terms, which can be restrictive or harmful in certain situations. We do not require debt covenants, IP pledges, collateral,  or equity participation. Our goal is to maximize your flexibility. When you lease with us, you’re collaborating with a true business partner.

In-House Underwriting Process

Our underwriting is done in-house. You can expect quicker turnaround, allowing you respond to your equipment needs as they arise. We require less documentation than traditional lenders and financiers and can get the equipment you need in operation more quickly.