Comparing steam autoclaves between manufacturers can be maddening. You think you have a strong contender, then you look at just one more website and suddenly realize there are massive differences in warranties, or a standard option on one isn’t even available on others. What’s really important in the long run?
Compare Autoclaves between Manufacturers with These Questions
These are the nine questions you’ll want answers to about each steam autoclave you are considering:
- Is it available in the orientation you need? For example, top loading, front loading, or pass-through.
- Is it available in the size you need? For example, 40L, 150L, 320L, etc.
- Will it process all the types of loads you require? For example, glassware, instruments, waste, media, or all of the above.
- What does it cost to service service the unit, what is the typical service response time, and how hard is it to maintain the unit (and thus prevent problems)?
- What is the availability of spare parts?
- What does technical support cost and what is the availability of that support?
- How much energy/water does this autoclave typically use in a year?
- What is the warranty? What does that cover?
- What quality and safety standards does the manufacturer guarantee?
Know Your Lab Needs Before You Shop for an Autoclave
Any manufacturer who makes one autoclave makes at least a dozen in different configurations. The tricky bit isn’t finding any old 150L autoclave so much as narrowing down the choices to the unit that best fits what your lab needs–and not getting caught up in the manufacturer’s excitement about their newest gee-whiz! innovation. (PRO-TIP: An “innovation” is just a feature that hasn’t been road-tested. Always ask: Do I need this feature? If not, why am I paying to have it installed and what happens if it goes kablooey?)