Common Chemistry Lab Equipment

Core Concepts

In chemistry, certain pieces of lab equipment have become common to ensure the safety and accuracy of laboratory operations. In this article, we look at the most common equipment, its purpose, and its use.

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Usually in any chemistry lab, high school to college, we come across various types of lab equipment and apparatuses. Most chemical and biological labs consist of these pieces of equipment. It is important as a student to familiarize yourself with these pieces of equipment and their uses. By familiarizing yourself with the different lab equipment that you have access too can help ensure that lab days run smoothly and safely. In this article, some lab equipment is introduced which helps perform various experiments, and the safety equipment required.

While we try to see and understand the basic lab equipment in virtually any lab setting and their uses and applications, its important to first learn about the safety equipment that every student must utilize before their experiment even begins. In any lab setting, follow safety protocols very strictly or one mistake can lead to unwanted injuries.

Safety Equipment

Safety Goggles

  • Before any experiment a student must always wear safety goggles in a chemistry lab. Safety goggles protect a scientists eyes from irritation from any possible chemical fumes that may arise. They will also protect the eyes from any possible splashing of dangerous chemicals or acids. Safety goggles are one of the most important pieces of laboratory equipment. Without these no chemical experiment should be performed. There are various styles and types of lab goggles as well! In some cases, lab glasses are also an appropriate alternative. Lab glasses however will not protect your eyes as well to chemical splashes.
lab goggles

lab goggles

Lab Apron

  • The next important piece of lab equipment is the lab apron. The lab apron and the safety goggles share a similar role. Just like the safety goggles prevented harm to the eyes in the event of a spill or splash, the lab apron prevents harm to your clothes or body in the event of a chemical spill. Lab aprons are a necessary piece of lab equipment in any laboratory setting. A lab coat is slightly different than a lab apron, normally in the material is is made from. A lab coat can be worn for less dangerous chemicals than a lab apron would be worn for.


  • The next important piece of safety laboratory equipment are latex gloves. While these are not always a necessity they are always an option. Always weare gloves when dealing with strong acids or dangerous chemicals. For some people with painted finger nails, gloves will always be used in lab, as some chemicals will unintentionally remove nail polish and nail glues.

Fume Hood

  • A fume hood or chemical hood is another very important piece of safety equipment. The hood provides a safe placec to perform reactions where fumes are sucked away to protect the user from breathing them in.
  • The hood also acts as a protective barrier. There are front sashes that will keep an explosion confined.
Fume hood
Fume hood

Lab Equipment

Crucible and Tongs

  • The next important piece of lab equipment is the crucible. The crucible is made of a porcelain material and is used to store and heat things at high temperatures. Crucibles withstand higher tempertures than normal glassware.
crucible and tongs
  • Pictured above are two pieces of lab equipment that normally are used together, the crucible and tongs. Tongs pick up larger pieces of equipment. They are most often used when equipment is too hot to touch or otherwise dangerous.


  • Similar to the tongs are the forceps. The forceps pick up small things like solid chemicals broken up into chunks or other delicate materials.
forceps lab equipment


  • Next is the spatula. These laboratory spatulas are quite similar to kitchen spatulas found in your home, the only difference is these spatulas are just a bit smaller in a size comparison. The spatulas are very resistant to heat and acids, this makes them quite useful in a lab setting for stirring and scooping.


  • Usually every lab will have a basic thermometer. Most biological or chemical lab experiments occur in a controlled temperature environment to work properly. This makes thermometers very useful in any scientists equipment arsenal.
thermometer lab equipment

Bunsen Burner

  • The most common piece of lab equipment in any lab setting is probably the bunsen burner. The bunsen burner produces an open flame. This equipment heats an apparatus or sterilizes other pieces of contaminated equipment.
bunsen burner lab equipment

Filter Paper

  • Finally the last piece of commonly used lab equipment are filter papers and litmus paper. Filter paper filters out unwanted substances. The filtration occurs as solution is poured over the filter paper. Litmus papers identify the pH of any solution by changing colors.
filter paper lab equipment

Lab Bench

  • The lab bench is one area where experiments can be performed when they do not need special ventilation. The benchtop is chemical and heat resistant.
Chemically resistant lab bench
Lab Bench with Chemical Storage
  • Often times benches will include outlets to plug in equipment and storage space for chemicals.


  • A micropipette dispenses liquids at very precise and accurate volumes. Usually the volumes range from 1 -1000 microliters (thats 0.001 – 1.00 mL). These are very important for accurate measurements of small volumes.
Scientist using a micropipette
Scientist using a micropipette to measure solutions
  • The tips on the micropipette are disposable so that solutions are not cross contaminated. The instruments itself can be used for many years when properly calibrated yearly.
Box of micropipette tips
Box of micropipette tips