Image of pH card and instruments for article on lab pH meters.
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Published On: April 4th, 2023Categories: Articles, pH Meter
The pH meter for your lab is one of your most important pieces of equipment. What does a pH meter measure? The function of a pH meter is to measure the alkalinity and acidity of laboratory samples. Like with any equipment, not all pH meters are created equally, and some are better suited for different applications. For example, the pH meter probe (electrode) is one of the most important factors to consider. When measuring solid samples, such as food, an electrode with stainless-steel blades is more efficient as compared to others.

As you begin to choose a pH meter, there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the one that best fits your needs. Read on to learn more about questions to ask before purchasing a pH meter for your lab, different types of pH meters such as benchtop pH meters, and how to use a pH meter.

pH Meter Features to Consider

There are certain features and parameters to consider when purchasing a pH meter for your lab. Things you want to think about include:

  • Calibration. Calibrating your pH meter regularly is extremely important to the accuracy of your readings. Better meters have a 2-point calibration system. There are 3- and 5-point calibration systems available, but those are unnecessary unless you must measure a wide range of pH.
  • Portability. Not all pH meter readings occur in the lab; sometimes, they can occur in the field. A handheld pH meter may be a better choice for you if you intend to spend a lot of time in the field with the pH meter. For reading in the lab, consider a benchtop.
  • Accuracy. Having accurate results is always a necessity in any laboratory. The accuracy of meters generally ranges from ±0.1 pH to ±0.001 pH, so this is something to consider when looking for a pH meter for your lab.
  • Electrode. The electrode in your pH meter is one of your most important considerations. Your electrode measures the concentration of hydrogen ions, and it is immersed in fluid. Many pH meters are equipped with glass bulb electrodes, which are forbidden in some applications, such as food. Electrodes need occasional replacement, so consider this when choosing what type of meter.
  • Temperature. Advanced meters will have temperature compensation as part of their features, however, not all pH meters have this. Because the pH meter and the samples must be the same temperature, this is an important attribute. However, lower-cost pH meters will just require more frequent calibration.

In addition to attributes of the pH meter for your lab, there are also questions to ask yourself as you’re shopping for one.

Questions to Ask About a pH Meter for Your Lab

Based on the features you’re thinking about above, you want to ensure you have a pH meter that works well for your accuracy needs and an electrode compatible with your applications. Beyond that, when buying a pH meter for your lab, there are some more questions to ask. First, how easy is it to calibrate the meter? You’ll often need to perform calibration, and you might want to select a pH meter that’s more intuitive to calibrate (such as an electronic one).

Also, you want to make sure the pH meter screen is easy to read. As several different technicians may be handling the instrument, it should be simple for everyone to understand. In that same vein, you also want to ensure the pH meter for your lab is easily connected to your LIMS or other laboratory management software.

Need help to choose the correct pH meter? Contact Hudson Robotics for superior support and service from technical specialists to help your lab choose the right pH meter for your lab.