Basic lab equipment list

Updated March 23, 2017

A basic laboratory is a good place to teach kids about chemistry and other scientific principles, either at home or in the classroom. To set up your own science lab, you will need a few basic materials and equipment. Once you have them, you'll be able to conduct your own experiments.


A pipette allows you to transport exact measurements of liquids. You will need a volumetric pipette, which has one graduation meant to carry an exact volume, or a Mohr pipette, which has graduations for a number of volumes. You should also get a pipette filler, which is used to put liquids into a pipette.

Flasks and Beakers

A lab isn't complete without a proper selection of flasks and beakers. You should get an Erlenmeyer flask, which is used to contain chemical reactions and solutions, and a Volumetric flask, which will help you create solutions, according to the Tempe Union High School District. The Florance flask has a rounded bottom for boiling liquids. Beakers are necessary and you can use them for many tasks, although they will not provide exact measurements. A graduated cylinder is helpful for measuring the volume of liquid. A selection of smaller test tubes could come in handy, and you should get a test tube support rack and a test tube brush for cleaning.


Labs use a variety of dishes. An evaporating dish, for example, recovers dissolved solids after evaporation. You can also use a watch glass in a similar fashion for small amounts of liquid. A mortar and pestle are helpful for grinding up solids into powders. Use a dessicator to provide a dry environment after heating up a substance in a crucible.

Other Materials and Equipment

Your lab will require other equipment, such as a ring stand and wire gauze to support glassware above a table, a utility clamp to hold test tubes or flasks, crucibles for heating materials and crucible tongs to handle the crucible. Use a filter funnel to filter solids from liquids, a wash bottle for rinsing solids out of a container, chemical spoons to transfer solids to a scale and hose clamps to close up hoses. You will also need a scoopula, a utensil for transferring solids.

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About the Author

Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Dan Taylor has been a professional journalist since 2004. He has been published in the "Baltimore Sun" and "The Washington Times." He started as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia and now writes for "Inside the Navy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in government with a journalism track from Patrick Henry College.