There is a big market for pipettes in the biological research community as they are as important as water for research in the biological sciences. Searching for a reliable pipette which maintains accuracy and precision over the long term is the need of every researcher. In my research I have used pipettes from Gilson, Erba Biohit, Finnpipette, Tripette, etc and I have found Erba Biohit to be one of the most convenient pipettes; these pipettes work on the air displacement principle. The Erba Biohit pipettes have an ergonomic design with relatively easy maintenance; they have a small number of parts and volume is set by a click-stop. Gilson pipettes are a little heavier and during exhaustive use, there is strain on the hands, which may not be good in the long term. Tripette and Finnpipette are also lightweight and user friendly. As compared to Tripette, which has a side push button, I prefer pushing from the top as in the Gilson, Erba Biohit and Finnpipette models.
With regards to reliability, Gilson seems to be incomparable for me as they are the oldest pipettes in the lab, more than 8 years old. Nevertheless, for all long experiments and high-throughput work, I always choose Erba Biohit pipettes. It is easy to use and there is no chance of accidentally changing the volume during operation because of the click-stop facility. The ejector is one of the best ejectors I have experienced; it removes the tip very nicely. The 5 ml pipette contains an ejector (unlike the Gilson 5 ml pipette which does not have ejector). This becomes important when working with RNA and relatively sensitive experiments where you do not want to touch the tips with your hands.
Erba Biohit pipettes cover the entire range of volumes that are required for any research lab: 0.5-10 ul, 2-20 ul, 5-50 ul, 10-100 ul, 20-200 ul, 50-200 ul, 100-1000 ul, 1000-5000 ul. Biohit company, and not Erba Biohit, has the widest range of pipettes in the market, including single channel, multichannel and electronic pipettes. However, I have used only the single channel Erba Biohit pipettes.
One of the disadvantages with the 5 ml pipettes is the incompatibility of 5 ml tips among Gilson, Finnpipette and Erba Biohit. Now this has created a problem as one needs to buy the tips from different vendors for each of the 3 different pipettes; this is not the case with the pipettes for smaller volumes. An adaptor for that would allow the same pipette tips to be used with the 5 ml pipette would prove useful.
My research encompasses the investigation of cancer progression using both in vitro and in vivo models. My lab is in the quest of molecular markers that can predict the onset of this disease. We are performing biochemical experiments starting from 1D to 2D electrophoresis, Western blotting, immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR, transfections, drug testing. etc and for these experiments, a reliable pipette is a must. Accurate estimation of proteins and RNA is required in order to demonstrate alteration in levels of a biomolecule. Erba Biohit pipettes have proven convenient and accurate in all respects. I recommend these pipettes to any researcher, for their convenience and good performance.
One of the disadvantages is the inability to autoclave the pipette and its less robust as compared to Gilson pipettes (e.g. if Gilson falls from a table of 75 cm height, there is less chance of it breaking than pipettes from Erba Biohit). However, they are the cheapest and most reliable pipettes my lab has ever used.