Laboratory Equipment: A Basic List and Their Uses

In chemistry, there is an abundance of laboratory equipment, all of which are used for slightly different jobs.

But what equipment do you actually need? If you’re planning a basic laboratory setup, or something a little more complex, then there are a few things you should definitely check off your list.

This blog post will highlight those items, from safety goggles to crucibles, here’s our list of basic laboratory equipment and their uses.

A list of basic laboratory equipment used in chemistry

As previously mentioned, there are a few fundamental pieces of laboratory equipment used in chemistry that you should invest in, including:

  • Safety goggles, apron, and other safety gear
  • Beakers and test tubes
  • Test tube racks
  • Pipettes
  • Bunsen burners
  • Thermometer 
  • Crucibles
  • Funnels
  • Tongs
  • Spatulas 
  • Boiling flasks

We will now explain a little about each below, helping you understand their uses.

Safety goggles, apron, and other safety gear

It goes without saying why you need basic safety gear. However, acquiring safety goggles, an apron, and other relevant equipment is essential before conducting any experiments.

Remember: safety first. Always.

Beakers and test tubes

In chemistry, beakers are useful reaction containers. They can also be used to hold liquids or other samples.

Test tubes perform a similar purpose – mainly used to hold and transport liquids and other chemicals.

Test tube racks are a fundamental piece of laboratory equipment

Once you’ve got your test tubes, you’re going to need somewhere to hold the containers safely – this is where a rack comes in handy.

As test tubes can sometimes become hot due to various chemical reactions involving heat, you’ll also need a pair of tongs to safely move the test tubes.


Pipettes allow you to transport small volumes of liquid to different containers, test tubes, and other instruments.

Bunsen burners

A bunsen burner (a type of gas burner), is a device used for heating, sterilizing, and even a process known as combustion. 

You’ll also need a bunsen burner stand and tripod, allowing you to safely heat up liquids and other chemicals.

It’s an essential piece of kit used in all laboratories – you’ll struggle without one.


Another essential piece of laboratory equipment, the thermometer, allows you to measure the temperature of chemicals, liquids, and other solutions.


While it may sound somewhat medieval, crucibles are used for melting or testing metals. This small piece of laboratory equipment comes in handy for those high-temperature chemical reactions.

Usually, crucibles also come with a small lid, allowing gases to escape during the heating process.


You might have used funnels in the kitchen before. However, in science, laboratory funnels are used to channel liquids or other chemicals into a narrow opening.

Funnels are used to safely transport liquids and chemicals with less risk of spillage.

You could even consider funnels an essential piece of kit when it comes to safety.


Tongs are used for transporting and lifting objects, including test tubes, without having to use your hands directly.

As you can probably imagine, this is much safer. 

It should be noted, however, that there are different size tongs available – you’ll likely need a few different sizes.


Another piece of kit used for transporting things; this time, spatulas are used for moving dry chemicals and other compounds. 

Boiling flasks

Boiling flasks are used for heating solutions, mainly for a process known as distillation. This flask is shaped with a round bottom and a spherical body with a smaller neck.

Do you need all the laboratory equipment included on this list?

If you’re only doing a small experiment, then you won’t need all the equipment listed in this blog post.

On the other hand, if you’re planning multiple experiments or a long-term setup, then investing in basic laboratory equipment is a great investment.

Typically, if you purchase in bulk from a supplier, you’ll also receive a discount, allowing you to save money in the long run.

To conclude

As you can see, there are many pieces of laboratory equipment used in chemistry.

If you’re looking to set up a basic laboratory for experiments, or perhaps something a little more complex for work, then it’s important to invest in the essentials.

We recommend purchasing basic science lab equipment first and then buying as you go for remaining utensils, tools, and other equipment.