Choosing the Right Conical Flask for Your Experiments in 2024

Choosing the Right Conical Flask for Your Experiments in 2024


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 11 Jul,2024

Having the right conical flask for your experiments is essential to ensure precision, safety, and efficiency in your lab work.

Here is a detailed guide to help you make the right choice by 2024:



  1. Borosilicate Glass: It is durable against sudden heat change (thermal shock), corrosive substances’ impact and mechanical stress making it ideal for various laboratory applications.
  2. Soda-Lime Glass: It is less expensive but not highly resistant to heat or chemicals required in many experiments.


  1. Polypropylene: It can withstand most chemicals and autoclave thus best suited for biological and chemical storage purposes.
  2. Polycarbonate: Is strong and clear but not as resistant to chemicals like others. This makes it suitable for general laboratory use.
  3. Polyethylene: Cheaper but not very durable so mostly used for temporary storage of materials.

Size and Volume

Pick a flask size that will accommodate a liquid volume you are working with leaving some space for either mixing or reactions.

Some common sizes include:

  1. 50 mL – small scale reactions or sample storage
  2. 100 mL – moderate reactions or preparation
  3. 250 mL – commonly used size in different applications
  4. 500 mL-1 L – larger scale reactions or when more liquid should be kept
  5. 2L -5 L –large-scale reactions, storage or handling large volumes of liquids.

Neck & Stopper

Narrow Neck

  1. Benefits: Less evaporation; fewer chances of contamination.
  2. Uses: Suitable where you need to mix by swirling around e.g., while conducting some reaction processes.

Wide Neck

  1. Advantages: Easier addition/removal of substances
  2. Uses: These can be useful during numerous access processes, as well as introducing bulkier solid reagents into systems requiring such option,

Also read:

The Ultimate Guide to Conical Flasks: Everything You Need to Know

Erlenmeyer Flask vs. Beaker: Understanding Their Differences

What does “Erlenmeyer flask” mean in chemistry?

A Comprehensive Guide to Essential Lab Equipment Names and uses 

Type of Stopper

  1. Rubber/Glass Stoppers: Airtight seal, common for glass flasks.
  2. Plastic Screw Caps: Convenient and reliable, often used in plastic flasks.

Graduations and Markings

Graduated Flasks

  1. Pros: Allow to measure approximate volume of a liquid directly inside the flask.
  2. Uses: Best suited for experiments that do not require high accuracy.

Non-Graduated Flasks

  1. Pros: Cheaper, used when exact measurements aren’t required
  2. Uses: Used for storing or mixing without needing any volume accuracy.

Specialized Flasks

Filtering Flasks

  1. Features: Have thick walls with side arm which are designed for vacuum filtration
  2. Uses: Necessary for vacuum filtration applications

Media Bottles

  1. Features: Designed specifically for preparation, storage and sterilization of culture media
  2. Uses: They are commonly used in microbiology and cell culture

Erlenmeyer Flasks with Baffles

  1. Features: Flask has projections within it to enhance mixing.
  2. Uses: Suitable for cell culture and fermentation where there is need of oxygenation plus mixing is vital.

Safety Considerations

Chemical Compatibility

Make sure that the material of your flask does not react or degrade with the chemicals you will be using.

Thermal Resistance

Avoid breakage due to thermal shock by using borosilicate glass in high temperature processes.

Pressure Resistance

Use flasks specially designed to withstand pressure differences while using them under vacuum conditions.

Brand & Quality

Choose well-known brands associated with quality and long-lasting goods when purchasing flasks from stores. Some examples include:

  1. Pyrex
  2. Corning
  3. Nalgene
  4. Duran
  5. Glassco

Cost & Availability

Although top-quality flasks may cost more than others, they tend to last longer hence are more reliable. Consequently, bear in mind your budget without neglecting indispensable features as well as safety precautions involved.

If we look at these factors, we can choose right conical flask that suits our experiment needs resulting into best performance and safety in laboratory works

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