The Different Types of Droppers, Explained

The Different Types of Droppers, Explained

The Different Types of Droppers, Explained

Droppers are much more than a medical tool and, in fact, are useful in a variety of activities. Additionally, they're not as simple as they seem. At first glance, you might think they're just a tube with some rubber on top.

In actuality, droppers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types of material. Also known as pipettes, you'll usually find them as an ideal tool for dispensing small amounts of oils and other liquids.

What causes the variety? It boils down to the variety of uses. Some materials and shapes work better when handling certain chemicals, where others might dissolve or break. Keep reading if you're interested in exploring the different types of droppers, and also look at the different options of Pipettors that are available for purchase for a variety of uses and applications.


Droppers are built for transporting a specific volume of liquid. However, depending on the purpose, you have to pick the right one. The best place to start before making a decision is to choose a material. The most common are those made of glass or plastic.

It's worth noting that a large majority of droppers have a rubber or phenolic cap, or bulb, regardless of the material used for the lower section. 


Glass droppers were the first to appear. They were used, almost exclusively, in laboratories. At the time, the material was fantastic because it was easy to add on measurement indicators and sterilize. They came in volumetric pipette and Mohr pipette forms.


Plastic droppers came at a later date, as there were some difficulties in finding the right sterilization process for a less durable material. Additionally, some chemicals were incompatible with the material, limiting its use in labs.

Pipettes: The Five Grades

Pipettes come in five different grades. Each is adjusted for specific uses, providing certain details, and precise measurements. They include disposable, single-channel, multi-channel, repeat pipette dispensers, and graduated or serological grades. Here's a quick look at the first three examples.


These are the simplest option. They're discarded after one use. Disposable pipettes are also limited in variety, serving fewer purposes and are less versatile than the other grades. 


This grade of pipette is non-disposable and allows two techniques. These are reverse and forward, allowing the user to work with both viscous and non-viscous liquids.


This non-disposable grade allows suction on more than one tip at a time. This allows more variety and easier manipulation of multiple liquids at a time for the user.

Bottle Cap Droppers

Not to be confused with the typical droppers, bottle cap droppers rest at the top of various liquid containers. They serve the same purpose, though. That is, providing a simple way to measure the volume of liquids leaving the container. They come in horizontal and vertical form.

Horizontal Droppers

Horizontal droppers are a less precise way to measure liquid output. They're common in situations where droplet volume can vary, to a certain degree. Droplets run over the edges and don't touch the container's neck. They're most common in homemade remedies.

Vertical Droppers

Vertical droppers are a more exact way to measure liquid output and dosage. You'll find them more often in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors. These have a dropper rim, preventing droplets from accumulating or pooling, allowing for more precise measurement.

Finding the Right Droppers

Pipettes and bottle cap droppers share the same goal. This is, to allow precise measurement while working with liquids. Different materials, structures, and grades allow personnel an easy way to adapt to viscous, non-viscous, and other types of chemicals and liquids.

Whatever your intent, there are droppers that will fit your needs. Glass, plastic, different grades, and variation in pipette or bottle cap form, are all variables you can mix and match for any given situation.

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