Laboratories are typically stocked with frequently used equipment, such as beakers, graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, Bunsen burners, rulers, thermometers, slides, test tubes and racks, microscopes, magnifying glasses, petri dishes, balances, clamps and ring stands. Lab users also need a handy supply of pipettes, tongs, eye droppers, stirring rods, test tube holders, clay triangles and other handling tools to reduce direct contact with chemicals and hot surfaces.
Lab workers or students use a variety of glass or plastic vessels to store different substances. For example, graduated cylinders are labeled with units for measuring liquids. Beakers and test tubes are multipurpose vessels for mixing, while Erlenmeyer flasks have a narrow mouth to keep substances contained during observation.
Since observation is an important aspect of conducting experiments, labs need special containers and equipment that let workers investigate substances and specimens up close. Microscopes and magnifying glasses make small substances appear larger for easy observation, while petri dishes, glass slides, crucibles and evaporating dishes provide temporary storage.
Balances, rulers and thermometers are essential tools for recording accurate measurements during experiments. Bunsen burners and hot plates provide controlled heat sources when lab workers need to change the temperature of a solution. To ensure safe handling, labs are often equipped with ring stands and test tube clamps to hold vessels that are being heated.