How to Select Sampling Tools

Sampling tools

Use the right tools for collecting samples for accurate results.

Collecting samples? Make sure you are prepared and equipped with the right sampling tools for your job. It’s critical to follow correct procedure to ensure accurate results and eliminate cross-contamination. Just as you would thoughtfully choose lab equipment based on features and applications, you should do the same for your sampling tools.

Use the following information to help you to select the right tools for your sample collection.

What are sampling tools and what are they used for?

Sampling tools are used for collecting solids, powders, particulates, semi-solids, and liquid samples. They are used for chemical analysis, quality testing and microbiological testing in a variety of industries including pharma, biotech, food & agriculture, chemical, industrial, and healthcare. Sampling collection best practices suggest that collecting samples improperly will provide inadequate results. So, using the right tool is critical for accurate results.

It can be confusing to locate the right tool because a variety of manufacturers will place the various tool types into different categories. But, if you look at the types of samples you will be collecting, it will make it easier to drill down to exactly what you need.

To make selection easy for you at Cole-Parmer, we’ve categorized our tools by general lab sampling tools, powder sampling tools, and liquid sampling tools. Here is a quick list for your use and links to the products:

General sampling tools

powder sampling tool

Cole-Parmer® Essentials Powder Sample Collector, Sterile HDPE

Select these tools for a variety of general industry uses; these could work with either liquid or powder samples and in some cases both. This category includes scoops, spoons, spatulas, scrapers, and funnels.

Powder sampling tools

These sample tools are ideal for powder and particulates include slot samplers, grain samplers, powder sample collectors, powder lances, and powder spatulas.

Liquid sampling tools

Cole-Parmer® Essentials Ladles, Sterile

Cole-Parmer® Essentials Ladles, Sterile

Look for liquid sample collectors, viscous sample collectors, ice samplers, and ladles in this category to collect samples in liquid form.

What to consider when choosing your tools

Select tools that are robust enough to withstand many hours of use, easy to clean, conform to any safety requirements, and available from a reliable manufacturer. When looking at the features, consider the types of samples being collected, the height and/or the diameter of the container or drum, the sampling method, if you want reusable or disposable sampling tools, and the documentation you require with the tools.

Types of samples

What type of samples do you need to collect? They can include powders or granules, semi-solids, and liquids. They can be free-flowing, viscous, and cohesive or sticky. Your tool selection will depend on what you are sampling.

What is the height or diameter?

Consider if samples need to be collected from items such as open top drums, bulk bags, or bags on a pallet. You want to make sure your sampling tools fit your needs, so you aren’t spilling material on the floor or on yourself or reaching and stretching too much. For example: do you have the right tool to reach the top of a palette or to the bottom of a drum? A tool with a longer handle or larger scoop may be required.

What sampling method are you using?

Will your sample be single point (one sample from a specific point) or multi-level (cross sectional powder sampling from one container)?

Disposable or reusable?

Disposable tools eliminate cross contamination, are mostly manufactured in a cleanroom environment, and are lot traceable. Reusable tools provide long-lasting materials such as stainless steel or PTFE, and they are easy to clean. See website for Certificates of Conformity.

Documentation considerations

You may require documentation with your tools. At Cole-Parmer, all disposable tools are available sterilized with sterility certification and lot traceable certifications. Certain reusable tools such as stainless steel and HPDE are available with a Certificate of Conformity.

Need sampling tools?

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