2023 Autoclave ComparisonJH Bang
The best vertical autoclaves sterilize everything from labware to growing media and mushroom grains rapidly, dependably, and without oversight.
More specifically, research-grade autoclaves are often used for materials like:
- Laboratory supplies
- Waste materials
- Food culturing supplies and substrates
- Beverage containers
Well-designed models generate pressures above 0.100 MPa (equal to 15psi), maintain uniform temperatures, offer robust safety features, and are straightforward to set up or reposition.
A vertical (top-loading) design is easy to load with common lab equipment, and it’s often the most cost-effective configuration.
Pricing depends mostly on capacity and max pressure, but also reflects the cost of UL certification or other expensive standards that many facilities don’t require.
Comparing the Leading Vertical Autoclaves
Dozens of brands are available today, from obscure and often white-labeled products to (relatively) household names. We’ll focus on the latter, which include Yamato, Priorclave, and Tuttnauer.
SH Scientific not only stacks up favorably, but does so at a fraction of the cost. Below, we’ve compiled key specs from each brand’s public information.
SH Scientific vs. Yamato Autoclaves
If you require a medical-grade autoclave, then Yamato is an outstanding choice. Their vertical autoclaves are capable of higher pressure and temperature than the SH Scientific line, which generally allows for shorter cycles.
There’s no denying Yamato’s stellar reputation and quality, but medical-grade equipment comes at significantly higher prices. At nearly 7 times the cost of a similar SH autoclave, it’s a major stretch (with little marginal benefit) for most labs.
SH vs. Priorclave & Tuttnauer
Priorclave and Tuttnauer are respected brands that sell reliable, refined vertical autoclaves. Like the SH Scientific line, these are excellent research equipment but are not medical-grade.
The difference in performance specs is small. Priorclave and Tuttnauer exceed SH’s max pressure and temperature by just 2-4° C and at most 0.06 MPa, respectively. Yet, as with Yamato, these marginal differences cost several times more.
As we’ll see below, our autoclaves match their safety features and quality control at a far more compelling value.
In other words, our performance and build quality rival those of UL-certified autoclaves. But instead of seeking formal certifications, we pass along the considerable savings to labs like yours.
In short, if your facility doesn’t demand specific certifications, then no autoclave on the market offers better performance or reliability for your budget.
Key Safety Features in SH Autoclaves
Thoughtful, intuitive, and effective safety features are hallmarks of all the best vertical autoclaves.
Drawing on industry standards, extensive testing, and decades of customer feedback, we’ve designed our equipment to eliminate the chance of mishaps (when used as instructed) and give you peace of mind.
Extensive quality control
We run every single autoclave through a rigorous quality control process. No unit leaves our premises until we’ve verified its safety features, temperature stability, and every other facet of operation.
Pressure-sensing door lock
Our doors automatically lock when the chamber is pressurized. That’s a standard feature that prevents serious injuries (not to mention damaged equipment) if someone were to open it prematurely.
Easy-grip door with heat-resistant cover
Burned hands are too often a reality of working with autoclaves. We added a plastic heat shield to separate users’ hands from the hot steel, greatly reducing the chance of a burn when working quickly.
What’s more, we use an ergonomically rounded locking wheel to help staff open and close the door with minimal effort.
Digital temperature control
Our PID controllers provide responsive temperature management through a simple, digital interface.
Water level monitoring
Each autoclave includes a low water level sensor to help you avoid the risk of dry-heating the equipment.
Auto-stop & auto-resume functions
SH autoclaves allow custom cycle times up to 99 hrs 59 min, in one-minute increments. There’s no need to watch the clock, since heating stops automatically at the end of the cycle, and the device enters its cool-down and depressurization phase.
Additionally, in the event of a power interruption, SH autoclaves automatically resume their cycle from exactly where they left off.
The Right Vertical Autoclave for Your Facility
SH Scientific autoclaves are trusted by high school biology labs, college & university chemical and environmental engineering labs, research and production labs throughout North America and Asia.
Our standard autoclave configurations suit most facilities without modification. However, several power and control customizations are possible.