Difference Between Burette and Pipette

Burette vs Pipette

Burette and pipette are measuring tools that are used in chemistry labs, to dispense liquids in measured quantities. These are excellent devices to let only as much of liquid or chemical that may be required to add to a titration process. Those who have used or at least seen these glass tubes know their differences, but for those who have never been to chemistry labs, it is hard to differentiate between a burette and a pipette. This article attempts to highlight their differences.


Burette is a glass cylinder that is long and open at the top with a stop cock at the bottom to prevent the liquid filled in it from escaping from the burette. The tube has volumetric markings to allow the user to take only as much liquid as is desired in a particular chemical process. There are different size burettes to allow different quantities of liquid to be used. If you are using a 5 ml burette and release liquid in drops releasing the stopcock, the amount used is determined by subtracting the final reading of the burette from 5 ml.


In some branches of study such as molecular biology and analytical chemistry, minute amounts of liquid are required to be dispensed to complete the process. In this endeavor, there are devices that help to dispense only as much liquid as is required. One such device that provides total control is a pipette. It is like using a syringe in a laboratory also called chemical dropper by many. Pipettes are used to have accuracy and efficiency in dealing with small amounts of liquids. There are both micropipettes and macro pipettes being used in labs with micropipettes used for very small quantities of liquid (1- 1000 micro liters). Pipettes work by creating a vacuum above the liquid level and allowing the user to press to loosen the vacuum to dispense the required amount of liquid.


What is the difference between Burette and Pipette?

• Pipette is smaller than burette.

• Release mechanisms are different in pipettes and burettes; burettes have a stop cock at the bottom while a pipette has a dropper like system that releases liquid in desired amount by lessening the vacuum.

• Pipettes are believed to be more accurate in releasing liquid in smaller quantities than burettes.