What Are the Differences between Beakers and Flasks?

There are several differences between the two common laboratory containers called beakers and flasks. The main difference between beakers and flasks is their shapes. A beaker is a cylinder with a lip for pouring and no lid. Flasks are curved with no lip and have lids. Another difference between beakers and flasks is their uses. Beakers are used for careful mixing because they have a lip, but are not used for storage. Flasks are used for storage and prevent contamination by using a lid, usually a glass or rubber stopper.

Beakers come in many sizes, but all have straight sides and a flat bottom. The taller and wider the cylinder is, the more difficult it becomes to accurately measure the amount of fluid in a beaker. The narrowest beaker is called the graduated cylinder. This beaker has measurement lines to determine accurate volume. Other beakers have a few measurement lines but are not considered accurate and are only used to estimate the amount of fluid in the beaker.

Flasks are designed to hold and seal fluids. They usually have a wide body and a narrow neck. This allows for the fluid to remain less in contact with the outside environment. Flasks have stoppers and lids for even more containment.

Beakers and flasks are not made with the same materials. Flasks are always made of glass and plastics, while beakers are sometimes made of metals, like tin. Beakers and flasks differ in variety and shape. Only a few types of beakers are used while many different kinds of flasks are used.

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