Autofill vs Classic – Which Benchtop Autoclave is best for me?

There are a number of different factors that must come into consideration when choosing which autoclave is best for you. Firstly, autoclaves have two totally different systems for filling with water, you need to choose whether to go for a manual (classic) or autofill model. Neither require a drain or water supply to be connected to these units.

CaptureThe manual version is more affordable but does require some extra work. Water is needed to be poured directly into the autoclave chamber to the correct level for every autoclave use. The new Classic Astell autoclaves feature a colour touch screen which will advise when the water gets to the right height. They will also prompt the user at the end of each cycle to top up the water level before the next cycle.

During the autoclave cycle at the free steaming stage, a small amount of condensate is generated which needs to leave the autoclave through a hose located at the back of the unit. For the manual units the hose can either be placed into a drain if available or a heat resistant condensate collection bottle if not.

Benchtop Autoclave by Astell
Benchtop Autoclave by Astell – totally self contained, the unit doesn’t require connecting to a water supply

The Astell autofill autoclaves do not need to connect to any other services than a standard electric power supply. These differ from the classic models as they have an integral reservoir built inside of the unit. The user has to simply top up the internal tank via a screw lid and a single fill will last for 15-20 cycles. You will not have to fill each time like the manual units, the autoclave will automatically be filled from the reservoir and then drain the water after sterilisation to remove excess water from the tank. No provision for condensate collection is needed with the autofill unit as this water is collected into the internal tank.

An additional feature that is available exclusively on the 33-63 litre Astell autofill units is the ‘Pulsed Heat Drying system’, which allows quick and easy drying of pipette tips, empty glassware and other plastics at the end of the cycle.

For more information about the autoclaves available from Camlab please get in touch with one of our technical support advisors on 01954 233 120, email or fill in the contact form below.