## How to read a pipetman

You now know which pipettes to use for which volume range, but how do you actually adjust your pipette to get the amounts you want? Clearly, there is a display and adjustment for this on any pipette.

Each pipetman has a three-digit volume indicator, but the (slightly) tricky part is that the digits mean different things depending on whether you’re looking at a P20, a P200, or a P1000.

•  On a P20, the most you can measure is 20, so the top digit is 10s of microlitres.

•  On a P200, the most you can measure is 200, so the top digit is 100s of microlitres.

•  On a P1000, the most you can measure is 1000, so the top digit is 1000s of microlitres (remember that a 1000 microlitres is also the same as 1 millilitre).

This means, incidentally, that the top number on the number dial can only be set to a few digits. On a P20 or a P200, it can only be set to 0 or 1. On a P1000, you have to leave it at 0. If you “overload” the number, you won’t actually cause any explosions, but you will damage the calibration of the pipette.

(Picky but Important Note: the top digit of a P20 or P200 CAN be a “2”, but only if the other digits are zero. In other words, a reading of “200” is ok, but not “201”. Likewise, a reading of “1000” is ok on the P1000, but “1001” is verboten).

(Another picky note: some pipettes read from left to right instead of top to bottom. If yours does, lucky you!)

 1 3 2

 1 3 2

 1 3 2

 0 3 0

 0 3 0

 0 3 0