The Difference Between a Beaker & a Graduated Cylinder

The Difference Between a Beaker & a Graduated Cylinder
••• MadamLead/iStock/GettyImages

Both graduated cylinders and beakers are pieces of laboratory glassware that have a specific function. Graduated cylinders typically are more accurate at reading the volumes of the liquid inside. Beakers are better for stirring and mixing liquids.

Beaker

A beaker is a simple laboratory piece of glassware that resembles a coffee mug without the handle. On its side are markings denoting approximately how much liquid is inside. They are generally cylindrical in shape with a flat bottom, a wide mouth and a small turned-out lip for pouring.

Uses for a Beaker

Laboratory beakers are generally used for stirring, mixing and heating liquids found in laboratory settings.

Graduated Cylinder

A graduated cylinder is a standard piece of laboratory glassware used to measure the volume of an object or amount of liquid. As its name indicates, it is a glass cylinder with marks along the side similar to those on a measuring cup. The volume is read by looking at the top of the fluid from the side and reading the mark on the glass from the lowest portion of the lens-like meniscus of the liquid.

Uses for a Graduated Cylinder

Graduated cylinders are specifically designed to make accurate volume measurements. By taking a reading before inserting an object in the graduated cylinder and then after inserting it, one can tell the volume of the object from the difference of the two readings and subsequently calculate its density.

Differences

According to Indigo Instruments, the accuracy of a beaker is about 10 percent. A graduated cylinder is accurate to 1 percent of its full scale.

Graduated cylinders have a smaller width than beakers. This is why a beaker is better for stirring and mixing liquids.

Related Articles

Types of Liquid Measuring Devices
How to Measure the Density of Liquids
The Best Way to Check Density
Purpose of a Refractometer
How to Calculate Volume in Cubic Centimeters
Laboratory Glassware and Functions
How to Measure the Volume of a Solid Object
The Names of Chemistry Flasks
What Is a Rubber Stopper?
Uses of a Hydrometer
How to Make Liquid Calcium Chloride
How to Measure Carbonation in Soft Drinks for a Science...
How to Convert Milliliters Into CCs
How to Make a Galilean Thermometer
How to Find Density
How to Calculate Relative Accuracy
The Tools Used to Measure Density
How to Convert ml to Ounces
How to Find the Mass of a Liquid
How to Use Water Displacement to Calculate Volume

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!