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Automatic vs. Manual Autoclaves


Now that you have read our “How Do Autoclaves Work” article, you’re now probably wondering what the differences are between manual and automatic autoclaves. You will commonly see a table top version of both autoclave types. Tuttnauer autoclaves are popular manual and automatic table top autoclaves, but there are many other autoclave manufacturers as well.

When using a manual autoclave you need to physically set the autoclave to the fill position and then wait for the water to flow into the chamber. Once filled, you need to load the autoclave, shut its door, lock it securely, set the temperature to the correct sterilization temperature and start the timer. When the load has finished and the timer has buzzed or sounded a bell, you will need to exhaust the sterilizer. Exhausting the water and steam from your used autoclave must be done before the unit cools by turning the knob to the exhaust position. Finally, the pressure will drop to zero allowing the door to be opened and a dry cycle started by resetting the timer. At the completion of the drying cycle, the contents are ready to be removed.

Conversely, automatic autoclaves can be started with the push of a button. Once you select your sterilization settings, the water will automatically flow into the chamber, an LED indicator light will turn on and the sterilization will take place. The autoclave will automatically exhaust once the correct parameters have been met. Once the exhaust is complete it will automatically start the drying cycle and will finally beep and display that the cycle is complete.

Though both types of autoclaves will sterilize your equipment, they each have unique advantages and disadvantages:

Manual Autoclaves:

• Pros

o Less costly to purchase
o Lower repair costs

• Cons

o Time consuming
o Less safety features
o No monitoring controls


Automatic Autoclaves:

• Pros

o Time saving
o User friendly
o Failure detection

• Cons

o More costly to purchase
o Higher purchase price

Duraline Systems has new and refurbished autoclaves to fit your sterilization requirements. With over 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge to help you select the best autoclaves and sterilizers. Contact us today to learn more about autoclave repairs, parts and service.